Fans are thrilled that Bosch is back for season 4 on Prime Video.
Fans have anxiously awaited the arrival of Bosch season 4 and episode 1 ‘Ask the Dust’ does not disappoint. We manage to catch up with most of our familiar characters and meet some new ones as well. The premiere episode takes off fast, so you better keep up!
Fans are welcomed to season 4 with a helpful recap of season 3 that refreshes our memory on all the major plot points. We then move into an episode that covers two days, a Friday night and Saturday morning.
Catching up with Harry’s family
Harry crashes an Affordable Housing fundraiser to get eyes on Police Commission President Bradley Walker, also known as Harry’s current suspect in his mother’s murder. Their conversation is interrupted by a phone call from Chief Irving to Harry. There has been a 187, the murder of a high profile civil rights attorney named Howard Alias. Harry will have to work on Walker later.
Harry’s daughter Maddie is at home alone trying to use Skype to get in touch with her stepdad Reggie who we are told is in Hong Kong. The call briefly connects and a figure appears in the frame before the connection drops. Maddie tells Harry she is concerned about things not being right between mom Eleanor and Reggie. Something feels suspicious indeed.
Speaking of Eleanor, we find her winning at the casino. We learn that her gambling is part of her continued collaboration with Special Agent Jay Griffin of the FBI. They talk about investigating a group of Chinese players in town. Griffin tells Eleanor that Reggie is missing but does not know if it is of Reggie’s own volition. As you would expect, Eleanor is worried.
It appears that both J. Edgar’s shoulder and his heart are on the mend. He and ex-wife Latonya have reignited their romantic relationship. They have not shared their reunion with their two sons, however, as they are not exactly sure where the relationship is headed.
Latonya has concerns for Jerry’s safety having just survived an almost fatal gunshot wound related to his job as a detective. He assures her that he will be starting back with light desk duty, but she is skeptical.
It is hard to see Jerry struggling physically with his shoulder. Then again, it has been only three months since he was injured. He is also wounded from Harry’s betrayal in season 3. Harry kept information from his partner and crossed the lines of the law.
Jerry and Harry do not share any screen time this episode. It’s hard not seeing them working together.
Meet Howard Elias
We meet the victim Howard Elias early in the episode practicing his trial remarks for the Black Guardian case. The plaintiff, Michael Harris, is accusing the LAPD of using unlawful force and torture on him as the suspect in the kidnapping of an eight year old girl. Elias claims the Robbery Homicide detectives impaired the plaintiff’s hearing by forcing a No. 2 pencil, Black Guardian brand, through his ear, thus the name of the case.
The plaintiff was going to settle but now Elias has decided to take the case to trial. An advisor named Pamela Duncan gives Howard her feedback on his speech. Another attorney on the case, Alex Kaplan, enters the office after telling Chief Irving and the defense team that they are going to trial after all, no settlement.
We do not know the extent of Ms. Duncan’s role in the case, but Kaplan appears to be disgruntled that Howard will not let him take the second chair at trial. Could Kaplan have it out for Howard? It does not feel likely, but Kaplan’s temperament raises suspicion.
Goodbye Howard Elias
Howard leaves the Bradbury Building for the night and boards Angels Flight, a historic incline railway in the Bunker Hill area. Sadly, he does not make it out of the rail car alive. First the driver is shot and then Elias.
Robbery Homicide detectives gather at the scene. However, Chief Irving calls them off due to RHD’s tainted history with Elias. As Chief Irving tells Harry, Elias “ruined a lot of careers”. There is obvious ill will among the Robbery Homicide detectives regarding Howard Elias. Even still, RHD Captain Garwood insists his team was not involved in the murder.
Irving puts Bosch in charge of a task force he has hand-picked to work the case. The task force also includes detectives Robertson and Pierce as well as Amy Snyder and Gabriella Lincoln from Internal Affairs. While the case clearly is unnerving for Irving, he tells Bosch to “follow the evidence”. At least for now, Bosch and Irving actually seem to be on the same page!
A rocky start
The task force has some relational issues from the beginning. Amy Snyder previously wrote up Bosch for a 128 complaint that mysteriously disappeared, so their relationship is a little prickly. Also, both Bosch and Robertson are leery of Internal Affairs, so they split them up, assigning Amy to work with Bosch and Gabriella to work with Robertson.
Then you have Pierce always trying to do the right thing. Pierce questions the legality of opening Elias’ brief case with out a warrant. Bosch dismisses the concern but then calls Pierce out when IA later says the same thing. Plus, now Bosch and Robertson are both calling Pierce “Youngblood”. Oh, the joys of being the new guy!
Snyder and Bosch make the difficult visit to Howard’s wife Millie and son Martin to inform them of his death. But they already know. They received horrible phone calls during the night taunting them about their husband and father’s murder. Understandably so, Martin thinks police officers did this to his father. Bosch assures him that they are looking for the killer no matter who it is. Harry makes it clear that you cannot be both a true cop and a killer, that would just be a killer.
A final clue
The episode closes with Harry making a daylight visit to Angels Flight. He sits in the rail car and tries to insert himself in the perspective of the victim. He walks out the back of the car and sees a phone lying on the rails, presumably belonging to Howard Elias. Harry taps the phone and a text message from the night before at 9:45 pm displays on the screen “Angels Flight in 10”. Now who could that? Was Elias meeting someone?
Also of note:
- Some extraordinary locations were seen in this episode including the Bradbury Building (also featured in the movie Blade Runner, the gorgeous Millennium Biltmore Hotel and, of course, the Angels Flight funicular railway.
- We see one of the RHD guys giving some pills to a down and out man named Frankie that comes to the murder site.
- Bradley Walker tells Irving he believes the Elias case needs “robust civilian oversight”. The comment seems to be motivated by Bosch’s involvement. Perhaps Walker knows Bosch is suspicious of him.
(Update: I was not aware upon original posting that civilian oversight is an actual program for monitoring investigations. I can see how this would be important in the Elias case given the political climate and RHD’s history with the victim. Walker’s interest in Bosch may indeed be suspect, but I can see how his remark about civilian oversight makes good sense for the case.)
- RHD claimed that Howard’s murder was motivated by robbery since his watch and wallet went missing. But they were not missing for long as an anonymous caller reported that someone who looked like a detective dropped them in a trash can. Bosch recovered the items.
- Why did Robertson’s former and retired partner Terry Drake come to the crime scene?
- The KTK (Koreatown Killer) is still on the loose! Overzealous officers nabbed the wrong guy in season 3. We see the KTK knock a cyclist off his bike.
- We learn that Lieutenant Billets is serving as interim Captain. Where did Captain Lewis go?
The season 4 premiere of Bosch wasted no time getting right into a new investigation. Tensions are already running high. Friction within the LAPD is palpable. Every move can have a significant ripple effect. And, Harry’s sideburns are back!
Bosch gives us such rich characters and handles multiple plotlines with great finesse. The new season looks very promising and I cannot wait to move on to the next episode.