When Bosch returns to Amazon this week, viewers will find LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch operating under emotional duress — a victim of the unsatisfactory resolution to his mother’s murder. Despite the time that has passed — season 3 picks up 16 months after the events of season 2 — the situation takes Bosch “a little deeper and darker,” series star Titus Welliver told Rotten Tomatoes.
“There is no genuine resolve for him. He’s still left with that pain. He’s way off the reservation when we find him in season 3,” Welliver said, adding that the character’s actions just fuel suspicions that he may have killed a criminal.
“He’s been pursuing this serial killer that he’s not been able to obtain enough concrete evidence to get the district attorney to file charges, and he has resorted to [questionable] tactics … this suspect he’s pursuing turns up murdered, and there are other things at play which place the suspicion very much directly onto Harry. He’s at odds with everyone around him,” Welliver revealed.
So should the audience be worried that Harry has finally gone off the deep end? Book author Michael Connelly, who is involved in the series as creator, writer, and executive producer, told Welliver the characters is in something of a raw state this season.
“To quote Mike, he said, ‘We’re taking Harry down to the studs,’ and the question will be how much can he rebuild his house to a place of being justified? That was sort of what really played in my head the whole season,” Welliver said. “Will Harry be able to re-enter his house justified? While you would never see Harry beat a confession or plant evidence on someone, he crosses a legal and moral line this season, and I think the audience should be concerned for Harry. They will be concerned for him.”
Bosch is also frustrated by another case in which homeless veteran Billy Meadows is murdered, something that hits close for home with the detective, having served in Desert Storm himself. The situation gets even more personal when Bosch realizes the lead suspects are also ex-military.
“As things are uncovered and he realizes the people he is pursuing in that case are also former special forces operatives, he’s incensed by that because there’s such a level of honor and code and commitment within that society of operators and they’ve compromised their code, so there’s an interesting parallel there,” Welliver said. “At the same time, there’s a witness to the killing of Billy Meadows, a young street kid named Sharky, that Harry strongly identifies with because this is a kid living on the street the same way Harry did. There are lots of elements that make this even more personal for Harry, which I think creates an even deeper conflict and struggle for him, which has really been rewarding stuff to act.”
Welliver added that playing the character’s complexity and troubled humanity continues to make this TV-detective gig rewarding.
“The thing that I talk so much about with Bosch is that he’s a human character. He’s flawed and that’s what I find so appealing about him, is that he makes poor choices like everybody does in life and yet he’s a guy with a very strong moral compass. If one was a victim of a crime they would want a detective as relentless as Harry pursuing it because he’s a guy that will stay the course and will grind — sometimes at the expense of his personal life and his ability to play well with others.”
Speaking of Bosch’s personal life, he does have a new romantic relationship in season 3: Deputy District Attorney Anita Benitez (Paola Turbay). But it’s really his relationship with his daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz) that keeps him from going too far down the rabbit hole.
“He has to be an anchor for his daughter,” Welliver said. “I think he goes as close to the edge as his possibly can, but it’s really the presence of Maddie in his life that keeps him from going over the edge. He’s into this descent into profound sadness and anger, and his daughter is observing that, and there’s a part of her that’s very much like him. In many ways, she’s more like him than Eleanor, so it makes for some interesting relationship stuff as we watch the two of them do this dance of trying to get to know each other.
“But I don’t think we’re ever going to see Harry settle down in an intimate relationship with a woman. He’s a rolling stone in that way. I just don’t think he necessarily has the emotional skill set to be able to have that kind of a relationship, but with his daughter, that’s the one relationship in his life that is substantive and means everything to him. Definitely it is the relationship with Maddie that keeps him afloat,” Welliver said.
Amazon as already renewed the crime drama for another season, and Welliver said he’s in it for as long as they will keep producing the show.
“Connelly asked me very early on ‘How long do you see yourself playing this character?’ and I said, ‘In all honesty, I love this guy, and as long as they’ll have me, I’ll continue to play him,’” Welliver said. “I look at the more recent books, and I can absolutely see myself in real time at 60-something years old playing Harry. I hope we really do get to realize Harry into that point in his career, because the stories just keep getting better and better and better.
“And what’s beautiful about Harry is he’s never going to ride off into the sunset,” Welliver said. “He’s just a guy who keeps going because that’s what he does. He doesn’t know anything else. He’s always gotta have a foot in the game.”
Bosch season 3 premieres on Amazon on Friday, April 21; the first two seasons are available to stream now