Season 2 Now Streaming!

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Need a refresher? Here’s our Season 1 recap of Anatomy of Evil. Now streaming ONLY on MHz Choice!


SPOILER ALERT!
Reading this article reveals key points of this program! How about watching it first?

SPOILER ALERT! Reading this article reveals key points of this program! How about watching it first?

Before we even meet him, Richard Brock, played by actor Heino Ferch, has been through a lot. This psychoanalyst and professor, brooding around Vienna like an Austrian Bruce Willis, is carrying the burden of a tragically doomed marriage and estrangement from his daughter, Petra. She, by the way, is a newly minted cop and, to her great chagrin, is forced to work with Richard in his capacity as a consultant for the police. Frankly, he doesn’t love the idea, either! He’d much rather teach his classes and walk home, eating every meal in the café under his apartment where he is looked after by his utterly endearing waiter, Mr. Tauber, and his housekeeper, Mrs. Anni.  The thing is, the criminally insane of Vienna aren’t going to give him a break. He’s trying to live his boring life, and they won’t stop killing people in crazy ways, requiring him don his weird overcoat and set out into the night once more. For example:

It’s Who You Know
A young woman goes to visit her sister and finds her brutally stabbed to death, blood all over the apartment. Guess what? The murderer is there, too! Aaaaaannnnnnnd, he’s naked. She escapes with her life, but understandably cannot remember the killer’s face. Turns out the dead sister was set to testify against her boss, Michael Sand, in a massive money-laundering scheme, a case that would surely send Sand to jail. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy – he’s a known jerk who hassled Brock in high school. Brock doesn’t really want to deal with any of this, but his old associate, Chief Merz, brings him in and all sorts of frustrations ensue including Petra being pulled onto the team and placed in harm’s way when she is assigned to guard the dead woman’s sister. Brock is furious, and rightfully so – Petra is shot and left for dead, but survives. Her teammates aren’t so lucky. Brock’s realization that these elite police would not just let anyone walk up and kill them, leads him to surmise that that the person who shot them had to be someone they knew. Unfortunately, it’s he also someone he knows — Chief Merz, acting as Sand’s henchman and failing miserably at the job. Petra’s recovery is a relief, but it doesn’t mean their father-daughter tension is over. At least it’s not as bad as:

Heino Ferch in Anatomy of Evil

Family Drama
Brock is pressed into service in a different way when he’s taken hostage along with several others in a bookstore and is the last to speak to the desperate gunman, Sebastian, before the young man takes his own life. Accused of the most vile crimes, Sebastian was indeed troubled, though not for the reasons anyone thought. Brock must unwind the endlessly knotted family secrets to discover that Sebastian may have been a mess, but he had his reasons, one of them being that he was being framed by his own sister. And what were her reasons? They’re too heinous to mention by name; suffice to say, the relationship between the father and daughter in that family caused cracks in the foundation of everyone’s mind. Even Brock, schooled as he is in human depravity, is shaken and saddened. Or, I assume he’s sadder than usual – it’s really hard to tell with Brock. Even his clearly medicinal marijuana can only help so much. Later, he must confront the deepest sorrow a person can face, when a child is taken in revenge for the loss of another. Brock must piece together the jumbled pieces of the obvious suspect’s mind as the police frantically search the beautiful small village where the crime has taken place. The mother of the missing girl makes very nearly the ultimate sacrifice to get her back, in what has the be the most horrifying display I have seen on TV in quite a while – a rough reminder that our hero can’t save everyone, especially from themselves. This point is made over and over again, particularly when:

Our Time is Up
Brock actually experiences a window of happiness when he carries on an affair with a married woman in his building. Sir, why? Analyze thyself. Just to make it more complicated, the husband is a friend. This is the most Brock version of happiness there could be. It goes from fraught to worse when Brock is blackmailed into taking on a new patient whose mother turns out to be worse than anything Norman Bates could have conjured up. Turns out they are connected to the fire that killed Brock’s nice neighbor and the near-death of the woman he loves. All of that would be bad enough, but then he has to go and solve the case in the living room of the killer. Murderers don’t like that! It almost spells the end for Brock, but you can’t keep a good guy down. He survives only to be confronted with his most emotionally devastating case yet, when an old friend is accused of murdering his pregnant wife who was part of a commune of attractive hippies centered around a sensitive leader. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but: cults are bad. Brock must save his friend, but nothing will bring back the man’s wife, just as nothing will bring back Brock’s. Even with this sort of nihilistic close to Season 1, one can’t help but root strongly for Brock. Will his relationship with Petra continue to mend? Will these cases come back to haunt him? Will he ever learn to drive? Will Mr. Tauber’s mama make her apricot pancakes tomorrow? Let’s find out in Season 2.


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About the author:
Allison Lowe Huff is a freelance writer and editor with an overly concentrated interest in mystery stories from anywhere and everywhere. Follow her on Twitter @lowehuff.