As the festive bells of Christmas echoed through the streets of Cologne, the latest 'Advent-Tatort' episode spun an unexpected narrative, a far cry from the traditional holiday cheer often associated with this season. Airing on Sunday, this episode, while set against a festive backdrop, intentionally steered clear of the usual Christmas spirit, opting instead for a darker, more profound narrative that held a mirror to certain grim realities of our society.
Unwrapping the Narrative
The story shadowed the character of Schenk, played by Dietmar Bär, who, rather than being engrossed in solving crimes, found himself occupied with gift shopping. All around him, the city bloomed with holiday decorations, and elements of mulled wine and secret Santa exchanges dotted the narrative. However, the story took a sinister turn when a delivery man, donned in Santa Claus attire, was found dead in his dilapidated van.
A Dire Christmas Tale
This tragic event peeled back the glossy veneer of the holiday season, revealing a form of modern-day slavery rampant within the low-wage sector. The worth of a human, it appeared, was gauged by the number of packages he could deliver. The episode deftly pointed out that for delivery workers, there was no respite during the holiday rush, thus shedding light on the harsh realities of their working conditions.
Striking A Balance
While 'Advent-Tatort' successfully juxtaposed the dreamy and nightmarish aspects of Christmas without resorting to moralizing, the reviewer suggested that it fell short in fully exploring the depth of its characters. The milieu crime story, set in a low-income environment, received a rating of three out of five Christmas ornaments from the critic. Despite its shortcomings, the episode served as a sobering reminder of the often overlooked darker sides of the holiday season, making it a noteworthy addition to the 'Tatort' series.