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‘BOSCH’: Investigating episode 502 ‘Pill Shills’

Published on April 22nd, 2019 | Updated on November 13th, 2019 | By FanFest

New clues surface as Bosch tries to solve one case while protecting the integrity of another.

Episode 502: ‘Pill Shills’

Written by: Eric Overmyer

Directed by: Alex Zakrzewski

Harry and J. Edgar narrow in on a shady pain clinic that provided prescriptions filled at Farmacia Esquivel. Jerry meets with his old friend and confidential informant Gary Wise. Harry also makes provisions for any defense measures that may arise from CIU’s investigation of the Borders case. Lt. Billets does her best to navigate the fallout of the car crash involving Crate and Barrel and we finally get a Jimmy Robertson sighting. It’s another compelling episode of Bosch as we dig deeper into cases new and old.

Let’s take a look at how the episode unfolds with perhaps a sprinkling of my own thoughts here and there.

Still on the run

The episode opens with our two killers from the pharmacy in the car with their getaway driver Cleek (or shall we say “catch you later” driver?). Apparently, they are still sore about him leaving them in the wind at the crime scene. They tell Cleek to wipe down the vehicle just before they proceed to fatally shoot him and set the car ablaze.

Our man Pierce is on their trail, though. Pierce reports to Harry that the dogs stopped sniffing at a particular empty spot in the parking garage. They consider different options for what may have happened – maybe a second car, or that was the meet point, or perhaps they stole a car. Coincidentally (or not) there has been a missing person report called in for a gentleman who was in the same area as the pharmacy.

Detective Pierce goes to meet with the wife of the missing man. She explained that her husband had been running errands for her but never completed the task of picking the dog up from the groomer. She is obviously worried for her husband.

Later that day, Pierce shares his findings thus far with Billets. He also inquires as to when he is finally going to get a new partner. Grace has news of a Robbery Detective 2 coming over to Homicide as his partner. It’s a female and Grace takes that as an opportunity to tell Pierce to stop carrying his murse. What? Fans of the murse are crushed!

Robertson talks to his victim

All the talk of Pierce’s new partner reminds us of his old one, Det. Jimmy Robertson who presumably transferred to Newton Division at the end of Bosch season 4.

It looks like the body from the pharmacy carjacking landed in a dumpster in Newton because Det. Robertson has been assigned to the case. Jimmy talks to the medical examiner about the body and how the victim may have died. They have not found any shells at the site. Robertson tells the medical examiner to go ahead and take the body.

Robertson stares at his victim asking out loud who he is and how he ended up there. Later Jimmy finds the abandoned Buick Century and calls for a tow thinking it may be his victim’car. As Jimmy’s case becomes likely connected to Harry’s pharmacy case, Robertson makes a point of telling Billets that his victim is still his case. Grace assures Jimmy that there is no competition. She is frustrated when he, too, brings up the rumor of Hollywood Division getting absorbed elsewhere.

Singes from an old flame

Harry has a run in with old flame Christina Henry who is now working as an investigator in the Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU). There is obvious tension between the pair. Christina is rather smug with Bosch and kind of made me want to tell her to “back off”. We sense that she blames Harry for something and seems happy to report that she and partner Ed Sung are looking into the conviction secured by Harry in the Preston Borders case.

Bosch scoffs at the idea of a deathbed confession from another prisoner. He insist that it was a “righteous conviction”. As the conversation becomes increasingly antagonistic, Sung steps into to mitigate the situation.

Jerry on the home front

Jerry seems right at home at LaTonya’s house sitting outside by the pool. The ex-couple talks about Jerry’s friend Gary Wise and if he thinks he will cooperate with the detectives investigating the drive by shooting. LaTonya hopes that Gary will cooperate, especially in light of the two young victims.

Jerry and LaTonya seem quite relaxed and at ease, but they are not back together (even though I think they should be!). We are introduced to Benny, the man LaTonya is now seeing. Benny is pretty much the polar opposite of J. Edgar, but his job as a programmer must feel safer to LaTonya than the risks involved in Jerry’s police work.

There is some awkward small talk between Jerry and Benny, more so from Benny’s side. Son Jack is pleased that Jerry has agreed to allow Benny to teach him code over the summer.

Connecting the dots

J. Edgar and Harry work together to identify a shady pain clinic that has provided many of the prescriptions filled at the Esquivel Pharmacy. They also have the warrant to search the Esquivel home. They head out to search the house.

Harry tells Jerry about the Borders case being investigated and that Maddie found a way to access the D.R. file on Borders. Jerry is a little (but not a lot) shocked and says, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

At the Esquivel house, Jerry finds a paper in the father’s Bible. The elder Esquivel had filed a complaint about Dr. Garcia from the pain clinic that Jerry and Harry spoke of. Jerry thinks this may be the key to why Esquivel was killed, or as he puts it “the golden goose that lays the egg”. Harry corrects J. Edgar about the eggs being golden, not the goose. This leads to some light-hearted conversation about Jerry’s backstory and English not being his first language.

Don’t talk bad about Maddie’s dad

Maddie is livid when Tom suggests the question of whether Harry could have framed Preston Borders in the Danielle Skyler murder case. We get the idea that Maddie and Tom might be sweet on each other, but when Tom makes the remark about “testilying” in cases, Maddie shuts him down.

He later apologizes and asks her to go out for a drink. Maddie, who is not old enough to drink alcohol, uses a fake id to order a beer. Tom cautions her on this choice and Maddie wonders if he “ever gets tired of being so careful”.

Later, Harry receives a text from Maddie that she will be home late. She does not arrive home until the following morning.

Chief concerns

Bosch fills Chief Irving in on the CIU investigation of the Borders case. Irving led the task force on the original case and points out that Harry was new to the job back then. The Chief wonders if Bosch could have made a wrong turn on the case. Bosch insists that despite having made some mistakes in the past he completely followed protocol in the Borders case. Bosch asks the Chief to confirm his support, to which Irving replies, “100 percent”.

Later, Irving learns from the D.A. that new DNA has been submitted for the rape and murder of Danielle Skylar for which Borders was convicted. He passes the news on Bosch who cannot believe it.

The D.A. has not made her decision on whether or not to file on the officer involved shooting.

Back at home, Jun asks Irvin about his meeting.

A shady clinic

J. Edgar and Harry revisit the Garcia Pain Clinic and see a van full of what appear to be drug addicts. The “patients” enter the clinic and return to the van. The detectives follow the van to a pharmacy where some of the passengers enter the clinic while the van drives away with the rest of the passengers to a different pharmacy.

The two detectives split up so Harry can take a look inside the clinic while J. Edgar follows the van. They surmise that fake i.d.’s are being used and that the addicts are turning their pills over to the driver.

When all the passengers are back in the van, the driver takes them to the airport where they board a small plane like the one we saw Bosch deboarding in episode 1. J. Edgar takes photos of the plane as it departs and they wondering where they are going.

Meet Hector

Harry enlists the help of Honey Chandler to be his defense attorney should he need one for the Preston Borders investigation. Chandler agrees but reminds Harry that he will not have the opportunity to defend himself if he is not granted standing for the hearing. He wants to be prepared and get to the bottom of this new DNA evidence.

Chandler introduces Harry to her investigator Hector Bonner. Harry appears to feel a little smug about another person doing “detective” work on his case. He seems to take pride in making Hector confess that some of the things Chandler wants him to do cannot be done unless you are law enforcement.

While Hector cannot dig into Borders’ visitation and phone logs, he says he can find out the DNA results from his source at the D.A.’s office, which Harry says “leaks like a sieve”.

Are Hector and Harry off to a rocky start? I look forward to watching this duo interact.

In other news:

  • J. Edgar meets with Gary Wise and asks him to meet with Detectives Arias and Marcos about the drive-by shooting and anything he knows about Bo Jonas. The two old friends play catch-up as Gary does not have a great memory from his “hazy period”, but he confirms to Jerry that he is back on the straight and narrow. J. Edgar is happy for his friend and appreciates his cooperation.
  • Poor Billets tries to navigate the fallout from the car crash with Crate and Barrel. Crate suggests that Barrel did not hear Crate’s call to “wait”. Barrel does not recall hearing that but feels certain that Powers is too blame. Lt. Thorne, on the other hand, suggests Crate and Barrel are getting too old for the job.
  • Robertson gets confirmation on his victim’s i.d. and has to notify the wife.
  • Jose Esquivel, Jr. shows up at his cousin Oscar’s house asking for help with money and a place to hide out. Oscar recommends his sister’s home in Bakersfield.

Humor highlights

A couple of moments stood out to me in particular this episode and made me chuckle.

There is absolutely nothing funny about drug abuse, but when Harry talks about the addicts reminding him of “The Night of the Living Dead”, the reference seemed a little dated with all the more recent zombie productions around. Then again, Harry is an old school kind of guy!

Grace’s conversation with reporter Scot Anderson had me in stitches when she pokes fun at him for using the word “miscreants” and proclaims “No wonder nobody reads your blog.” And the look on her face was hilarious! Go Grace!

That’s it for episode 502. What do you think of the season so far?

I invite you to check out the Everybody Counts Podcast for more episode discussion and cast interviews. You can find the podcast for episode 501 here.

Also, make note of the Reddit AMA with Michael Connelly and Henrik Bastin on 4/24 at 10:00 a.m. PST on r/BoschTV.



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