'Bosch: Legacy' Is a Sequel That Understands the Secret Bosch Sauce
Making the jump to Amazon Freevee, the long-running cop drama remains as sturdy and reliable as ever.
In the first episode of Bosch: Legacy, the quasi-sequel spin-off to Amazon's long-running detective procedural, an earthquake strikes Los Angeles and shakes the foundation of Harry Bosch's beautiful home in the Hollywood Hills. The house, a glass-encased two-bedroom on stilts, was also featured in the Michael Mann classic Heat—it's where Amy Brenneman's graphic designer (and Robert De Niro love interest) Eady lives—and it's an essential part of the Bosch experience, the perfect space for a detective to brood while playing jazz records and nursing a Fat Tire beer. Now, because of the structural damage, Bosch, never exactly a work life balance king, has to sleep in his office.
Luckily, the damage to Bosch's house is not a metaphor for the changes that have occurred to the series in its transition from Bosch: Regular to Bosch: Legacy. Yes, after the events of Bosch's seventh season, our tattooed hero (Titus Wellever) has handed in his badge and pivoted to the freelance life of a private investigator. There's a new title and the show now airs on Amazon's ad-supported Freevee platform (formerly IMDb TV) instead of on Prime proper. Key members of the Bosch cast, like Jamie Hector's Jerry Edgar, Amy Aquino's Lieutenant Billets, and Lance Reddick's Chief Irving, are no longer around. Tragically, the producers have ditched the old Bosch theme song ("Can't Let Go") in favor of a track that has yet to fully lodge itself in my brain. But these are small architectural adjustments, like retiling the floor or buying new curtains. No teardown necessary.
As implied by the title, Bosch: Legacy is basically Bosch with a renewed emphasis on the future. That mostly takes the form of an increased amount of screen-time for Bosch's daughter Maddie, who was introduced as a teenager in the first season back in 2014 and grew to have a more significant role as the show progressed. Played by Madison Lintz, Maddie has always been an engaging, sharply drawn character, criticizing her father's stubbornness while still embodying the same quality. As teased in the Bosch series finale, Maddie is now following in her dad's footsteps by training as a police officer. In the first Bosch: Legacy episode, we meet her as a "boot," a rookie street cop already chafing against the rules and bureaucracy of the department.
In previous seasons, Maddie worked for Honey "Money" Chandler (Mimi Rogers), a civil rights lawyer who faced off with Bosch in the courtroom but eventually found a begrudging respect for the guy. In addition to Maddie, Chandler, who spent a good deal of Season 7 in a coma after getting shot in her home, is the other Bosch character with a more expanded role in Legacy. She's teaming up with Bosch, trading barbs and tips, while also dealing with the psychological fallout from her attack. One of the tricky scenarios she draws Bosch into involves ailing billionaire Whitney Vance (William Devane of Marathon Man and Rolling Thunder), who wants to track down a potential heir to his fortune. (Having never known his own father, Bosch gets personally wrapped up in solving the case, a hallmark of the series.) Even if the Knives Out-ish inheritance set-up feels familiar, the scenes between Devane and Wellever are a treat: tender, melancholy, and infused with an awareness of mortality. On the less somber side, there's also a new tech-savvy, jazz-nerd sidekick named Mo (Stephen Chang) who helps Bosch with his investigations because every cop procedural needs a tech guy. When Mo offers to Venmo his boss and tells him that cash is "so last century," Bosch gets the last word. "So am I, brother," he says. "So am I.”
The last century pleasures of Bosch: Legacy aren't limited to the character's resistance to apps. At a time when so many limited series stretch two hours worth of story across a handful of episodes and streamers like Netflix often end even their big hits after a handful of seasons, there's something admirably old school about Bosch: Legacy's unwavering commitment to a model of serialized storytelling where you watch a character slowly evolve over nearly a decade. Writer Eric Overmyer and Michael Connelly, the author of the Bosch book series, remain creatively involved and they have steered the show through peaks and valleys. (Like previous seasons, Bosch: Legacy draws its plot from one of Connelly's novels, which have provided the series with an endless number of twist-filled mysteries.) Winding down the show on Prime felt like an odd decision, so the choice to essentially resurrect it on Freevee makes sense. The news that it was already renewed for a second season before its premiere shouldn't come as a shock, either: When you want to get a job done, you call Bosch.