‘BOSCH’: Investigating episode 507 ‘The Wisdom of the Desert’

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photo courtesy of Bosch season 5 campaign on epk.tv
Titus Welliver and Jamie Anne Allman in Bosch season 5 photo credit: Aaron Epstein/Amazon Prime Video

Tensions run high when Harry remains undercover and unreachable in Bosch episode 507.

Bosch episode 507: ‘The Wisdom of the Desert’

Written by: Jeffrey Fiskin

Directed by: Aaron Lipstadt

Harry’s undercover mission as Dominic Reilly has gone longer and deeper than originally expected. Maddie is worried that her father did not return home the same evening. J. Edgar must report to Billets that Harry boarded the plane. Scot Anderson from the Los Angeles Times is trying to reach Harry, too.

Vega and Pierce track down Jose Junior just in time. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Junior’s cousin Oscar. J. Edgar continues his investigation into Gary’s murder, Grace finds more suspicious crime statistics. Borders is getting nervous.


Now what?

Jerry returns to his vehicle at Whiteman Airport after the shill plane departs. Davila is excused from surveillance duty. J. Edgar hears Harry’s phone ringing in the truck and finds missed calls from both Maddie and Honey Chandler.

Maddie arrives home to an empty house with dinner. She texts her dad to find out where he is. A nondescript voicemail from Jerry merely says that he and Harry are working late and she should not stay up waiting.

Jerry picks the lock to a gate at Whiteman Airport and places a tracker beneath the shill van.

The next morning Maddie tries Jerry’s number to no avail and then reaches out to Lt. Billets when she finds her dad is still not home. Grace is surprised and concerned Harry has not returned but does her best to reassure Maddie. When J. Edgar arrives to the office, Billets tells him she needs to call command. Jerry firmly disagrees suggesting that will put Harry’s life in danger. She agrees to wait for now.

Back to the future

We finally revisit the time jump from episode 1, the suspenseful moment where Dominic’s gun is pointed at his head. We know now that Harry disabled the gun per Nellie’s advice before going undercover. Dominic maintains the cover and looks visibly shaken when head honcho Walsh pulls the trigger even though it does not fire.

Walsh taunts Dominic about his service in the Special Forces saying he is not so special anymore but just an addict. Dominic takes his backpack and Walsh keeps the gun. He returns to his bunk on the bus.

As Dominic looks out of the bus in the dark, he sees truck lights. Boxes are being transferred from the truck to a storage container in the distance. He then writes something on a piece of paper, folds it tightly and puts it in his pocket.

A different quid pro quo

The next morning, Dominic takes a detour through the bushes as he exits the portable john. He sneaks over to the storage container and takes a peek inside the window. He spies barrels marked “flammable”, a respirator, and boxes marked “Tayah Toy Co.” from China.

Dominic makes his way back to the main camp area and sees Liz sitting down for a smoke. He thanks her for warning him about Trey the night before and that he “owes” her. She suggests one of his oxy pills. He complies and gives her one of the pills.

Sidebar: Interestingly, the quid pro quo does not stop there. Even though the pill was in response to her helpful information, Liz does not view the transaction as ending there. She follows the exchange by still asking Dominic what he wants. He replies that he would like her to answer some questions. I find it heartbreaking that Liz’s mindset is so focused on what she has to “do” for someone else. Does the assumption that she always “owes” something stem from being an addict, a grieving mother, or both?

Dominic asks her for the following:

  • What is their location?
  • Does anyone ever just try to leave the operation?
  • Does she really want to get off drugs?

First, she describes their location as “south of nowhere”. Secondly, she recalls that when one of the shills attempted to leave, the minions “disappeared him”. Liz then rubs her arm and talks about the carpal tunnel that initiated her drug use. She opens up about losing her daughter who would leave when her mom was messed up on the drugs. The tormented woman also tells Dominic that her daughter was murdered and the case remains unsolved.

Finally, Liz asks Harry to leave. She believes she has told him enough and does not want the others “to get the wrong idea”.

photo courtesy of Bosch season 5 campaign on epk.tv
Titus Welliver and Jamie Anne Allman in Bosch season 5
photo credit: Aaron Epstein/Amazon Prime Video

Tom is dismissed

Maddie is busy redacting documents with a Sharpie marker. Tom suggests that Maddie perform the redaction online. She dismisses the idea saying that would not pass muster with the Assistant District Attorney.

Tom is a clerk in CIU and therefore is assisting Christina Henry with the second look at the Borders conviction. He brings Christina the original inventory of Danielle Skyler’s jewelry. Christina shares that Danielle’s apartment, her family’s home and safe deposit box were all searched for the pendant, but it was not found. When Tom suggests that’s because Borders took the pendant, Christina does not confirm. She simply agrees that is the original narrative.

Tom is left in the lurch again at his family’s party. Maddie attends the party as promised to Tom. She does not look very comfortable, however, in the fancy house packed with guests. We first see her standing alone at the event. She puts on a brave face when Tom comes over to talk. He asks about Maddie’s family. She replies that her family is “smaller”. She excuses herself to the restroom and never returns to the party.

Pharmacy run derailed

Walsh’s minions transport Dominic and the other shills by van from the encampment to Crown Valley Pharmacy. While the addicts are in line waiting for their prescriptions to be filled, Dominic browses the shelves and pockets a box of perfume while carefully avoiding the security camera’s angle. He then breaks the line stepping in front of Trey and behind Elizabeth. Dominic slips the perfume in Liz’s backpack. She feels his touch and yells at him.

Dominic feigns innocence, exits the line and leaves the pharmacy. Just before he leaves he tells the security guard that Liz has stolen merchandise in her backpack. The security guard tells the pharmacist to call the cops. Dominic “warns” van drivers Stones and Carter that Liz was caught stealing and the police are en route.

Walsh’s guys call everyone to the van immediately and usher them out as quickly as possible.

photo courtesy of Bosch season 5 campaign on epk.tv
Jamie Hector in Bosch season 5
photo credit: Aaron Epstein/Amazon Prime Video

A torturous encounter

Vega reports to Billets that a call arrived from Hollenbeck Homicide. Jose Junior’s cousin, Oscar, has been found dead inside a vehicle at the garage where he works. As suspected, that visit from bad guy Hart last episode did not end well.

Edgar joins Vega at the site until Pierce can get there. The three detectives note that Oscar’s fingers have been broken one at a time, presumably as a torture device to collect information. Jerry points out that only the fingers on one hand have been broken and assumes that Oscar finally gave up Junior’s location in Bakersfield.

Vega and Pierce leave for Bakersfield and J. Edgar asks Pierce to send him contact information for the FAA.

Another meeting with Walsh

The shills (minus Liz) return to the camp. Dominic collects his pill ration and then notices Vardy yelling at the stray dog. Vardy pulls a gun on the dog and Dominic intervenes and tells Vardy it is “bad luck to shoot a dog”. Vardy grimaces but puts down his gun.

Walsh is angry that the plane cannot arrive until much later due to the temperature. He appears very focused on moving on to something else.

Later, Dominic is called once again to meet with Walsh at the camp. Walsh questions Dominic about the scenario that went down at the pharmacy. Trey has accused Dominic planting the perfume in Liz’s backpack. Dominic counters saying that Liz and Trey are the ones “running a grift”. He brings up the dog and how Dominic stopped Vardy. They are suspicious about Dominic keep getting involved in everything.

Dominic says if he is being a problem, they could send him home. Walsh allows Dominic to return to the camp but reiterates his suspicions to his men after Dominic exits. He also tells the men to give Trey a “final run bonus” to get rid of him.

Later that night, we see Walsh and his men hoisting drinks in some sort of celebration. We suspect they are toasting to ending the pill mill scheme and moving on to something bigger in Glamis with the contents of the storage container.

We see a shot of Maddie out on the balcony at home after leaving Tom’s party. She stares out into the distance at the stars. This scene shifts to Harry lying on the bus staring up at the same stars. It’s a beautiful and haunting transition on screen as the father and daughter worry about each other.

Who is Jacques Avril?

Jerry meets with Marcos and Arias again about Gary’s murder. He shares that he believes Bo Jonas was at the scene when Gary was killed. Edgar tells them that a witness saw Jonas fearfully fleeing the scene and agrees to give the detectives the contact information for the witness.

J. Edgar inquires about the gentleman who leaves their table upon Jerry’s arrival. They refer to the man as a “street source” named Jacques Avril (or Jackie April) and says he owns several 7-11 franchises in South Bay. Jerry wonders why a guy from South Bay would come such a long distance for coffee. Marcos tells Jerry that Jacques likes the beignets there because it reminds him of home. Where? New Orleans? No, apparently, Jacques is from Haiti.

Later, Jerry pulls up news articles about the FRAPH Militia slaying hundreds and a flyer about a “Haiti Support Group”. Another article on his computer screen is titled “South Bay Businessman Builds New Life”. Jerry compares the photos in the two articles; they appear to be the same man. Is Jacques Avril more than a “street source”?

Takedown

Pierce and Vega arrive at Rosie’s house in Bakersfield and look on from a distance. Pierce suggests they wait for a little bit calling upon the wisdom of former partner Jimmy Robertson to have “patience, Grasshopper”. Sure enough, a man matching the composite photo pulls up to Rosie’s house. It’s the man who killed Jose, Sr., the carjack victim, and cousin Oscar. The audience gets a glimpse of Jose Junior hiding inside.

Hart puts up his hood and pulls out a gun as he approaches the house. Pierce and Vega speed up to the lawn and confront Hart. Thankfully, they have called backup because Jose Jr. runs out of the house and over the fence. The local officers chase Junior while Pierce and Vega bring down Hart. Pierce notes how impressed he is with Vega’s bravery and she tells him she is “just getting started”.

Hart denies any knowledge of Esquivel. Junior says he does not recognize Hart.

Run the story

Scot Anderson has been busy trying to cover all angles of the Borders conviction investigation. He meets with Cronyn to talk about the case. Cronyn describes his efforts as honorable and just.

In contrast, when Cronyn meets with Borders at San Quentin, he talks about their scam and the profits they will enjoy. Borders blames Cronyn for not including the murder weapon (knife) in the confession. Cronyn says either Rita or Borders is at fault for not sharing that information with him.

Reporter Anderson tries to track down Harry via Maddie who tells him, “I am not my father’s secretary.” Anderson also reaches out to the public information office to ask for a meeting with Chief Irving about the Borders case. The Chief declines as the justice process is in progress.

Scot even works on Christina Henry for information “off the record”. She, too, declines to speak with the reporter.

Anderson asks his editor about the story and explains he has not been able to talk to Harry. The editor asks, “Is the rest of the story solid?” Anderson replies that it is and the editor gives him permission to run the story with a picture of Bosch. This feels very ominous for a detective that is currently undercover.

Hold Fast

Jerry reports to Billets that the FAA places Harry somewhere in the Imperial Valley. He says Naval Air will have more accurate radar results the next day. Billets becomes increasingly nervous about the operation.

Apparently, Harry placed the folded note in Liz’s backpack in addition to the stolen merchandise. The note indicates that Jerry Edgar will “know what to do”. The note is also marked with “hold fast”, the signal for the undercover operation.

When the Tehachapi officers detain Liz and search her bag, they find the note and contact Jerry in Hollywood. Jerry leaves immediately to make the two hour journey.

photo courtesy of Bosch season 5 campaign on epk.tv
Amy Aquino in Bosch season 5
photo credit: Aaron Epstein/Amazon Prime Video

In other news:

  • The Chief is questioned about his chat with Officer Robson about the Vasquez shooting. Some may perceive that as him using his leverage inappropriately and that Robson should have had representation. Irving insists that it was a “casual conversation”.
  • Honey Chandler meets with Judge Sobel who will be overseeing the Borders habeas hearing. Chandler informs the judge about her belief that the DNA evidence is bogus. Chandler tells Sobel she wants to request standing for Harry. Sobel tells Chandler that she will require a very compelling argument to include Harry in the proceedings. Chandler assures her that she will have the justification.
  • Billets and Mankiewicz dig deeper into the suspicious crime statistics. Grace reports that the statistics for Wilshire and Pacific also seem to be altered. They ponder how far up the food chain this fraud may go.

Stay tuned for the investigation of Bosch episode 508. Are you nervous for Harry?

 

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