The day begins for Frank Thiel (Axel Prahl) with bad news: his father has a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball - inoperable, confirms the treating doctor, Dr. Kühn (Kim Riedle). The inspector drowns his sorrows in a bar and downs one gentleman's place setting after the other. The next morning he wakes up in a hotel room with his clothes torn and bruises and can no longer remember what happened. A little later, a body is found in a forest - shot with Thiel's service weapon. The dead man is Arne Hartnack, Thiel's ex-boss from his time with the Hamburg homicide squad. The inspector put Hartnack behind bars 20 years ago because he is said to have murdered his wife.
The “Tatort” from Münster celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2022. The first episode, “The Dark Spot,” was broadcast in October 2002. To this day, the duo around Chief Inspector Frank Thiel and forensic doctor Prof. Karl-Friedrich Boerne regularly achieve top ratings and lead the ranking of the most popular “crime scene” investigators. The mix of crime and comedy has proven to be a recipe for success. This episode, as usual, fluctuates between humor and madness, but is more exciting than many of its predecessors. Not only the viewers, but also Thiel want to know: What the hell happened that night? Thiel's eerie flashbacks, in which he vaguely remembers what happened, are visually strongly staged. “The better you know your characters, the easier it is to plunge them into exciting cases and emotional depths,” says screenwriter Thorsten Weddcke, for whom this is the fifth Münster “crime scene”.
Prof. Karl-Friedrich Boerne (Jan Josef Liefers) is a brilliant doctor - but also a merciless chauvin. He tells his assistant Silke Haller (ChrisTine Urwurf), whom he disparagingly calls "Alberich", that she should let off steam by doing "something female-oriented: office work, cleaning, tidying up". He calls another colleague a “forensics matron” and a “pregnant walrus.” The two women read Boerne the wrong way - it would be better if such misogynistic comments didn't happen anymore. After 20 years, this can also be an end to the Münster “crime scene”.
Frank Thiel goes from inspector to suspect and even ends up in prison for a time. The actual investigative work is carried out by Professor Boerne and the police officer assigned to the case, Annika Kröger (Banafshe Hourmazdi). Thiel's hippie father (Claus Clausnitzer) and a plush koala also play a crucial role.
The explanation in the end is pretty outrageous. Fans of Thiel and Boerne shouldn't miss their 40th case.
The “Tatort” episode “The Devil’s Long Breath” was first broadcast on January 16, 2022. ARD will repeat the case on Sunday, December 17, 2023, at 9:45 p.m.