Bosch Season 3: Amazon’s detective drama has never been better
Neil Brazier | On 01, May 2017
Warning: This contains some spoilers. For our spoiler-free review of Season 3’s opening episodes, click here.
Amazon’s LA detective drama Bosch has become must-watch television. The third season of the show has found its best form in both character development and storytelling, as Michael Connelly’s novels are modernised for new audiences, but lose none of the punch they hold within their pages. This run lifts plots from different novels but manages to intersect them seamlessly, so that Bosch never feels forced or cut-and-pasted. In our Season 2 review, we said that Bosch is best when binge-watched, but in Season 3, not bingeing is no longer an option. Feeling more like a movie that an episodic drama, when one episode ends you don’t think whether you’ve got time to watch another, it just happens.
As each episode builds and fuses with the others, the season’s story arcs grow until they reach a satisfying conclusion. But just as each chapter connects, Bosch has also started to traverse seasons. The Veronica Allen (Jeri Ryan) murder trial that was a main plot in Season 2 is touched upon here, but still left open for the already planned Season 4. The Korea Town Killer is introduced, allowing Chief Irving (Lance Reddick) to better plan his future and giving him the confidence to re-enter the dating world after his marriage dissolved in Season 2, but the mystery remains ready for future investigation. Although these loose threads are left unresolved, they don’t feel forgotten about. Instead, they help add to the realism of the series – a busy police department and a city full of sins.
Season 3’s main plot focuses on the death of Edward Gunn (Frank Clem), who murdered two women years earlier, but was set free by the new DA, who didn’t want to press charges, because it would be a black mark on his burgeoning reputation. The detective in that case? Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver), who has since kept a close eye on Gunn. So, when he turns up dead with a strange owl appearing at the scene, Harry is considered a suspect. This adds another layer to Bosch, who already plays fast and loose with the rules, yet remains a stellar detective. With his colleagues and partner questioning his integrity, Bosch puts up another wall, but the confidence in him and his in the entire justice system may be eroding.
It is this sort of character development that makes Bosch such compelling viewing and it is not just confined to the title role. Three seasons in and the LAPD is now full of character that aren’t just there to further the development of the show’s lead, be it the Watch Commander, who hides the good coffee, Detectives Crate and Barrel, who study hours of CCTV footage for days with no sign of recognition, or Lieutenant Grace Billets (Amy Aquino), who loves her department and will defend every one of her staff. Billets also must deal with a Captain who’s now married to her ex-husband and who might be letting her personal feelings get in the way of their work.
If there already weren’t enough to chew on, the murder of Bosch’s mother always itches in the background until it must be scratched. There is also the whereabouts of Maddie’s mother and Harry’s ex-wife, Eleanor Wish (Sarah Clarke), who has been mysteriously absent for most of the season, having re-opened her connections to the FBI in Season 2. Add these to the future partnership of Harry Bosch and Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector), both left with different feelings towards their work, after the toll and sacrifices this season takes on them, and the urge to binge Season 4 grows ever stronger.
All episodes of Bosch: Season 3 are available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription. For more on the show, read our reviews of Season 1 and 2 here.