This episode which was rebranded as the first episode of 'Inspector Falke' here in the UK sees our eponymous protagonist investigating a series of arsons involving cars. The latest case involved the death of a woman who was in her parked car when it was torched. As the episode opens we see a young man filming himself setting fire to the car as the films himself, hoping to impress his girlfriend. He is shocked when he learns somebody is inside.
As the episode proceeds we see Falke, and his new partner Katharina Lorenz, investigate the case. They are somewhat hindered by locals keen to take the law into their own hands to protect their cars. Intertwined with their investigation we see the problems encountered by the man who started the fire; most notably the theft of his phone and his subsequent blackmail.
As an 'opening episode' this does a good job of introducing Inspector Thorsten Falke as his long-time partner moves on to a new position and he gets a new somewhat unwanted new partner. As is the way with such things Falke isn't keen on Lorenz but gradually grows to respect her during the episode. One might thing that following both the police and the person who started the fire there would be no sense of mystery but there are still questions to be answered and the ending does provide a genuine surprise. Lead actors Wotan Wilke Möhring and Petra Schmidt-Schaller are solid as Falke and Lorenz. There is a gritty feel to the story, with some moments of shocking violence and language that might offend some viewers. Overall I'd recommend this to fans of crime drama; just don't expect it to be like 'Inspector Morse' or 'Midsomer Murders'.
These comments are based on watching the episode in German with English subtitles.
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