“Bosch” is one of those foundational shows a streaming service would love to have in their arsenal. For Amazon Prime Video, “Bosch” has taken over that responsibility for 7 years, delivering seasons of consistent storytelling and character interactions with organic progression. The story of Heironymous “Harry” Bosch, a Homicide Detective, working out of the Hollywood division of the LAPD, was remarkable not only because of the gritty tone and the serious and compelling treatment of the story, but because the original show was also successful in juggling multiple plot threads and paying off said plot threads.
“Bosch: Legacy” has been marketed as a new entry point, which it is to some extent. The core cast is still Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch, Mimi Rogers as Honey Chandler, and Madison Lintz as Madeline Bosch. The regular supporting cast of Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino, Lance Reddick, Troy Evans, Gregory Scott Cummins, and a host of well-loved supporting characters are noticeably absent. The story reason is valid, however, as at the end of the final season of Bosch, Bosch leaves the LAPD and jumps into a new career as a PI. “Bosch: Legacy” is a soft reboot, but it is also majorly Bosch Season 8, and the better for it.
Immediately following the events of Season 7, the moniker “Legacy” being attached to this show makes an ample amount of sense. There are two Bosch family members as the protagonists. Harry Bosch, the PI, and Madeline Bosch, the rookie LAPD cop, The legacy of Bosch as a police officer is interesting to watch as we follow Maddie as a rookie working with her TO, working the mean streets of LA and undergoing different challenges like investigating a new Thai Town Killer. She also has to keep her inherent kindness and naivete in check because her father’s lack of diplomacy in the department has left her with a lot of issues regarding the higher-ups. Being part of a legacy has its perks as well as its downsides.
Legacy is also an important through-line when Bosch takes on a new client, a wealthy aviation magnate named Whitney Vance. Vance tasks him with finding out the whereabouts of an old flame during Vance’s high school days and checking whether the son his old flame had borne is still alive. What Bosch discovers throughout the season is how the merest inkling of a legacy can leave a billion reasons for a man to be taken out of the way, an accident to occur, or even an assassin to be hired to take out all unnecessary issues.
Continuation is the third through-line here, as “Bosch: Legacy” decidedly takes on a Law and Order approach. Chandler’s return to her law practice after her altercation with Carl Rogers in the last season has her seething for revenge while also suffering from PTSD due to the gunshot wound she experienced. Her investigation and determination in bringing Rogers behind bars bring her into contact with Bosch and Bosch’s new sidekick Mo (Stephen Chang), a definitively cool addition to the cadre of characters in the “Bosch” world. Chandler’s investigation into Rogers forms the bulk of her first arc, which dovetails into the second arc dealing with wrongful shooting and police corruption. Not to mention, there is a fourth case dealing with the murder of Dr. Basu, a well-regarded doctor who treated patients at one of the free clinics and was murdered in the dead of the night via stabbing. The police pick up Jeffrey Herstadt, the prime suspect, which is not satisfactory for Bosch or Chandler, so Bosch picks up the case, which again brings him into conflict with the LAPD.
The realism stems from the fact that having more than one or two cases running simultaneously is a normal occurrence, be it for a cop, a private detective, or even a defense lawyer. The issue here is that, unlike the seasons of “Bosch”, “Bosch: Legacy” isn’t deft enough to juggle all those different plot threads very satisfactorily. As a result, it is easier to demarcate which are the main plots and which are the side plots, and your viewing interest changes accordingly. A problem that the show avoided in Season 4 because all of the plots were extremely compelling.
The second criticism of “Bosch: Legacy” is its changing streaming options. Having shifted from Prime Video to the ad-supported Amazon Freevee, the episodes feel very much edited, such that scenes will end almost noticeably for ad breaks. This disrupts the flow of the story. The third criticism (I loathe to call it a criticism) is the definitive lower budget scale. I have an inkling about the reason because the story refers to the pandemic as an integral event in the timeline, so it stands to reason that production must have been significantly delayed or budgeted due to the pandemic. It, however, makes you lose some of the patented markers of “Bosch”, the most important being his swanky house, which is under the chopping block because Bosch let his earthquake insurance lapse (according to the story).
However, the soul of “Bosch” is still intact. Welliver as Bosch is such a reliable presence that it is hard to imagine anyone else playing the character. Madison Lintz’s Maddie Bosch grew up with the viewer who has followed her for the past seven seasons of “Bosch”, so following her journey in her father’s footsteps is an extremely compelling watch. The writers also maintain that they are not giving Maddie any of the typical teenage or young adult foibles we see in other iterations of movies and TV shows. It’s also fascinating how much time the show devotes to delving into Bosch’s past, especially regarding his time in Afghanistan and also his estranged father and half-brother, a character “Bosch” fans are very familiar with. Now whether that character would appear is up for debate because of rights issues. There are also cameos from important supporting characters from the previous show, which should satisfy “Bosch” fans.
“Bosch: Legacy” is a solid continuation of “Bosch.” While not as great as “Bosch” at its peak, it is still an interesting and compelling enough story with enough interactions between the two Bosch-es to tide you through. As a passing of the baton while also a newer direction for its titular character, “Bosch: Legacy” takes some swings and connects with most of them. The new theme song is pretty catchy too, and the show ends with a cliffhanger, which should increase the anticipation for an already greenlit second season.