‘Babylon Berlin’ Returns to Netflix on March 1: What to Expect From Season 3
It’s been a long wait, but it’s finally time to return to decadent, crime-ridden Weimar Republic. Season 3 of Babylon Berlin arrives on Netflix March 1, more than two years after the first two seasons of the epic German-language drama landed on the streaming service in the U.S.
Given the long gap between seasons, it’s understandable if you need a bit of a refresher on where things left off at the end of season 2. We break down where things stand with Gereon and Charlotte as we head into the new season.
‘Babylon Berlin’ recap
A lot of stuff happened in the first two seasons of Babylon Berlin, and we’re not going to recap every detail here. But before diving into the new episodes, you’ll want to remember that we last saw drug-addicted detective Gereon Rath (Volker Bruch) and savvy flapper police clerk Charlotte Ritter (Liv Lisa Fries) finally figure out the mystery of what was going on with that Russian train. Turns out, the gold bars the train was carrying were fake, but the train itself was made of gold — a fact that Gereon and Charlotte realize after the train has already returned to the Soviet Union.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to crazy developments in the last couple of episodes of the show. There was Charlotte nearly dying after the car she was riding in was run off the road, and then being miraculously saved by Gereon and getting to become a full-fledged member of the police department. Charlotte’s friend Greta is tricked into planting a bomb in her employer’s study to get revenge for the death of Fritz, her socialist boyfriend she thought had been murdered by the police. But it turns out Fritz is not dead and is actually part of a rightwing military group — the whole thing is a setup and Greta was their patsy.
As for Gereon, he ends the season by being put in charge of police commission that’s investigating the political positions of everyone in the department — an ominous development given that we’re not that far away from the Nazi’s rise to power. Plus, we learn that the mysterious hypnotist who is treating WWI veterans with PTSD is actually Gereon’s brother, who everyone believed died in the war. Not only did Gereon abandon his brother on the battlefield, he’s also been in a years-long relationship with his brother’s wife. It doesn’t exactly set the stage for a happy family reunion.
What to expect from season 3 of ‘Babylon Berlin’
Babylon Berlin is actually based on a series of German novels by Volker Kutscher, with season 3’s storyline coming from The Silent Death. It’s 1929, and as movies are transitioning from the silent era to sound, Charlotte and Gereon try to solve the murder of an actress who dies while filming. Meanwhile, the global economy is on the brink of collapse and the Black Reichswehr are continuing to plot behind the scenes to bring down Germany’s fragile democracy.
Based on the trailer, viewer can look forward to more stylish cabaret scenes. And film fans will spot plenty of references to classic Weimar Era expressionist cinema, according to Variety. Meanwhile, Germany is on the path to the Nazi takeover in 1933, though the characters don’t know yet what’s in store. But the looming political threat isn’t necessarily explicitly addressed, with showrunner Achim von Borries noting at a press conference that you won’t see many characters in Nazi uniforms.
“If you have Nazis in uniforms, what can you say?” he said. “Everything is said, already there. They are very bad people, have no inner life, they’re like robots.” Instead, Babylon Berlin takes a more nuanced look at Germany in the years before it fully embraced fascism.