Inspectors Max Ballauf and Freddy Schenk have to find the murderer of a psychiatrist and are investigating in the closed institution. The case becomes a challenge, especially for Ballauf, because he has to face an old trauma.

What’s the matter?

As chief physician of a psychiatric clinic, Klaus Krüger (Thomas Fehlen) was an absolute luminary in his field. One night he lies dead in his living room – a targeted shot in the heart killed the 44-year-old. Detectives Max Ballauf (Klaus J. Behrendt) and Freddy Schenk (Dietmar Bär) are certain that Krüger knew his killer and voluntarily opened the door of his house for him. The investigations lead the Cologne team to a closed psychiatric institution. There, Ballauf notices the patient Julia Frey (Frida-Lovisa Hamann), who claims to be being held against her will. The inspector develops a special relationship with the young woman.

Why is the “Captive” case worth it?

A large part of the film takes place in the closed psychiatric institution. Director Isa Prahl and cameraman Moritz Anton did an excellent job of capturing what was oppressive about this place: the gloomy corridors, the recurring sound of a ping-pong game, the disturbing images of the patient Julia Frey. This gives you goosebumps without being offensively scary. Max Ballauf’s trauma was also implemented in a powerful way. On a previous mission, he shot a colleague to prevent a murder. Again and again he sees the dead policewoman Melanie Sommer in front of him: in the changing room, in the swimming pool, on the shooting range. “I feel like I’m going crazy,” Ballauf says in one scene to his colleague Schenk.

What bothers?

The case follows on from a “crime scene” episode from summer 2019. In the crime thriller entitled “Kaputt”, Commissioner Ballauf shot policewoman Melanie Sommer (Anna Brüggemann). Anyone who missed this film is missing crucial knowledge. Because the death of the colleague makes Ballauf difficult to manage. The trauma of the past is catching up with him and is present all the time. The fact that the old episode is now being dug out again is surprising, because before that, Ballauf’s deadly shot didn’t seem to bother him.

The commissioners?

Freddy Schenk and assistant Norbert Jütte (Roland Riebeling) worry about their colleague, who is obviously suffering but doesn’t want to talk about it. “We have to do something there, Freddy,” says Jütte in one scene. But Ballauf doesn’t let anyone get close to him, not even the police psychologist Lydia Rosenberg (Juliane Köhler). Only the psychiatric patient Julia Frey gets access to Max Ballauf – but her intentions are not altruistic.

Turn on or off?

If you don’t know the thriller yet, you should tune in, because the case is exciting right to the end.

The “Tatort” episode “Gefang” was first broadcast on May 17, 2020. ARD repeats this case on Sunday, July 10, at 8:15 p.m.