Note: Due to the death of actor Peter Sodann, ARD is changing its program and showing the last “crime scene” with him as Inspector Ehrlicher this Sunday, April 7th, 2024, from 11:35 p.m. That’s why we’re republishing our “Tatort” review from November 12, 2007.

Then he rides away with his new son, and the old man watches them go and says: “Perhaps it will be a good start after all.” Once again, we viewers are at a disadvantage, asking ourselves: “Is everything good now or not? Will Inspector Kain (Bernd Michael Lade), who has been looking for a woman for so long, be happy with Eva or will she have to languish behind bars? And what makes more honest than pensioners?”

It could have been so nice: justice triumphs over law. The police officer in the moral conflict between official duty and personal passion. The story behind it? Banal, everyday, but sexy, staged as sexy and sensually as rarely in one of the Eastern “crime scenes” – with touching romance, deeply tragic conflicts and quick cuts.

So in this last Leipzig “crime scene” with Peter Sodann as Chief Inspector Ehrlicher, we viewers once again experienced a clear division of the world into black and white, into good and evil: unscrupulous businessmen who take money out of the pockets of the little people. A beautiful woman who kills herself because she’s fed up with the humiliation of greedy bankers after her husband runs away to India in search of enlightenment that he clearly hasn’t received. He cannot say why he shirked his responsibility for his wife and children. In general, many unanswered questions remain when Ehrlicher asks the brothel boss why she is taking advantage of the creditors’ distress since she is a woman herself.

However, the script by Hans-Werner Honert, who also wrote the very first Ehrlicher crime scene 15 years ago, is a bit ridiculous. Women who cannot repay their loans have to work off their debts in the brothel. And of all people, Cain’s new flame is also deeply in debt to the real estate shark who blackmails her and whom she pushes down the stairs when he tries to rape her.

After all, the story is perfect for Chief Inspector Ehrlicher, who was able to act more freely than ever before. “They won’t cut off my pension.” The grumpy rebel, who has never cared about regulations and conventions, can once again let out all his anger against slick real estate sharks and the down-to-earth business woman “cold as a dog’s nose.” And culminates in the direct assist for Ehrlicher, who is once again able to show his full moral greatness by sweeping the crime under the table, who makes his grand entrance as the gracious Grand Inquisitor in the murdered man’s chic villa, who is allowed to hear sentences from Cain like “sorry, I didn’t trust you” and can say sentences like “should we let the judge decide about law and justice?”

And so the two angular warhorses step down with dignity, after fifteen years, on horseback like Old Shatterhand and Winnetou, always fighting for justice, after a case that tastes like Ehrlich’s favorite dish: black bread with meat and pickles, down-to-earth, hearty and a little morally sour. And we viewers will no longer get a clear answer – whether Cain’s future husband’s sense of justice will put her behind bars. May Eva, Cain and Felix live happily ever after. We remain hopeful that the “Tatort” episodes from Leipzig will soon be a little livelier, lighter and not quite as gruesome.