Zdf series “blochin”: a finale in the rain

After four years, ZDF is showing the finale of a series that was dispatched with maximum ambition at the time: "Blochin – The Final Chapter."

Blochin (Jurgen Vogel) wants revenge for the brutal murder of his daughter Photo: dpa

Thomas Heinze was one of the faces of the German comedy boom of the 1990s ("Allein unter Frauen," "Frauen sind was Wunderbares"). The big boy, who could do both in one role: the charmer with puppy-dog eyes and the smug ape, fit in perfectly. That was his big time. Today, in his mid-fifties, he subscribes to playing the smug monkey in supporting roles in TV crime dramas (most recently in "Professor T."), which he still does very well.

If a director gives him the space, he can play it with great nuance. Thus, the best thing that can be said about "Blochin – The Last Chapter" is that Matthias Glasner ("Der freie Wille") has once again allowed this Thomas Heinze to play Jurgen Vogel ("Der freie Wille"), who was actually intended for the lead role – Blochin – up against the wall, as he did four years ago. This is probably less the fault of Vogel than of the screenplay and is meant as thoroughly poisoned praise for Glasner, who for "Blochin" is not only the director, but also the screenwriter, and in the sequel even the sole author. Terms like "head writer" and "writers room" are now looked for in vain in the press kit.

But one thing after the other: After all, it could be that one or the other no longer remembers. So it was four years ago that ZDF thought it had arrived at the American role models à la "Breaking Bad" and at what was considered the here and now at the time. They first celebrated 360 horizontally narrated minutes of "Blochin" at the Berlinale, and then, in keeping with the times, broadcast the five episodes, no: "chapters," in binge mode in the main program, and had already released them online beforehand.

The sequel, scheduled for a full eight episodes, was quickly ordered. But alas, the reviews were lukewarm and – much more decisive for ZDF, although it is fee-financed – so were the ratings. The latter is probably the reason why the sequel was cut down to a 110-minute feature film and had to wait four years before it was broadcast. It doesn’t help – but rather provides a moment of unintentional comedy when the characters in the film penetratingly claim that only two years have passed.

Blokhin wants revenge

As a reminder, Blokhin is a hard-ass of a Berlin police officer, so named not because of the eponymous former Soviet NKVD officer and enforcer of Stalinist purges, but because of the eponymous former Soviet soccer player whose decal he was carrying when he woke up in the morgue after his alleged murder in his teens, remembering nothing, not even his name.

Almost single-handedly, he tried to take on corrupt politicians and the Russian mafia, but in vain. Along the way, he drove his marriage with the sister of his boss Dominik Stotzner (Thomas Heinze) – who suffers from MS – to the wall and in the end had to mourn the death of his daughter, who was murdered by the Russian gangster Kyrill (Alexander Scheer).

You couldn’t help but look crestfallen, as Jurgen Vogel did without interruption. A single facial expression in 3 minutes is nevertheless a bit very little. To finally hunt down Kyrill, Blochin kidnaps his girlfriend (Jasna Fritzi Bauer) from the Caribbean. There, the sun is shining, while in Berlin it is constantly raining, as if Glasner had shot the entire film on the previous Friday afternoon.

"Stotzner" instead of "Blochin

And that’s where Thomas Heinze finally comes in: "This whole story here is one big, holey cauldron. Water falls from the sky and collects in it, but it always flows out through one of the many holes. And every time you plug one of the holes again – the next one already opens up!"

To be able to recite such sentences with dignity, to play the tired cynic ("I haven’t been a policeman for a long time … I don’t even know what the word means anymore") who has entrenched himself behind his sarcasm and smugness. No one believes him anymore, least of all himself, when he then says, "Everything will be fine. I promise." Although he really means it. But that’s great acting. "Stotzner" instead of "Blochin" – that could have been a good series.

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