‘Bosch: Legacy’ Review: Spinoff Sticks With Familiar Formula

Harry Bosch might have left the LAPD behind, but he hasn’t changed his stripes. The hero of Prime Video’s long-running Bosch series is back at work in Bosch: Legacy, though as a PI, not a cop. The new show premieres May 6 on Freevee (formerly IMDb TV) and continues to feature Titus Welliver in the title role. It’s a worthy successor to the original series and will satisfy fans eager for more stories involving the gruff, principled detective. (First 4 of 10 episodes screened for review.)

Harry Bosch has set up shop as a private investigator in ‘Bosch: Legacy’

Harry Bosch next to Honey Chandler in image accompany Showbiz Cheat Sheet review of 'Bosch: Legacy'
‘Bosch: Legacy’ | Tyler Golden/Amazon Freevee

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Bosch’s 2021 series finale neatly set things up for the already-announced spinoff. Harry, fed up with the way department politics had interfered in yet another case, quit the LAPD. In the episode’s final scene, he applied for a private investigator’s license. Meanwhile, his daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz) decided to follow in her dad’s footsteps and become a police officer.

Bosch: Legacy opens with a scene of Maddie on the job. She quickly proves she’s her father’s daughter when she clashes with her training officer due to her reckless actions during a foot pursuit. Meanwhile, her former mentor Honey Chandler (Mimi Rogers, also returning from the original series) is spending time at the gun range. She was seriously injured in a shooting in season 7, and while she might be physically healed, she’s still dealing with mental scars. 

And then there’s Harry. The show reintroduces him in action as a PI, in a scene that proves he hasn’t lost his talent for breaking the rules. He hops a fence, breaks into a home, and cracks open a safe. But the cases he’s working now aren’t exactly the high-stakes murder investigations that kept him busy when he was a cop. There’s a sense that Harry is feeling his age – and possibly his creeping irrelevance – as he chats with Maurice “Mo” Bassi (an excellent Stephen Chang), the jazz-loving tech whiz who’s been helping him with his investigations. “Cash is so last century,” Mo says as Harry pays him for his services. “So am I, brother,” Harry replies. 

‘Bosch: Legacy’ sticks with the old ‘Bosch’ formula, and that’s not a bad thing

Bosch was a smart, stylish cop show. Bosch: Legacy wisely sticks with the winning formula that made its predecessor reliably entertaining, with a few tweaks. 

Some fans will miss the original show’s distinctive theme song and opening credits, for one. And familiar supporting characters like Lt. Billets (Amy Aquino) and Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector) are missing, at least in the first four episodes. (However, a surprise appearance from two of Hollywood Homicide’s finest will put a smile on the face of Bosch fans.) But the bones are the same. Harry may no longer have a desk at Hollywood Division, yet Maddie works out of the same station, where she’s teamed up with a no-nonsense training officer named Reina Vasquez (Denise Sanchez). And like Bosch, Bosch: Legacy also makes excellent use of its various L.A. locations, from the iconic Frolic Room to Harry’s hillside home, with its panoramic view of the city.

‘Bosch: Legacy’ quickly turns up the heat 

Harry Bosch holding cell phone on 'Bosch: Legacy'
‘Bosch: Legacy’ | Tyler Golden/Amazon Freevee

In the series premiere, Harry gets a break from divorce cases and other small-time PI work when Whitney Vance (William Devane), an aging billionaire, hires him to find his long-lost child. (The plotline is borrowed from Bosch creator Michael Connelly’s novel The Wrong Side of Goodbye.) Harry thinks he’s doing an old man a good turn – and getting paid handsomely in the process. But the case is more complicated than it first seems.

Meanwhile, there’s the ongoing matter of Carl Rogers (Michael Rose), a story that carries over from Bosch’s final season. He’s the hedge fund owner behind the attack on Honey Chandler. So far, he’s escaped justice, but she’s not about to let him get away with what he did. As with the Vance case, the Rogers situation isn’t what it seems on the surface. It doesn’t take long for his ties to the Russian mafia to emerge.

On Bosch, Harry regularly found himself butting heads with a police department that had an agenda that didn’t always match his own. By the time the show came to end, those predictable conflicts had grown somewhat stale. By sending Harry out on his own, Bosch: Legacy (which has already been renewed for season 2) creates new possibilities for his character and breathes fresh air into the franchise. With no institutional forces to rein him in, Harry Bosch will have to decide for himself how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of justice. 

The first four episodes of Bosch: Legacy premiere Friday, May 6 on Freevee. Two new episodes stream each Friday through May 27. 

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