Dogs Of Berlin - Review!
They gave you something, but you got something else, no?
Much of my worries would have been resolved if I had paid attention to the trailer. Only halfway through the third episode, I had finally received the epiphany. The pilot episode left me with a head-scratching question: "Why is this series called Dogs of Berlin?"
I pressed pause and I reflected on whatever had happened throughout the series. I kept guessing it had to do something with the dog that puked a human finger, but I kept omitting the idea since it would be too simple for a German series and the dog could never be the highlight of the story.
The underlying truth of this quote hit me like a truck. I pictured every dog I see outside and at home. I thought about it and I had to agree, they really do not have any choice. Each and everything they do is what they are told to do. When they do things that they are not told to do, they get schooled for it.
It was a gruesome scene. The beautiful and clever Kurt Grimmer, who I rooted dearly for, was an underdog in the giant Berlin. He took care of the baby, made really wise decisions on how to progress with the murder, even used the murder to solve his serious problems, made sure his girlfriend was fine and appreciated her, and even decided to help out a poor stranded dog...then he goes to his wife and children with the dog. Oh, come on, Kurt!
That was just the beginning of the hard-to-swallow pills. The series kept on popping one after another pill down our throats forcing us to see and understand the deep and dark reality of modern life. The show is so much more than a crime story. It takes us on a ride into the lives of different people from different roots with different aspirations.
That is when the scene of Karim and Bou'Penga comes on. Karim's goons fail to make contact with Bou'Penga and they decide to lie to Karim. But things end up well for Karim anyways. Not so much for Bou'Penga.
That is when I realized.
Bou'Penga and Karim were the dogs in each other's stories. The goons were also dogs in the Tarik-Amir story. The goons were told where to squat and take a shi by Karim. Karim also thought Bou'Penga was squatting where he told them. But the reality was no one told anyone to squat, but they were indeed squatting and shitting where they were and thought it was their own independent decision.
That is exactly when the entire series started making sense to me. The series wasn't about a murder of a celebrity football player with a bicultural background. It wasn't about the hero cop who would uncover the mysteries of the gruesome murder. It wasn't about the gangs of Berlin. In fact, Dogs of Berlin is a story about the people of Berlin, all of them, and how they think that they are in full control of where they squat and shit...but really aren't.
The truth of the matter is, Dog of Berlin wasn't a crime series, rather it was a story about everything else around the crime. There is hardly anything about the murder in the entire series. Nothing of value until the last few hours of the first season. It almost felt as if we thought we were chasing the murderer, but the murderer made us chase after a squeaky little ball.
The series shows us many political decisions of the modern day. The most prominent one that sticks out for me is when the chief of police demands a Turkish detective to head the case since the victim was of Turkish descent. It didn't matter that Kurt was the best performing cop of the time, and his links with the nazis were long in the past.
Kurt is probably the most enjoyable cop character I have seen in a while. He is gritty and smart. Not long into his career, he realized you do not play the system but you play with the system to get the best results. However, he too has a lot of vices that get the best of him.
The series was unbelievably raw. It had well-choreographed action scenes and enough gore to satisfy action lovers. It had a plethora of characters who were linked to each other and each of them was given enough screen time and importance to make it feel life-like. There was just enough modern political propaganda to bring to light as to what happens today but not enough to completely take over the series.
But the best part is yet to come. The ending. Oh, the ending. Kid you not, it was orgasmic. What an ending. So fitting. So well thought out. Nail in the coffin. That ending, though!