Friday, November 10, 2023

REVIEW: 'Bosch: Legacy' - Maddie's Anger Towards Her Father Leads to Many Devastating Revelations in 'A Step Ahead'

Freevee's Bosch: Legacy - Episode 2.10 "A Step Ahead"

Bosch ensures the Lexi Parks case reaches its just conclusion. Chandler considers a big career change with the help of an old acquaintance. Maddie wrestles with the fallout of her first officer-involved shooting. Mo faces a serious ultimatum with the FBI.

"A Step Ahead" was written by Tom Bernardo & Eric Overmyer and directed by Patrick Cady

Maddie loves her father. She's also furious with Bosch. He is only alive because she knows him so well. He slipped his police protection to hunt down Ellis. He aimed to enact his own form of justice. Maddie ultimately suffered because she had to make that fateful choice. She killed Ellis. It is her first shooting as an officer. Everyone overwhelmingly tells her she was justified. It was a good shoot. She had to stop Ellis before he could kill. And yet, she never should have been forced into that situation. She was at risk of losing yet another parent on the job. Her mother was killed because of her committed to the job. She doesn't want the same thing to happen to her father. He continually places himself in these situations where he requires luck in order to survive. It's romanticized when it comes to how he and Eleanor first met. That's a toxic interpretation of events. The two got a divorce for a reason. He pushes his loved ones away because of his convictions. Everyone else suffers in pursuit of the job. Maddie is the latest victim.

Maddie has been placed in this situation before. She's always been burdened by Bosch's actions. They impact her every single day on the job. She isn't allowed to step into her own identity. She understands the priority of living this life for herself. She doesn't want to lose her father. She wants to trust him more than what he allows. He promised never to lie to her. And yet, he qualifies that by also saying he can't tell her everything. He aims to protect her as well. He too has been put in situations where he had to risk everything to keep her safe. She was targeted. That's the dangerous world they live in. Maddie doesn't want to lose her empathy. The fact that she's questioning it is evidence that she maintains it. She hasn't forgotten her sense of morality and purpose. She's simply at a juncture where people need to respect her wishes and boundaries. She's devastated learning that Dockweiler has been killed in prison. That's not the fate she wanted for him. He needed to rot for the rest of his long life. This punishment lets him off too easily. That's her perspective. That's the outcome she wanted. It's not what Bosch made happen.

Maddie immediately gets clarity that her father ordered Dockweiler's death too. All it takes is one phone call to connect the dots. Bosch wants Maddie nearby. This is his version of protection. It's not what Maddie wants. They communicate. They don't actively listen to each other. That's devastating. Maddie knows some changes have to be made. She isn't going to cut her father out of her life. She only now gains the perspective to appreciate all that her mother gave her. That only came with the benefit of time. She mourns her. She gives herself the space to feel those emotions. After the shooting, she's numb to the whole situation. It's as if it is happening at a distance. She's left in ambiguity because the police don't recover the gun right away. That extends the anger towards her father. The situation isn't immediately resolved. She gives her statement. Everyone reassures her that nothing bad will happen. She operates with that certainty too. She's still conflicted. She knows it's time for a change. She has to stand on her own. She must live in her own identity for awhile. These bonds must be cherished. And yet, they have to grapple with the true reality. They can't just live in the fantasy because it feels better.

Chandler comforts Maddie. The young officer values the perspective the lawyer provides. They are close. And yet, Chandler has also stepped into the gray areas of the law. It's no longer about what can be proven in a courtroom. Instead, it's gathering evidence to tip the scales of justice behind the scenes. Judges still make their opinions known. They have an impact on cases. Chandler advocates for her client by pressuring the District Attorney to drop the charges. Archer doesn't want to do so. He doesn't want to admit a mistake. That can't happen during an election year. It's not until Chandler enters the race that he seemingly has a viable opponent. Chandler views that as a way to enact change in the system. She also operates with the understanding that this is the new normal. She accepts that she will never return to what she once was. That damages the people she once trusted completely. Martin's reputation was hit because of Chandler's arrest. The threat from the FBI isn't even over. Chandler is still plotting her next move. She went from getting arrested to announcing a run for office. She's protected because the damning evidence the FBI found can no longer be used against her. She used those tactics in the courtroom. She applies pressure to secure deals. That's the job now and she's fine with that being her life.

The FBI applies pressure to Mo believing he will inevitably flip and testify against Bosch and Chandler. That's not what happens. Instead, he figures that Jade is an undercover agent. He buys time for himself. He doesn't cower to the urgency the agents place him under. He remains calm and collected. It's a risk for him not to have a lawyer present. He's capable of handling this threat by himself. He was targeted because of his generosity. He cared about Jade. He wanted to make her life better. And now, he realizes that she lured him into a trap to get him to commit a crime. Once more though, the FBI didn't do a great job of gathering the evidence. When it's laid out, Mo doesn't feel threatened. He simply learns that these agents haven't actually checked the details to ensure they have the proof necessary to level this intimidation. They can't back up anything they claim. They falter at the job again. They are furious by that. It's ultimately costly for Jade. Mo threatens to expose her to the entire hacking community if she doesn't resign. This cover is precious for her to gain the trust of the people committing cyber crimes. That's at the forefront of the new battle for the bureau. Everything falls apart because the agents were bad at their jobs. They were up against formidable opponents. That's not surprising given Bosch and Chandler's long histories and character development. With Mo, this is the first example of dimension that offers him any weight at all as a nuanced individual in this narrative.