‘Capitani’ Season 1: Ending, Explained – What Happened To Tanja Engel? Was Mick Involved In The Unicron Deal?

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“Capitani,” the Lexembourgish/French crime drama, is created by Thierry Faber and directed by Christoph Wagner. The Netflix series follows a cop, named Luc Capitani (Luc Schiltz), who, for some suspicious reason, was lurking in and around the area when he was told to respond to an emergency in a nearby village. The quaint village looked like the most serene place on earth to be, but embedded under that misleading portrayal were dark secrets and some ugly truths that, if revealed, had the potential to shake the very foundations it stood on.

Spoilers Ahead


‘Capitani’ Season 1: Plot Summary: What Is The Series About?

Though Luc Capitani was on leave, he got a call from the bureau, and was told to look into a matter in a village named Manscheid in Luxembourg, as they were understaffed that day. Luc told the operator that he coincidentally happened to be there(which was later proved to be not true). They had found the body of a 15-year-old girl in a nearby forest area. Luc rushes to the alleged crime scene and meets Elsa Ley and Joe Mores. They examined the body and came to know that the victim was a girl named Jenny Engel. Luc decided that they would first meet the parents and tell them about the incident. Just then, he saw a suspicious masked man lurking behind one of the trees. Elsa went after him. Though she was not able to catch the guy, she plucked a button from the sleeves of his jacket.

Jenny Engel, daughter of Nadine Berene and Mick Engel, was the twin sister of Tanja Engel. Nadine had ended her marriage with Mick and was now living with a professor named Rob Berens. The girls used to stay with their mother. Luc Capitani and Elsa got to know that even Tanja had been missing, and nobody knew where she had been. Luc had a theory that he felt was instrumental in solving any case. He believed that the most simple explanation is often the one that is always true. But it seemed like, in this case, his theory wouldn’t hold true. Manscheid was a small village, and the residents were well aware of what was happening in each other’s lives. Once Luc started talking to the village dwellers, he knew instantly that there was more to this incident, than it actually met the eye. Everybody he talked to had this very obnoxious and weird behavior, as if they were hiding something. Luc knew that he had to find one loose link that would activate a chain reaction, and then the true motives of the individuals would be out in the open. Just when he was starting to understand the dynamics of the village, another incident happened. Rob Berens, husband of Nadine Berens, and stepfather to the twins, hung himself in his own house. There was no “prima facie” motive behind him taking that grave step. 

Everything was getting entangled, and people voluntarily hiding their dark secrets was not helping Luc Capitani in his investigation either. In a search organized by the village residents to find the missing twin, Tanja Engel, a pair of spectacles were found lying on the same track that led to the spot where Jenny had died. The spectacles belonged to Rob, and the rumors of him killing his stepdaughter spread like wildfire. But Elsa had noticed that Rob’s specs were kept in his school locker earlier that day. When she went back once again, she found the specs were missing. That clearly meant that someone had intentionally placed it on the forest track so as to put the blame on the deceased Berens. Luc and Elsa were quick to find out that the sitting Mayor, Pierre Rommes, had asked his wife to do so. There was a merger of three municipalities happening, and Rommes wanted to be nominated as the mayor of the alliance. He wanted the issue to be resolved quickly so that his chief, Mick Engel, could focus on the merger. But Mick had something different in his mind. He backstabbed Rommes, and blamed him for being irresponsible in his approach and misleading the authorities. The municipalities voted in favor of Mick, and he was appointed as the new mayor. The missing twin, Tanja Engel, came back home out of nowhere and said that she had gone to the city with her friend Lea Holmes and forgotten to inform her parents about the same. Luc and Elsa knew that she was not telling the truth and that she knew something that could change the course of the investigation.


Why Did Rob Berens Commit Suicide? Was Jenny Engel Dead Or Alive?

Luc Capitani had found an ID in Jenny Engel’s pocket and, combined with the tattoo on her back, it could be safely presumed that the victim was actually Jenny and no one else. Rob Berens had identified the body in the morgue before he himself committed suicide. But there were still a lot of things that didn’t make sense. Luc was not able to find any probable cause for Rob’s suicide. There was speculation that he was a pedophile and maybe had something to do with Jenny’s death, and that is why he took his life, to escape from the guilt. The autopsy also suggested that Jenny might have been raped before being killed, though the final report was still awaited. Luc found out that a synthetic drug was being widely circulated throughout the village and that Jenny’s school was the epicenter of that circulation. The same drugs were found in Rob’s car, and the investigators presumed that he might be involved in the distribution business. By chance, Nadine stumbles upon a suicide note where Rob admits to having failed in his duties. He said in the letter that the girls were dealing with some issues, and he was not able to do anything about it. Elsa contacted Manon Boever, daughter of Jim Boever, the oldest baker in the village. Manon was the chief distributor of drugs in the village and used to mix those drugs in the muffins she used to make. One such muffin was accidently consumed by Luc, and it led him to the discovery that Manon was involved. But Manon revealed one very weird thing. She said that Jenny was not suffering from a drug problem, but contrary to her innocent and clean image, Tanja was suffering from it. The autopsy clearly pointed out that traces of drugs were found in Jenny’s body. There was only one possible explanation for this confusion, and Luc had speculated on it. The dead body found was not of Jenny Engel but of Tanja Engel. The surviving twin was Jenny, and Luc was keen to know why she did that, and how there was a tattoo on Tanja’s back too. Jenny knew that she had to explain everything to Luc, as she had no option left. Tanja had become addicted to that drug that was being circulated by Manon Boever. Rob knew about it, so that’s why he started buying drugs from Manon, so that her supply falls short and she isn’t able to deliver it to his step daughter. Tanja was considered to be more well-behaved than her rebellious twin sister, Jenny. And that is why it was more shocking for Rob, as her actions were so contrary to her reputation. Tanja had just gotten a tattoo done, similar to her sister, so that she could get some validation from her. She was suffering from a lot of mental health issues. She felt left out at times and wasn’t able to deal with her own emotions. Their mother, Nadine, was mostly so involved with her own issues that she didn’t have time for her daughters. She had also started seeing her ex-husband, Mick, behind Rob’s back.

Jenny had seen Mick (her father) and a few soldiers at the Cloister House, indulging in some suspicious activities. She was running away to save her life when she bumped into Tanja, who had been following her all this time. It annoyed her, and the two entered into a quarrel. Jenny, by mistake, pushed Tanja off a cliff. It perforated Tanja’s lungs and caused a lot of internal damage. Jenny thought that Mick and the soldiers, who were following her, would save Tanja, but they didn’t. They let her die, believing her to be Jenny, as they didn’t want their dirty secret to come out in public. So Tanja wasn’t raped as it was assessed in the preliminary autopsy speculations. The final autopsy report made it very clear that she died of lung perforation, and in fact, not instantly after getting those injuries. Usch Treirweiler, a mentally ill friend of Mick’s, was seen as a probable suspect of rape, as he used to visit the forest. But later, it is revealed that all this time, Usch’s dubious behavior was just because he had seen the whole incident happening as he was coincidentally present there. The reproductive fluids found on Tanja’s body might just have been there by sheer chance and had nothing to do with her cause of death.

Jenny came back later in the night and put her IDs inside Tanja’s pocket, then quietly left the scene. She was ready to live her life as Tanja, because she knew that if everybody was allowed to make a choice between the two sisters, they would want Tanja to live. She knew that it would be easy for others to digest that Jenny had a drug problem and met a fateful end. Nadine had realized that she was not Tanja, and she used to cover her tattoo with makeup, as nobody except Jenny knew that even Tanja had gotten the same tattoo, and it was still considered an identification mark by the police. Luc Capitani knew that if Jenny, and not Tanja, had survived, then her testimony would be of utmost importance since she had seen everything that night. But Jenny was not ready to speak, and Luc was running out of time.


Was Carla Pereira Running The Drug Syndicate?

Diane Bonifas, a senior of Luc Capitani, had come to investigate the case of Vincent Da Costa, a drug lord who had been killed a few years back and whose body had been found near the village. Luc wasn’t in Manschied village by chance. He had gotten to know that his girlfriend, Carla Periera, was hiding there under an alias. She had taken the name of Sofia Santos, and was running an inn in the village itself. 15 years ago, Luc’s service gun had been stolen, and it was speculated that Carla used it to kill Da Costa. Diane Bonifas gave Luc a clear choice. She told him to make the authorities believe that Carla was the accused and give testimony against her, or else be ready to take the hit himself. Diane wanted to put the blame for whatever was happening in the village on Carla. She wanted to build a narrative that Carla had killed her boss and then started running the drug network in which the soldiers were also involved. But Carla confronted Luc and told him that she was not selling. She was, in fact, scared that the mafias would come for her, and that is why she was living in hiding. Carla did have Luc’s service gun, and she had killed her boss years back. But she had now started a new life, and didn’t have anything to do with the unicorn deal. She knew that if Diane got her hands on her, she would indict her for killing Tanja. So Carla escapes and disposes of Luc’s gun in a nearby water body. Luc refused to put the blame on Carla, and he was therefore taken into custody by Diane.


‘Capitani’ Season 1: Ending Explained: Who Killed Tanja Engel? Was Mick Involved In The Unicron Deal? 

Manon had told Luc Capitani about a Belgian boss who organized swinger parties at the Cloister house, the epicenter of all the illegal activities. She says that she only dealt with Steve and her guys, but she did share an intimate relationship with Mick, and he was the Belgian she was referring to. Elsa hadn’t told Luc that her boyfriend, Steve Weis, was in the army. She had also figured out that the soldier, from whose sleeve she had plucked out the button, was none other than Steve himself. Elsa was pregnant with Steve’s baby, and it was important for her to know that he was not involved in any crime. Steve, together with his colleagues, Jerry Kowalska (who had a crush on Jenny) and Frank Ferrone, was running a drug syndicate, and the unicorn deal was in furtherance of that itself. They used to get their drugs from the Czech Republic through Jerry’s brother, Alex Kowalska, who was posted there in the army. Luc knew that though these soldiers were involved in the distribution of drugs, they were just pawns, and there was somebody else running the show. Steve said that Mick only used to bring rich and influential people to the soirees organized at the Cloister House, and wasn’t involved in the unicorn deal. He also told Luc that Jenny fell by mistake, and Mick put her body at a distance so that it could not lead to their hideout. Steve himself didn’t know that both Jenny and Tanja were there that night, and it was Tanja who had died, not Jenny. Was Steve not saying anything about Mick’s involvement in the deal because he was scared of him? This is a notion that will be explored in the upcoming seasons. It was highly unlikely that a man who was ready to backstab his own colleagues was now self-incriminating himself without any agenda.

Before Luc Capitani could interrogate Mick based on these allegations, he got a call from Joe, who told him that Mick had confessed to killing his daughter. At that moment, Luc didn’t understand why he did so. But after meeting Jenny, he understood everything. As soon as Mick realized that it was Jenny who had survived, he knew that his daughter knew everything. She knew about her perversion, and she knew how he didn’t do anything to save Tanja, and let her die. Mick was laden with guilt, and he didn’t have the courage to face his daughter. Till now, he believed that whatever he did was hidden from the world, and so he could somehow wash his conscience of all the sinful acts he had committed. He knew that his political career would eventually be destroyed after people came to know about his involvement in the unicorn deal and the elite swingers club. So he turned himself in. He might not have regretted being a pervert, but doing what he did with Tanja made him regret his actions way too much, and became the driving force behind his confession.


See More: ‘Capitani’ Season 2: Ending, Explained: Is Grace Dead Or Alive? What Happened To Arthur Koenig And Andreea?


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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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