'Vienna Blood' Recap: Season 2 Episode 6

Daniel Hautzinger
Max undercover as a monk in Vienna Blood. Photo: Endor Production Ltd/MR Film GmbH
Max continues to investigate the cloistered world of a monastery undercover. Photo: Endor Production Ltd/MR Film GmbH

Vienna Blood is available to stream. Recap the previous episode.

Oskar is doing his best to aid Max’s investigation inside the monastery from the outside. He has gone to the City Museum on the archivist Fraulein Lindner’s suggestion to look at architectural plans of the monastery in search of some hidden passage that would have allowed Brother Stanislav’s body to be dragged to the sacristy without leaving bloodstains anywhere. The historian Priel, who studies religious relics, tells him the monastery is impregnable—but Amelia finds reference to secret watching chambers that overlooked sacristies in old monasteries.

Oskar brings this information to Max via a confessional at the monastery, and Max gives him his own clue: a scrap of burned correspondence featuring a bit of gilded crest he found in Stanislav’s cell. Oskar gives it to Fraulein Lindner to see if she can identify it.

Von Bülow wants Oskar to close the case; Isaak Korngold is the murderer. Isaak’s brother Jonas has recently sold his bank—without telling his fiancée Clara—to his friend Strobl, it was bleeding clients so quickly due to the scandal. Strobl has found a document hidden in a safe in the bank written in Hebrew that contains a Jewish curse followed by Stanislav’s name. Add that to the Hebrew character found where Stanislav died.

But Oskar doesn’t believe it was Isaak, and admits to von Bülow that he sent Max into the monastery to investigate a conspiracy. The anti-Semitic Von Bülow doesn’t believe Max can be trusted; he will do anything to protect his fellow Jew, Isaak.

Max continues to try to learn more about Stanislav. He asks the monk in charge of the infirmary, Brother David, about him. David says that Stanislav nearly died of illness last winter, despite David’s efforts. He suddenly recovered after visiting the holy objects in the sacristy, in what Stanislav claimed was a miracle.

Max also sets out to search for a secret chamber to the sacristy, and catches someone following him. It’s his ally Brother Killian, whom Oskar asked to watch over Max. They go to the sacristy together and discover a passage in a closet when Max notices a breeze fluttering their candle flame. It leads to the parkland where Max found blood from Stanislav’s killing—and it is streaked with bloodstains. A set of footprints leads only into the monastery, so whoever dragged Stanislav’s body into the sacristy must be one of the monks.

Max believes he knows who brought Stanislav’s body to the chapel. He sits behind David during a service and lays out a theory: if someone found Stanislav’s body and believed his story that a relic in the sacristy cured his illness, perhaps they would bring his bloody body there in the hope that the relic would again exert its healing power. David tells him to meet him in the infirmary later.

But when Max arrives he finds David dead, stabbed to death in another echo of the death of a Christian martyr, just like Stanislav’s resembled a martyr’s death—and there’s another Hebrew word scratched into a table. The abbot allows Oskar back in to the monastery to investigate. Max recalls some of David’s answers about Stanislav’s death and believes that David witnessed it or at least its aftermath before dragging him to the sacristy.

Max believes someone wrote to Stanislav wanting to view a relic from the sacristy; he brought it to them outside and was killed. Von Bülow still insists some “Jewish ritual” is being carried out—an accomplice of Isaak’s, perhaps even Max, must have killed David while Isaak is in jail. But Oskar gets a warrant to search the sacristy nonetheless.

He brings Amelia and her colleague Priel with him to undertake an inventory of the relics. Amelia is surprised to find Max there and forgives him for suddenly disappearing, now that she knows the reason. None of the officially listed relics is missing, but Oskar notices a box whose lock shows signs of recent tampering. He picks the lock and finds the box empty. Max recognizes the impression, however, from etchings in Stanislav’s cell: it’s the lance that stabbed Jesus on the cross. Stanislav must have smuggled it out.

Oskar, Max, and Killian go to the abbot with the truth about Max and ask about the lance. He decries the reverence Stanislav had for the relics and the lance and admits that he ordered it locked away and struck from the inventory after Stanislav began convincing other monks like Brother David that it held miraculous powers. He didn’t want Oskar poking around in the monastery because he believed the crime had been solved and didn’t want more disruption.   

Fraulein Lindner has yet to identify the crest from Stanislav’s burned correspondence, but she has come up with a theory: all of the clues pointing to a “Jewish curse” might be fake, an instance of the hoary tradition of blood libel, false controversies invented to stir up hatred against Jews throughout the centuries.

Max is due to finally meet Amelia for a date, but arrives at the museum to find her tied up and gagged—by her colleague Priel. He is the one who wrote to Stanislav—the crest is the museum’s—about the lance. He was driven to possess it when Stanislav showed it to him outside the monastery walls, and pushed the monk, who fell and dashed his head on a stone. Amelia discovered the lance in a drawer at the museum, and Priel saw her.

Max manages to wrest the lance from Priel and free Amelia before chasing the historian to the high rotunda of the museum. Priel says he confessed his accidental crime, and that he is not responsible for David’s death—but before he can reveal to whom he confessed, he stumbles against a faulty railing and falls to his death.

Someone other than Priel killed David, made both deaths look like those of Christian martyrs, and planted the Hebrew runes as well as the document in Korngold’s bank—and only one person could have had access there, and additionally benefited from the crime being pinned on Isaak. Furthermore, he was a friend of Priel’s, to whom the historian might have confessed his crime. Who? Strobl.

Priel didn’t even kill Stanislav—Strobl went to the monastery that very night after Priel told him about the confrontation and finished the monk off, remembering Isaak’s threat against him. He had to kill David, knowing there had been a witness. Through all of that he was able to buy Korngold’s bank.

When confronted, he draws a sword against Oskar, but Max distracts him by throwing his hat, and Oskar grabs and cuffs the murderer.

Isaak is released, to von Bülow’s apparent displeasure and Jonas and Clara’s relief. She visits Max to thank him, without Jonas’s knowledge. They hug and share an oddly intimate moment—and then kiss. Amelia, pulling up for a date with Max, sees them through the window.