“My name is Ella. I have an apartment, a job, a husband. Everything will be fine now. I really believed in that.” The young woman (Ricarda Seifried) who says this has just left her abusive husband and her home. Now she lives on the streets in Cologne, eking out a living with other women. One of them, Monika (Rike Eckermann), is found dead under a Rhine bridge shortly afterwards. In their attempt to solve the crime, the Cologne commissioners Max Ballauf (Klaus J. Behrendt) and Freddy Schenk (Dietmar Bär) learn about the fates of other women who have become homeless.

The geriatric nurse who, despite her full-time job, has to sleep in the car because she can’t get an apartment because of her Schufa information. The wife who would rather sleep in the open air than let her husband beat her one more day. The elderly couple who are bashfully looking for a deposit in the dark because the pension is simply not enough to live on. Poverty has many faces in Germany.

The “crime scene” episode “Like everyone else” shows how quickly it can sometimes go to be passed straight from bourgeois life to the street. And with what incomprehension society often reacts to those stranded there. “Why?” – again and again the homeless are confronted with this question. As if they were to blame for their fate in any case. The sensitively told film (book: Jürgen Werner, director: Nina Wolfrum) pays special attention to how hard this life is, especially for women: In addition to the deprivation, they are also exposed to sexual violence.

The Cologne “crime scene” is often scolded for its penchant for finger-wagging social criticism. “Like everyone else” is different: this film doesn’t use the fate of homeless people as research material to knit a criminal case out of it, but gives space to the fate of the women and takes their stories seriously. In short: For once, nothing bothers you here.

The cheeky assistant Jütte (Roland Riebeling) has to be carried to the hunt again: “Senseless work can make you depressed,” the lazybones grumbles. And yet he shows a great deal of humanity and empathy in his investigations – while Ballauf and Schenk are guided in their actions solely by paragraphs.

Anyone watching this “crime scene” on their home sofa should feel grateful. To become aware of his privilege, at least for one evening. It’s worth turning on for that alone – even when you’re repeating it.

The “Tatort” episode “Like everyone else too” was first broadcast on March 21, 2021. ARD repeats the case on Sunday, June 25, 2023 at 8:15 p.m.

Commissioners Ballauf and Schenk previously investigated the following cases: