Several inmates die when rabies virus sneaks into a prison. Is someone seeking the investigators’ attention?
Stress in prison: in the "Tatort" rabies cases cause controversy Photo: WDR/Thomas Kost
In the Dortmund "Tatort," Inspector Faber is always the star and never the case being told. Or rather, Faber’s life, which he visibly suffers from most of the time since his wife and daughter died in a car accident, is the actual "case" told in the Dortmund episodes since 2012. The plot of the backstory has developed quite a bit in the meantime, thanks in part to Jorg Hartmann’s pretty great performance. And with the cliffhanger of each episode, you almost wish the Dortmund "Tatort" was running on your trusted streaming service to watch now.
In the new episode, the background comes fully to the fore. Once again as a reminder: Faber does not believe in the accident in which his family died. He suspects that serial killer Markus Graf (Florian Bartholomai) provoked the crash. But even though Faber has been able to put Graf in prison for his series of murders of girls and young women, including subsequent preventive detention: Graf won’t let go of the inspector.
Above all, of course, because Graf never confessed to being guilty of the accident, but keeps sending the inspector crumbs at his feet or by mail to his desk that prove nothing, but must reinforce Faber’s intuition that Graf is to blame for his family’s death: this time it’s a drawing showing the car wreck and the bodies. "I wanted your attention," Graf says when Faber visits him in jail shortly afterwards. "You have them now," says Faber.
All the more so when a rabies epidemic sweeps away one inmate after another in the prison, including the prison doctor Zander (Thomas Arnold), twitching cruelly and foaming at the mouth (Faber: "Like in one of those bad horror movies!"). How the pathogen got into the prison is quickly explained: a knife was elaborately prepared with the virus, a provoked stabbing among the inmates brought it into circulation. "But why this effort to kill people?" puzzle Faber’s colleagues Bohnisch (Anna Schudt) and Nora Dalay (Aylin Tezel).
Dortmund "Tatort": "Rabies," Sun., 8:15 p.m., ARD
Faber, meanwhile, thinks he knows: The whole mess is about him. Graf is playing with him again. "He’s obsessed with you, and you’re obsessed with him," Graf’s lawyer tells Faber when he asks her to talk to her client so he can tell the commissioner what he knows about the virus plot. The lawyer is probably right. And that’s how things can continue in Dortmund.