Dark Season 1 Episode 6: Sic Mundus Creatus Est Recap

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In Dark episode 6, the Nielsons sink deeper into grief over the loss off Mikkel, with each expressing it in a different way. Jonas goes deeper into the caves than he ever has before. Regina and Alexander get some bad news. And Ulrich does the thorough investigation into Mads’ disappearance that Egon failed to do in 1986, answering more than one question in the process.

Recap

Episode 6 opens on a flashback to 1986, when Ulrich and Katharina tied Regina to a tree near the cave and left her there for hours, long after it was dark. She sees something that frightens her enough to scream.

Regina wakes up in bed in the present day. Alexander wakes up too, and comforts her that it’s only a nightmare.

The next morning, Charlotte instructs the entire police department that they’re intensifying their search. She wants them to knock on every door, question everyone, coordinate with other agencies in the area, search the records for similar cases going back 50 years, search every basement. They’ll be working double shifts until they solve this case. They just have to find the one clue that breaks the case.

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The visual shows a class photo from 1987 on display in the middle school. Mikkel is clearly visible in the front.

Jonas asks Hannah how she met Michael. Hannah tells him the story. Then Jonas asks what Michael was like earlier, before he got sick. Hannah says, “He was different. You never knew if he meant something seriously or not.” Jonas starts to tell her something else, maybe who Michael really was, but then stops.

Ulrich pulls the file on Mads’ disappearance from the archives. He listens to the recording of Egon’s interview with his mother. Jana tells Egon that she, Ulrich and Tronte were all at home that evening, waiting for Mads.

Magnus and Martha try to leave for school, but Katharina doesn’t want them to go. It’s been 4 days since Mikkel’s disappearance. Katharina thinks it’s too soon for life to go back to normal. The kids think there’s no point in them doing nothing at home. Martha explains that she’s needed for the play at school. She yells at Katharina that Mikkel is dead. Katharina slaps her, the Martha walks out. Magnus hugs his mother.

Regina receives a letter with bad news about her mammogram.

Jonas looks at the map of Winden. He notices there’s a notation on it which reads, “Follow the signal!”

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Ulrich goes to visit his parents. Jana is asleep. He speaks alone with Tronte. He wants to know were Tronte was the night Mads disappeared, since Jana lied on the recording. Tronte asks if he’s a suspect. Then Jana comes to his rescue. Tronte leaves.

Jana tells Ulrich that he and Mads fought over their new action figures at Christmas. Mads ended up with a cut on his chin. That was their way. One minute they’d hate each other and the next they’d be best friends.

Ulrich asks her why she lied about Tronte. Jana explains that Tronte has had multiple affairs over the course of their marriage. She was considering leaving him before Mads disappeared. That evening, he was with his current flame, Claudia Tiedemann, Egon’s daughter. When Ulrich asks, she tells him that the last person to see Mads alive was Regina, Claudia’s daughter. And Egon’s granddaughter.

The reasons for Egon’s reluctance to investigate Mads’ disappearance thoroughly are becoming more clear. He didn’t want to expose his daughter’s affair with a married man or risk his granddaughter becoming a suspect.

Regina is anxious as she works her usual position at the hotel front desk. She calls Alexander, but gets his voice mail. She doesn’t leave a message.

Magnus follows the train tracks to dig up Franziska’s metal box again. He finds it empty. Nearby he discovers an old mattress under a railroad bridge. There are used condoms next to it. Magnus notices a necklace with a bird pendant, which he takes with him.

Jonas gathers his gear as he prepares to explore the caves more deeply.

Martha dresses for the evening’s performance of Ariadne’s Thread. Bartosz visits her in her dressing room in order to check on her, since she still isn’t returning his calls, and to apologize for his part in Mikkel’s disappearance, since he was the one who planned the trip to the caves. Martha applies her red lipstick, then tells Bartosz she’s not mad at him. He goes in for a kiss, but she pushes him away, saying she can’t do this right now.

Bartosz suggests that they run away together. Martha tells him that the play she’s starring in is about to start. He goes to leave, then stops to ask if she’s seen Jonas. They haven’t talked since Jonas skipped out on meeting the drug dealer/Noah.

Bartosz does seem to care about Martha, but he’s too wrapped up in himself to notice what she needs, even though she’s the one who lost a brother. I feel bad for her. She has such a hard time getting taken seriously. Anytime something is important to her, others ignore her or tell her she’s doing it for attention or because she’s selfish.

The play is a perfect example. It’s not wrong for her to want some normalcy while things are chaotic, and other people are depending on her, as she told Katharina. She can’t do anything to help Mikkel. Everyone but Katharina is keeping themselves busy, but only Martha gets singled out as doing something frivolous. What should we call Magnus’ stalking of Francziska?

It’s no wonder that Jonas and Martha were drawn to each other. He’s the only child of two people who were emotionally barely there. She’s the forgotten middle child and only girl in a household that has issues with misogyny. Ulrich barely acknowledges her existence.

Jonas enters the cave.

Katharina comes home from hanging up missing child posters, and prepares to hang up more. She sees the phone bill on the table and looks through the itemized list of phone calls made this month. Ulrich made a large number of calls to a certain number. Katharina calls the number. Hannah answers. Katharina hangs up without speaking.

At the hotel, Ulrich questions Regina about Mads’ disappearance. She starts by telling him that Mads was the nicest person she’s ever known. She’s always thought that Ulrich was the one who deserved to be taken, not him.

Mads wouldn’t have even been in the forest that night if it weren’t for the way Ulrich and Katharina had terrorized her recently. He knew she was afraid and walked her home. Ulrich insists that what happened was a game that Regina took too seriously.

That’s what bullies always say when they get caught. You’re too serious, have no sense of fun or humor, we were just kidding around.

Ulrich takes it further, by accusing Regina of turning him in for rape as revenge. She’s dumbfounded that he could be stupid enough to think that. He says that Hannah saw her turning him in.

That doesn’t even make sense. Does he think Hannah followed her into Egon’s office?

Regina points out that Hannah would’ve done anything to be with him, and still would. Regina herself has no real history of seeking revenge so overtly. (She says she’s a better person, but that’s questionable.)

Do the math, Ulrich.

Katharina sits in the car and listens to a talk radio program about the missing children. She calls in: “I want people to completely understand what’s really going on here. We’re all so blind about this. There’s a murderer among us. But nobody actually dares to say it. It’s the truth. We cling to the hope that it won’t happen here. We all know one another. And we think we know who’s around us. But do we, really? We live right next to people we know almost nothing about. And behind one of those doors is my son. It’s could be anyone’s door. The man behind the cash register. Someone we invite for coffee and cake on Sundays who plays with our children. I don’t want to look away anymore. And you shouldn’t want to either. This whole town is sick. Winden is like a festering wound. And all of us are a part of it.”

While Katharina speaks, Ulrich pulls out his own police file and checks to see who turned him in (Hannah). Alexander finds the envelope from the mammography center. Tronte and Peter go the bunker. Martha checks the audience for the show. Bartosz is in the audience. Regina listens to the broadcast and watches the hotel’s income plummet further.

Alexander is shown when she speaks about truth and clinging to hope, a reference to Regina’s cancer. Ulrich is shown when the voiceover refers to being blind to what’s really happening and not really knowing who the people around you are, a reference to Hannah’s deceptions. The camera is on Martha, then Bartosz when Katharina says that Mikkel could be behind anyone’s door. What does that mean? Are they in danger? Do they eventually become the killers?

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Alexander calls the mammography center for the test results. He’s told that Regina has invasive carcinomas which have now metastasized. Regina needs to make an appointment as soon as possible. Alexander is speechless.

Jonas finds a red cord tied to a tie down in the cave. He follows it.

Ulrich goes to Hannah’s house to have it out with her. He tells her she’s poison, even though she acts sweet. He wonders how her husband put up with her for so long and says it’s no wonder he killed himself. Hannah slaps him.

The comment about her husband was over the line.

He says he thought he knew her, but it’s easy to be deceived by people.

In a scene from the play, a character says that the daughter of Minos (Ariadne, Martha’s character) may seem to be beautiful and good, but she’s fooled the audience. Everyone, even a princess, has a dark side. This speech begins while the camera is still on Hannah, moves to the actor making the speech, then ends on Bartosz, the current prince of Winden.

More foreshadowing that Bartosz isn’t just a bad boy, he’ll become evil?

Jonas follows Ariadne’s thread. In the bunker, Peter tells tells Tronte, that there are 19 minutes more.

Alexander calls Regina to check on when she’s coming home. She’s waiting to pick up Bartosz when the play lets out. Alexander tells her he loves her. She replies in kind.

On stage, Ariadne tells Theseus how to kill the Minotaur, the half man-half bull who is her brother, in exchange for the promise that Theseus will never leave her. She wraps her thread around their hands, using string magic to create an unbreakable bond between them.

Jonas reaches the end of the red thread. He takes out the Geiger counter that the Stranger sent him and follows its readings. They lead him to a tunnel the size of a coffin. (Suddenly we’re in The OA! It’s all connected!) As he crawls in, Ariadne says, “Nothing but darkness surrounds me. Eternally lurking shadows.”

This is Ariadne’s death scene. She’s goes on, “I have not eaten in days. My eyes are turning black. The end is near. Just as he once descended into the maze, I now descend into mine.”

She removes her white dress to reveal a black sheath. In the tunnel, Jonas finds a small metal door with the words Sic Mundus Creatus Est engraved on it.

Katharina sits in the back of the auditorium, in tears. Martha/Ariadne continues, “I now stand before you, no king’s daughter, not a man’s wife, no brother’s sister. I am a loose end in time. And so we all die alike. No matter which house we are born into, no matter what clothes we wear, whether we grace the earth for many years, or briefly. I alone tie my bonds, whether with my hands extended or with them slapped away. We all face the same end. Those above have forgotten us. They do not judge us. In death, I am all alone. And my only judge is… me.”

Martha weeps on stage and can’t go on. Katharina goes to comfort her.

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Jonas opens the metal door. The air pressure and wind coming through from the other side are so strong that he has trouble holding it open while he crawls through. It slams shut after him, and the air becomes calm, now that the pressure has equalized.

The lights flicker all over Winden. Katharina helps Martha off stage. Bartosz and the rest of the audience become nervous. Mikkel’s 1987 photo in the school display case is highlighted. Charlotte, who is out on the road near the caves and the wildlife camera, hears and feels the earth start to rumble. So do Tronte and Peter. Tronte checks a log book to confirm the time. Peter checks his watch.

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Katharina walks Martha out of the school, as Regina is entering to pick up Bartosz. Regina taunts Katharina, telling her she should just leave if she can’t stand all the sick people in town. Katharina has had enough of everything, and loses it. She slaps Regina repeatedly, and keeps hitting her once Regina’s on the floor.

Whatever happened in their past, that was a terrible thing to say to a mother who’d just lost her child. If Katharina leaves town, she abandons hope for finding Mikkel. And Regina said it with a smirk on her face. Katharina shouldn’t have beat her up, but the impulse is understandable. At this point, she’s found out her husband was having an affair with one of her friends, her family is melting down, and she’s worried her son is lost forever. Who wouldn’t be looking for someone or something to lash out at?

Magnus comes into the hall and pulls Katharina off Regina. Regina stands up and tells Martha and Magnus that this is what their mother’s really like. She tells Katharina to tell her kids what really happened between them when they were young. Katharina takes the kids and leaves.

Jonas follows the tunnel until it comes to a fork. He takes the tunnel to the right. At the end is a door identical to the one he came through before. He goes through the door, and the wind blows it shut behind him, with a crashing sound of finality. The disturbances in Winden end.

Musical montage time!

Ulrich looks at photos of Mads in Jana’s album. He spots a photo with identifying characteristics he hadn’t noticed before.

Regina goes home and collapses into Alexander’s arms. They’re both despicable, but they appear to have the only loving marriage in town.

Katharina and the kids go home, holding hands in solidarity. Later, Martha joins Magnus in his room to talk. They’re both confused by what happened with their mom and Regina. They wish things would go back to normal. Martha realizes that parents have pasts that are a mystery to their kids, so that they never completely know each other. She sleeps in Magnus’ room, but he tells her to keep her cold feet away from him. He still has the bird necklace.

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Jonas leaves the cave and comes out into the forest. It’s identical to the forest he left. He walks to the bus stop that’s a favorite hangout for teenage Hannah and Ulrich. It’s pouring rain by now.

Teenage Hannah and her father pull up next to him in their van and offer him a ride. Hannah tells him that he shouldn’t stay out in the rain, because it’s filled with acid, from Chernobyl. It’s supposed to be gone by now, but she doesn’t believe it.

Hannah’s dad tells her to make room for Jonas in the van. He uses her name, so Jonas realizes who she is. He looks like he’s seen a ghost, and almost runs away.

Poor Hannah. First Mikkel, and now Jonah having strange reactions to her because they’re time travelers. No wonder she developed so many insecurities about men.

Ulrich goes to the morgue to look at the unidentified boy’s body that was found right after Mikkel disappeared. The boy has the same scar as Mads on his chin. He’s found his brother.

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Commentary

Sic Mundus Creatus Est = Thus the world was created.

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Sic Mundus Est is a quote from the Latin translation of an ancient text known as the Emerald Tablet. The first known copy was written in Arabic between the sixth and eigth centuries. It’s a foundational document for European alchemists, since it contains “the secret of the prima materia and its transmutation.”(Wiki) Prima materia is the pure, formless base matter from which all other forms of matter are created, and an important aspect of alchemical formulae. The Emerald Tablet is a brief document, but it has layers of meaning. It’s also an important document to the religious and philosophical tradition of Hermeticism, which influenced the development of science. There are other references to the Emerald Tablet and Hermeticism in the show, such as the band Ulrich is listening to in his room when Egon comes to his house. I haven’t been able to wrap my head around either concept well enough to catch many of the references, but there are fan theories out there.

A 17th century depiction of the Emerald Tablet was the source for the back tattoo and other images shown in episode 4. We were also shown a preview of the tunnel doors.


While he’s in 1986, Jonas is probably going to get to know more about his parents and grandparents’ past selves than he’s ever wanted to.

Mads was Ulrich’s person, his true family. He’s never gotten over the loss. Mikkel was the child who took after Mads the most in personality, and now he’s gone, too. Ulrich’s at the end of his rope.

His investigation was successful. He solved Mads’ case. But now he has to come to terms with the strangeness of the resolution and what that might mean for Mikkel.

Jonas must be completely lacking in claustrophobia, to be able to crawl through those tunnels and doors without even knowing where he’s going. Is the turn to the right always the past, no matter what direction you come from? That whole situation with the doors looked like it’s meant to be confusing. It’s the center of the labyrinth, of course, but Ariadne didn’t send enough thread to get Theseus all the way there, this time. He’s going to have to logic it out on his own.

After these last two episodes, they’ve firmly associated Martha with the color red and hinted that there’s something important and evil in the future involving her and Bartosz. If she’s Ariadne, it seems that she might be involved because she’s been tricked, coerced, or conned in some way. But she could be his Regina, and go along with his schemes. Is Bartosz Theseus or the man who rescues Ariadne from Theseus?

While Ariadne was sending Theseus off to kill her brother/the minotaur, her nephew/ex-boyfriend was the minotaur, the time anomaly in the middle of the time labyrinth. Jonas shouldn’t exist, since his father was a time traveler. Will Jonas have to die to fix time and close the portals that the murderer is using?

Peter and Tronte are parallel characters, two cheating husbands with responsible, stoic wives who stayed with them. They’re both involved in the disappearance and reappearance of the missing boys, somehow. The log book is a creepy new addition. Whatever was done to Erik and Mads was apparently done as part of a series of experiments, and records were kept. or this serial killer keeps records and has a number of accomplices, since Helge is also involved. But why do so many people allow this to keep happening?


Characters

New characters will be added at the bottom, as they’re introduced.

Cast from the Episode 1/Secrets murder board:

Charlotte Doppler in 1986 and 2019. Married to Peter, mother to Franziska and Elisabeth, daughter-in-law to Helge. Police Chief.

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Hannah Kahnwald, in 2019 and 1986. Mother to Jonas, widow of Michael, daughter-in-law of Ines, having an affair with Ulrich. Massage therapist.

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Helge Doppler, in 2019, 1986, and 1953. Son of Bernd and Greta, father of Peter, father-in-law to Charlotte. Nuclear power plant guard.

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Ines Kahnwald, in 2019, 1986 and 1953. Daughter to Daniel, adoptive mother to Michael, mother-in-law to Hannah, grandmother to Jonas. Hospital nurse.

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Jana Nielsen, in 1953, 1986 and 2019. Tronte’s wife, mother of Ulrich and Mads.

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Jonas Kahnwald in 2019. Son of Hannah and Michael, grandson of Ines. High school student.

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Katharina Nielsen in 1986 and 2019. Wife to Ulrich, mother of Magnus, Martha and Mikkel. High school principal.

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Mads Nielson, 1986, age 12. Missing since then. Ulrich Nielsen, 1986 and 2019. Son of Tronte and Jana, husband of Katharina, father of Martha, Magnus and Mikkel, lover to Hannah. Police officer.

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Michael Kahnwald, 2019, husband to Hannah, father to Jonas, adoptive son to Ines. Deceased artist.

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Regina Tiedemann, 1986 and 2019. Wife to Alexander, mother to Bartosz, daughter of Claudia, granddaughter of Egon. Hotelier.

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Magnus and Martha Nielson, 2019, children of Ulrich and Katharina, siblings of Mikkel. High school students. Franziska Doppler, 2019, daughter of Peter and Charlotte. High school student. Aleksander Tiedemann, 1986 and 2019, husband of Regina, father of Bartosz, son-in-law of Claudia. Director of Nuclear Power Plant in 2019. Bartosz Tiedemann, 2019. Son of Regina and Aleksander. High school student, aspiring drug dealer.

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Tronte Nielson in 1953, 1986 and 2019. Son to Agnes, husband to Jana, father to Ulrich and Mads.

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Murder Board:

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Jürgen Obendorf, maintenance worker at the nuclear power plant, and Erik Obendorf’s father. And Erik Obendorf, high schooler and drug dealer, missing for 2 weeks. Both pictured in 2019.

 

Peter Doppler in 2019, therapist, married to Charlotte Doppler (police chief), son of Helge Doppler, father of Franziska and Elizabeth Doppler. Bernd Doppler in 1986, founder and first director of the Winden Nuclear Power Plant, husband of Greta, father of Helge, grandfather of Peter.

 

The Stranger, a man who appeared in 2019 from the cave and is living in the Tiedemann’s hotel. He appears to be investigating Mikkel’s disappearance. HG Tannhaus in 1986, a Clockmaker and the author of A Journey Through Time.

 

Egon Tiedemann in 1986, a police officer, husband to Doris, Claudia’s father and Regina’s grandfather, Aleksander’s grandfather-in-law, teenage Ulrich’s nemesis. Claudia Tiedemann in 1986, incoming director of Winden Nuclear Power Plant, daughter of Egon, mother of Regina, grandmother of Bartosz, has an affair with Tronte Nielson.

 

Elisabeth Doppler, 2019, daughter of Peter and Charlotte, granddaughter of Helge, sister of Franziska. Yasin Friese, 2019, best friend and classmate of Elisabeth. Missing. Both communicate using sign language.

 

Torben Wöller, 2109, detective who works under Charlotte. Benni, 2019, prostitute who works out of a trailer parked on the edge of Winden and who Peter has frequented in the past.

 

Sebastian Krüger, 1986, Hannah’s father, drives van for dry cleaning business.

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Noah, 1986, parish priest at St Christopher’s Church, Winden. Noah, 2019, priest and Erik Obendorf’s drug supplier.

 

Mikkel Nielson, 2019 (and 1986). Michael Kahnwald, 2019. Mikkel Nielson changed his name to Michael Kahnwald when he was adopted by Ines Kahnwald in 1986.

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Images courtesy of Netflix.

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