It’s only one week until Netflix releases season 2 of their German time travel mystery series, Dark. They’ve recently released a teaser and a full length trailer for the Dark 3 season trilogy.
The full season will be released on June 21, 2019, the day of Michael Kahnwald’s death, with which the series began. Season 2 will consist of 8 episodes that are each one hour long. The ensemble cast returns, joined by Sandra Borgmann, Winfried Glatzeder, Dietrich Hollinderbäumer and Sylvester Groth. No news that I’ve been able to find on who’ll they’ll play.
Season 2 synopsis from Netflix:
The second season continues the story of four families and their attempts to change their fate within their tightly knit community. They experience how every decision irretrievably influences the present, the past and the future. Jonas finds himself trapped in the future and desperately tries to return to 2020. Meanwhile, his friends Martha, Magnus, and Franziska are trying to uncover how Bartosz’ is involved in the mysterious incidents occurring in their small hometown of Winden. More and more people are drawn into the events orchestrated by an obscure figure who seemingly controls everything that is connected throughout different time zones.
The bolded sections are the two bombshells in the synopsis. Jonas must hang out in the future, or be held there, until after the travel window closes for this time travel cycle. He becomes one of the Winden Lost Boys, one of the few who will ever return alive, if anonymously (along with his father). When we see him return to Winden in the early part of season 1, he’s returning a few days before his past self disappeared (and was probably eventually presumed dead). But there is still the story of the little clockwork time machine to take into account. Jonas could have been anywhere in the intervening time. We need to understand the rules of time travel better before we rule anything out.
There have been fan theories that Bartosz eventually becomes Noah. The suggestion that he’s now involved in mysterious incidents strengthens that theory. Helge has gotten too old to act as Noah’s assistant, so maybe Noah takes himself on as an apprentice. Time travel shows do love the concept of the ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail in an endless cycle. The ouroboros is also associated with Gnosticism and Hermeticism, two mystical religious traditions Dark has pointed to before. Jonas has also been training himself in an ouroboros cycle.
The obvious choice for the obscure figure who controls people across time is Noah. But it could also be the clockmaker, or one of the other characters, who eventually discovers and learns about time travel, then goes back. It could be that Bartosz isn’t Noah, he’s Noah’s eventual boss. Or the cult leader could be someone from the future who we haven’t met yet, played by a new addition to the cast.
Mystery teaser trailer:
Badly done transcript:
Older man: “If you could reach into the clockwork mechanisms of the world, could change the switches, to which day would you travel?”
Young woman: “If it’s what I think it is, it will change our understanding of the world forever.”
Man: “Time is always with you. It sees and hears everything you do or say.”
Other man: “Time travel. It really exists.”
Jonas ages, by way of growing his hair out. He also gets a spacesuit/hazmat suit.
Time is personified. It’s almost implied that time is a deity who will judge your moral behavior. Or time is a stalker. Or both.
Knowledge of time travel is getting out.
Somebody stole the
zero matter darkforce from Agent Carter (and Agents of SHIELD and possibly Cloak of Cloak and Dagger).
Another badly done English transcript:
Woman’s voice (she seems to be referring to a nuclear disaster which happened between 2019 and 2052): “It’s still unclear what led to the events in Winden. Maybe we can save them. All of them.”
Older Man’s voice: “Where did it all start?”
Man’s voice: “In the small town of Winden, a boy disappeared under mysterious circumstances.”
Older man: “In the future? In the past? Or is everything connected in an endless loop?”
Jonas: “There must be a way to change it all.”
Screencard: Everything is connected.
Helge?: “It’s going to happen again. Tick tock. Tick tock.”
The Stranger: “The role you play in all of this is much bigger than you think.”
“There is a way.”
Screen card: Cycle 2 begins.
Helge?: “The apocalypse must happen. Tick tock.”
Just another happy, hopeful day in Winden. This season, the nature of time and time travel is up for debate. Is time a fixed loop that can’t be changed or is the loop unnatural and able to be broken? Have the changes made by time travel actually always been part of history, or can we create a new chapter that’s never played out before? This is one of religion and philosophy’s oldest debates.
Do we have free will or are our fates predetermined? If we have free will, are our actions judged by some authority? If our fates are predetermined, who creates the paths we have to follow? Dark repeatedly asks, what could the characters have done differently? Would it have mattered? Are we all just following Ariadne’s thread, while thinking we’re the hero of our stories?
Act 1 establishes main characters, the world of the story and the basic goal of the trilogy. The middle act of a trilogy is the time when the story deepens and the crisis builds. The world is expanded to broaden the metaphors and take the characters further out into the larger world than the first act allowed. In the 2nd act, children become adults, but their greatest challenge is saved for act 3. This is the time for testing, training, and fighting early battles to be ready for the final battle that will come.
In Dark, we’ve established that the goal is to save the Lost Boys, with a new goal in season 2 of preventing nuclear disaster. In season 1, it was foreshadowed with mentions of Chernobyl, the power plant shutdowns, the mysterious yellow barrels, the refusal to allow the police in to search for evidence of missing children and the double financial books kept by Berndt and Claudia (and probably Aleksander) to hide an unspecified issue.
Is there a connection between the Lost Boys and the nuclear meltdown? Between Mikkel/Michael, Jonas and the apocalypse? How do the wallpapered room, Helge, Noah and the killer chair factor in?
This show is so complicated that it would take me hours to go through everything in the trailer. I’m going to keep writing recaps instead, and leave you with some screencaps.
Images courtesy of Netflix.