BOSCH: Investigating episode 3.01 “The Smog Cutter”

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"Bosch: Season 3" - Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch

Bosch is back and Harry is busy!

The popular detective drama from Amazon Prime does not spoon feed its viewers nor would I want it to. This allows fans to work at uncovering clues right alongside the infamous Detective Harry Bosch.

The series picks up with previous stories and quickly drops new ones into the mix of this season’s mysteries.

Let’s take a look at what has unfolded so far.

Ongoing Plot Points

Season 3 picks up 16 months after Harry learns that the man believed to have murdered his mother has passed away. Bosch is clearly still reeling from the fact that his mother’s killer was never prosecuted.

Maddie is now living at Harry’s house, attending school and making new friends in Los Angeles. Maddie continues to show tough love for her dad insisting that he stop smoking and get more sleep. She also educates him on the wiles of social media when one of his outbursts pops up on Twitter!

We learn that Maddie’s mom and Harry’s ex-wife, Eleanor Wish, has joined Reggie in Hong Kong. Last season, Eleanor learned that the flag was being removed from her FBI personnel file. It appeared she may be considering her previous work as a profiler. But for now, it appears that she remains in the casino business.

Lt. Grace Billets is busy preparing for the Captain’s exam. She has passed the written and is preparing for the oral portion. Many of Harry’s fellow detectives are not thrilled about the prospect of losing the lieutenant they are so fond of.

Interim Police Chief Irvin Irving continues to mourn the loss of his son George who died last season in the line of duty in an undercover operation gone wrong.

Attorney General O’Shea has lost the mayoral race to incumbent Hector Ramos. The revelation of his role in the escape of season 1 killer Raynard Waits played into the failure of his campaign.

Veronica Allen has hired Harry’s nemesis attorney Honey Chandler as her defense lawyer. Veronica is on trial for the murder of Father Tabakian during season 2 of Bosch. Viewers know that Veronica is indeed guilty of killing the priest over the money her husband’s mistress gave to the church. But the jurors cannot come to an agreement and the proceedings end in a mistrial.

A Cold Case

Detective Harry Bosch is known for his perseverance and unwillingness to let criminals go free when his gut tells him they are guilty. Such is the case with a drunkard named Ed Gunn.

Harry is keeping Gunn under continuing surveillance. Harry claims that Gunn killed two young women though he was never convicted. Harry has Gunn’s record flagged such that the cops call him any time Gunn is brought into the station.

We see Gunn in The Smog Cutter bar early in the episode. There is a mystery man at the bar covering his tab. Gunn gets hauled into the station for his intoxication. Bosch is called to the station, but Gunn is passed out when he arrives. When Harry returns in the morning, he is surprised to learn that Gunn has been released on bail.

Later in the episode we see the same mystery man that was paying for Gunn’s drinks step toward Bosch’s empty glass after Harry leaves with his takeout. What’s up with that?

When reviewing surveillance footage back at home, he sees the footage of the woman who apparently paid Gunn’s bail the other night bringing him home. Bosch is desperate to find out the identity of the woman.

A New Trial

Bosch is working with Deputy D.A. Anita Benitez preparing for the trial of Andrew Holland, a Hollywood director who is accused of murdering of a young actress during their night together. Maddie’s reaction to Harry spending so much time with Benitez leads us to believe their relationship extends beyond professional boundaries.

The pair visits the defendant’s home and they speak with his attorney. Bosch disputes how long it took for the couple to exit Holland’s property saying the actress, Miss Spear, was already dead. Bosch and Benitez are then seen calculating drive times between the director’s home and the young woman’s apartment. There appears to be time unaccounted for.

Harry and Anita discuss the components of sex and drug use as related to the case. The defense is claiming Spears died from auto-erotic asphyxiation. The prosecution says no.

"Bosch: Season 3" - Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch
“Bosch: Season 3” – Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch

A New Case

Bosch’s partner Jerry Edgar calls to inform Harry of a new murder victim and the two meet at the scene. The victim is a homeless veteran, a former Green Beret named William Meadows, living out of an RV under the highway.

Of course, the viewers are already privy to the murder as earlier in the episode we see men enter and exit the RV. A young tagger spies the action from a distance and enters the RV to see what happened. There we see that the occupant was shot in the back of the head. The young man, who I believe we will come to know as Sharkey, runs away from the scene.

We see Sharkey again later in the episode being solicited on a street corner. But he nods to two other young men on motor bikes who follow the car that Sharkey has entered.

A little something more

Near the end of the episode we see a cyclist wearing a hat grab the cell phone of a woman going to her car. Interestingly, upon close inspection or re-watch, we learn that this was not the first time we saw him in the episode, but we only see him stealing once. Surely we will see him again. Keep your eyes peeled!

Tracey’s investigative journalism

How can I cover the popular detective series without doing a little investigation of my own?

Season 3 episode 1 is titled “The Smog Cutter”. I recalled seeing this as the name of the bar where Ed Gunn was drinking. So, I decided to see if this was an actual Los Angeles fixture. Sure enough, there is a dive bar named The Smog Cutter and you can find them here on Facebook.

Much like Harry himself, I had to probe further. Was the actual interior of the Smog Cutter bar used for filming? Titus Welliver kindly confirmed my suspicion via Twitter.

Thanks so much to Titus for his engagement with fans on Twitter. Check out Welliver’s account for lots of great scoop on the series!


What a fantastic start to Bosch season 3! Keep your notebook handy for recording new clues in each episode. Both the Connelly books and the Amazon Prime series are known for expertly weaving in and out of different plot lines and keeping us on our toes.

Fellow fan, Amy Merka, managed to view the entire season already. I asked her to share 3 words to describe the series without spoiling anything. She replied with: SECRETS, ENGROSSING, INTENSE

Wow, that speaks volumes and has me all ready to check out episode 2! Join me as I recap and explore each episode of an already captivating season 3 of Bosch.

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