'Bosch': Final season creates crisis for iconic LA detective, but he's just getting started
Amazon's "Bosch" is coming to an end, but protagonist Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch isn't leaving quietly. In fact, he's not leaving at all.
Based on Michael Connelly's best-selling novels about a Los Angeles homicide detective who's unyielding in his pursuit of justice, the seventh and final season (all eight episodes streaming Friday) finds Harry caught between LA's police and political hierarchy and the murder of a young girl. But that's hardly the end; a sequel series and more books await.
"For all these years, it's been Harry at odds with the corruption of the system, through power and political influence," says Titus Welliver, who plays the title character. "It culminates in him finally saying, 'I can't do that. I can't let things go. I can't turn away.' "
Streaming recommendations:The 50 best TV shows to watch on Amazon Prime: From 'Bosch' final season to 'Underground Railroad'
In the season's main crime story, Harry, whose philosophy is "Everybody counts or nobody counts," is shaken by the arson-related deaths of 10-year-old Sonia Hernandez and four others, a story pulled from Connelly's 2014 novel, "The Burning Room" (which itself was inspired by a 1990s LA fire). When department priorities conflict with Harry's efforts to make an arrest, he reaches a boiling point.
"For Harry, to cause harm to a child, all bets are off," Welliver says. "He's given his life to the service of taking care of protecting people, obtaining some sense of justice, being an advocate for victims. He's a righteous guy."
"Bosch," Amazon's longest-running series, has had plenty of rich material to rely on: Connelly has written more than 20 novels about the character since 1992's "The Black Echo." Connelly, an executive producer who serves as one of the show's writers, says the TV series brings to life the visual beauty – and tawdriness – of iconic Los Angeles locations, and updates stories written as long as three decades ago.
"The stories are a little bit different, and I think in many ways we tell the stories better. Maybe that's just simply because of the visual nature of television," Connelly says. In the books, "I spent a lot of time on Bosch and probably neglected some of the side characters, but the actors have really brought them to life and taken them far beyond anything I had in my books," he adds, especially Jamie Hector's portrayal of Jerry Edgar, Bosch's detective partner.
Connelly's involvement has given actors, writers and producers confidence in adapting the novels, Welliver says, adding the writer is not "precious" about others playing with the characters and stories. "He created the universe that we refer to as Harry Bosch World. He is the barometer of all things Harry Bosch. That is an enormous gift."
Readers of "The Burning Room" already know where Harry eventually lands in a sequel due on Amazon's IMDb TV streaming service: A career as a private detective.
But just like the "Bosch" stories, the journey this season is as entertaining as the destination: Harry moves irresistibly toward a career reckoning in the bright sun and dark shadows of Los Angeles, a city elemental to the noirish "Bosch" vibe.
"We show the glitter and the grime, so it's not all beautiful LA," says Connelly, who has maintained his novel-per-year pace despite the demands of the series. "The Dark Hours," which pairs Bosch with LAPD detective Renée Ballard, arrives in November.
In the Bosch sequel series, which started production this week but does not yet have a title or a premiere date, Harry will be joined by attorney Honey "Money" Chandler (Mimi Rogers) and his daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz), who grew up over the course of the original series. Other characters will resurface, as they do in Connelly's novels.
Welliver, 59, is delighted with the evolution of the loving but not always easy Harry-Maddie bond. Harry "was sustained and moved forward by the relationship. They both had to grow up together. He had to learn and she had to learn. And because they're so similar, it becomes a source of conflict at times," he says.
Connelly, who also will work on the new series, is excited that it will diverge to a degree from his Bosch private-eye novels. "In the books, Harry is much older, retirement age. We have a different opportunity with the TV show, and we can really get into the mythos of the private eye in Los Angeles."
Although Connelly created Bosch and crafted his every trait, he trusts the actors and other writers implicitly with his characters and stories. "Over seven seasons, I probably said the words, 'Harry Bosch wouldn't do that,' three times, at the most," he says.
He accepts joint custody of Bosch with Welliver, who has embodied the detective for 68 episodes and counting.
"Titus is living him," Connelly says. "Titus probably knows Harry Bosch way better than me because he's inhabited that character so well for so long. He counsels me on how Harry looks at the world."