The more things change, the more they thankfully don’t in the world of Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver), the steely L.A. crime-stopper who may have turned in his badge but hasn’t lost his zeal for justice. In Bosch: Legacy, a spinoff of the long-running Prime Video series based on Michael Connelly’s terrific best-sellers (now on Amazon’s free Freevee platform), Harry has transitioned from veteran detective to freelance private investigator. The good news: He hasn’t lost his edge, even when the overly busy new show occasionally loses focus. (The first four episodes drop Friday, with two more premiering weekly on Fridays through May 27.)
“I miss catching killers,” he admits when asked (repeatedly) if he misses the cop beat. The department b.s., not so much. But damned if Harry doesn’t still manage to take down a few murderous souls as he pursues several cases in his new vocation.
Reluctantly overcoming his aversion to crossing over into the “dark side” with defense attorneys, Harry has a personal reason for teaming with his former nemesis, power lawyer Honey Chandler (Mimi Rogers, a great sparring partner for Welliver). Their joint goal: to take down by any means Carl Rogers (Michael Rose), the corrupt businessman who tried to have Honey and his own beloved daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz) killed but is allowed to go free after a mistrial.
This investigation pits Harry against Russian mobsters in an action subplot involving a scheme to steal gas (which could hardly be timelier). His new sidekick, a cool cat named Mo (Stephen Chang) who digs jazz as intensely as Harry, is a tech wizard who endures his pal’s old-school ways. “Cash is so last century,” Mo quips when Harry compensates him with paper money, not Venmo. “So am I, brother,” Harry concedes. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
I kept wishing the Carl Rogers storyline would resolve more quickly, because it keeps getting in the way of the season’s strongest plot, borrowed from Connelly’s 2016 novel The Wrong Side of Goodbye. This is classic L.A. private-eye noir territory when Harry is hired by dying billionaire Whitney Vance (the great William Devane) to “bring an old man some peace and redemption” by tracking down a possible heir stemming from a thwarted romance in his unfulfilled youth.
Harry’s dogged legwork—he learns to use Google!—unleashes a powder keg of murderous greed, because (as Vance perhaps unnecessarily warns) “There’s billions at stake here, and people will do anything to stop you.” He’s not wrong. Before it’s over, Harry faces off with a lethal female assassin who seems to have wandered in from a Bond thriller or Killing Eve.
While depicting Honey’s vendetta against Rogers (among other legal intrigues) and Bosch’s perilous plunge into Vance’s cloudy past, Legacy juggles a third plot strand, involving his daughter Maddie’s indoctrination into the culture of the LAPD as a rookie training officer. She’s following in dad’s footsteps, working some of L.A.’s meanest streets as a patrol officer—and yes, Harry loses sleep over the danger that entails. When she defies her superior’s guidance to stay in her lane by getting personally involved in a serial-rapist case, Bosch counsels her: “You have to decide what kind of cop you want to be.”
Like there’s any question that a Bosch in uniform won’t rise to the occasion.
While these competing storylines can make for odd pacing, jarring editing, and stalled momentum, fans will nonetheless thrill when characters from the original series occasionally cross Harry’s path—sadly, that doesn’t include Amy Aquino’s wonderful Lt. Grace Billets in Legacy’s first season (it’s been renewed for a second). And I’ll bet I’m not the only Bosch devotee who will find themselves less upset over the life-and-death stakes of Harry’s cases than concerned over the fate of his fabulous Hollywood Hills domicile when his house’s foundation is damaged during an earthquake.
Bosch isn’t Bosch without that glorious view of Los Angeles. This is the cliffhanger I need to see resolved next season.
Bosch: Legacy, Series Premiere, Friday, May 6, Amazon Freevee