Episode 2 of We Children from Bahnhof Zoo begins with our group of kids charging through the train station and onto the train. They squeeze all the way to the back, singing through the tannoy system. The train ride sends all our kids home, including Christiane who’s walked to her door by Matzo.
Summer turns to winter and Stella heads into the pet store. Only, this is obviously where she scores her drugs. While looking after her siblings, Christiane tags along with Stella and the pair start smoking.
When Christiane heads home, Karin breaks the news that she may be pregnant. Only, this could cause problems given she’s having an affair. In fact, given her strained look she heads back to see her boss and tells him she’s pregnant and going to make another go of it with Robert.
That start begins with Christiane and Robert working together to cut down a Christmas tree and bringing it inside. By contrast, Axel and his gang decide to paint a tree on the wall, in between taking drugs.
The only one sober here is Benno, who refuses to touch heroin. Instead, he listens to Axel’s story about how good this drug feels. This does prompt him to have second thoughts but for now, he doesn’t act on it.
Meanwhile, tearaway Babsi listens as her Grandmother berates her in private. She wants Babsi to go to boarding school. Babsi longs for the club scene – or more specifically the DJ at SOUND.
This is only made worse when her Grandmother molds Babsi into the model student that evening, including playing a rehearsed tune on the piano. Babsi eventually snaps, cursing and pounding the keys as she screams to the heavens.
Christmas rolls round and Stella is forced to work the bar to the two drunk patrons downstairs. Stella’s Mum however, starts to lose control again and drinks heavily, much to the dismay of her kids. Downstairs, Stella is sexually assaulted by one of the men, Pauly. It’s a horrific incident and one that sets her up for a dark path again.
Meanwhile, Robert winds up getting some expensive and lavish gifts for the family. Karin is suspicious though and questions just where he got the money from. Eventually Robert snaps, striking Karin in the face and dunking her head in the bath.
It’s a shocking moment, one that eventually sees Karin walk out the apartment in stunned shock. Robert shuts the door, leaving Christiane stuck in the middle of this.
That evening, during their Christmas from hell, Babsi starts tightroping across the bridge. There, she runs into Stella who encourages her to head down. Together, they head to the station where they find Christiane on the train. The boys soon show up too, where they all begin dancing the night away.
At SOUND, under the flashing lights and techno sounds, Babsi tries to talk to the DJ. Getting nowhere, she heads to the dancefloor and begins flamboyantly showing up, intent on getting his attention. At the same time, Christiane finds Matze cozying up to another girl and immediately takes off.
After taking more drugs from Axel and the others, the group head to a playground and begin dancing and tripping out. In the morning, our kids return to their lives – with Stella visiting Günther and asking for a job. As she begins weeping, Günther looks on in confused shock but lets her stay with him nonetheless.
Christiane heads home, where Karin decides to break up with Robert and get a divorce. In fact, she begins ripping out Robert’s clothes from the closet and forces him to leave their apartment. Christiane watches from afar in silence.
The Episode Review
We Children from Bahnhof Zoo sets a dangerous precedent with this second episode. The actual abuse and issues these kids face in their lives is absolutely shocking and definitely a commentary for how actions as parents can seep into their children’s’ lives.
However, the show undoes some of this good work by depicting the world of drugs as a glossy and hedonistic way out; an intoxicating trip that can wash away your troubles.
As someone who’s taken drugs and been in this scene, drugs only exacerbate the mood you’re in – especially those pills for tripping. The way it’s displayed here – with no negative connotations (as of yet) is pretty dangerous. Where are the comedowns? The headaches? The jittery anxiety and chatter about scoring your next hit? None of this is here as of yet. It’s also worth pointing out that these kids are 13 too – at least if the original novel is anything to go by.
Despite that though, We Children from Bahnhof Zoo does come armed with some visually stunning segments and there’s echoes of Euphoria here in the way that it’s depicted. For now, there’s enough to stick with for the time being. Let’s hope this one picks up soon.