Sleeping Dog summary and ending explained

Netflix’s German thriller, Sleeping Dog follows a burned-out cop trying his best to get an old case reopened after the death of the man he helped put in jail dies.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

Sleeping Dog begins with burned-out cop Mike Atlas finding out that the man he helped put behind bars has killed himself in prison. He feels something went wrong and that the evidence that he apparently brought forth himself might have been planted.

He wants the case of Judge Herres reopened and asks DA Corinna to do so. However, the prosecutor is a racist and wants the rid the streets of gangs in whatever way, so she refuses to do so.

Her assessor, Jule, doesn’t agree and she keeps digging into the case, while Atlas does so too. A private investigator looks for him and eventually provides him with some proof that puts the red flags on Zari, Atlas’s longtime friend, and colleague at the KDD.

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Jule and Atlas finally reach the end of their investigations as the real killer is exposed. Atlas gets community service and Zaric goes off-grid.

Sleeping Dog ending explained in detail:

What happened in the Christmas market terrorist attack?

A year and a half before the present day in Sleeping Dog, Atlas, Zaric, and Socke were hanging out on their day-off, when they learned that there has been a terrorist attack at the Christmas market, and rushed to the scene immediately.

Since Atlas was not drunk, he took the wheel, and off they drove away in their car. However, Atlas was high regardless, and that resulted in them accidentally running over a homeless man named Polyphemus.

Despite being high, Atlas decided to call it in but Zaric stopped him from doing so, instead deciding to cover this up, carry the dead body, and plant it amongst the terror attack victims.

The reason behind Atlas being high was his mental state which wasn’t healthy for quite some time and this trauma-laden mind overwhelmed Atlas, who was then helped by Zaric, who hooked him up with the pills he always uses himself.

Atlas refers to them as “Ponnies” and he started using them a lot. He was high on these pills when Socke found evidence at Herres’s driveway. Zaric filled Atlas’s brain repeatedly with the four hair strands being recovered as evidence, while in reality they were all planted there.

Zaric reveals this to Atlas later on in Sleeping Dog, and that they pushed him forward at the trial since he was high during a case and they couldn’t risk getting that fact out for his own sake.

Who killed Herres and the others?

Martin Herres was in the running to become the new chief judge at the appellate court but before that could happen, he was killed. It was chalked up to be a gang-related incident wherein Mussa Basher was arrested for the murder.

Mussa’s secret lover Idris Kouri was with him for the whole night when Herres was killed and he wanted to confirm the alibi at the trial. However, the police threatened him to keep quiet or his sexuality would be revealed to his parents and all. Idris had to then go out of the country.

Before he could confirm the alibi, Mussa’s fate had already been decided anyway, since new evidence, recovered by none other than Atlas, indicted him beyond doubt. Four strands of hair recovered from Herres’s driveway belonged to Mussa, solidifying his culpability before the court.

However, it was actually Sokowski aka Socke who killed Herres. It was because a homeless man and close friend of Polyphemus had witnessed the accident and since Herres was a supporting member of the Benedictus Homeless Charity, and already suspicious of Corinna and the 49th KDD, he kept digging into the accident.

Zaric met him regarding that and tried to get him to stop, eventually thinking that he would. But Herres didn’t, and Socke couldn’t have that. To stop the judge for good, he killed him. When Mussa got pinned the blame for the Herres murder, it was all going great until Kouri stepped in and strove to present an alibi.

Socke eventually got to him and killed him as well. Then came private investigator Paul Jürgens who also gets involved and makes things difficult for Socke, who then disposes of him. His final victim is Tom Schlefski, who finds out a lot of dirt on the 49th KDD guys.

However, before he can take out Jule, who has figured it all out herself, Atlas and Zari come to stop him. Jule sneaks up and knocks Socke out with a bottle. The truth is finally out — psycho cop Sokowski was behind the murders and had been planting evidence all this time.

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