“Bosch” may possibly be the best show on TV at the moment that you’re not watching. Literary and propulsive, it’s a brainy cop thriller that gets no Emmy love and little critical notice for the simple reason that there’s too much else on TV. My own amends begin now: In separate interviews, I spoke with series stars Titus Welliver — LAPD Det. Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch himself — and Jamie Hector, who plays his partner and friend, Det. Jerry Edgar.
“Bosch,” about a cop’s obsessive search for the killer who murdered his mother decades earlier, is based on the bestselling novel series by Michael Connelly that launched in 1992 with “The Black Echo.” The fourth season of “Bosch” drops on Amazon Friday (and season 5 has already been ordered).
Jerry is as far from Marlo Stanfield, your classic villain on “The Wire,” as two characters can be. How did you mentally make that leap?
The first step is to know the person you’re portraying, and with Jerry, I shadowed a few friends on the force here in New York and also in L.A. [where “Bosch” is based]. Just getting into the way they think, the way they approach the work.
Jerry had a rough third season [involved in a fatal shooting, and was shot himself]. Where’s Jerry’s head this season?
Right now he’s recuperating, trying to get back to work, trying to mend his shoulder. But once he realizes his family — and Bosch — is in jeopardy, then everything else and all those questions in the past [notably about Harry’s extralegal activities] are forgotten. His loyalty is to the badge and to the people he works with. The questions never really go away but they’re not a priority right now.
How long can this show keep going?
I want to see Harry in a walker or wheelchair with his badge and gun, or maybe he could walk by with a cane. It’s a great story and as long as we have the writers and the rest of the talent, we can do it as long as we’re able to.
Can you give me a look into Harry’s world this season without getting into spoiler territory?
At the end of the third season, he had the head of the police commission in his crosshairs for the murder of his mother, and one has to bear in mind, this has been Harry’s life work to a certain degree. His mother is a cold case that was not treated with any kind of respect or precision at the time it occurred. Now he has new information and knows who committed the crime, but the person is a higher-up in city government, and it’s very tricky to say the least.
How do you view, or interpret, Harry?
He’s the quintessential antihero [and] where we find him this season is a guy who’s evolved as much as he’s going to evolve. Harry’s in his mid-40s and he’s evolved to navigate circumstances but he’s never going to become a different person. We’ll never see Harry singing show tunes or eating gelato. He loves his jazz, his beer, he’s a very internalized character but not an emotional or demonstrative one. But this season, the connective tissue with his [now 18-year-old] daughter, Maddie, is further realized and mined. In that way, we do see a certain amount of personal evolution.
Speaking of evolutions, how long can Bosch keep working?
One of the first questions Mike Connelly asked was “How long?” and truth be known, I’ll do this as long as they’ll have me. The complexity of the character keeps unfolding and that’s catnip for an actor — to put him in circumstances and see how he moves through those. I thoroughly enjoy the process of making this show and I have a great, deep profound affection for Harry Bosch. I’m very protective of him. As long as people are watching the show, I see no reason not to keep doing it.
I have to ask about your longtime friend and mentor, Steven Bochco [who died April 1]. You starred or appeared in a half a dozen Bochco productions, and he was so instrumental in your career.
He was an enormous part of my career and was a very close friend. I loved him dearly. He was staggeringly intelligent and was certainly a pioneer who redefined drama on television. He [also] cared about people and was loyal to people. All sorts of writers and actors were given opportunities by Steven. I spoke to him after “Bosch” came out and wanted his take. and he was never one to sugarcoat anything. But he told me he really loved the show. I told him that if he hadn’t done “Hill Street Blues” or “NYPD Blue,” there’d be no place for a show like “Bosch.”