Sleeping Dog plot & ending explained: what did Atlas do?

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Crime series always catch the proper spotlight when they land on Netflix, and Sleeping Dog was no exception. The German crime series is based on the Israeli series The Exchange Principle and tells a complicated story about an unsolved crime that seems unable to rest. The protagonist is Mike Atlas, a former cop who lost memories of what happened and tries to reconstruct the events that occurred months before. Among conspiracies, traitors, and people who get killed, the plot and the ending surely need to be explained: let’s analyze everything together.

You can watch the official trailer for Sleeping Dog here on Youtube.

Sleeping Dog plot & ending explained: what did Atlas do?

The plot of Sleeping Dog kicks off months after the murder of Judge Herres. For that crime, a member of a local street gang, Mussa Basher, was convicted, thanks to some evidence found by the police and the testimony of Mike Atlas. However, in the present, we discover Mussa had an alibi, so the evidence was planted, and Atlas’ testimony couldn’t be correct. However, Atlas doesn’t remember anything, and while the episodes go on, we discover the truth together with him.

The series has many plot twists, mysteries, and confusing elements. What we are going to do is describe the events, so you will understand what happened months ago in Sleeping Dog, and how the plot and the ending can be explained.

Months before, a terroristic attack occurred in a Christmas market in Berlin. Three cops, Mike Atlas, Luka Zaric, and Roland “Socke” Sokowski, decide to drive there, although they are off. Atlas drives and the others believe he’s in the right conditions to do it. Unfortunately, he was under barbiturates, prescribed by the doctor for his anxiety. While driving at the Christmas market, they hit and kill a homeless man. They are shocked, but they decide to do something to cover it up: they put the body in the trunk and bring it to the location of the terroristic attack, placing the body there.

Atlas is in shock, and since then, he stops remembering what happened. The others plant the evidence in the car and make Atlas testify against Mussa Basher. Mussa is arrested, and everything looks fine. However, Judge Herres takes the case more personally: he starts investigating, using his connections with a charity organization helping homeless people and understands that something is wrong. That’s why Zaric goes to talk to him: those three cops have an excellent career ahead, and he wants to make sure that nothing comes up. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that the judge wants to stop investigating, which leads him to die. Who kills the judge and all the others who are close to the truth? It’s the third cop, Socke, who cannot accept that his perfect team gets destroyed by this accident.

This is how the plot of Sleeping Dog gets explained until the ending: Socke is the one who killed the judge; he kills Idris Kouri because he wanted to prove that Mussa had an alibi (this would become a problem because the case would be reopened). He kills the private investigator Jürgens because he knows from the photos he took that somebody is covering up the truth. Atlas doesn’t know anything about that: he only knows that he did something wrong but doesn’t remember. He wants to discover the truth before coming back to his family.

Zaric and the department’s boss Corinna Steck only want the case to rest, so their interest is that it will never be reopened. They are fine with having the members of the Basher gang convicted for that crime, but they have nothing to do with the death of the judge and the others: Socke was the only one actively taking care of the problems by killing all those people, trying to protect his team.

At the ending of Sleeping Dog, it seems clear that Jule Andergast will discover the truth, so he wants to kill him. Atlas has also understood the truth, and he tells Zaric he wants to reveal it and pay for it. Zaric knows that if Atlas does so, he will get arrested too. So he decided to commit suicide, being saved by Atlas at the last minute. The way the ending of Sleeping Dog has explained the events, Socke is the one who gets arrested and convicted for all those murders, whereas Atlas and Zaric stay free. The homeless man gets a proper funeral, Atlas can recover the relationship with his daughter, and Zaric continues his story with Atlas’ ex-wife, Lenni. The case is finally solved.

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