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'Bosch' review: In season 5, still TV's best-written cop drama

Titus Welliver, left, as homicide Det. Harry

 Titus Welliver, left, as homicide Det. Harry Bosch and Jamie Hector as Det. Jerry Edgar on  "Bosch." Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Studios/Aaron Epstein

SERIES "Bosch"

WHEN | WHERE Season 5 starts streaming Friday on Amazon Prime Video.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office has been presented new evidence indicating a vicious killer that Hollywood Homicide Det. Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) put away decades ago may have been framed with evidence planted by the cops. If this is overturned, then all of Harry’s other convictions — too many to count — will be challenged. For help he turns to an unlikely ally, top defense attorney Honey Chandler (Mimi Rogers), a recent nemesis and now powerful ally. Harry's partner, Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector), has his back, as usual, but is pursuing a complicated and deadly case of his own. The fifth season begins with a Keystone Kops car crash, with units responding to a  robbery in progress at a pharmacy. Some seriously bad gangsters involved in an opioid pill mill make their escape, and a pair of beloved detectives may take the fall.

Meanwhile, Bosch’s daughter, Maddie (Madison Lintz), gets a temp job at the D.A.’s office, which puts her in a unique position to learn a little more about her father’s accusers.

This season is based — loosely — on Michael Connelly’s 2017 novel, “Two Kinds of Truth.” The first five episodes (of 10) were offered for review.

MY SAY This newest season of Amazon Prime’s hidden gem is something of a reset because the cold case that consumed Harry over most of the first four seasons is now behind him. His mother’s killer has finally been caught. Harry can now move on with his life.

As if: “Bosch” fans know better than anyone that nothing from Bosch’s past is ever truly in the past. People and baggage turn up at regular intervals to challenge his worldview or to subvert it, or to drag him down into the underworld of the eternally damned with them. (Harry wasn’t named after Hieronymus Bosch, great Dutch painter of the underworld, for nothing.)

So “something” of a reset only. The past is clawing at him once again, raising doubts about his old-school methods and whether his zeal in pursuit of justice may have briefly clouded his judgment when he was a young cop. “There are two kinds of truth, Mads,” he tells his daughter late one night, with the dazzling sprawl of L.A. stretching out to the horizon below them.  “The kind that comes from darkness and that’s manipulated for someone’s self-interest and the kind you carry inside and know it’s real.”

Fans well know the kind that Harry carries inside, and how he goes about in pursuit of it. That gives this latest challenge at least a whiff of plausibility.

But a whiff only. One of the many pleasures of “Bosch” is that we know Bosch will always prevail, along with that truth he carries inside. Getting him past the obstacles placed in his way count as some of other pleasures, and this new season offers a few of those, too. As usual, the highest levels of government and the LAPD may (or may not) be involved. Then there’s another complication — an old colleague, or lover (and it is unclear how much pleasure was mixed with business at the time), may be out to get Harry.

The other pleasures remain intact. It’s hard to think of a more sharply drawn or better-written cop drama on TV than this one. That’s probably because there isn’t one. And by now, the cast is like an extended family, each member esteemed, and each one contributing to the whole. The gang’s all back, along with some new and potentially valuable members, including “Sons of Anarchy's” Ryan Hurst, who plays a private investigator in the employ of Honey Chandler. Detective and Boy Scout Rondell Pierce (DaJuan Johnson) has a new partner, too, played by veteran Jacqueline Obradors (“NYPD Blue”).

Meanwhile, other intrigues abound: Hollywood Homicide is on the chopping block, and so are its two seasoned detectives, Moore, aka “Crate” (Gregory Scott Cummins), and Johnson, aka “Barrel” (Troy Evans.)

A sixth season (which has already begun production) without Crate and Barrel? Yeah, right. As if.

BOTTOM LINE One of TV’s most irresistible binges remains irresistibly binge-worthy.

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