J. Edgar loses a friend and Harry reaches out to an old partner in Bosch episode 503.
Episode 503: ‘The Last Scrip’
Written by: Elle Johnson
Directed by: Daisy Von Scherler Mayer
Harry Bosch is plagued by doubts about his performance as a new detective in the Preston Borders conviction twenty years ago. J. Edgar is also second guessing himself in the wake of Gary Wise’s murder. Jose Esquivel, Jr. expresses his sorrow over getting the family pharmacy involved in the opioid pill scheme that led to his father’s murder.
Investigator Hector Bonner, however, makes no apologies for the lengths he will go to assist Honey Chandler, including digging up unflattering details about Harry’s mother several years ago. Captain Cooper puts the onus on Lt. Billets to inform Crate and Barrel that they are being moved out of homicide.
Let’s take a closer look into all that transpired in Bosch episode 503.
You know how you get those messages on some phone calls that say “Scam Likely”? Bosch believes the same thing about Borders’ petition for a habeas hearing. He is determined to find out how new DNA evidence suddenly appeared.
Harry and Honey meet with Deputy District Attorney Kennedy while CIU investigator Christina Henry looks on smugly. Chandler and Bosch feign surprise as the DDA reports of skin cells DNA on a handkerchief at the crime scene. Harry becomes increasingly agitated as Kennedy considers the possibility of convicting the wrong person. Chandler then directs Harry to leave the room.
The DDA rejects the notion that Harry needs to be involved with the habeas hearing saying any suggestion of evidence planting is a separate matter. Chandler rejoins Bosch outside and inquires about his history with Christina and assumes that things did not end well between the two. Bosch confirms and Chandler responds with, “Personal could be useful down the road.”
Harry gives Chandler a thumb drive containing Borders’ prison call logs for the past year.
— Amazon Studios (@AmazonStudios) April 19, 2019
Sidebar: I will take this opportunity to comment on Honey Chandler’s modus operandi. She always remains calm, cool, and collected. Her wardrobe is impeccable. The way she handles her pen is delicate. Even the clickety-clack of her high heels is understated. Everything about her is pristine yet unobtrusive. She does not need to get angry or make a scene to be noticed.
She leverages her power with her words. Her ability to remain professional makes her arguments all the more compelling. I find the contrast between Honey and Harry to be both amusing and effective. She often admonishes him like a parent, but he is okay with that. In fact, I think that is part of why he hired her. They are both extremely smart and their styles balance each other out.
Catching up with an old friend
Harry digs up what he can find in his secret basement storage area from the time period of the Borders case. He then meets with Detective Ryan Rodgers with whom he worked the Skyler murder case so many years ago. Rodgers has pulled records from the case for both himself and Bosch to review. Rodgers reports that he could not find anything they missed.
The two men talk about the dangers of “[falling] in love with the victim”. Rodgers suspects both of them did in regard to Danielle Skyler. They also talk about Danielle’s younger sister, Dinah, and how Ryan was finally able to give her the seahorse necklace that had belonged to Danielle, the same necklace found in Borders’ apartment.
“Da plane, da plane”
I am hoping my fellow Bosch fans are old enough to recall my Fantasy Island reference. J. Edgar talks to an airport employee named Laura Connor about “da plane”, the Twin Otter as she calls it, that flies in and out sporadically carrying drug addicts.
Connor reports that the plane flies out a couple of times a week but not with any specific schedule. She assumes the passengers are day travelers as she never sees any luggage. As far as flight plan details, Connor says they are not required to file one. Connor gives J. Edgar information she has on the plane’s owner. It is registered to Western Sandblast with a P.O. box address and an email used for invoicing.
— Michael Connelly (@Connellybooks) April 22, 2019
Are you listening?
While people may appear to be listening, they may not be buying what you are selling. Such is the case when Barrel joins Lt. Billets for breakfast to talk about retirement. Barrel regales Grace with memories of his great detective work with Crate. Grace thinks she and Barrel are coming to an understanding about Barrel reaching retirement age. Barrel, however, is one step ahead and refuses to make the conversation about him, but rather about Crate.
Barrel tells Grace that “he won’t go quietly”, referring to Crate. Poor Grace appears exasperated with the lack of progress in this delicate situation.
Meanwhile, Crate is back at the station telling Pierce about Barrel’s hearing loss resulting from the gunfire in Vietnam. He then wonders out loud if Barrel doesn’t wear his hearing aids because he wants to tune out Crate. The irony here is that Pierce is practically tuning out Crate because he is trying to review video footage from the pharmacy.
Captain Cooper calls Grace into his office and assigns her the job of moving Crate and Barrel from homicide to CAPS (Crimes Against Persons). She knows the pair will be devastated. As she struggles with how to tell them, she talks to Bosch. Bosch tells her about Barrel volunteering for a dangerous assignment in Vietnam just as he was scheduled to be going home. Harry tells Billets that Barrel will not be happy about the reassignment but that he will do it.
Not happy is an understatement. Barrel is outraged when he hears the news.
Guilty over Gary
Jerry’s longtime friend and confidential informant, Gary Wise, sits in his car feeling hesitant about meeting with Detectives Arias and Marcos. He finally gets out of his car and walks over to them.
Later, Jerry receives a call from the detectives. They report that Gary agreed to bring suspect Bo Jonas to them for another meeting, but they never showed. Jerry volunteers to follow up with Gary. Gary is not answering his phone.
Jerry than receives another call from RHD saying that Gary is dead and they need Jerry to confirm his identity. Jerry is extremely upset about his friend. He arrives to identify the body and talks with RHD Detective Espinosa. Jerry asks why RHD was called in and she tells him it is because Gary’s father was a veteran of RHD.
Jerry continues to wrestle with guilt over asking Gary to get involved. LaTonya meets with Jerry over a Coca-Cola and tries to comfort him. Can these two just get back together? Please! Jerry also confides in Bosch who also tells Jerry that it is not his fault. After all, it was Detectives Arias and Marcos’ idea.
Meet Christina Vega
Pierce’s new partner Detective Christina Vega finally arrives to Hollywood Homicide. She meets with Billets about getting started. She also asks Billets about “the rumor”. Is Hollywood Division being shut down? Billets shuts down the inquiry saying the division is still here now.
Pierce brings Vega up to speed on the pharmacy murder and the video he has been reviewing. They discuss getting a warrant for Jose Junior’s call history. Pierce thinks he’s assigning Vega to prepare the warrant, but Vega surprises him when she tells him she will get it signed once he is done preparing it.
The pair seem to be working well together as they discuss the possibility of finding Jose Junior at his father’s funeral. Vega attends her first autopsy. She also expresses delight in meeting the infamous Harry Bosch. She commends Bosch on his confrontation with Lt. Pounds based on her experience having worked with him in the past.
Vega also made an impression on Officer Powers who is bored out of his mind doing paperwork in the Watch Commander’s office with Mankiewiecz. Powers comments on Vega’s beauty and then suggests that Billets may have more than a professional interest in her. Mank berates Powers for the comment and gives him more paperwork to do.
— Jamie Hector (@JamieHector) April 19, 2019
Harry and J. Edgar reach out to Nick and Nellie at the Medical Board for any more information on the Garcia Pain Clinic. They pass along what they have and suggest that their DEA contact Charlie Hovan may be of assistance and will have him call them. Nellie apologizes for the odor as she is just coming out of an undercover stint as a drug addict.
Harry and J. Edgar meet Charlie Hovan who is currently undercover. Charlie suggests that the magnitude of their findings at the Garcia clinic is not big enough for his attention. He does admit that the part with the plane is unusual, though. He tells them to reach out if things become bigger.
The detective duo considers their next steps in investigating the clinic. As a veteran himself, Bosch considers going to the VA for a prescription as a possible segue to Garcia’s clinic.
Hector drops a bomb
Hector updates Chandler and Bosch with the news that Borders has been married to a woman named Rita Tedesco for 16 years. The group suspects that Rita has been serving as a go between for Borders and his attorney to facilitate a scheme that will produce a habeas hearing.
Bosch confronts Hector after the meeting where Hector assumes Harry is not fond of him. Harry explains that it’s too early to make that kind of determination. He does tell Hector that he knows he was the one who outed Bosch’s mother as a prostitute during the Flores trial. Harry insists that Hector be as thorough in the current investigation.
— Michael Connelly (@Connellybooks) April 21, 2019
In other news:
- We briefly meet Cheryl Prescott with whom Grace is in a relationship.
- Jimmy Robertson and Detective Webster look at the gold Buick Century and await fingerprints to see if they can figure out who stripped it down.
- Chief Irving plays the piano (beautifully!) while Jun reviews the body cam footage from the officer involved shooting. Jun tells Irv that she believes the officers were not justified in shooting. She also expresses concern for “blowback” on the Chief and his future career.
- Harry confronts Borders’ attorney Lance Cronyn at the courthouse insisting that Borders is guilty and manipulating the system. Bosch warns that he will hold Cronyn accountable as well if he is part of the scam.
- We spot Jose Esquivel Junior calling on a professor for help. The professor consoles Junior and helps him make arrangements for his father’s funeral and Jose says a tearful goodbye to his father at the mortuary. Junior ducks out of the meeting at the funeral home only to encounter the van driver from the clinic pull up behind him. Junior fires shots at the van and makes a run for it.
Mank having to babysit Powers is definitely a highlight this episode. The look of exacerbation on Mank’s face as he listens to Powers’ comments is hilarious. It sometimes feels like Mankiewicz responds as the voice of the audience saying what we are thinking.
Carry on with more Bosch season 5 and I will be back with more recaps.
Writer, interviewer in metro Atlanta. Always ready to talk TV and movies. Wife, mom, special needs advocate.