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Actresses Dela Dabulamanzi (l.) and Lina Beckmann: “You can’t be an asshole, can you?”

Photo: Christine Schroeder / NDR

The evenings are clearly timed: When it gets dark, mother and daughter look at picture books in bed and think up stories to go with the illustrations.

When it's finally night, the two of them dress up like princesses, with lots of make-up and tulle.

Mom then dances in bars with drunk men while the five-year-old steals their wallets.

The big one buys heroin from the loot and the little one gets candy.

If the mother then falls on the asphalt while intoxicated, the lights reflected in the puddle shine as beautifully and colorfully as a rainbow.

"Don't worry, she's just dead"

That night, mother (Meira Durand) and daughter (Mathilda Graf) are in such a good mood that they go into a villa.

The little one runs into the living room and screams: "Mom, there's a woman lying there." But the mother knows how to calm the child in her own way: "Don't worry, she's just dead." And to show her daughter that everything really is If it's okay, the mother puts her hand on the corpse's neck and whispers gently: "You see, very cold."

Love and security according to junkie logic: The beginning of this “police call” (book: Elke Schuch) is of an idiosyncratic tenderness.

Unfortunately, as the plot progresses, conventional crime fiction always gains the upper hand.

Cardboard mates of amorality

The murder victim is a 74-year-old business journalist who was apparently on the trail of a bad real estate fund through which a corrupt senior citizens and care association is trying to rob older people of their savings.

Investigators König (Anneke Kim Sarnau) and Böwe (Lina Beckmann) also target the independent insurance broker who sold the victim the policy.

He is embodied by Robin Sondermann, who already played an investment guru with great asshole qualities in the last Cologne "Tatort" and now simply embodies the iron widow eviscerator once again in a starched shirt.

But that's not the main problem with this case, it's the many plot weaknesses and character dummies.

So the insurance broker tries to get rid of the heroin-addicted witness with an overdose of fentanyl, as if such an action were the easiest thing in the world.

And the new public prosecutor - another amoral philistine - is linked to the head of the disreputable senior citizens' association, which is why he is trying to torpedo the investigation.

This “police call” is particularly interesting when it goes into morally gray areas.

And this time Commissioner König is exploring it.

In the previous episode, which was also directed by director Andreas Herzog, she met her father again after more than 40 years.

Now she keeps the old man, who is a bit pushy and noisy, at a distance.

In general, she tries to keep the whole world at a distance.

Quite different is colleague Böwe, who listens to her feelings in crucial moments - and therefore fails in the investigation.

So she lets the junkie mother lead her around.

King contemptuously says to Böwe: "You can't be an asshole, can you?" It almost sounds as if being an asshole is an art form.

This is a usual strong performance from Sarnau when she plays the hardened loner who reacts irritably to aggressively to all attempts to get close.

In a rare moment, König finally opens up to her colleague - and talks about her father: "I don't trust him, he tells me one touching story after another, I have the feeling he's lying to me."

In the end, we can reveal that, the old man runs away again, and King acts as if she feels satisfaction that she was right after all.

At this point she probably knows for a long time: you won't be happy as an asshole either.


6 out of 10 points

“Police call 110: Thieves”,

Sunday, 8.15 p.m., Das Erste