SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t watched Bosch season 7 yet, stop reading at the line below. This post contains some minor spoilers about the final season.
Seven seasons … 68 episodes. Bosch is done. Long live Bosch.
Bosch season 7 was a satisfying end to the series, which—as most of you know, if you’re a fan—will continue in a new series next year on Amazon’s IMDb channel (another streaming service, but this one has—BOO, HISS!—commercials). But Bosch had one more story to tell (well, two really), and this final season wrapped up with storylines involving most of the main characters and how they’ll transition into a world minus, for the most part, Harry Bosch.
Season 7 involves the murder by arson of a young girl, her mother, and her mother’s pregnant friend, along with another person in a horrible apartment fire on New Year’s Eve 2020. Bosch’s unrelenting sense of justice—Everybody Counts or Nobody Counts—takes center stage in this season as he hunts for the man behind the “little tamale girl,” as the media calls 10-year-old Sonia Hernandez, who is overcome by smoke from a molotov cocktail thrown as a warning to the manager of the apartment building where she lives. Bosch never calls her that horrible nickname … she’s always Sonia Hernandez to him and one more sad reminder on his desk of another case he can’t seem to solve. At least this time, he knows her real name. In addition, a scam artist is arrested for bilking people out of millions. When he lawyers up, his attorney is the one and only Honey “Money” Chandler. He offers to talk to the SEC about a major fraud case and ends up dead, and the same contract killer targets both Chandler and Bosch’s daughter, Maddie.
Season 7 has engrossing and satisfying storylines for Maddie, Lt. Billets, Chief Irving, and Jerry Edgar. The other detectives in Hollywood Homicide, which is being disbanded, also have stories that revolve around their impending transfers to other divisions. Crate and Barrel take a bit of a back burner, but showcase their trademark act within the station as old warhorses not quite ready to be put out to pasture. And Harry himself goes through the wringer, with the loss of a new flame and a threat to his daughter’s life. And while we’ve seen Harry at the breaking point before, this time he really reaches the end of his rope.
I’m sad that this season was only eight episodes. I guess that’s because of Covid. I felt that the final episode was a little abrupt, but it does set up the show for it’s spin-off, the unnamed series that’s coming to IMDb-TV sometime in 2022, and which started shooting this week. Harry, Maddie, and Money Chandler all make the switch into the new series, which star Titus Welliver has referred to as a “continuation,” not a spin-off, in a recent video interview with cast and crew members with radio station KPCC (LINK).
I am writing this directly after finishing episode 8 and I have a lot of mixed emotions about Bosch ending. I’ve known the end was coming for a while now, but when it’s one of your all-time favorite shows, it’s still difficult. Bosch was, to me at least, the perfect personification of Michael Connelly’s books, which I’ve been reading for going on 30 years now, since I first picked up The Poet (not a Bosch book) in the early 1990s. Reading—and loving—that book made me seek out other Connelly books and everything else at that point by the author featured Harry Bosch. I went onto The Concrete Blonde and The Last Coyote, finding cheap remaindered copies at a discount bookstore. And when I moved to California, Connelly and the LA-based Bosch aptly made the trip with me. I’ve read all 22 of the Bosch books, with #23 due this November, all of the Lincoln Lawyer books (which is soon to become a Netflix series, thus negating the possibility of a Bosch/Mickey Haller crossover—they’re half-brothers), and all of Connelly’s one-offs and shorter series with recurring characters, including his latest, Renée Ballard, who partners with Bosch in three novels.
All of this is my way of saying I have a history with the character of Harry Bosch. When I first heard that Connelly had gotten the rights back to the character after they languished in limbo at, I believe, Paramount for a decade, and that the decision was made to turn it into a TV series, I was elated … even more so when I saw the pilot starring Titus Welliver. If one thing Harry Bosch needs in an actor, it’s a certain level of badass gravitas, and I’m pretty sure if you Google that phrase, Welliver’s photo shows up (or at least it should). Bosch was one of Amazon Prime’s first series, and in that day and age—an ancient seven years ago—viewers voted on pilots they liked. Bosch was immediately picked up to series, with author Connelly as an executive producer/writer.
Each season combined two of the books and we met the Bosch book family: partner Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector), Lieutenant Grace Billets (Amy Aquino), Chief Irv Irving (Lance Reddick), ex-wife Eleanor Wish (Sarah Clarke), and Bosch’s teenage daughter, Maddie (Madison Lintz), who literally grew up on the show. The TV series had the same healthy dose of Los Angeles politics, both in and out of the police force, with mayors and city officials playing roles (including one police commission member who is ultimately revealed to be the killer of Bosch’s mother).
Each season of Bosch was always an intense ride-along experience. If anything was a flaw, it was the overused trope of Maddie in danger, something that came up yet again this season, even if it revolved around an important plot point. But the one main thing that separated the books from the TV series is the relationship between Bosch and Maddie. While an important part of the books, it’s the key to the series and the likability of the two actors (Welliver and Lintz), along with Maddie clearly being her father’s daughter, added a whole new dimension to the characters. Season 7 floats the premise that Maddie is going to join the LAPD. We’ll see if that comes true in the new series.
Also supposedly along for the new series ride is attorney Honey Chandler, played by Mimi Rogers. Honey spent a good bit of season 7 off-camera, recuperating from a murder attempt, so it’s difficult to figure out what her role in the new series will be. I originally thought Bosch would team up with his old courtroom nemesis to act as her investigator, and that still might be the case … maybe Honey’s brush with death leaves her with a new-found conscience and mission for her legal career.
When you come down to it, Bosch is, quite simply, a police procedural, a mainstay of American television since the medium started. But there’s something that separates it from the hundreds, if not thousands, of network and streaming cop shows over the years. I think it’s the characters that are the heart of the show, but it’s also the unnamed character: the city of Los Angeles. Bosch took the viewer all over LA, from Hollywood to downtown, from the barrio to Brentwood mansions. And that house of his, perched on stilts in the Hollywood hills, is the perfect metaphor for his character, silently and vigilantly watching over the city.
I’ll miss this iteration of Bosch. I have high hopes we’ll see Jerry, Grace, Jimmy (it was great to see Paul Calderon finally get listed as a regular in the opening credits for a few episodes … I love his portrayal of a veteran detective who can go toe-to-toe with Bosch and who could swagger even while sitting down), Rondell, Vega, Mank, and even Chief Irving in the new show.
One thing that I feel is still hanging … why hasn’t Bosch pursued the killer of Eleanor Wish to China? I really thought that would become a major storyline, since it was a big part of one of the books (Nine Dragons). Or was that resolved? While there will never be too many Bosch books or TV episodes, sometimes things blend together.
Harry Bosch moves on at the end of season 7, as must we all. I can’t wait to see what happens next with my favorite fictional detective in both books and on TV.