Thursday, 24 November 2016

Tatort 999: Borowski und das verlorene Mädchen (4 Stars)

This is the 999th episode of "Tatort", first aired on 6th November 2016. The investigating police officers are Klaus Borowski and Sarah Brandt. Inspector Borowski's first case was in November 2003, and this is his 27th episode. Inspector Brandt has been his partner in 11 episodes since October 2011. The last time they appeared was in the 964th episode on 29th November 2015.

The title means "Borowski and the lost girl". It's not a missing person, as the title might suggest. The lost girl is a 17-year-old schoolgirl, Julia Heidhäuser (pictured above), who has lost her way. She has recently converted to Islam, despite the warnings of her family and friends. If anything, her mother is to blame for what's happened to her. She is cold and remote, not the loving mother that a teenage girl needs.

The story begins with a death. A schoolgirl called Maria, Julia's best friend, is washed ashore. The main suspect is Hasim, a man who was released from prison on the day she was killed. Klaus Borowski is diligent in investigating the case, but he's approached by an agent of the German secret service who asks him to drop the case. Hasim's mosque is a centre of Islamic extremism, where young people are recruited to fight for IS. If Hasim is arrested it could interrupt the investigations. Julia has met an IS fighter in Syria online and intends to go to Syria to marry him. The secret service knows about this and wants her to leave Germany so they can track her to the IS camp. Borowski finds it immoral to use her as bait and arrests her to prevent her leaving the country. He takes her to his house and attempts to deprogram her.

This is a complex story with several themes running in parallel. Borowski is caught in conflicts between doing his job and helping the young girl for whom he feels sympathy. He's horrified that there are organisations in his country that are willing to sacrifice her as collateral damage in the war on terror.

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