Imagine a show about a brooding male lead whose confusion about his true parentage — caused by his father, who died before telling him the truth — causes him to develop feelings for his aunt. Shockingly, that show is NOT Game of Thrones, but Netflix’s German sci-fi mystery box original Dark. The comparisons to Westeros basically end with the inadvertent incest; Dark is more commonly compared to Stranger Things, and it also shares some DNA with Chernobyl, as well as some of the philosophical weight of The Good Place.
Dark deals with time travel, which allows characters with necessary knowledge (or bad luck) to travel 33 years into the past or future. Season 1 began in 2019, and eventually introduced us to timelines in 1986 and 1953. If you haven’t seen the first season of Dark, you may want to stop reading here and catch up (or get acquainted with the Wikipedia page).
When we last left the fictional German town of Winden, several people from the 2019 timeline were missing: Mikkel (stuck in 1986), Erik and Yasin (murdered and left in 1953). Ulrich (incarcerated in 1953 for attempting to murder Helge), and Helge (went to 1986 voluntarily, but didn’t return). Jonas, our brooding male lead, accidentally traveled to a post-apocalyptic 2052 and was captured by an unknown group.
Season 2 has a lot of questions to answer: what time is mysterious scary priest Noah from? What is his goal? What is Claudia’s goal, and how did she become a time travel expert? Do these characters have any agency, or are they entirely controlled by the past and future? Well, let’s get into it.
Episode 1, “Beginnings and Endings”
In true Dark fashion, the season kicks off with a Nietzsche quote and a very cold open — two characters we’ve never seen before, in a year we’ve never visited before: 1921. It’s June 21, which means that about seven months have passed in all the timelines we saw last season. The two characters are working in the caves with pickaxes. One worker appears to be in his late thirties, and he looks suspiciously like Bartosz, a 2019 teen who we last saw teaming up with Noah. The other one is younger, maybe 20, and questioning the older worker’s belief in someone named Adam.
The older man realizes that the younger one has been sent by Adam for a purpose, and encourages him to question Adam. We learn that the younger man is Noah. The older man sits calmly as young Noah hacks him to death with his axe.
The scene cuts away to adult Noah, in his priest look, as we’ve seen him before. He’s staring at his omniscient notebook. The camera focuses on a page that says, “June 27 2020: Beginning of the last cycle.”
Jonas awakes with a start, per usual, this time because he had a nightmare he was having sex with Martha, who is both his crush and his aunt. It’s still post-apocalypse, and he’s in his mother’s abandoned house. He scavenges around Winden, although it’s unclear what for. Jonas sees no one, and everything is broken down, overgrown. Down in Helge’s shed, Jonas has a conspiracy wall full of photos and connecting strings. He listens to tape recordings of Claudia talking about surviving of the apocalypse on June 27, 2020, and how something called the “God particle” may be able to help .
Flashback to June 21, 2020: six days until the apocalypse. Hannah listens to a radio broadcast about the six missing citizens of Winden. Regina is in treatment for her breast cancer.
A newcomer named Clausen leads a town meeting about the missing persons, saying he is now in charge of the task force to solve these cases. Erik’s dad is not impressed that the “task force” is actually just Clausen and Charlotte.
Finally, some good news: pretty Franziska and hapless cutie Magnus are still together! His hair is longer and hers looks redder. They seem to be helping each other through all their family drama, but Franziska is still keeping a secret, and Magnus continues to follow her.
Katharina is having a tough time with the disappearance of her son and husband. She walks through the forest looking crazed, and starts to explore the caves.
Back in 2053, Jonas makes his way past a wall with radiation warning and into a graveyard that looks hastily populated with wooden crosses — all the people who died on June 27, 2020. Aleksander Tiedemann’s grave is shown, as well as Martha’s. Jonas stops at his father’s grave, which reveals that today is the anniversary of Michael’s death.
In 2020, Martha rides her bike to meet Bartosz. They awkwardly break up, mutually, and he wonders if it’s because of Jonas. Martha bristles at the suggestion, reminding Bartosz that they never see each other, and that he hides things from her. After Martha leaves, Bartosz gets a text from an unknown number that says “this evening,” and looks frightened
Aleksander gives a speech at the power plant about how great nuclear power is, as he announces that the plant in Winden will be shut down in six days. Unsurprisingly, that is the day of the apocalypse.
A sweaty looking Hannah opens up her blackmail box, which contains Aleksander’s old passport and gun. She points the gun outward, then at her throat. She’s interrupted by the elder Jonas, one that she’s never seen and doesn’t recognize. She’s suspicious, so he shows her the scar on his arm, the oil stain on the floor. She has trouble wrapping her mind around the time travel thing, but is very relieved and happy to see Jonas.
Older Noah pep talks younger Noah about the axe murder he committed, telling him he’s taken his first steps, and Adam would be proud.
In 2053, Jonas witnesses a hanging, presided over by a woman who signs — an older Elisabeth. One of the men being hanged is saying he wants to see God. Elisabeth signs, “No one can enter the dead zone. Those who try will be punished by death.” The guard who is translating is the same one who knocked out Jonas at the end of season 1. “Sic mundus creatus est!” she chants, and the crowd chants back.
After the hanging, Elisabeth approaches Jonas. “Where were you?” she demands. She seems to be in charge of this post-apocalyptic society. Elisabeth wants Jonas to work on the portal, while Jonas wants to try to stop the apocalypse.
In 2020, Elisabeth is asking about her great-grandfather, HG Tannhaus. Peter reveals that Charlotte never really knew her parents, and that she was raised by HG.
Clausen grills Charlotte about Ulrich, but she reveals very little.
Martha discovers Ulrich’s old files, which Katharina has been looking through.
An old man with heavy facial scarring talks to Noah. He asks about Bartosz, tells him that the apocalypse has to happen, and instructs him to find the missing pages from the omniscient notebook. A woman comes into the room and addresses the old man as Adam.
After apparent months of spying, Magnus finally discovers who Franziska is communicating with when she puts things in the tin on the railroad tracks — it’s the trans sex worker her dad had been seeing. Magnus doesn’t know her, so he follows her to her camper and comes in. She explains her pricing menu, and he runs away, freaked out.
Elisabeth finds a photo in HG’s book, and identifies one of the men in it as Noah. Magnus joins Martha in going through their parents’ files. Bartosz goes into the cave with Noah.
Woller, the man with the eye patch who works at the police station, visits the trans sex worker, whose name we still don’t know, and it’s implied that the two are siblings.
Charlotte and Peter have teamed up, and are using Helge’s shed as a place to develop theories about what is going on.
Jonas, armed with his flashlight that looks like a kettlebell and his radiation detector, makes his way to the power plant, and sees a large, unwieldy blob, that appears to be descending on him.
Burning questions: Who is Adam? What is the big black-and-blue blob? What happened in the apocalypse? Who are Charlotte’s parents? And what is Clausen’s deal?
Episode 2, “Dark Matter”
The blob is revealed to be the “God Particle.” Jonas is working on it as he listens to a recording of Claudia talking about it. He seems to not have the voltage needed to stabilize it, which would allow for time travel.
In 2020, Clausen wants to interview Regina, and seems suspicious of her husband, Aleksander. He wonders why Aleksander took Regina’s last name. In the interview, Charlotte and Clausen hear from Regina about older Jonas, and see everything he left behind in the hotel. Charlotte recognizes pages from her grandfather’s book, makes an excuse to leave, and calls Peter, telling him that she thinks the time travel in the book is real.
Magnus jumps to the conclusion that Franziska is doing sex work, and she angrily explains that she’s selling hormone prescriptions, not sex.
Adult Jonas takes his mother back to ‘86 to prove to her that Mikkel is Michael. Mikkel is getting bullied at school by Katharina, and decides to ditch class. He goes to the caves, homesick for 2019. By the caves, Mikkel sees Noah, who is eating an apple with a switchblade for no good reason.
Old Claudia visits 1987 Claudia and explains time travel to her. She tells the younger Claudia that she must stop Adam, and that she doesn’t have much time left with Regina. But, if everything goes well, she will live.
In 2053, Jonas steals gas from a tank to try to fuel his time travel. He is eventually caught, and is sentenced to die. Elisabeth shoots him in the leg, then lets him hang for a minute or two — but ultimately spares his life by shooting down his noose.
Egon goes to speak to Helge in 1987 about Mads’ disappearance, and something Helge says reminds Egon of Helge’s own kidnapping case. Egon gets curious about the man accused of that crime — Ulrich — and finds out that he is still alive and in a psychiatric ward. Egon visits Ulrich, who remembers him, and repeats the song lyrics he said to Egon 33 years prior upon his arrest. Ulrich also tells Egon that he dies soon.
Mikkel goes home to a worried Ines, and he asks her about God. Ines tells Mikkel that God’s plan for her is to be there for Mikkel. He is moved, and he hugs her.
In 2053, the guard who translates for Elisabeth goes to see Jonas in a prison cell. She asks him who he is, and why Elisabeth let him live. She frees him, and asks him to show her what’s really in the dead zone.
In 1987, adult Hannah finally sees Mikkel in his new life as Michael, living with Ines, and understands. Younger Claudia finds the time machine where old Claudia had buried it for her.
In the 2053 dead zone, Jonas shows the guard the God Particle, and then adds the stolen gas, stabilizing it. Jonas steps into the portal, and it goes back to its unstable form before the girl can follow him.
Burning questions: What year will Jonas end up in? Will Egon figure out who older Ulrich is? Will Magnus figure out how not to be a bad boyfriend? Do apples taste better when you eat them with a switchblade?
Episode 3, “Ghosts”
In ‘86, child Helge is in the room with the blue wallpaper, being strapped into the scary chair by Noah. Helge receives an unsettling pep talk, and he seems both flatter and vaguely disturbed by Noah. “Tick tock,” says Noah. “Tick tock,” repeats Helge.
Back in 1954, Doris (Claudia’s mom, Egon’s wife) and Agnes (Tronte’s mom, Ulrich’s grandmother) have sex. Claudia sees that they were doing something intimate when she comes back for milk money, and Agnes gives her extra money for “fruit drops.” Doesn’t seem like a particularly effective damage control strategy, but okay!
The day is June 23, and young Helge returns home. He’s physically scarred, but seems unaffected emotionally. His mom is relieved to see him, and immediately starts praying, holding him.
Young Claudia and Tronte walk in the woods and talk about their families. Then Claudia says “ok, show me” and Tronte takes off his pants and underwear. That escalated quickly!
The 1987 Claudia tries to reconnect with Regina after hearing that their days together are numbered, but Regina isn’t used to the positive attention and has trouble accepting it. Regina says she has to go — she doesn’t have time. That last phrase jogs Claudia’s memory. She recalls the book she got from Helge, several months back and pulls it off the shelf. It’s HG Tannhaus’ book.
In 1954, Egon tries to speak to Helge in hopes of learning what happened, but is unsuccessful; Helge won’t speak to anyone.
Three decades later, Claudia visits Helge, wanting to know why he gave her the book. “I thought you may be the only one who understands me. Time is always with you wherever you go,” Helge explains. No offense, Helge, but where else would time be?
Last season, we saw 1986 Helge doing Noah’s bidding, but 1987 Helge has decided that Noah is not to be trusted — which he tells Claudia.
Back in the 1950s, Agnes goes to Helge’s time travel shed to meet with old Claudia. Claudia warns Agnes that Noah is back, and the conversation reveals that Agnes is Noah’s brother. Are they both from the '50s, or are they both from another time? Agnes renounces Noah, and Claudia tells Agnes that they’re starting the next cycle in four days.
Claudia gives Agnes a newspaper clipping. Agnes seems confused. “Today?” she asks. Claudia nods, and tells Agnes, “I wanted to thank you for everything. My mother loves you, you know that? She will make you very happy if you let her.”
In 1987, middle aged Claudia goes to see HG Tannhaus for the first time. He recognizes her, but she does not recognize him. Tannhaus tells her that he’s a fraud, and explains the bootstrap paradox: when something comes from the future, it has no real origin. “The book found me before I even wrote it,” he tells her.
Since Helge’s return in 1954, Egon begins to doubt that Ulrich could be his kidnapper, since he was locked up for the whole disappearance. He visits Ulrich in prison, but Ulrich is too sedated to speak.
Thirty three years later, Egon visits Ulrich again, asking how he knew things from the future, like songs and death dates. Ulrich finally explains to Egon that he comes from the future. Egon recalls that Mikkel said Ulrich was his father and decides to pay Ines a visit. Ines grudgingly gives Egon a photo of Mikkel, and Egon notices that Ines may be giving Mikkel sleeping pills during the day.
In 1954, Helge’s mom calls Noah because she’s concerned that Helge won’t talk. When Helge sees Noah, he hugs him, and reads aloud when asked.
Noah goes back to the church and finds Agnes there. He asks what she is doing there, and tells her that Adam will never take her back. She reveals that she knows where the final pages of the omniscient notebook are. Agnes gives Noah the newspaper clipping and says she wants to come back before the new cycle begins. “You’re sacrificing her?” Noah asks.
“Consider it a peace offering,” says Agnes.
Old Claudia goes to see Egon, her father, in 1954, at the police station. He comments on her eyes right away, saying they are two different colors, like his daughter’s. Did Claudia even have different colored eyes last season?
Without telling Egon that she is his daughter, Claudia says, “I’m sorry. You’re too good a person. You don’t deserve any of this.”
Later, Egon comes home to child Claudia. “My precocious princess,” he greets her. Egon tells Claudia that he saw a witch, which excites her. Little Claudia notices the flowers Egon brought home and asks if they’re for Doris. When he says "yes," she repeats old Claudia’s words exactly. “You’re too good a person. The world doesn’t deserve you.”
Back in the ‘80s, Egon shows up at Claudia’s office to tell her that he has cancer, and it spread. At first, she is annoyed that he showed up at her place of work, but she ends up hugging him.
Egon then goes to visit Ulrich in the psychiatric hospital again, tells him about the young boy who appeared in ‘86, and shows him the photo he got from Ines. At the sight of Mikkel, Ulrich becomes violent, demanding to see Mikkel, and sets off other patients.
After saying goodbye to HG Tannhaus, old Claudia walks in the woods, where she is confronted by Noah. He tells her that she was betrayed, and she’s going to die. Claudia wonders aloud if Noah and his gun are just pawns in a game he still doesn’t know how to play.
Adam is selling you an illusion, she tells him. “If you were free, you would have a choice.” He appears shaken by this, but he doesn’t have a choice — he kills her anyway.
Finally, we get to see the newspaper clipping, as Agnes sits next to a sleeping Tronte. “Unidentified woman’s body found in the woods,” the headline reads.
Noah recovers the notebook pages from Claudia’s jacket. As he skims them, he looks visibly upset. “That can’t be,” he says. “Charlotte? That’s not... No, this isn’t right. This isn’t true.”
Adult Claudia time travels, for the first time, and goes 33 years into the future, to 2020. She sees Regina looking very sick.
“Did she have the pages on her?” Adam asks Noah in 1954. Noah shakes his head. Adam appears to believe Noah, and says, “She got what she deserved. In the end, we all get what we deserve.” Honestly though, it seems like everyone in the Dark universe is getting a lot worse than they deserve, so far.
Burning questions: Whose side is Agnes really on? Is Noah working against Adam now? Does Noah have a personal attachment to Charlotte? Who is Noah’s family beyond Agnes?
Episode 4, “The Travelers”
This episode opens with Jonas, who we didn’t see at all last episode, falling into the set of Midsommar. The sun is so bright it’s eerie, and fields are expansive and undeveloped. Everyone seems a little off. The men who find him in a field wonder if he might be a POW returning home. It’s 1921, and bloody, sweaty Jonas looks out of place in his 21st century sweater. He’s limping from the gunshot wound, and his neck looks awful from the near-hanging. The men take him in and feed him. Jonas eats shakily, and lies that he was stationed on the Eastern front.
Jonas is offered a place to stay with the family of one of the men that found him. That man’s daughter is Agnes, which means it’s likely a matter of time until we see young Noah again.
In 2020, three days before the apocalypse, Martha is having the same dream Jonas had a few episodes ago. Martha and Jonas are having sex, and Jonas says “I think we’re a perfect match. Never believe anything else.” Martha wakes up scared and sweaty. Amazing that there was an option not to continue with this incest storyline, and yet we’re still doing it.
Charlotte has called in sick at work so she can investigate without Clausen’s prying eyes. Woller gets stuck driving Clausen to interviews.
Adult Jonas wakes up at home and comes downstairs. He opens the fridge and smells the bottle of milk, in a callback to the first episode of the series. Poking around in the kitchen, he finds the gun and passport that Hannah stole from Aleksander. He’s shocked, and wants answers, but Hannah dodges his questions.
In an exciting turn of events, Martha, Magnus, Franziska, and Elisabeth team up to figure out what’s going on. They head to the caves.
Young Jonas wakes up, still in 1921, stressed as always. He’s wearing 1921 clothing now, with bandages on his neck and leg.
Young Noah is in the room with him, and decides it’s important to creep Jonas out by saying, “I pictured you differently.” Noah can be such a stunt queen.
In 2020, Claudia shows up to the plant hoping to find her older self, but is told that Aleksander is the only Tiedeman who works there — he runs the plant now. Claudia seems surprised. Aleksander is being interviewed by Clausen, who notes that it’s weird that everyone who is born in Winden stays. Frankly, I agree. If I were a Winden family who hadn’t had a child disappear, I would definitely be moving cross-country stat. Aleksander explains that he took Regina’s name to keep it alive — Tiedemans were important. It’s actually a pretty good excuse. Clausen, who seems to somehow always be a step ahead despite being new in town, asks Woller, “Who’s next?” and smirks as Woller says “Hannah Kahnwald.”
Hannah decides it’s time to team up with Charlotte and invites her over. Charlotte meets older Jonas, and they swap info. Okay, so Team 2020 Adult seems to be forming right around the same time as Team 2020 Teen — exciting.
Claudia from the ‘80s goes to the library in 2020 to figure out what the hell has happened in the last 33 years. She learns how to use a tablet; searches for herself, and learns that she disappeared.
In the car, Woller asks Clausen how he got his position leading the task force. “Did you volunteer for it?” Woller wonders. “Oh yes,” Clausen responds ominously.
Hannah learns everything the Dopplers know, and she decides they need to tell Katharina. Katharina is having a hard time, mentally. She forces Charlotte to start explaining what she knows in the car, instead of letting Charlotte show her. Then she thinks the conspiracy walls were put up in the shed to mess with her. She’s mad to see Hannah. She asks Jonas if he’s Hannah’s new lover. “No, I’m Jonas. Her son, your grandson,” he responds, and she lets out a deranged giggle.
Jonas escapes Noah’s family home to the caves, but discovers that the portal is not built yet — he’s stuck in 1921.
Team 2020 Teens explores the caves and finds Bartosz there. They demand to know what he’s doing, but he won’t share. They tie him up, take his time machine, though they don’t know what it is, and leave him behind.
Katharina goes to the school and finds the truth — that Mikkel and Michael are the same — in the school records, seeing Mikkel in a 1986 class photo. She’s forced to accept that as a teenager, she bullied her son in high school.
When Jonas emerges from the cave, frustrated, young Noah is there. “It’s not open yet,” Noah says, and tells him that Sic Mundus is waiting for him. Young Noah takes Jonas to the church, and older Noah is there, too. Older Noah brings Jonas to have a conversation with Adam.
Commenting on Jonas’s injuries as well as his own scarred face, Adam says, “Traveling doesn’t leave one unscathed.” He then asks Jonas, “Shall we begin?” which agitates Jonas. He wants things to end. Adam shocks Jonas by revealing that they are the same person — he reveals his scarred neck to prove it. Jonas’s eyes fill with tears and then well over.
“Every stone is once again where it belongs,” Adam says. “Everyone in the place they were destined to be. Now all that’s needed is a little push.”
Burning questions: What the hell? Is there any hope here? Can the well-intentioned ever improve this world? Why does sweet Jonas have to end up so cold and evil? Why did Aleksander have to change his name? And who is Clausen?
Episode 5, “Lost and Found”
The incest dreams somehow get worse! Episode 5 opens with another iteration of the recurring Jonas-Martha sex dream, but this time the dreamer is grown-up Jonas. He sees his current self (age 40ish!) having sex with teen Martha. A wormhole opens up from her torso. He wakes with a start, in 2020.
Teen Jonas wakes up with adam sitting next to his bad in 1921. Adam tells Jonas to get dressed, and we see that Adam has somehow procured Jonas’s signature yellow raincoat, along with an entire 21st-century look.
It’s June 25, and in 2020, adult Jonas leaves Hannah’s house while she sleeps. At the Nielson house, Katharina tries to tell her kids about Mikkel, but they have plans with the rest of Team 2020 Teen, and they aren’t willing to make time for their mom after being ignored by her for months. At the Tiedeman house, Aleksander is asking someone on the phone to figure out Clausen’s ulterior motives. Regina discovers that Bartosz didn’t come home the night before, and is worried. Of course, we know that he’s just tied up in the caves, thanks to Team 2020 Teen.
Adult Claudia is back in 1987, and she’s blowing off meetings at the power plant. She has a newspaper clipping from the future that says her father, Egon, died the next day. Circumstances surrounding his death were unclear. She goes to see him, and asks him to move in with her. He seems flattered, and he tells her he’s proud of her.
Back in 1921, Jonas is getting some sort of philosophy/psychology lesson from Adam, who explains that a person lives three lives. One ends with loss of naivete, the second ends with loss of innocence, and the third ends with loss of life itself. Jonas tells Adam that he doesn’t have time for this; he has to go back to 2020, because he’s seen what happens. Adam tells him he has plenty of time: 99 years. Good one, evil future Jonas.
A century later, Ulrich is still at the psychiatric facility, but now that he knows Mikkel is around, he’s eager to get out. He knocks out an unsuspecting nurse, and escapes.
Katharina goes to Hannah’s house, hoping that adult Jonas can help her time travel to see Mikkel, but only Hannah is home. Katharina tells her, “I can’t believe you slept with my husband and my son.” Fair!
Clausen comes over to interview Hannah, and is surprised to find Katharina there. He shows both of them a police sketch of adult Jonas, and they both lie and say they have not seen him. Poor Clausen knows so much and yet so little! At this point, it’s a real bummer to be out of the loop about the whole time travel thing, especially when your whole deal is being a detective. Clausen complains to Hannah that everyone is lying to him. Then, he asks why she still receives payments from Aleksander, despite discontinuing his massage treatment. Hannah lies again — saying that it’s just a really supportive community, and her son is missing.
Adult Jonas is over at the Nielson’s now, in Martha’s room. He leaves a pendant on her pillow. Does adult Jonas not have any new crushes in 2052?
Team 2020 Teen heads to the caves. Elisabeth senses that something is off, and of course, she’s right. Noah is watching them. After threatening to leave Bartosz tied up without food or water, the Team Teen gets the explanation they were waiting for — the device in the suitcase is a time machine. Naturally, it’s time to travel.
Adult Jonas and Charlotte have a chat. He explains to her who Noah is. Charlotte says she thinks this all has to do with her, which means it definitely does. She asks Jonas if he knows who her parents are, but he does not. They talk about her adoptive grandfather, HG Tannhaus, and Jonas says that he was used by Claudia.
Back in the ‘80s, Claudia visits Bernd Doppler, the former director of the nuclear plant, and they discuss the God Particle. Claudia is excited about it, but Bernd warns her that going public about it will raise questions, and he asks her to keep it quiet, at least until he dies.
Having successfully escaped from the psychiatric hospital, Ulrich finds Mikkel. Mikkel does not recognize his father right away, but says he seems familiar. After Ulrich references one of Mikkel’s magic tricks, Mikkel realizes who he’s talking to, and they embrace. They try to escape to the caves and go back to 2019, but are caught by police, and Mikkel is returned to Ines, who continues to medicate him.
Team Teen 2020 briefly goes to the 80s, and they see old cars and posters. They all understand that time travel is real, and then head back to 2020. When she arrives back in her room, Martha finds the pendant that adult Jonas left her, and recognizes it.
Charlotte is looking at old things in Tannhaus’ studio when Noah comes in. He introduces himself to her, and she retorts, “I know who you are. You killed the children.” Noah implies that he killed the children because Charlotte was taken from him, as was her mother. He pulls out a polaroid of himself with Charlotte as a baby, and tells her that her mother took the photo. Noah also says that he needs to end Adam so that everyone survives, not just those in the bunker. Charlotte asks who her mother is, and he says that Charlotte’s mother loved her very much — she still does.
In 1921, Adam explains to teen Jonas that the travelers have declared war on time. It’s the opposite of a religion. Very punk, if you think about it. Adam shows Jonas the dark matter that he made himself, which can take you to the exact day you want to travel to. The two of them decide that Jonas should go to 2019, the day before Michael died by suicide, to stop everything from being set into motion. Jonas will not be born, but everyone else will live. Poor Jonas seems a little too eager to trust Adam. He steps into the dark matter.
Burning questions: Who is Charlotte’s mom? Why was she taken from her parents? What year was she born in? How did she end up with HG Tannhaus? What does the pendant mean? And what does Adam really want Jonas to do?
Jonas wakes up in 2019. He’s at home, and his neck scar is gone. His dad is alive. It’s a pleasant morning in the Kahnwald house, but there are signs that Michael is struggling. He becomes visibly upset at the idea of going to a party at Ulrich and Katharina’s. He also a large container of coffee when he sees Jonas holding his raincoat, and says he had a deja vu. After Jonas leaves, Hannah seems worried about Michael, and encourages him to come to the party. Jonas bikes toward the lake with his friends.
At the Nielson house, Katharina doesn’t want to have sex, but Ulrich does. Mikkel comes into their bedroom, sick — he has rubella.
In the Tiedeman house, Aleksander reads paper that says “Murder in Marburg unsolved 33 years later. Search for two fugitive perps still on.” Is a 33 year investigation normal? Seems like what we would call a cold case.
At the beach, Jonas finds the pendant with St. Christopher on it and shares a moment with Martha, but neither of them makes a move. He says he has to go teach Ines how to use her new tablet, and leaves.
2020 Jonas, who has just arrived from 1921, decides to step in. It seems like a terrible idea, given that his hair is longer and his neck wound still scabbed. He can’t quite match his energy to 2019 Jonas’s, and Martha can tell something is a little off. He’s wearing his raincoat to cover his neck, even though it’s sunny. 2020 Jonas says, “I want to tell you something. I’ve wanted to for a long time. I think we’re a perfect match. Never think anything else.” This show is really testing me, trying to make me ship a boy and his aunt! Unfortunately for Jonas’s big plan to stop Michael and erase his own existence, this scene seems to explain why Martha heard that phrase about being a perfect match in her dream several months later. If so, it looks like Jonas will not be successful in stopping his father. Anyway, they kiss. Incest!
Katharina and Ulrich stop at the Kahnwald’s to pick up some extra glasses for their party. Michael doesn’t like seeing them. Mikkel is in the car with them, and comes inside to use the bathroom. Michael comes downstairs, and they share a moment of intense eye contact, which seems to shake up both of them, emotionally.
At the anniversary party, Katharina is in party mode. She greets Hannah and Charlotte warmly, encouraging them both to dance and drink. Hannah and Charlotte have both left their husbands at home for different reasons: Michael refused to come, and Charlotte asked Peter not to come because of their rocky relationship and his affair with Benni. Mikkel wakes up feeling sick again, and Katharina gets in bad with him at his request.
Martha brings Jonas upstairs, and gives him the pendant from the beach, which she put on a cord. “I thought about what you said at the lake,” she tells him. He doesn’t know what she’s talking about because she’s referencing what 2020 Jonas says. She tells him she thinks he’s right. He’s confused. She kisses him, and he kisses her back. They end up having sex, which means that the recurring dream of theirs is based on a memory, not just a fantasy or nightmare.
2020 Jonas goes home and sits down with Michael to convince him not to kill himself. In doing so, Jonas discovers that Michael was never suicidal in the first place. Jonas is actually there to tell his dad what to do, and what to write in the letter. Also, Jonas was the one who took Mikkel to 1986 and left him there. Old Claudia shows up to confirm that both of these things need to happen. Everyone keeps telling Jonas that his role in all this is greater than he thinks, which seems like a stressful thing to hear when you’re already trying to save humanity. Ultimately, Jonas succombs, and leaves Michael at home to write his suicide letter.
A middle aged couple approaches Adam, presumably in 1921. “You could have told him,” the man says in reference to Jonas. “We all have to make sacrifices,” says the woman, who reveals that she is talking to an older version of Magnus, and seems to be an older version of Franziska. This older man does look like Magnus, so even though I am very upset with this episode, I’d like to take a moment to compliment casting director Simone Bär. Great work!
Burning questions: Seriously, is there hope in the world of Dark?
Episode 7, “The White Devil”
It’s June 26. In 1954, Egon and his police coworkers look at Claudia’s remains. Egon recognizes her, and says that she came into the police station, apologizing but making little sense on the same day Helge returned. Someone suggests that Egon shows a photo of Claudia to Helge. He does, and Helge says that he doesn’t know her, but he’s heard about her: the White Devil. Helge doesn’t reveal his source for this information, but he claims that Claudia wants to kill everyone. Egon points out that Claudia is dead, so she can’t hurt anyone anymore. Helge responds, “she hasn’t even started.”
In 1987, Claudia is recording research findings at her office, but when she realizes that it’s the day Egon died, she goes to see him. She pushes him to move in with her. He doesn’t seem eager to leave his apartment. Claudia then asks if she can come with him to his first chemotherapy appointment, and Egon seems happy.
Team Teen 2020 decides to tell an adult what they’ve discovered. Martha is annoyed with Bartosz and goes off on her own to Hannah’s house. Hannah isn’t there, but adult Jonas is. Martha initially fears him, but he gains her trust, and proves that he is Jonas by repeating her own words back to her, and by telling her that he left the pendant. Sitting at the kitchen table, he starts to explain where he’s been, but Martha interrupts. She takes his hand and touches his arm, then his face. Jonas seems awestruck by her presence, and extremely affected by her touch. Okay, I guess — but in a world where time travel exists, who gets to be horny for who? For me, that might be the theme of this entire show.
When Katharina breaks into the Kahnwald house, Jonas is protective, shielding Martha. Katharina is repulsed to see them together, and breaks the news about to Martha that she and Jonas are related. That’s a lot all at once for Martha. For once, I’d like her to be the person that knows things first.
Clausen closes in on Aleksander, revealing that he is looking for Aleksander Kohler, who is his brother. After interrogating him, Clausen says “you are not my brother.” It’s not clear whether or not Clausen knows that Aleksander stole the real Aleksander Kohler’s identity.
Hannah uses the time machine she took from adult Jonas to go to Egon in 1953, saying that she thinks the man accused of murdering the children might be her husband. She lies and says her name is Katharina Nielson. Egon lets her visit Ulrich. Ulrich is at first thrilled to see her, then asks about Katharina and his kids. Hannah doesn’t answer. She wants to know if Ulrich could pick today, who would he choose? Her or Katharina? He fumbles with his words, but then tells her what she wants to hear. His words seem hollow and desperate, and Hannah knows it. She tells Egon that despite a resemblance, Ulrich is not her husband. Later, in his office, he asks about her family. Seeing her suitcase, he asks if she’s leaving. Hannah says she lost everything where she came from, and is looking for a fresh start. They light up cigarettes and share some intense eye contact that again makes me wonder: in a world where time travel exists, who gets to be horny for who? Child Hannah knew Egon as an old man in the ‘80s, which is a little upsetting to think about. It is very on brand for Hannah, though, to use Ulrich’s nemesis as her rebound.
At the Doppler house, Franziska, Magnus, and Elisabeth share what they know with Charlotte and Peter, who already know about a lot of it. When Franziska realizes that her parents aren’t surprised by their news about time traveling, she gets angry that they kept their own knowledge a secret.
In 1987, Egon tells Claudia what he knows about time travel, and though she doesn’t seem surprised, she doesn’t share her own knowledge on the subject with her dad. But when he starts to realize that the time travel is happening in the caves, Claudia grows increasingly hostile. Back at his apartment, he wants to call the police station and tell them about the caves. They fight over the phone, and Egon falls, cracking his head open on the table. She lets him bleed out, remembering what older Claudia said about sacrificing things. Egon’s last words to his daughter are, “You are the White Devil.”
Adult Claudia comes home, distraught, and begins to wash blood from her hands. A few minutes later, teen Jonas lets himself into her home, and tells her that they have to go. He knows what she did, but it doesn’t have to happen that way again. “Where are we going?” she asks.
“The future,” he tells her.
Burning questions: Is Hannah going to stay in 1954 forever? How will Martha process the news about being Jonas’s aunt? Is Jonas right that Claudia can change how her father died? Where is the real Aleksander Kohler, and why did Aleksander Tiedeman have to take his identity? Will we find out who Charlotte’s mom is next episode?
Episode 8, “Endings and Beginnings”
In 2053, Elisabeth has a little stash of personal items buried in the ground. A family photo with Charlotte, Peter, and Franzika, her chipmunk hat, and polaroids like the one that Noah showed Charlotte. We see a photo of baby Charlotte and her parents. Her mother is pretty and blonde, but doesn’t look familiar. This is Winden, though — every new person is secretly someone we already know. Is this going to be another incest situation?
Teen Jonas and adult Claudia have teamed up, and are at the caves. This is an interesting pairing, because they’re both pretty new to time travel and don’t have a ton of experience with which to guide one another. Jonas suggests that perhaps big things can’t be altered using time travel, but small things can.
Bartosz finally tells his mom that he met his grandma. It’s a sweet moment for Regina, who always had a tough relationship with Claudia. She hears from Bartosz that her mother came looking for her, wanting to apologize. Bartosz leaves abruptly, though, and doesn’t tell Regina where he’s going. Meanwhile, Aleksander is still in prison, and he learns that Clausen has obtained a warrant to search the power plant immediately.
It’s the day of the apocalypse, and adult Jonas goes over to Martha’s house acting absolutely unhinged. He explains too fast, using terms like “new cycle” that mean nothing to her. He’s sweaty and desperate. He grabs her, hard, and even holds her at gunpoint. He’s trying to save her life, but being very scary about it. “I watched you die once. I won’t do it again,” he tells her. Jonas drags Martha to the bunker and locks her in. Please, showrunners, if there is a season 3, let Martha have some agency!
Katharina visits the Kahnwald house looking for time machine advice from Jonas. He’s not there, so she goes through his stuff and takes his map and light.
Teen Jonas, still with Claudia, reopens the passage under the caves. Claudia questions why, and he says he has to accept that he needs to be part of the disaster that he wants to prevent.
Charlotte goes into the police station, and Woller fills her in about Aleksander’s arrest and the warrant. He also confesses that he helped Aleksander bury radioactive waste in concrete at the plant. Charlotte figures out that the searching of the waste is what triggers the apocalypse, and says they have to go.
Peter decides to take Elisabeth to the bunker, in case Noah was right that it was the only safe place.
At the power plant, Clausen demands to see the spent fuel pool for the old reactor, despite the residual radiation in there. He orders that the concrete covering be broken up.
Noah confronts Adam, saying that he’s not waging a war against god, but a war against humanity. He tries to kill Adam, but fails. Adam says that Noah still doesn’t understand the game, and he won’t be truly free until he’s free of all emotion — until he’s ready to sacrifice those he holds most dear.
Adam grabs a photo of Elisabeth, and says that Charlotte is Elisabeth’s daughter and her mother. Absolutely not!!! I have about a million questions. When was Charlotte born? When were Noah and Elisabeth together? This is a mess!
Noah gets murdered by his sister, Agnes.
Jonas successful opens up the portal. As usual, the lights flicker. Birds fall from the sky. Katharina heads to the caves to try to follow Mikkel. Peter and Elisabeth get to the bunker, and Martha escapes. Claudia and Jonas split up; Claudia heads to the bunker, but goes to get Regina first. Jonas looks for his mother and Martha.
Magnus, Franziska, and Bartosz are at the Nielson house, hoping to hear from Martha or Katharina.
Adult Jonas is at the Kahnwald house, and is visited by young Noah, who hands him a letter from Martha. “This is impossible,” Jonas says as he reads the letter, but we don’t know what it says. Noah tells Jonas that he must save Magnus, Bartosz, and Franziska, and eventually Noah and Agnes. “It’s the only way Martha can live,” explains Noah, and Jonas runs out.
Soon after, teen Jonas arrives back home, looking for Hannah. Martha comes in a few minutes later. This is the first time they’ve seen each other in months. He tries to tell her about Mikkel, but she already knows. “It was you at the lake,” she tells him. She touches his face and he lets a tear fall. “We’re a perfect match,” Martha says, “don’t ever believe anything else.” They kiss extremely passionately and lovingly. Score one for incest, yet again!
For a moment, Jonas and Martha are happy. Then Adam shows up, and shoots Martha. She dies with Jonas by her side.
Charlotte tries to stop Clausen from having the radioactive waste opened, but he won’t listen to her. The lid comes off, and dark matter rises in the power plant.
Adult Jonas goes to the Nielson house to save Magnus, Bartosz, and Franziska.
Young Noah joins Claudia, Regina, Peter, and Elisabeth in the bunker.
The dark matter turns into a portal, which disappears, reappears, and then opens to reveal Elisabeth in 2053. She and Charlotte stare at each other. Elisabeth signs “Mom,” and they walk slowly toward each other. When their hands touch, Winden gets enveloped in a giant black portal.
At the Kahnwald house, a different Martha with a chic haircut and black eyeliner shows up as Jonas is sitting next to regular Martha’s body. “I’m not who you think I am,” she tells Jonas, as she sets up a small gold spherical device. “What time are you from?” he asks. “The question isn’t from what time, but from what world.” she responds, and the house explodes.
Burning questions: Who is chic Martha with the bangs? What world is she from? Is there hope after all? Are Elisabeth and Charlotte okay, given all the incest stuff? Why are old Magnus and old Franziska working for Adam? Where are Regina and Peter in the future, if they survived the apocalypse in a bunker? And why is there so much incest?