Bosch Episode Four: Fugazi – Steve Cavanagh has it Nailed

It’s Orion debut author Steve Cavanagh’s turn to review the latest chapter in the Amazon TV Bosch series, and boy, it’s looking good . . .

My partner in crime, Mason Cross, has set it up nicely for me to review episode four of Bosch.

I can tell you all you need to know about this episode in seven words.

Teleplay by George Pelecanos and Michael Connelly.

Two Orion authors. Two legends. And, goddamn it, no disrespect to any of the other great writers that work on the show – but episode four raises the bar for the series.

There are more political difficulties in the Department when it emerges that the stop-and-search in the Waits case has some legal difficulties. The Deputy Chief’s son deliberately called in the wrong licence plate so that he could stop and search Waits. If Bosch can’t persuade Irving Junior’s partner to keep quiet, then Waits could walk as the body found in his van would technically have been discovered via an illegal search, and the evidence would be inadmissible in court.

 

 

Bosch and J. Edgar take a drive to Palm Springs to interview the mother of the young victim in the bones case. I won’t spoil it – these are fantastic scenes.

We also get to see a different side to Bosch in this episode, as we learn about his daughter for the first time in the series.

While watching this episode, I couldn’t help but notice that it is written unusually for an American television series. Since the advent of the commercial break, TV drama is written in roughly four acts. This keeps the viewer entertained, and the cliffhangers at fourteen minutes, twenty-eight minutes, and so on are designed to ensure the viewer stays tuned during the commercials so that they find out what happens. While this format is good for pace, it can be a little samey and somewhat predictable.

To me, Bosch didn’t feel constrained in this way – largely because there are no commercials when streaming. It reminded me of some of the best drama from the BBC that is strongly character driven, and not concerned with hitting timed plot points. In my view, this elevates the entire series.

The episode culminates in an ill-advised field trip, where Harry and his crew have to guard Waits as he takes the DA on a publicity-fuelled tour of his murder sites. Despite the revelation from Waits in the last episode, Harry isn’t convinced that Waits killed the bones victim.

The title of this episode – ‘Fugazi’ – gives you a clue as to the outcome of the trip. And we’re not talking the Donnie Brasco definition of ‘fugazi’, meaning ‘fake’. No; I’m referring to the meaning given to the phrase by GIs in Vietnam.

But no matter what happens on this journey, you can be sure of one thing – Bosch isn’t gonna let go.

 

Have you read any novels by crime writer George Pelecanos, co-author of episode four? If so, let us know what you think in the Comments below!

Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for Dublin at the age of eighteen to study law. He currently practises civil rights law, and in 2010 he represented a factory worker who suffered racial abuse in the workplace, and won the largest award of damages for race discrimination in Northern Ireland’s legal history. His first novel, The Defence, is published by Orion in March 2015. Find out more on Steve’s website.