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Deutschland 89 - Winds of Change


The Deutschland television trilogy, including the previous series Deutschland 83, Deutschland 86, and this year's most recent series Deutschland 89 is some of the best TV you've probably never heard of, and that's a pity. Naturally, the main reason it has avoided popular reception because it is a foreign (German) series with sub-titles and, until the latest series, was only found on the rather niche Sundance TV network. However, since its one that never misses an opportunity to deepen its footprint, Amazon Prime saw the kudos the series received in Germany and picked up the third series, adding another program to its increasingly stellar line of "must-see" TV. 

While one should watch the previous two series' both as entertaining television, and get the back story of the current series, it is not necessary to enjoy the third and final part of the "Rauch Saga". For those readers unable or unwilling to see the first two series the following paragraph is a summary of what has occurred so far.

The story begins in 1983 and centers on East German intelligence operative Martin Rauch (Jonas Nay), who infiltrates the West German Army command by assuming the persona of a top aide to a West German military commander. That Martin was chosen for the job was not a coincidence but rather the result of his father, Walter Schweppenstette (Sylvester Groth), a senior leader in the East German intelligence, and his aunt, Lenora Rauch (Maria Schrader). Lenora is Martin's handler, and Walter is Lenora's boss. Martin, however, being raised solely by his mother, Ingrid Rauch (Carina N. Wiese). does not know Walter is his father. Moreover, Walter is not fighting to have the world know who his son is. Martin does his job as expected. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the mission goes sideways and Martin, Lenora, and Walter are put in a bind. 

Three years later, in 1986, the story opens up with a Martin, Lenora, and Walter still trying to do their best for the East German nation and people. This time the plan is to sell East German arms abroad and use the profits to fund various public policy ventures in East Germany. While this second series is not as solid as the first, it does provide an interesting story (real or not) of East German involvement in numerous terrorist, criminal, and otherwise deviant operations at the time. Interestingly, none of this is in the furtherance of some military objective, but rather to generate money to keep the East German state afloat. Unfortunately, despite the valiant efforts of the three, not only do the efforts fail, but Martin grows to understand his family's involvement in his life and work. This leads to a turn against his Aunt Lenore, finding out that Walter is his father, and the revelation that he has a son.

This brings us to the current series. Martin is still working for East German intelligence, but mainly as a courier. Lenora, who has been scapegoated for her failure to guard the East German arms trade, is in "prison" but still with considerable access to the powers that be. Walter, has taken over Lenora's previous position as Martin's handler... but is doing so by keeping the secret that he is Martin's father. In this time, 1989 to be exact, the fall of the East German Wall is imminent, but East German intelligence is focused on doing all it can to stop or delay the inevitable. Martin, Walter, and a newly freed Lenora are once again asked to complete the task. However, unlike six, or even three years ago, this time each comes to the mission with an entirely new mindset, one that focuses on achieving their personal interests, rather than the interests of the state. 

This really is a great series. Deutschland 83 and Deutschland 86 are available on Amazon Prime in the US. Deutschland 89 is currently airing on Amazon Prime Germany. Check the series out and let us know what do you think in the comments.  

Written by lao.san on Oct 9, 2020


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