Seasons 1-5 now streaming!

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?

Life in a Northern (Swiss) Town
A dead body in the woods becomes the focus of an investigation in Anna-Maria’s hometown, the tiny village of Morgenthal. A woman, beaten, strangled and possibly raped is found in a woodsman’s trap, and it turns out the modus operandi matches that of a killer who also killed a nurse in Bern. Of course, all of this is terrible, but doesn’t it seem sort of refreshing after the nerve-wracking (but supremely delightful) past two seasons of trafficked organs and diamond hip joints and repeatedly wounded Semmelweis? The gold standard in murder mystery: women, victimized by a serial killer. Seems pretty classic. What’s that, now? The villagers are roving, pitchforks in hand, for vigilante justice? They’re attacking an old man who has been minding his own business in the forest for decades? They’re all having affairs and fighting over who gets to be president of what is, essentially, the local homeowner’s association? I know small towns can be political, but… is the role of neighborhood watch captain so vital to the community that you’d implicate an old friend in a murder to secure it? Wow. No wonder Anna-Maria left home twenty years ago and never looked back. Not that she had anything to come back for, really – her relationship with her mother was strained and her brother, Mario, well…

The Ties that Blind
If Luc wasn’t busy elsewhere, you know, arranging funerals for Japanese businessmen and teenage competitive rock climbers, he might have probed deeper as to why Anna-Maria had never told him until recently about her origins, that she was a child conceived from rape by an unknown man. Turns out, when she visits her mother on her deathbed in the Bern hospital, her mom comes across with some painful last words – the man who raped her is still alive. Anna-Maria has barely recovered from learning this when she is knocked out cold and locked in a basement! By her brother, Mario, who is crazy! When she finally frees herself, she becomes convinced that he did it, as he says, to protect her, not because, as everyone else says, he’s the serial killer. What she doesn’t know is that Mario has been receiving orders to capture and kill her from an unknown source with whom he only communicates by phone. Is it his old counselor, with whom he has been having a violent affair? Is it one of these dang Morgenthallians, trying to get their hands on their mom’s land? Nope. He’s been taking orders from his mom. The dead one. On the phone. Mario’s not doing so great, guys! Luc has been trying to tell them all along, but with Dörig excited to think he has solved the case, himself, and Anna-Maria blinded by familial loyalty, Mario is free to be crazy for six whole episodes!

Mike Müller in The Undertaker

Man of the Woods
He eats grasshoppers for protein. He drinks dandelion coffee. He has a cool nickname. What woman could resist the Black Coat? Erika, who is about to turn 64 and is going on a fitness quest, is smitten with the rustic gentleman. Luc, though he meets this girlish display with momentary discomfort, ultimately serves as Erika’s wingman, going out to the forest to bring Black Coat back to town and the home-cooked (well, funeral home-cooked) meals he’s been missing for forty years. Their plans to travel the world are almost derailed when the horrible Mario shoots BC during the final rescue of Anna-Maria. To my extreme relief, he bounces back in two weeks and Erika bounces out of the Conrad Institute with the call of wild Alaska in her ears.

The Real Heroes
If there are heroes this season, no two are more deserving of the title than Fabio and Dörig. Have there ever been characters so pure? Dörig, finally coming into his own, is sure – a FEW times – that he has the right man for the killings. Even when the prime suspect, Mario’s manipulative counselor from the boys’ home he lived in as a teen, kills himself, Dörig is confident. Samuel Streiff, who plays Dörig, is so perfect as the frustrated cop still coming into his own, so dedicated to his boss and friend, Anna-Maria. It’s devastating when Luc finally convinces him that Mario is indeed the killer, and that Anna-Maria is in mortal danger. Recalling Anna-Maria’s revelation while they smoked pot on the precinct roof that her rapist father is still alive, Dörig springs into action. Along with Fabio, who continues to be the absolute best in every single way, he is there with Luc when Anna-Maria and Mario have their final family meeting. Mario takes his own life, and good riddance to him. After about 22 seconds of vacation, during which Dörig is thrilled to be named interim chief inspector, Anna-Maria and Luc gleefully head out, together, on a new suspicious death call, ready to take on Season 5. See you there!


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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.