Berlin Alexanderplatz – VI. Love Has Its Price

bagothiccreditsAt the end of “A Reaper with the Power of Our Lord,” Franz decided to keep Cilly, knowing of course that this would flout Reinhold’s will.  In tonight’s follow-up, “Love Has Its Price,” Franz pays dearly for the choice.  Not only does Reinhold claim Cilly (again), he tosses Franz aside.  The result?  A car runs the big man over.

He loses an arm.

Earlier in the episode, Franz notes Reinhold’s brute strength; how impressive the power, how puzzling the coldness toward Franz.  To Reinhold, Franz spoiled the good thing they had.  Naively, though, Franz thought the friendship was firm, that Reinhold wouldn’t care if Franz wanted to hold onto Cilly.  He didn’t mean to scold Reinhold for f*cking and forgetting these little chickadees.  But Reinhold is Reinhold.  (Slime.)

It was only a matter of time before the wheel turned.

Fassbinder, as usual, milks some of the action for maximum impact.  From the dreadful way that Reiny dumps his toots (it takes forever; her pleas to be let go easy, while practically pissed on, are revolting.  I stopped feeling bad for her and saw her with Reinhold’s eyes), to the shot of Franz getting run over; to the poetic soliloquy that he makes as he rides with the motorist who ran him over:  We feel these things deeply.

Illogic exists, though.  Wise to Pums’ shiftiness from the start of the last episode, Franz goes uncharacteristically dumb here.  I don’t get it.  From the moment he steps into Pums’ art-deco office, I assumed he knew that Pums and his gang (devised of Reinhold, Meck, and others) did illegal sh*t for a nice profit.  How could this have been news to him?  Also, even if they used him as no more than a lookout, why didn’t Pums and co. do a better job of prepping him for what was about to go down?  Perhaps, you say, they were down a man and didn’t want to scare him off, since that would have stopped them from starting.  No.  They counted on Franz to more or less know the score — which was sloppy.  And he should have known, more or less, what he was getting himself into.  The ignorance, overall…  Agh.  Does not compute.

Oh well.  Onto the next episode!

Rating: B-

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