Friday, October 20, 2023

REVIEW: 'Bosch: Legacy' - Bosch and His Police Allies Search for Maddie After She Disappears in 'The Lady Vanishes'

Freevee's Bosch: Legacy - Episode 2.01 "The Lady Vanishes"

Maddie's gone missing, and it's all hands on deck to find her. Bosch allies with Chandler, Mo and an old friend in a race against the clock to save his daughter's life.

"The Lady Vanishes" was written by Tom Bernardo and directed by Sharat Raju

Maddie is the only family Bosch has left. They've both endured tragedies in their lives. They constantly feel the need to check on each other. They nurture this bond. Family matters. They don't want to lose it. And yet, they are both constantly involved in dangerous situations. That's the nature of their jobs. It's a more equal understanding now that Maddie is working in law enforcement. That further highlights the terror Bosch feels when she goes missing. He was famously known as a rogue agent within the Los Angeles Police Department. His superiors endured his antics because of the results he produced. He couldn't handle the bureaucracy forever. He transitioned to life as a private investigator while Maddie took on the burden of trying to reform the police from the inside. That noble pursuit has now led to more despair.

The first season aspired to prove this show would essentially function the same as the original series. It centered around the same characters. The only difference was Bosch's job title. He still conducted himself the same. In fact, he feels unburdened now with fewer rules to follow. He never abided by many of them. He always jeopardized cases because of what he did in the pursuit of justice. He always found a solution that was beneficial for all. He aims to protect people. He holds others to much higher standards than himself. He expects everyone else to be better. He makes these compromising decisions so others don't have to. He won't sit idly by while his daughter's missing. Jerry Edgar is leading the investigation. He's a trusted friend on the force. Bosch still demands accommodation to receive every potential clue before the police have the opportunity to act on it. He believes he has earned that respect. It's a dangerous abuse of the system. The police protect their own. Bosch understands that impulse. He's also previously motivated by his daughter being the one taken.

The cliffhanger was a different ending for the creative team too. Usually, the show introduces a bunch of seemingly disconnected plots and slowly reveals how they tie together as time goes on. Everyone is juggling a lot. They have to balance it all in order to be effective at their jobs. They can't fixate on anything for too long because that would come at the expense of so much else. Some cases rise above the rest in the amount of real estate they occupy in the character's minds. That's a destructive tactic that jeopardizes their ability to do the job. The Screen Cutter case became that for Maddie. She was personally involved. She conducted her own investigation. She didn't identify Dockweiler as the rapist. However, he took action against her because she collected the evidence that would likely convict him at some point. That's how Maddie operates within the narrative. She's a powerful motivator whose presence is used to produce massive change. She can't control it. Moreover, others are still trying to protect her. The entire police force is now looking for her. She has that trust. People respect her wishes. She's not powerless. In this situation though, she needs saving. That's the danger she's in because of her inquisitive nature and need to help.

Dockweiler turning himself in is unexpected. Even after he abducts Maddie and buries her in the desert, he understands that the walls are closing in. Maddie is the only piece of leverage he has to exact a better deal from the police. He knows they don't have the evidence yet to arrest him for the rapes. That's inevitable. He's wise not to engage in a fight with Bosch once he breaks into his house searching for his daughter. That's counterproductive. He must remain focused on the plan. That allows this story to carry over to another episode. It's the only story that matters throughout this premiere. More stories aren't introduced to distract the characters or keep them busy. Everything else fades away. This is their only priority. Everyone has such affection for Maddie. Bosch breaks down over the threat she could be dead. He doesn't want to think about that just yet. The world forces him to. This may be the latest loss he is meant to endure. The man who took her is now playing games. The clues to Maddie's location may be found at Dockweiler's home. Time is running out. Maddie was repeatedly drugged. When she awakens, no one is capable of hearing her screams. Hope is still available though because she's alive. That gives Bosch and his allies time to rescue her despite the uncertainty that lies ahead.

All of this delivers a much more personal and emotional start for the new season. Bosch has to lean on his allies for support because they have crucial information that can help him find Maddie. He can't be a rogue hero. He has to rely on the people around him. Of course, they have to accept his determination to do whatever it takes to find Maddie. He doesn't care about the law or protocols. Those concepts are suddenly foreign to him. They aren't top of mind. The people in charge want to preserve the conviction down the line. They don't want to take any actions that can compromise that possibility. That's such a distinct concept. It must be thought of all the time by people in law enforcement. They don't have the luxury of living in the spur of the moment. They have to consider their actions for the community at large. Bosch has left that world behind. His new reality is much more insular. He only invites people in when he trusts them completely. They each serve a purpose to him. Maddie is more because of all they've faced together. Bosch knew his daughter's struggles on the job. He knew the clue to identify her abduction immediately. He also demands to be the center of attention. He's frustrated when the system doesn't operate that way. He can't be alone with his thoughts. Once that occurs, it's only sadness that overpowers him completely. He can't be distracted right now. He has to be present. Rescuing Maddie is all that matters. The stakes are more complicated than that. Bosch would rather enjoy that simplicity instead of the rules. That's the inherent tension of this story.