The people of Dresden can also be serious: the inspectors solve a murder of a child without any comedy or slapstick. One of the strongest cases of the former team of investigators Henni Sieland and Karin Gorniak.
- 3 out of 5 points
- No classic search for perpetrators, but a startling discussion of the issues of child abuse and pedophilia
What’s the matter?
It is every parent’s nightmare: their own child disappears on the way back from school or from a sports club. Sandra and Stefan Krüger fear the worst when their nine-year-old son Rico does not return from swimming training. High Commissioner Henni Sieland (Alwara Höfels) is initially optimistic. “Out of 100 missing children something really happened to you. He’s showing up again,” she says. But a little later it is a sad certainty – Rico is dead. The boy’s body is found, horribly pressed into a sports bag that is stranded on the banks of the Elbe. Commissariat manager Schnabel (Martin Brambach) urges his employees to investigate around the clock in order to be able to deliver results quickly. Because the act brings back memories of an unsolved case three years ago when a nine-year-old boy also disappeared.
Why is this “crime scene” worthwhile?
When the Dresden investigators started work in March 2016, they brought a breath of fresh air to the series. This was primarily thanks to screenwriter Ralf Husmann. The inventor of the sitcom “Stromberg” wanted to combine crime and comedy – similar to what is also the case in the Münster and Weimar “crime scenes”. But in November 2017 Husmann said goodbye. “I had the impression that it is now heading in the direction of a completely conventional crime novel,” he explained his decision.
In fact, the episode “Déjà-vu” has become darker and more oppressive than it was previously known from Dresden. It’s about child abuse and pedophilia – nothing that can be reconciled with comedy. The case is reminiscent of the one broadcast in 1988 Police call “The Crossword Puzzle Case”which in turn is based on a true story and describes the murder of seven year old Lars Bense. The boy from Halle an der Saale disappeared in front of a cinema in 1981 and was later found murdered in a suitcase. The so-called “Crossword murder” is one of the most famous criminal cases in the GDR because over 550,000 specimens were evaluated before the perpetrator could be caught.
While the investigators grope in the dark for a long time, the viewers already know who the perpetrator is after a relatively short time. Unfortunately, that takes some of the tension out of the case. At the same time, the figure of the perpetrator is not told in great detail. The viewer does not learn anything about his family environment or his own history. The fact that the two high commissioners wear the same long clothes all the time, despite the alleged heat wave, is also somewhat curious.
The “Déja-vu” case not only pushes the audience, but also Commissioner Henni Sieland emotionally to their limits. The investigator ends up in the hospital and makes two surprising discoveries.
It is the penultimate case with Alwara Höfels, who one month after Ralf Husmann also announced her departure from the Dresden “crime scene”. The last case with Höfels was broadcast on Pentecost in 2018.
High Commissioner Karin Gorniak (Karin Hanczewski) will not let go of the investigation either. Not only does she fight with her adolescent son Aaron, but she also has to grapple with her neighbor Nick. She has a secret affair with him, which leads to further problems.
Turn on or off?
Turn on! Director Dustin Loose was only 30 years old when it was set, making him the youngest director in “Tatort” for over 45 years. He has made a film that is deeply shocking and has a long-lasting effect.
The crime scene: Already seen“was broadcast for the first time on January 28, 2018. ARD repeated the case on June 4, 2021 at 10:15 pm.