Bosch – Pilot Episode

Detective Harry Bosch is the lead character in many of Michael Connelly’s novels. Connelly has actually penned 16 novels (going back to 1992) featuring Bosch. I’ve read two of them – The Narrows and 9 Dragons.

While I have read just two of these books, the series has a fierce and loyal following. The thing that is most interesting is that none of the Bosch novels have ever been made into a movie or a TV series. Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) did reach the silver screen and did quite well with Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller. Clint Eastwood starred as Terry McCaleb in Connelly’s Blood Work (2002). Eastwood also directed.

Bosch with Deputy Chief Irvin Irving played by Lance Reddick

Bosch with Deputy Chief Irvin Irving played by Lance Reddick

But if you haven’t heard – Amazon Instant Video has an Original Content division and has released the pilot for a series called Bosch. Titus Welliver has the role as Harry Bosch.

Bosch reporting for work at Hollywood Station

Bosch reporting for work at Hollywood Station

That was tempting enough for me to sign up for a free thirty-day trial on Amazon Prime – especially since I can watch this, and other Amazon Prime streaming content via my TV’s smart functions.

The Pilot of Bosch begins with Homicide Detective Harry Bosch and his partner Detective Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector) on a stake out. They follow one Roberto Flores, who they suspect is a serial killer. First by car, then on the Metro, and finally on foot. There’s a confrontation in an alley.

Bosch: LAPD. Policia! Show me your hands hombre. Manos!

He commands Flores to show his hands, and keep them in plain sight, and to get down on his knees. It is night and it is raining. Flores drops to his knees, then he reaches behind him and Bosch squeezes off a couple of shots. Flores is dead.

Flash forward to two years later and Bosch is being sued by the Flores widow in a civil suit for wrongful death. The LA Police Department  had exonerated Bosch calling it justified, nonetheless, as Bosch says – any one can bring a law suit.

With the ongoing trial as a part of the story, there’s also a new and fresh case. Bosch gets a phone call from the desk sergeant and sets off to check it out.

Up in the wooded hills, a retired doctor’s Golden Lab had unearthed a bone. This retired doctor recognized it as a humerus (a big bone in the upper arm) and that from the looks of it – it was a bone from the body of a child.

Further investigation leads to the discovery of more than 60% of the bones.

The Forensic doctor (played by Alan Rosenberg who seemingly has made a career out of playing doctors: LA Doctors, Chicago Hope, and CSI) tells them that the remains are that of a severely abused boy, and the remains have probably been in that shallow grave since 1989.

Okay that’s your set up and pretty much what we see in the pilot which runs about 51 minutes. Welliver has been on TV for a long time, and has appeared in many series like – Murder One, Brooklyn South, and NYPD Blue from the 90’s, and The Good Wife, Sons of Anarchy, and Deadwood from the 2000’s stretching into the teens.

He’s rather good and has that dead-pan kind of look to him which conceals an inner man capable of deadly force at any time. Since we only have this pilot with him as Harry Bosch – I can only tell you that I’m interested and would watch more episodes.

This pilot had a quietness to it – as 1) Bosch thinks hard, is soft-spoken, and 2) as a homicide detective he has to follow the evidence. This pilot opened with the shooting, and following that we had courtroom scenes, exchanges with other cops, the search in the hillside woods, and the info as fed to us by Rosenberg’s Dr. Golliher.

There’s other characters that seem intriguing as well. It looks like Bosch has some sort of history with the County Coroner – Dr. Theresa Corazon played by Valerie Cruz – as he knows where she lives, and she says he should have called, and that she wishes Bosch wouldn’t come to her house – implying that he’s been there before.

There a female uniformed cop (Julia Brasher played by Annie Wersching) who seems interested in Bosch both professionally as well as personally. Bosch reports to a Lieutenant (called Lieutenant and played by Amy Aquino) who keeps close tabs on him. Then there’s the attorney for the Flores widow – a Honey “Money” Chandler played by Amy Price-Francis and it certainly seems that Bosch has a history with her as well.

The production looks first-rate with a lot of realistic locations rather than studio sets, although the bone lab is a set. As for the pilot – it was decidedly short on action, we didn’t get too much of offensive language, there was no nudity or sex, and there didn’t seem to be any kind of music on the soundtrack. But the rating was TV-MA (meaning for Mature audiences) with sub-categories AC for Adult Content, AL Adult Language, and GV for Graphic Violence.

Dr. Golliher: I counted 44 distinct locations indicating separate trauma in various stages of healing. Detective Edgar: Jeezus Christ Dr. Golliher: And that's just the bones...

Dr. Golliher: I counted 44 distinct locations indicating separate trauma in various stages of healing.
Detective Edgar: Jeezus Christ
Dr. Golliher: And that’s just the bones…

After Dr. Golliher told Harry that he had detected around 44 instances of bodily trauma on the remaining bones, he added, and that’s not counting the internal organs because we don’t have them. Well that sent Harry off to the men’s lavatory. Harry said he had to take a leak – but when we got a look at what Harry imagined – an image of a man following a young boy down an apartment house hallway with a baseball bat which he swings and we then hear the boys scream – it wasn’t that Harry had to pee, he had to fight off an onset of nausea.

So I expect this will have some tougher stuff on hand in coming episodes. That is – if the series gets made. Amazon Instant Video has 5 new, just released pilots to have a look at. Viewers are asked for feedback and given an opportunity to assign ratings to certain facets of the show.

If the survey is positive, they’ll go ahead and make more of Bosch. I sent in a positive set of responses.

I’m hopeful. But we will have to wait and see.

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7 thoughts on “Bosch – Pilot Episode

  1. I’m interested in this, if mainly because of Welliver. The guy’s been a solid character actor for so damn long, it only seems right that he’d finally be given his time to shine in the spotlight on his own. However, of the two, Amazon original series I’ve seen, none have really impressed me, so I remain a bit hesitant with this one, as well as all of the other pilots released to us. Good review Mike. I can definitely say one thing, you’ve made me want to watch this a bit more now.

    • Go for it Danno –

      Yeah, this pilot is long on thought and conversation, with a bit of forensics tossed in for flavoring and short on action – but hey, that’s a formula that is working so well for True Detective.
      As for Welliver’s Bosch – he’s intriguiging rather than quirky, and it looks like the ladies like him. Anyway, I know you keep a busy schedule – one a day and all – but
      you should be able to find 51 minutes to watch this one.

  2. I haven’t had the chance to check out any of these new Amazon pilots, but this is the one I’ve heard the best things about and I see you liked it as well. With a lot of shows taking a break because of the Olympics, I will have to give this one a shot.

  3. I’m interested in this as well. This has a pretty good cast, especially given Titus Welliver and Lance Reddick (playing the same role he always plays; hopefully they don’t underuse him here). I also like the creative team; Eric Overmyer has done some absolutely fantastic work so far, working with Simon on Homicide, The Wire, and Treme.

    I probably won’t watch any of the pilots until after it’s decided which are going to series, but hopefully this makes it. I’ve heard good things about this, Transparent, and Mozart, unlike for, say, The After (disappointing, considering it’s from Chris Carter) or The Rebels. I have to say, though; this batch of pilots is a LOT more interesting than Amazon’s first. It looks like they’re set to start challenging Netflix in the original series department.

    • Thanks PB.

      Reddick apparently plays the Deputy Chief of Police, and he states that his job is to make sure the LAPD gets the best possible press and news coverage. I guess he might be called a crisis manager. Harry’s immediate boss appears to be the Lieutenant rather than Reddick’s Irving. But since Bosch and Irving know each other quite well, it is my opinion that we shall see more of Irving. Even if he’s one of the ‘suits upstairs’.

  4. Irving and Bosch truly do know each other well, and that’s the problem with trying to create a TV character based on the same character’s novels (#8 in this case). Recreating the same character is not easy, and based on one episode my jury is still out. Doesn’t mean that it won’t make a good series and a good story…it just might NOT be Harry Bosch.

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