A police officer’s wife is critically injured in an arson attack. The case fits into a series of politically motivated acts of violence that are allegedly carried out by the left-wing autonomous scene. At the same time, an LKA officer who was undercover in the area disappears. Since it is an old friend of Julia Grosz (Franziska Weisz), the inspector infiltrates her shared apartment under a false identity. Meanwhile, Thorsten Falke (Wotan Wilke Möhring) tries to solve the arson attack. Over time, it dawns on the investigators that the two cases are connected.

The case takes place in Hamburg, the city where left-wing extremists from all over Europe wreaked havoc in 2017. But the police also often reacted with excessive brutality. This “crime scene” doesn’t let any sympathy shine through for either side. Not for the police officers who are too harsh when making arrests. And also not for the ideological do-gooders, for whom the police force is inherently fascist, sexist and racist and every officer is automatically guilty. “Schattenleben” (book: Lena Fakler, director: Mia Spengler) shows that these are not static blocks: that the majority of police officers do not strike and are trying to educate their own ranks. And that not everyone in the left-wing autonomous scene sees police officers dehumanized as “bull pigs”. The insight remains that both sides can take to heart: “If we are as violent as them, then we are no better.”

No matter how well the topic is chosen and prepared, the viewer begins to suspect very early on that the “social problem” here is just a decoration and that the solution to the case – as so often – actually lies in the personal. And as so often, as a viewer you ask yourself: Why don’t you just tell a personal story?

While the “Crime Scene: Tyrant Murder” broadcast in March 2022 was completely tailored to Thorsten Falke, this time the focus is on Julia Grosz: We find out a little more about the past of the investigator, who was once in love with a woman – but then didn’t stand up for her feelings.

Despite small weaknesses, it’s a worthwhile “crime scene” – tune in!

The “Tatort” episode “Schattenleben” was first broadcast on June 12, 2022. ARD will repeat the case on Sunday, March 31, 2024, at 8:15 p.m.