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Maria Furtwängler returns as Charlotte Lindholm for Season 2 of Tatort: Lindholm (Studio Hamburg)! Premiering November 22, 2022 on MHz Choice!

“There are always bigger things at play than murder!”

So declares Stefan Bitomsky (Torsten Michaelis), Kriminaldirektor at LKA*(Landeskriminalamt) to Hauptkommissarin Charlotte Lindholm. The above quote sets the stage by warning of unseen and unpredictable dangers yet to be revealed. (Herbert von Keller and Robert Dolle follow in Bitomsky’s footsteps as Lindholm’s bosses.)

Part of the TATORT*** umbrella of shows since 2002, Charlotte Lindholm, based in Hanover, is the only investigator who prefers working alone** in the various towns and smaller villages of Lower Saxony. She is assisted by Hanover’s coroner and forensics team as well as by the local police, who either help or hinder her investigations. Season one, episode 12: The Holdt Case (2019) marks the turning point in Lindholm’s professional career. Believing the husband to be guilty in orchestrating his wife’s kidnapping and eventual murder with much supporting evidence, Lindholm has him arrested. He commits suicide in jail; consequently, she is transferred to Gottingen KRIPO (Kriminal Polizei) as punishment thus beginning season two.

Florence Kasumba and Maria Furtwängler in Tatort: Lindholm

Lindholm prefers driving long distances rather than moving to Gottingen. Over 20 years and 30 episodes, Maria Furtwangler, a former physician, who is also an activist and a member of a prominent theatrical family, portrays Lindholm as aloof, clumsy and disinterested in her colleagues; as a workaholic, she is primarily a spectator of life from the sidelines since she is very unlucky at love. Her constant work makes her a part-time mother to her son, David, the result of an affair. Fortunately for Charlotte, her roommate and best friend, Martin Felser (Ingo Naukoks), and her mother, Annemarie (Furtwangler’s real-life mother, Kathrin Ackermann) share babysitting and parenting duties for Charlotte’s growing son. Luckily for the LKA* and KRIPO, she is a tenacious, over-confident, sometimes unscrupulous investigator who uses flashback and flash-forward techniques as she pores over comprehensive analyses of crime scene data, leading to unpredictable suspects and unforeseen motives – all without crime boards.

Her high success rate as an investigator makes her a magnet for her boss’ choice to solve each case as well as for her coworkers’ and occasional partner’s jealousies. The vertiginous allure of the lone wolf investigator begins to unravel after being attacked by three men outside a club prior to her transfer. This psychologically devastating episode haunts her psyche making it difficult for her to function as both a cop and as a mother.

Maria Furtwängler in Tatort: Lindholm

Charlotte is the best investigator at LKA and in Gottingen. What is apparent to her is that the murderers have straightforward motives for killing woven into the warp and woof of a larger, more disturbing framework of each show. Murders are usually incidental, never straightforward to the evolving narratives and nebulous themes. The victim is always in plain sight, only the motive(s) is (are) hidden. Episodic plots are laid out in a Rubik’s Cube pattern where murder is usually obscured by concentric circles of espionage and kidnapping, activism and human rights, politics and terrorism, and drug trafficking which enmesh both the victim(s) and suspect(s).

For the first time in her career, Charlotte is paired with a partner – a female detective, Anais Schmitz (Florence Kasumba, Black Panther, Deutschland 86), who is as prickly and aggressive as Lindholm. Lindholm’s acutely condescending attitude throughout her career in various power plays with others – both professionally and personally – becomes a major hindrance lengthening her exile in Gottingen.

Florence Kasumba in Tatort: Lindholm

SIDE NOTES:

*LKA (Landeskriminalamt) — Germany’s state police functions as an independent law-enforcement agency in 16 states directly subordinate to each state’s ministry of the interior. LKA supervises police operations aimed at preventing, investigating and coordinating crimes involving more than one regional headquarters. The agency investigates drug trafficking and organized crime; environmental and white-collar crime; extremist and terrorist activities. They analyze Intel from domestic and foreign crime-fighting agencies becoming the basis for strategic policy decisions and legislation. They also evaluate police actions, forecast crime stats and publish annual reports of solved crimes using the latest forensic methods. Moreover, LKA provides support in hostage, kidnapping and blackmail situations; bomb disposal; negotiators with SWAT teams using the latest technology in crime prevention and anti-drug campaigns. In certain ways, LKA is similar to America’s FBI.

**Lindholm’s male counterpart is lone wolf undercover cop, CENK BATU portrayed by Mehmet Kurtulus in six episodes of the TATORT franchise (2008-12) in Hamburg. As Kriminalhauptkommissar, he solves cases of corporate and political intrigue. Aided by his Turkish heritage, he is the new face of the franchise – elegant and handsome, cool and collected under pressure, more physically agile and less verbose as the workaholic civil servant.

*** Hauptkommissarin Charlotte Lindholm made a guest appearance on TATORT: BOROWSKI: TAXI TO LEIPZIG (season four, episode three). Borowski and Lindholm meet at a seminar. After leaving, they — along with a third detective — hail an off-duty cab driver who takes out his personal frustrations on them by taking them hostage. Lindholm’s soothing voice and calming psychological manner enable her and Borowski to survive.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We happily discovered Dr. Pearl Brandwein while reviewing MHz Choice subscriber feedback on our programs and, after reading a half dozen or so of Dr. Brandwein’s insightful reviews, all of us here at MHz Choice had the same thought: We need to get the good doctor to write for us! Enjoy! -MHz Choice

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