Mar 12, 2021

Capitani: Scruffy Detective and a Small Town Full of Secrets. In Luxembourg


Ready for another dead girl in the woods and a  gruff detective investigating the case along with a lady detective whom bicker/flirts with?  Seriously, are these series written by humans or an automatic cliche generator?

Well, at least Capitani  is set in Luxembourg, so maybe we'll get some interesting shots of Luxembourg City and hear the Luxembourgish language, quite different from German:

Come back to my hotel room.  I want to show you my sausage.

German: Komm in mein Hotelzimmer. Ich möchte dir meine Wurst zeigen

Luxembourgish: Kommt a mäi Hotelzëmmer. Ech wëll Iech meng Wurscht weisen

Scene 1: Establishing shot of the Luxembourgish village of Dudelange.   An ambulance rolls into the woods. Scruffy Guy watches them uncovering a dead girl while a news report on the radio helpfully tells us that they have discovered a dead girl.

He drives through the countryside for a long time to the village of Manscheid, and parks beside the Auberge des Bons Amis. A homeless guy walks past, talking to himself: "I'm empty.  I'm broken."  A reflection of Scruffy Guy's internal state?  Suddenly the boss calls and tells him to return and investigate the crime scene.  So what was all this for?

Back at the crime scene, in the rural countryside populated by suspicious hillbillies (Luxembourg is big enough to have hillbillies?).  Scruffy Guy chews out the guard, Brigadier Mores, for his lax protocol.  

Scene 2:  Meanwhile, a middle-aged male-female couple at breakfast.  Rob, a secondary school teacher, is upset because he didn't get the directorate.  He asks his wife why she came in so late last night.  If it's any of your business, she went out for a drink!  The kids aren't in their bedroom; maybe they went off with Lea.  That's a lot of plot exposition in three minutes!  

Meanwhile, Scruffy Guy and Mores head for the crime scene.  Funny, they're walking through woods, but before it was right by the road.  Wait -- this is a different girl!  Two girls found dead in different locations in Luxembourg on the same morning!

Elsa the Lady Cop is investigating.  She offers to go into town to get forensics, but Scruffy Guy sends Mores instead.  He prefers with the lady.  Darn, that means we'll never see Mores again.

Scene 3: At the school, Rob has assigned an essay -- in French: "Am I free to choose my own fate?"  He looks out the window at the butts of girls playing soccer in the field below, until the coach looks up at him, suspicious. Into teenage girls, Rob?  

Meanwhile his wife -- Nadine -- is working at her shop. She calls to see if Lea gave the girls a ride to school, but she hasn't seen them.  At that moment an ambulance rushes past.  Uh-oh.

Homeless Guy sees it rushing past, too, while talking to himself.  Obviously he's going to be a suspect, but he's innocent. I''m going with Rob.

Scene 4: Scruffy Guy-- Capitani (Luc Schiltz) -- identifies the body: 15 year old Jenny Engel, Nadine and Rob's daughter.  Lady Cop notes that everyone in the village knew her.

Meanwhile, Nadine is following the ambulance.  She calls Mick, who is still in bed.  There's a picture of him with the girls on his nightstand.  No, they're not with him.

Scene 5: The forensic team finds pills on Jenny's body.  Capitani concludes that it was a suicide.  But Elsa protests: Jenny would never do such a thing. 

Suddenly they see a man in a ski mask watching.  They chase him.  Elsa tackles him and even shoots at him, but in the end he escape.  Not Rob, who is still at school.

Lots of people in the village hear the gunshot, including a new character, Manon, a young woman wearing short pants and boots.  She goes into the bakery, where everyone is discussing the gunshot, the ambulance, and Nadine.  "Why can't you mind your own business?" she asks, and rushes into the back.

Scene 6: 
 The ambulance and Nadine arrive at the crime scene.  She surmises that Jenny is dead, and collapses in tears (is it weird that at this heart-wrenching moment, all I notice is Capitani's bulge/).  

Rob arrives and indentifies the body. He's the stepfather.  So Mick must be the biological father, and Lea the new wife?

Scene 7: In the village, Elsa says that there's another daughter, Jenny's twin Tanja.  Both girls were last seen near their mother's shop at 4:00 pm yesterday.   Capitani calls in a missing person report and decides to stay in town to investigate (I checked -- it only takes an hour to drive from one end of Luxembourg to the other, so couldn't he just go home?)

Scene 8: 
Mom Nadine collapsed from the shock, and is now unconscious in the hospital.  Elsa gets a call from Steve, and tells him the whole story.  She'll be working tonight and can't see him.  

Steve has his back to us.  He turns around.  We're supposed to be shocked, but I don't recognize him.  Wait--- he looks almost exactly like Capitani.  Could he be the Scruffy Guy who was watching the construction site body in Scene 1.  Then he got into his car and drove onto a country road, and hte next scene had Capitani driving on the exact same road, to confuse the viewer?  

I go back to check.  Nope, that was definitely Capitani, going from one murder site to a small town where another murder had taken place, but he didn't know abou tyet.  The big reveal of Steve's identity is jsut sloppy direction.

Steve is at a campground with a couple of guys, one of whom says "Steve, I love you so much. Kiss me."  But it's more misdirection -- the other guy is making fun of him for being stupid enough to have a girlfriend.  

Scene 9: Capitani is explaining to the big boss that he's setting up an office in Manscheid and recruiting Elsa and Mores as his staff.  Then he interrogates Rob the Stepfather: he last saw the girls when they left school at 3:00 pm.  He doesn't know where they went after.  Why not?  Shouldn't a parent know what his teenage daughters are up to?

Next he interrogates Mick the Biological Father, who has a key to the house.

Meanwhile, a priest say the Lord's Prayer with Nadine, then goes out into the hallway, where Homeless Guy -- Usch  (Luc Feit)-- is waiting.  Capitani and the fathers arrive, and Usch hugs Mick.   The priest explains that he lives in the parish house, but "the entire village has adopted him." 

Scene 9: At the Auberge des Bons Amis, where Capitani parked earlier.  Wait -- he came to this town in Scene 1, before his boss called to tell him about the dead girl.  Is he involved somehow?

The manager is in the back room, doing paperwork, when she hears Capitani ask for a room.  She looks up, horrified.  

A montage of people searching the woods for Tanja, Mom Nadine in her hospital bed, Manon the Bakery Girl going out, Elsa folding clothes, Steve and the other guys practicing boxing...and Rob hanging himself in the attic!

Beefcake: None.  Steve and Capitani are both cute.

Other Sights: The ficttional village.

Gay Characters: None specified.

Heterosexism:  Capitani seems to have a crush on Elsa, and Elsa's boyfriend Steve seems to have anger issues.  I predict a "teen nerd wrestling the It-Girl from the obnoxious jock she's dating" plotline.

Mysteries: What Capitani was doing at the other murder scene.  If it's Tanja, why didn't he mention it?   How did he know to come to the village in advance? Why does the hotel manager have such an odd reaction to Capitani's presence?  Why did Rob hang himself?

Will I Keep Watching:  Why not?  It's in Luxembourgish.

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