Episode 8 of We Children from Bahnhof Zoo begins with Christiane continuing to work and score drugs. Robert speaks to Karin though and reassures her that their daughter will return home.
Only, as we soon see she’s passed out in a dingy bathroom and certainly not looking good. Dijan finds her though, telling the girl she needs to go home. Instead, she heads over to Babsi’s Grandmother’s place. She blames herself for what happened to Babsi and even lights a cigarette in her room too.
Her grandmother says very little, snatching the cigarette out Christiane’s mouth and telling her there’s no smoking.
Meanwhile, Stella is awoken in the street by a strange bald man telling her he needs some girls – under 14s to be precise. She agrees to help him, trafficking these girls in exchange for 200 marks each. Before that though, Stella returns home.
When she shows up though, it’s clear there’s still bad blood with her Mother. Stella declares that she won’t be returning again, and claims just to be there to pick up some of her belongings.
Karin and Robert eventually receive some good luck when Christiane shows up and sleeps in her bed. The pair discuss Benno’s woes when she awakens, and how he’s currently in prison.
Christiane inevitably heads over to visit, questioning the boy over why he didn’t meet her at the train station. Benno eventually spills everything, including how he wrote to her from Prague and about Michi’s woes. Together, they agree to go clean – properly this time.
Well, that begins with a ride down to the farm. Christiane’s grandparents aren’t exactly happy but do help her out nonetheless. Christiane manages to get clean after going cold turkey, while Benno manages to ease off the gear while in prison. It’s not easy though, especially with his cellmate shooting up.
In Prague, Michi is a mess. He sleeps in the subway tunnels and eventually realizes what he’s done when police pick him up. He tells them he’s a murderer and begins sobbing. Only, when the officers phone back home, they confirm that there was no murder and actually things are okay.
Christiane is brought in to court to testify against the charges toward Gunther. It gets worse too, as numerous pictures of the different girls are shown up on the screen.
Gunther eventually speaks to the court and tells them all that he’s in love with Stella and wanted to ask her to marry him when she came of age. Outside, Stella pushes past this and gets high, snorting a line on the balcony. She even hands over some gear to Christiane too.
Christiane once again visits Benno in prison, where they both reflect on their time and claim all they did was mess everything up. On the back of this, Christiane drops the gear Stella gave her in the train station locker and takes off. When she returns to her family, Christiane speaks unashamedly about her time taking drugs and working the street.
Karin apologizes for putting her daughter through this, as Christiane starts riding her horse again. However, journalists from a newspaper arrive and decide to interview her about her experiences.
The Episode Review
We Children from Bahnhof Zoo bows out with a relatively subdued episode, one that sees all our plot threads wrapped up while brushing over the rehab and going cold turkey from heroin.
The entire situation with Stella is left unresolved too, with her still presumably in the prostitution trade by the time the credits roll. Michi does receive a good conclusion while Benno finally gets his diploma and can move forward with his life.
However, there’s also a nonchalant feel to a lot of the material presented here too. Despite some hard hitting scenes in the previous couple of episodes, none of the real risks and consequences are addressed in any real detail.
It doesn’t help that We Children from Bahnhof Zoo takes such a glamorized, hip and stylish view to drug taking that does this show absolutely no favours. Throwing pills in the air and snorting lines out in the open are two such examples of completely fabricated instances that look “cool” but aren’t accurate in the slightest.
Given these kids are so young, the bright, vibrant costumes, layers of make-up and upbeat techno music make for a pretty icky and tonally jarring show that can’t quite decide how it wants to play its material. Compared to the book it’s based on, this is a pale imitation and a modern interpretation that just does not work.
If you’ve enjoyed this at all, I highly recommend checking out the 80’s movie or reading the book – both are infinitely better than this effort, which bows out with a whimper rather than a roar.