Dark Season 1 Episode 10: Alpha and Omega Recap

Dark S1Ep10 Stranger Listens to Clockmaker

In the finale of Dark season 1, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the season comes full circle. It’s confirmed that Winden is caught in a time loop. Working with Gnostic/Hermetic imagery, Noah is the Demiurge/Old Testament God, who benefits from the control he has over the world that’s caught in a mistake. Claudia is Sophia/Wisdom/Holy Spirit, the completion of a trinity which includes the Clockmaker and the Stranger. She is Noah’s, and now Bartosz’s, arch enemy. Bartosz grows closer to both Martha and Noah, which leads Jonas down a path he’s walked before. Like Ulrich and Jonas, Helge tries to understand the nature of the universe and to fix what’s broken.

Recap

“Everything is fixed and you can’t change it.” -Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar- Jesus to Pontius Pilate)

“Everything is now.” -Dark

It’s the night Mikkel disappeared and Peter is considering breaking his promise to remain faithful to Charlotte. He’s sitting in Benni’s parking lot, watching her from a distance. We haven’t been told if he’s obsessed with Benni specifically or if Benni’s the only one in town providing a particular experience, particularly one which Charlotte can’t provide. Or maybe they are another pair of Winden’s star-crossed lovers. The photographic evidence suggests the latter.

Dark S1Ep10 Benni & Color Theory
Benni, as Peter sees her on the night of Mikkel’s disappearance. Did she know he was in the car that lingered in the parking lot that night, when she told Charlotte she hadn’t seen him in a year? She has a yellow umbrella, for clear thinking and selflessness, and a red light/pink coat, for love, passion and desire. The word love is right there, in lights, to make sure we realize this isn’t just about desire. The pink softens the red and is rarely used on Dark.

Peter drives to the cabin and sits on the bench, then slaps himself in the face, hard. He recites the Serenity Prayer, used by addicts in 12 step groups. Does he consider himself a sex addict?

As he’s chanting, a watery vulva opens to swallow him whole for his cheating, lying ways rift opens in the bunker wall and spits out Mads’ body.

So it was just a warning from the Goddess to come clean with Charlotte.

Peter does CPR for a minute, then checks the body for ID and calls Tronte to come over. Both Tronte and Peter are nearly hysterical with fear and grief. The aged version of Claudia, calm and in control as ever, steps out of an unseen doorway and tells both men that she’ll explain everything, but first, they need to take Mads’ body to the place where it’s supposed to be found. They’re running out of time.

Dark S1Ep10 Mads Body Appears
Mads’ Nielsen 2019
Dark S1Ep10 Claudia, Goddess of Wisdom, Bunkers and Family Trees
Ageless Claudia Tiedemann, Goddess of Wisdom, Bunkers and Family Trees
Dark S1Ep10 Tronte & Peter Find Mads
Peter Doppler and Tronte Nielson 2019, Claudia’s Henchmen

November 12, 2019

The day of Helge’s accident.

Dark S1Ep10 Jonas Wakes Up
Boy or butterfly? Past, present or future?

Jonas wakes up with young Mikkel in his bed. Then he startles awake from his nightmare.

Just once, I wanted Martha to be in bed with him.

He sits up to take one of his pills, but throws them in the trash instead. The better to tell reality from dreams or whatever. Clear thinking is important to a guy with a yellow raincoat.

Martha, in blue instead of red, has apparently told Bartosz the “truth” about her and Jonas and blamed her erratic behavior on Mikkel’s disappearance. Bartosz forgives her, because they’ve both agreed that it’s all Jonas’ fault.

Martha was probably smart enough to spin the story so that she rejected Jonas instead of the other way around. That way, she’s more valuable in Bartosz’ eyes and he has a reason to defend her. Most of why Bartosz wants Martha is because he could steal her from Jonas. Jonas never told Bartosz that Martha had called him dozens of times.

It’s Hannah, Ulrich and Katharina all over again, but in this cycle, the Hannah and Ulrich types are together.

A nurse shows Charlotte into Helge’s room at the nursing home. She’s says that he’s been gone overnight this time, much longer than ever before. Charlotte asks if Ulrich has been back. The nurse says no, but mentions that he seemed to think that Helge had something to do with the dead boys.

Helge wakes up in the watchtower in 1986.

In 2019, Jonas asks Ines if she knew that Mikkel came from the future. He can tell that she did. She gets up and brings him the pristine original copy of Mikkel’s last letter. He’s surprised, because he burned the letter.

Jonas asks how long Ines has known that Mikkel came from the future. She tells him that she always knew. When she first met him, she thought he could be disturbed or have an overactive imagination. Then she thought he’d been through a terrible trauma that he couldn’t face. She didn’t believe him when he told her he came from the future.

Jonas asks why she didn’t do something to help him, either as Mikkel or Michael. Ines didn’t know he’d take his own life. Jonas gets angry, explaining his messed up family connections to her and saying that she could have prevented things from getting so out of hand.

Ines doesn’t respond, until Jonas says that the rest of his family is actually fine. He’s the only one who’s truly affected by all of this. He’s the one who’s “wrong”. Then Ines looks at him and tells him, “The way I see it is this. I think things happen for a reason, no matter how strange or abnormal they seem to us. Who are we to play God? What’s past is past. But you live in the here and now. Who knows what the future will bring.”

Jonas: “I just want things to go back to normal.”

Ines: Enigmatic little smile.

In 1986, Mikkel does a magic trick for Ines and tells her about Houdini, who always dreamed of being a magician. Mikkel moves a sugar cube from underneath one cup to another. Ines asks if he has the same dream as Houdini. Mikkel says he does, but the magic he wants to do is impossible.

Mikkel: “I just want to wake up.”

Ines: “Have you heard of the paradox of Master Zhuang? ‘I dreamed I was a butterfly. But now that I have woken up, I no longer know if I’m a person who dreamed about being a butterfly or am I a butterfly dreaming about being a person?’ What are you? A person, or a butterfly?”

Mikkel: “Maybe I’m both.”

He shows her that now there are sugar cubes under both cups and makes his own enigmatic little smile. After a moment, it fades and he looks heartbroken.

I think that in 2019, Ines was trying to say something to Jonas similar to the butterfly paradox, but involving time instead of identity. She tried to make it okay for Mikkel and Jonas to be out of place and time and not quite belong anywhere. We’ve seen Jonas startle awake in probably every episode. He never feels like he’s in the right place or time, and Ines can’t make that okay for him, anymore than she ultimately made it okay for Mikkel.

In 1953, Ulrich has his mug shot taken as part of the arrest process. Egon introduces himself and tries to get Ulrich to give his name. As you’d expect, instead it just sets Ulrich off on a new round of self-destructiveness.

Ulrich quotes lyrics from one of his favorite 80s songs: “My only aim is to take many lives, the more the better I feel.”

Egon already has Satanists on the brain and asks if Ulrich is one. He tells Egon that he’s a cop. He also tells Egon about the song and that he didn’t kill the boys, he was trying to save them. Egon asks where Helge is. Ulrich says he’s still alive or the other boys wouldn’t still be dead. Then he begs them to set him free, so he can finish killing Helge and change the future. When Egon tells him they don’t like child murderers in Winden, Ulrich resorts to yelling insults.

He does reveal one interesting tidbit while they drag him to a cell: “Have you already started drinking or will you start after your wife leaves you?”

So Doris is going to run off on him. Good for her.

Jonas goes to school, wearing his yellow raincoat in the pouring rain. Bartosz is waiting outside for him. He’s angry that Jonas didn’t show up to meet Noah and then kissed Martha. And after Bartosz was such a great friend who lied for Jonas so that no one would know he was getting mental health treatment for trauma. Sorry, that he “was in the nuthouse.” Jonas apologizes, but that’s not good enough. Bartosz calls Jonas a liar who screwed around with Bartosz’ girl and says that Jonas is just like his dad. Bartosz shoves Jonas until he falls on the ground. They have a fist fight.

Or an aggressive wrestle on the wet pavement. Martha, back in her red scarf, runs outside to break them up and of course assumes Jonas started it. Bartosz tells Jonas to  get out and not to ever come back to the school. I would find this bizarre, but his mommy and daddy and Martha’s mom will probably find a way to get Jonas expelled. Plus, I’m pretty sure Noah orchestrated this entire encounter.

Jonas walks away. The Stranger walks into the clock shop. Both time machines are out on the counter. Tannhaus explains that they’re the same device, but in different conditions. He built the original many years ago. The older one has been upgraded and now works with the electromagnetic pulse from Ulrich’s phone. The original design had that capability, but he didn’t know what it was. He had to see the future device to understand the past. A paradox. There is another small chamber he also doesn’t understand. Stranger takes out a vial of Cesium 137, the radioactive isotope of Cesium. He inserts it into the chamber.

Tannhaus: “That port allows it to generate a Higgs field. That increases the Cesium’s mass which creates a huge electromagnetic pulse that then could implode and turn into a black hole. The same thing must have happened during the nuclear power plant incident.”

Stranger asks why Tannhaus decided to help him. The Clockmaker hems and haws and eventually says that it felt like the right thing to do, something he had to do. It’s his part in the time loop mechanics.

Charlotte calls Peter to ask about the time that Helge was kidnapped as a kid. Peter tries to talk to her, to say he has something important to tell her, but she has her own agenda and sticks to it, as usual. She wants to know the year that Helge was taken. He tells her it was 1953.

Charlotte figures out that it was 66 years ago or 2×33. “It’s all connected.” Peter tells her he needs to talk to her, but she practically hangs up on him.

In 1986, Helge goes to the cabin, and finds 2019 Helge waiting. 2019 Helge tries to convince 1986 Helge that Noah is pure evil, and they have to stop helping him. He pleads with 1986 Helge not to make the mistakes he made. 1986 Helge runs back to his car and drives off. 2019 Helge says, “I have to stop.”

At home, Jonas packs a bag and looks at Michael’s studio one last time. He goes downstairs, where Hannah is. He very calmly hugs her, tells her everything will be fine, and he left something back at school. He walks out. Hannah is left wondering what just happened.

That was for sure a goodbye, hopefully a time travel goodbye and not a suicide goodbye.

Tronte and Peter sit in the bunker, just a couple of guys having a chat about time anomalies. Peter is worried because Charlotte is getting close. Tronte doesn’t care, because time is about to reset itself and Mads will be alive again. Peter asks if he believes Claudia? Tronte pulls out Noah’s log. He says that everything Claudia and the book have predicted in the last 8 days has come true. Peter wonders why half the pages are torn out of the book and what will happen tomorrow. Tronte, the true believer, says that everything will be new.

In 1986, Helge visits Noah at his church and asks, “But if there is no God, why do we go on believing in a lie?”

Noah: “Because we prefer any lie to feeling pain. Years ago, when I was a boy, a stranger came to us. He looked like he’s been in the war. He didn’t talk much. There was this sadness in his eyes. The kind you see in those who want to die, but life won’t let them. He rented a room in our home. The bedroom right next to mine. Many times he would talk in his sleep. Confused words. But this one night, he was suddenly very clear. He stood in the hallway with his eyes wide open and said, ‘Nothing is done in vain. Not a single breath. Not a single step, not a single word. Not any pain. It’s all an eternal wondrous miracle of the One.’ I couldn’t relate to his words. It was only years later, when I myself felt such a pain, that I truly understood what he meant. He meant that none of the horrible things that happen to us should be in vain. Those challenges make us who we are. That sadness can give us strength. Your pain defines who you are, Helge. But it no longer holds power over you.”

He clutches Helge’s head and looks him in the eyes intensely as he finishes his speech. Helge is moved and nods in understanding. He asks who’s next. Noah looks at his log book and says, “Jonas Kahnwald.”

As Noah was speaking, Jonas was shown while he discussed the stranger who talked in his sleep. He went into the caves in 2019. Now we see him emerging in 1986.

Katharina and Martha were also shown, huddled together on the couch, Hannah sat at her kitchen table, Egon looked in on Ulrich in his cell in 1953, and HG Tannhaus sat at his desk and looked at his time machine in 1986.

Dark S1Ep10 Sad Jonas1
There was this sadness in his eyes, the kind you see in those who want to die, but life won’t let them.
Dark S1Ep10 Jonas Enters Cave
Leaving 2019

Dark S1Ep10 Sad NoahDark S1Ep10 Kat&Martha

Dark S1Ep10 Jonas Exits Cave
Emerging in 1986
Dark S1Ep10 Noah&Helge
Your pain defines who you are, but it no longer holds power over you.

 

Still in 1986, Ines brings the caseworker into Mikkel’s room so that she can take him to his new temporary housing. Mikkel sits with his back to the door and doesn’t respond. Ines pulls the caseworker into the hall and confesses that she wants to adopt Mikkel and to be his foster mother until the adoption goes through.

The caseworker tries to argue that it’s not that simple, but Ines is determined and has a financially stable, settled life, so there’s no reason for her to be denied. She won’t be argued out of pursuing this.

Teenage Charlotte sits in the woods and draws a scientific diagram of a dead bird. Jonas stops to ask the day and year. It’s November 12, 1986. She asks what he’s doing in town, since he’s obviously a stranger. He says he’s bringing someone back from the dead. Charlotte asks if he can bring the birds back. Jonas says that it only works when they’re younger, before they die. Charlotte says that the birds won’t be dead then. Jonas tells her that won’t change that they will die.

I’m not sure what’s significant here, but something is- I think it’s that what’s true for the birds is true for Mikkel. Jonas can’t change his future anymore than he can change the birds’ future. He just doesn’t understand why yet.

It will also be significant when Charlotte remembers this conversation in 2019. Birds are too important symbolically for them not to mean something more in Dark eventually.

In 2019, Charlotte looks through old newspapers from 1953 for information on Helge’s attack. She finds a photo of Ulrich with an article that says he’s a suspect in Helge’s murder.

Dark S1Ep10 Murderer Ulrich
They made Ulrich look as rough as possible.

Charlotte has finally reached a tipping point with the strange evidence she’s been collecting.

Daniel Kahnwald, Egon and a few more of Winden’s finest descend on Ulrich in his cell. They give Ulrich one more chance to tell them where Helge is. When he still won’t talk, they all beat him with their billy clubs at once.

Jonas goes to Mikkel’s hospital room. Mikkel is asleep and Father Noah is sitting with him, reading a book. Jonas asks Noah who he is. Noah gestures for Jonas to be quiet, just before Helge jumps him from behind, putting chloroform in his face to knock him unconscious.

Yikes, Jonas wakes up in the kill room. He makes the same face we’re probably all making at home. The Stranger is outside the door and tells him, through a tiny opening, that there’s no reason to be afraid. I doubt that very much. He tells Jonas that Noah put him in the room. Jonas still doesn’t know who Noah is and has a lot more loud, angry questions. Stranger explains that the kill chair is a prototype time machine that they want to test on Jonas.

Stranger: “The passage in the cave is directly underneath this bunker. If it’s opened, the energy runs through this room. But it needs to be increased. It’s not a DeLorean. There’s no hissing or steam. The first time machine is a bunker with four walls. But it still doesn’t quite work.”

The Stranger refuses again to let Jonas out, but he does explain who he is. “I am you. My name is Jonas Kahnwald.” Jonas shrinks in horror at the idea that he’ll ever be so grizzled and be willing to leave a kid locked in a cell with a torture device. Stranger Jonas tells him that he’s already experienced everything that’s happening, but from the other side. “We think we have free will, but we don’t. We follow the same old path. Again and again.”

Jonas asks why he doesn’t just exercise some free will now, and change his behavior. Letting Jonas out would be a good start. Stranger Jonas explains that he can’t change his past because he needs to stay the person he is today, so that he can finish his plan to destroy the black hole. He asks why Jonas kissed Martha, by way of explaining that desire ruins everything. “We have no free will in what we do, because we’re not free in what we want. We can’t overcome what’s deep inside us.”

Now that Stranger Jonas has cruelly brought up Martha, Jonas pleads with him to stop talking. He just wants Mikkel back and some kind of normalcy. He wants all of this sick stuff to stop.

Stranger Jonas tells him that 33 years later, his goals and desires haven’t changed. “But Mikkel- our father is just a small part of this sprawling sickness. I’ve seen things no one should ever see. I’m sorry.”

He shuts the peephole door.

1986 Helge drives his car in the pouring rain while listening to the radio. He stops at a red light (desire), then starts to drive through the intersection when it turns green (danger). He’s t-boned by another car that doesn’t even slow down.

Helge’s head is dripping and bloody, but he’s able to get out of the car and check on the other driver. It’s the 2019 version of himself, who’s dead from the impact. He was trying to kill the 1986 version of himself so that he wouldn’t work with Noah anymore.

Charlotte finds a newspaper article about the accident, from November 13, 1986. The accident itself was on the 12th. Charlotte adds the article to her murder board, then she gets a text from Peter, asking her to come to the cabin.

Dark S1Ep10 Scared Bartosz

Noah tells Bartosz, “Everything is about to begin.” He sounds so much like a Bond villain beginning his monologue that even Bartosz finally gets a clue that maybe he should be worried.

Stranger Jonas will destroy the black hole, but the explosion with also trigger its creation. It’s a paradox. The Cesium in the Clockmaker’s time machine creates the hole, rather than destroying it forever.

Noah: “He thinks he’s the savior, but Claudia lied to him. Most people are nothing but pawns on a chessboard, led by an unknown hand. Their lives exist only to be sacrificed for a much higher goal. Jonas, Mikkel, the children, they’re nothing but unfortunate, yet necessary chess moves in an eternal war between good and evil. There are two groups out there fighting to control time travel. Light and shadow. We belong to the light. Don’t ever forget that. Even though some of what we do is of a dark nature. No victory is won without sacrifice. As long as we’re in this time loop, we who know must make certain every step will be repeated exactly as it was before, no matter how inhumane it seems to us. No matter what sacrifices it demands of us. But believe me, the others are the ones who are truly inhumane. They have lost all humanity. They belong to the shadow.  Your grandmother, Claudia, she belongs to the shadow. Never trust her, no matter what she says. Jonas trusted her once, and he will never trust her again. He thinks he will change everything, but he will learn he’s merely her puppet and he doesn’t deserve any better. Time is an infinite field. Millions and millions of interlocking wheels. We have to be patient to be victorious. But our time will come. We will free humanity from its immaturity, from its pain. But you must be strong. Can you do that?”

Bartosz: “Yeah”

Noah: “It’s time.”

Stranger Jonas takes the time machine into the center of the portals and turns it on. It goes through a process as it begins to work. Stranger Jonas settles in to wait. The bloody adult version of Michael, who Jonas has seen sporadically since Mikkel disappeared, sits on the other side of the machine. Neither is surprised to see the other, so they must still run into each other around town.

Ines brings Mikkel/Michael home. Charlotte meets Peter in the bunker. Katharina tries to call Ulrich. In 1953, Ulrich’s head is dripping with blood. Katharina notices the lights flickering and Mikkel’s solar system mobile spinning. The lights flicker and the ground shakes in all three time periods.

Agnes and Doris enjoy a drink alone together. The cable goes out in 2019, just as a Raiders candy bar ad is on. It makes Franziska, who is with Magnus, look a little sick.

Regina and Aleksander stop their car to look at a strange black dome in the sky.

Dark S1Ep10 Black Dome Over Winden

Is this what Regina saw the night Mads disappeared?

The residents of Winden get nervous. A heavily armed Claudia stands in the woods and looks pleased when either snow or ash float through the air. My bet is that something went wrong with the power plant in whatever time period she’s in, and she wants to make sure that happens the way it’s supposed to.

Stranger Jonas watches as a tiny black dome develops above the time machine.

Dark S1Ep10 Helge&Jonas Create Time LoopDark S1Ep10 Jonas Wakes Up in 2052

Up in the bunker, where Jonas is in 1986 and Helge is in 1953, a rift opens in space-time so that they can see each other. They reach out their hands and when their fingers touch, they’re transported. Helge is taken to the torture room in 1986. He wakes up on the floor, just as he did at the beginning of episode 7.

Jonas startles awake. This is the nightmare he’ll never wake up from. He’s in the bunker, with Claudia’s murder board, weaponry, etc. He gets out. When he comes out into the woods, which are much thinner, the snow or ash is still in the air. Before long he finds radiation warning signs, abandoned vehicles and the general feeling that he’s in a war zone. As he walks through the area, a truck carrying a dozen or so people, with their faces covered, stops in front of him. They make him put him hands up and kneel on the ground. They won’t answer any of his questions. After he stares at a hovercraft that flies over, a woman says, “Welcome to the future.” Then she knocks him out.

Dark S1Ep10 Welcome to the FutureDark S1Ep10 What Jonas Finds in 2052Dark S1Ep10 2052 Danger Sign


Commentary

So, Noah and Claudia are arch nemeses who are involved in what I suspect is an all out war for the souls of Winden, being fought through time, space and weird phenomenon, with no holds barred, nothing sacred and no way, in the end, to know who’s won.

If the show goes with a Hermetic/Gnostic parallel, then I believe that Noah is the Demiurge and Claudia is the original, powerful Gnostic Sophia. Charlotte is also associated with Sophia’s symbols, and Noah personally engaged her through Elizabeth.

Noah has already demonstrably lied and murdered children, so he’s pretty clearly evil and not just expedient.

Claudia is expedient, but it’s not clear whether she’s neutral, good or evil. It sounds like Jonas will be spending time with her in the future and will trust her, which will threaten Noah.

Despite the Hermetic threads running through the series, the dominant myth for this season is Ariadne’s Thread, with its themes of going into the darkness and finding the way out again, facing the darkness within, loyalty and betrayal, public power vs hidden power, forbidden love, love that sustains despite the character of the lovers, corrupt leaders, and Minotaurs who don’t belong anywhere but are still family.

Ariadne’s Thread combines love, passion and desire with selflessness, logic and reason to solve the mystery of the labyrinth and then escape the island to live in freedom. This corresponds to character traits and motivations that have driven the entire season. Once freedom is gained, it isn’t what Ariadne and Theseus thought it would be. Their disappointment leads to both tragedy and great success, depending on the character and the version of the story. We’ve seen this as well, in the deep loyalty and career success of Aleksander and Regina, vs Michael’s suicide and Hannah’s affair, with Hannah telling Jonas that she felt like she never really knew who Michael was.

I suspect we’re going to eventually discover that everyone in the four main families is related. In Winden, you’re lucky if you’ve managed to hook up with a partner who isn’t a first degree relative. There are still several characters with no assigned parentage, and several more whose parentage is questionable. Just what is Peter’s story? Who is Regina’s father?  Is it Tronte? That would make Bartosz and Martha almost as closely related as Jonas and Martha.

Jonas wore his yellow raincoat of truth and reason all the way into the future, and Future Jonas gave his younger self the yellow geiger counter, an instrument of the truth. But somewhere along the way, he lost the clear thinking of his yellow, along with the coat, and got caught up in red desire and the muddy moral ambiguity of the dark colors. He wants to change the past so badly that he forgot to stay objective.

Everytime he woke up in 2019, his face was evenly lit. When he woke up in 2052, half his face was already in shadow. (There’s a screencap above.) Simply going to 2052 will take away his honesty and selflessness. Claudia will prey on his need for family and belonging. We know she wasn’t capable of giving that to her own daughter, so whatever she offers Jonas will probably be a lie. I doubt that she’s as bad as Noah, but I can’t get past the look on her face when the time machine reaction started.

This is the part I don’t understand, and I’m not even sure who’s lying about what. Noah says this in episode 9:

But there is no God, there is no light, there is no plan. There never has been a plan. Only chaos is real and eternal. “Pain and chaos.”

“People are bad, malicious, evil. Life is nothing but a huge spiral of pain. And the world is doomed to be destroyed. But this is our Ark [the kill chair]. And I’m Noah. If we can harness this energy, we can change everything. Then we decide the world’s fate removed from all evil and from all pain. We’ll create a time machine. We’ll reorder everything anew, the beginning and the end.”

At the time I took it to mean that he wanted to break the time loop, but according to himself and future Jonas in this episode, he wants to perfectly maintain the time loop and use the energy of its black hole to power his own time machine. He’ll use his time machine like Noah’s Ark, to reset history in some way.

But, I don’t think the Winden time loop is a true, stable time loop. If Noah has to trick and cajole everyone into repeating their actions each time through the loop, or the loop will break, then the black hole is breaking down on its own and the loop is inherently unstable. In a closed, stable loop, the actions repeat and no one even realizes they’re in a loop. It’s changing behavior that can’t be accomplished, not repeating behavior. If the people of Winden can change their behavior, and if those changes would result in different outcomes, then Noah is doing something to artificially keep the loop in place while he perfects his time machine. One of those things is tricking Jonas and Claudia into restarting the loop every cycle.

I thought Noah was from the past, probably because that’s where we’ve seen him most, but I realize now that he could be from the future. 2052 would give a kid a terrible view of humanity and the possibilities for the future.

At this point, I think we have to ask if certain people can only die by their own hand and only when time is ready to allow it. With a few people, it seems to go beyond time being immutable. Helge, Mikkel, Claudia, Noah, Jonas- those who have time traveled seem to age differently. Other than Noah, they do age, but something different is happening with them. They’re hard to kill or something. There’s too many secrets and lies, coming from all of them, to be sure of any time traveler’s actual age, including Stranger Jonas, but I feel like things don’t quite add up.

Charlotte and Peter were in the bunker in 2019- were they affected?

Michael Kahnwald was in the tunnel with Future Jonas, possibly because he frequently hung out in there, hoping to travel, possibly because of his connection to Jonas. Also, the veil between time periods was thinning then. But when and why was he so bloody? Was he also in a car accident? Did Helge and Noah try to get him when he was older?

We’ve now been shown a man with blood running down his face in each time period- Ulrich in 1953, after the police beat him, Helge after his car accident in 1986 and Ghost Michael/Mikkel in 2019.

At any rate, his father’s ghost travels with Jonas and he’s a presence in the tunnels- was that enough to get him sent to a new time period in corporeal form?

So, where did Future Jonas and adult, time remnant Mikkel/Michael go? One of them, probably Jonas,  was the man who influenced Noah as a kid, though Noah definitely hasn’t given us that whole story.

Noah hands Bartosz the log the way Jonas is handed the letter. Is Bartosz Noah?

During the years between Mikkel’s birth and his disappearance/Michael’s suicide, he was both the butterfly and the man from Master Zhuang’s paradox. When the butterfly woke up, the man decided to finally wake up, too.

How will Helge and Noah get Jonas out of hospital with no one noticing? One of he nurses has to be in on it. But I still just don’t trust Ines. She was not very loving for a grandmother.  Is she one of Noah’s followers from way back? His sister? Niece? Is the “war” WW1? How much of Noah’s story about the sleep talking stranger was real? How many details were changed?

Ines asked Noah to visit Mikkel the first time, or so Noah said. How much influence is going on there? She was strange with Jonas when he visited her, very blase about everything. She had to believe Mikkel’s story about coming from the future, once he was born and she could compare her photos to the real young Mikkel. But the stuff she said to Jonas sounds like it came from Noah.

It seemed to me like the paradox and time loop were created not by the time machine being used, but by Helge and Jonas touching and creating that inversion in space-time. But something also happened in 1986. Those mysterious, roaming barrels can’t be forgotten. Maybe the black hole was created in 1986 and the paradox/loop was created in 2019. 1986 is the focal point of the tunnels, so it’s an origin point. 2052 only came into play after the 2019 incident.

The time loop/travel cycle lasts 8 days in each time period. The number 8 has biblical/spiritual significance. “The number eight in the Bible signifies Resurrection and Regeneration. It is the number of a new beginning. Eight is 7 plus 1 and since it comes just after seven, which itself signifies an end to something, so eight is also associated with the beginning of a new era or that of a new order.” 8 people were saved on Noah’s Ark, then Noah was the eighth person to leave the Ark and set foot on land, to lead the Earth in a new beginning. There are 8 different resurrections in the Bible. The Easter season and the Resurrection of Jesus are associated with the number 8. “There were eight miracles of Elijah as told in the bible. And God made eight covenants with Abraham.”

A Delorean is a luxury car brand from the 1980s that was turned into the time machine in Back to the Future.

 

Dark S1Ep10 Someone's Watching
Someone’s watching.

Characters

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

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Claudia Tiedemann, 1953, 1986 and 2019(?). Director of Winden Power Plant in 1986. Daughter of Egon. Mother of Regina and mother in law of Aleksander. Grandmother of Bartosz. Had extramarital affair with Tronte Nielsen in the 1980s. Appears to be a survivalist at some point in the future.

Dark S1Ep8 MB Claudia

Egon Tiedemann, 1953 & 1986. Winden police officer. Husband to Doris. Claudia’s father and Regina’s grandfather. Aleksander’s grandfather in law. Bartosz’s great grandfather. Teenage Ulrich’s nemesis. Alcoholic.

Dark S1Ep8 MB Egon

HG Tannhaus, 1953 & 1986. Clockmaker, inventor, amateur physicist and author of the book A Journey Through Time. Advisor to the Stranger.

Dark S1Ep8 MB Tannhaus

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.

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Peter Doppler 2019

Bernd Doppler, 1953 & 1986, founder and first director of the Winden Nuclear Power Plant, husband of Greta, father of Helge, grandfather of Peter.

 

The Stranger, a time traveler who appeared in 2019 and is living in the Tiedemann’s hotel. He is investigating the Winden wormhole and time travel, hoping to correct the timeline.

Dark S1Ep8 The Stranger
The Stranger

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.

Dark S1Ep5 Sebastian Krüger 1986

Noah, 1953, murder suspect. Noah, 1986, parish priest at St Christopher’s Church, Winden. Noah, 2019, priest and Erik Obendorf’s drug supplier.

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Agnes Nielsen, 1953, Tronte’s mother, widow, new in town, boarder in the Tiedemann home.

Dark S1Ep8 Agnes Nielson 1953
Agnes Nielsen 1953

Doris Teidemann, 1953. Egon’s wife, Claudia’s mother, Regina’s grandmother, Bartosz’s great grandmother.

Dark S1Ep8 Doris Tiedmann 1953
Doris Tiedemann 1953

 

Greta Doppler, 1953. Bernd’s wife, Helge’s mother, Peter’s grandmother, Franziska and Elizabeth’s great grandmother.

Dark S1Ep8 Greta Doppler 1953
Greta Doppler 1953

Gretchen the Dog Tiedemann, 1953. Claudia’s dog. Lost in the caves in 1953, returned to her through the caves, apparently unchanged, in 1986.

Dark S1Ep8 Greta the Dog Tiedmann 1953
Gretchen Tiedemann 1953

Daniel Kahnwald, 1953. Ines’s father, Michael’s adopted grandfather, Jonas’ great grandfather. Chief of police in 1953.

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Dark S1Ep10 Girl from the Future
Girl from the Future 2052

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

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Images courtesy of Netflix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Dark Season 1 Episode 10: Alpha and Omega Recap

  1. So while I love my mind screw tv shows as much as anyone, the ones I have to study for (American Gods, Legion, Westworld, Mr. Robot, at times Preacher and RIP GOT..they all come together at some point, except for Westworld. I love that show and I am still clue less as to what is going on there🙄.
    I am feeling a little bit of the same about the Dark. I just rewatched the first season. I read all the explanations on this site. It just isn’t making sense. I still like it, but i’m having trouble with the Mikkel/Michael phenomena.. even if Mikkel went back in time and became Micbael then fathered Jonas, at some point Mikkel and Michael had to exist at the same time in the 21st century. Mikkel is Ulrichs son in 2019. What is he about 12? Jonas is a teenager and his dad had killed himself a few months prior. I didn’t catch anything that explained how it was possible for Michael to be born as Ulrich’s son Mikkel and still be Michael. Jonas makes several references to Martha being his aunt after he find out the truth..but I don’t see how she could have REALLY been his AUNT..per say…cuz MIKKEL wasn’t his dad, MICHAEL was. In the 21st century where they both existed at the same time there has to be a definite distinction. Also when ADULT Jonas goes to blow up the worm hole..Noah says he will actually be the one to trigger its existence..🤔this doesn’t make any sense either..since they are in 2019 and have already been traveling back n forth through this hole, prior to Jonas attempting to blow it up…How does Claudia become the gatekeeper of all secrets? The Yin to Noah’s Yang? What is so special about her? Lastly how is it we get to see Noah young in the first episode of season 2 (I thought we saw him young once in season 1) but he never ages in any other time period?🤔

    what is goin

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    1. First, I don’t think we’ll fully understand Dark until season/cycle 3 is released. Until then, one important thing to remember is that Dark doesn’t follow back to the Future rules.

      In Dark, time is NOT sequential. All times exist at once. Everything that will happen has already happened.

      Also, in Dark, time is not linear. This is harder to understand, because the characters also don’t fully understand it. so they can’t explain it to us. Winden is stuck in a time loop. They call each loop a cycle on the show. Season 1 was Cycle 1. There were previous cycles, but the show is only concerned with 3 cycles, corresponding to its 3 seasons.

      As far as I can tell, each cycle/loop is a separate “piece” of time, which repeats the same period, but doesn’t repeat it exactly. We aren’t being shown the whole time period within a cycle, and the show hasn’t made clear what the time period is. Some of the characters think it’s necessary for events within the loops to repeat themselves precisely and others are trying to change events. That’s where most of the struggle between characters comes from that isn’t just interpersonal struggle.

      What’s strange is that in a true repeating loop, the events should repeat themselves naturally, and the characters shouldn’t even notice they’re in a time loop. Nietzche’s Eternal Recurrence would take place in this kind of loop.

      All of your questions arise out of this view of time. Some are answered over the course of season 2.

      Basically, in the Dark universe, there is no issue with duplicates caused by time travel being in the same place at the same time, like some time travel universes have. Twelve Monkeys, especially, relied on that premise.

      In Dark, everything always exists within a given cycle, so it doesn’t matter where it is in the timestream. It’s as if it’s all the same time. Because according to the laws of physics in Dark, it is. We just perceive different times. Time travel is like traveling across land distances. The places you go always exist, whether you’re there or not. There’s no conflict with items from Spain touching items from New Zealand.

      So Young Noah and adult Father Noah both always exist and can be buddies, because time travel exists. Young Mikkel changes his name to Michael when Ines adopts him. They aren’t separate people. But as he grows up, he has mental health issues which cause him to dissociate from his younger self and feel like it’s a separate person. Mikkel/Michael is the only time traveler who doesn’t choose to time travel, and who’s a child who’s then pushed to pretend his early life was a fantasy. It’s not really surprising that it messes with his mind.

      But Mikkel/Michael is Jonas’ dad and Martha is Jonas’ aunt, because Mikkel and Michael are the same person. He was adopted by Ines in 1986, grew up and married Hannah, and used the name Michael exclusively once he was adopted. When Baby Mikkel was born to Ulrich and Katharina, life went on for adult Michael/Mikkel. They both existed in Winden at the same time and lived out their lives as they have in each cycle.

      The thing with Stranger Jonas both destroying and creating the time travel passage is called a bootstrap paradox. It means that something doesn’t really have a beginning or an end and seems to create itself. Dark is full of them. It’s discussed more in season 2.

      In my opinion, the bootstrap paradoxes are the real issue in the series, or at least one of the major symptoms that show this isn’t just about time loops/ eternal recurrence. Something is seriously out of whack with time and the laws of physics and it probably doesn’t matter how it started. They need to get time back to normal, whatever that is.

      But Noah also lies at times, and I’m not convinced he told Bartosz the truth here. If he did, it comes down to the idea that all times exist at once. If Jonas created the passage, then it exists in all times within that cycle. When he closes it, it closes in all of the time periods within that cycle. Don’t ask me how the humans can perceive time as being linear and moving forward while all times exist at once. I guess it’s just how our brains are structured.

      I don’t know how Noah stays so young looking. Good genes, I guess. But certain time travelers also have a certain functional immortality if they know their death date, since they know they can’t die until then. The way different characters age is part of the ongoing mystery. My theory is that the time anomalies, like Jonas, handle the radiation of time travel better than normal people. Maybe it even keeps them looking young.

      More of Claudia and Noah’s history is explained in season 2. I don’t want to spoil it. But Claudia is a brilliant engineer and scientist who’s the first woman to head a nuclear power plant. She is special, so it’s not strange that she gets involved with time travel when the opportunity arises.

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  2. Your recaps are incredibly profound and insightful. I just finished season one of Dark, and have followed up each episode with your reviews. Looking forward to season two! Amazing work.

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