Friday, April 19, 2019

Holds fast as peerless crime drama; Bosch Season 5 is masterful in many ways

TV Review: Bosch, season 5 (Amazon Prime)

Reviewed by Craig Sisterson

Fifteen months after bringing his mother's killer to justice, Bosch finds himself seeking the truth on two fronts. New evidence in an old case leaves everyone wondering whether Bosch planted evidence to convict the wrong guy. And a murder at a Hollywood pharmacy exposes a sophisticated opioid pill mill, sending Bosch down a dark and perilous path in pursuit of the killers.

From the writing to the acting to the cinematography, Season 5 of Bosch is another masterpiece of television crime drama. The series continues to march to its own beat, with long silences and ambient noise allowing the actors and emotional notes to breathe. No quick cuts and soaring soundtracks to artificially heighten tension here. The creators trust the material and the actors implicitly, and it shows. The story is delivered beautifully, masterfully.

Drawing heavily from Connelly's recent Bosch novel TWO KINDS OF TRUTH, season 5 sees Harry Bosch under pressure on multiple fronts, as an old case from his early days as a detective is challenged, threatening to return a killer to the streets and put Bosch's job and reputation in Jeopardy. Meanwhile Bosch and Edgar get entwined in an undercover operation to flush out violent killers who are running a pill mill scheme, harvesting from opiate addicts.

Of course, as with any Bosch season, there's a lot more going on too, within Hollywood homicide and beyond. There's so much to like about season 5; I won't spoil things by listing too many subplots and character arcs. Suffice to say it's pleasing to see the return of many familiar faces, who each play a part, along with some interesting new characters.

On the latter front, Honey Chandler's investigator Hector Bonner (Ryan Hurst of Sons of Anarchy & Remember the Titans), and Detective Christina Vega (Jacqueline Obradors of NYPD Blue) in particular stand out and bring a really nice energy to the already wonderful cast. Bosch's daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz) is growing into an even greater role, and her interplay with Harry, played note-perfectly again by Titus Welliver, is a key part of this season.

Bosch Season 5 is another wonderful ride, full of emotion and great characters. There's an authenticity to it, a realness that doesn't need to be overplayed or overhyped, intercut or otherwise artificially enhanced. Just great writing, great acting, and some great visual storytelling. The only flaw to Bosch is having to wait an entire year for the next season.

But with plenty of seeds planted, it'll be interesting to see just what book/s are used for Season 6. Perhaps, even, the addition of another major Connelly character? Worth staying up Late for this Show.

Craig Sisterson is a lawyer turned features writer from New Zealand, now living in London. In recent years he’s interviewed hundreds of crime writers and talked about the genre on national radio, top podcasts, and onstage at books festivals on three continents. He has been a judge of the Ned Kelly Awards and the McIlvanney Prize, and is founder of the Ngaio Marsh Awards. You can heckle him on Twitter. 

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