Babylon Berlin is, far and away, Netflix's most compelling alternative to a history textbook. The epic show takes place in the Weimar Republic, the German state that existed between WWI and the Nazi party's takeover in 1933. And who knew the Weimar Republic was this racy? In large underground clubs, groups of people dance late into the evening, and visit shadowy basements to indulge in all manner of sexual curiosities. And in the streets, communist workers clash with police forces, both fighting over the future of the country.
When he's transferred from Cologne to Berlin, police inspector Gereon Rath (Volker Bruch) lands right into this social and political turmoil. In his position on the vice squad, Rath comes in contact with just about every axis of Berlin's counter-culture. This level of plot and historical detail can lead to confusion. You might find yourself asking which of these people is a communist, and which one is a traitor, and which one is a police inspector, again?
We're here to help. Here's a guide to all the main characters in Babylon Berlin, and what they want.