'Deutschland 89' Episode 5 Review: A vindictive German family is at the center of tense socio-political unrest

The dirty behind-the-scenes of German government spies are once again opened on 'Deutschland 89'


                            'Deutschland 89' Episode 5 Review: A vindictive German family is at the center of tense socio-political unrest
(Sundance TV)

Spoilers for 'Deutschland 89' Episode 5 titled 'Timisoara Rebellion'

Midway through the fifth episode of 'Deutschland 89', there is a brief moment where Martin Rauch (Jonas Nay) is going to confront his aunt Lenora Rauch (Maria Schrader). His mission at the moment is to take her back to Germany and hand her over to whatever agency bids the highest for her – he doesn't care! He has put everything he cares for on the line to get to this point. But she slips from him just by an inch – after getting a tip from Beate (Corinna Harfouch), who is working with Martin's father and the HVA in West Germany. 

It's just another day in the cat and mouse game of this spy family! In Episode 5, after both Martin and Lenora discover their accidental involvement in the assassination of an important banker, Lenora shoots Martin, in a fit of anger. Since it's from a distance, she only manages to hit him in the ear. She flees the scene immediately. Soon afterward though, she chooses to escape and seek shelter in Romania with Grigore Antonescu (Emil Hostina). Okay, can we just say that the sexual tension here is thick enough to cut through with a knife!

We're also glad Lenora and Grigore could do it before the world as they know it quite literally ends. Throughout the episode, they flirted behind their comrade talk but gave in when nestled in a corner. 

'Timisoara Rebellion' shows the different members of the Rauch family and how they got themselves caught in this labyrinth of political unease. The episode captures the tension in the air at Timisoara during the Berlin Fall. In particular, it shows how the city witnessed a series of mass street protests in what was to become the Romanian Anti-Communist Revolution. Three days after the protest went violent, on 20 December, Timișoara was declared the first city free of Communism in Romania.

Once again, 'Deutschland 89' scores high on placing its fictional characters against very real and dangerous backgrounds like this one. The socio-political unrest in Romania is just another example of the show's apt depiction of the time. That is not to say that 'Deutschland 89' doesn't take creative liberties with its storyline, characters and taking from real life, and is not to be a replacement for a textbook. But it makes a thrilling watch throughout. The dirty behind-the-scenes of German government spies are once again opened on 'Deutschland 89'.

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