When a lonely elderly man is eventually discovered dead in his apartment (when neighbors noticed the stench of the decomposing corpse), the open and shut case of "natural causes" is immediately debunked by Kommissar Karow, who happens to live next door to the victim in an old "GDR" apartment high rise. The man was not only murdered, but apparently "executed".
This Berlin Tatort episode deals with the effects of German Reunification on some of the old East Germans, some of whom felt left behind in the turbulence of the social changes. A side plot shows Kommissar Rubin contemplating a possible promotion, however she is discouraged when she senses that she would be a "token hire" based on the fact she is Jewish.
The first half of the episode has a priceless scene inside a super market, where an old man creates a hostage situation, which Kommissar Rubin fearlessly defuses within minutes, to the astonishment of several police officers and a crowd of onlookers. The Karow/Rubin Team is known for their somewhat depressed, at times even suicidal demeanor. Incapable of maintaining relationships, these police partners seem to be each other's life support. The daily grind of solving violent crime took a toll on both of them, yet they get up each morning to make a difference in a society where murder is a sad and common reality.
I've seen hundreds of Tatort Episodes. As a native to Berlin, I found the story line of this episode engaging and filled with haunting realism. The police as "your friend and helper" have my deep respect.
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