In S2 Ep4, of Dark, The Travelers, Jonas wakes up in 1921 and meets both younger and older versions of characters he’s seen before. We discover that Sic Mundus really is part of the Underworld and Agnes was always a fashion maven. In the 21st century, the secret of time travel finally comes out.
Some well deserved justice is served up on Bartosz, who’s known the secret of the caves since a few days after Mikkel disappeared, but kept it to himself, among his other, smaller, betrayals.
Katharina is also forced to confront the past. If she and Ulrich had been less harsh and more patient with Mikkel the day he arrived in 1986, could things have been different?
Everyone gets what they deserve.
Jonas, still in his 2053 hazmat suit, startles awake in the middle of a wheat field. He removes the helmet and gasps for breath. He survived the trip through the God Particle unscathed, as we knew he would, but has no idea where or when he is. He’s probably on the site of the nuclear power plant, but at this point in time, it’s a picturesque farm.
He puts the suit in a hole with a stump over it. Not the most stealth hiding spot, but few of us would be thinking clearly at this point. He still has the fresh gunshot wound on his leg, and vomits from the radiation exposure at the power plant.
When he stands up, a couple of the local farm hands are idly watching him. They look a lot like Ulrich and Aleksander and gossip about Jonas as if he isn’t there. Luckily, his ragged clothing is generic enough to pass in any era from the last couple of centuries. They wonder if he’s a returning prisoner of war. Jonas tells them he just wants to go home.
They decide that another local, Erna, who loves “stray dogs”, won’t mind feeding him and giving him a place to rest. on the way into town, they pass by more fields being harvested by hand by villagers in traditional dress. In town, a horse drawn hearse leads a funeral procession.
The Ulrich look-alike tells a little girl named Agnes to go get Erna.
Jonas is in Winden, in the era before cars, when Agnes Nielsen was young. He doesn’t know it, but he’s meeting his great great grandmother.
Maybe Erna is the grandmother who Agnes mentioned to Egon. Maybe she’s Agnes’ grandmother the way Tannhaus was Charlotte’s grandfather.
While Jonas slurps down a bowl of stew, the rest of the men ask about his war experience. Jonas bluffs and says he’s coming home from the eastern front. Not-Ulrich nods his head in understanding, surmising that Jonas has been held in a labor camp.
He’s not really wrong. Future Elisabeth runs a tight ship and Jonas has the visible scars to prove it.
Another man grumbles about what animals the enemy are. Aren’t they always, the dogs? 😉
Erna, landlady, barkeep and cook, asks Jonas if he has a place to sleep. She sends Agnes to tell her brother to get the small room ready for Jonas to use for a few days, until he can get back on his feet.
Jonas starts visibly trembling. Now that he’s had a few minutes to calm down, delayed shock is setting in. He tries to nonchalantly ask what year it is. Erna assumes he was in a really rough labor camp.
She tells him it’s 1921. Jonas tries not to meltdown in front of strangers. Not-Ulrich notices.
Martha gets a sex dream! Jonas tells her, “You and I are perfect for each other. Never believe anything else.”
Unless they’re sharing the dreamscape now, which would be pretty cool, he must have actually said that to her. And they must have had sex. And they really do seem perfect for each other.
Martha startles awake and bursts into tears.
I know. We all wish that dream had gone on a little longer, honey.
Her bed is situated against the wall just like Jonas’, and she turns to the side the way he does. If she goes downstairs and directly to the fridge, it’ll be really spooky.
Cut to the police sketch artist’s drawing of Stranger Jonas on Clausen’s wall. Torben tells Clausen that Charlotte is taking a day off, which Clausen questions, but Charlotte didn’t give a reason. Torben tries to make a run for it, but he’s not fast enough. Clausen commandeers him and his car for the day. Clausen says it’ll be fun. Torben looks like he’s been given after school detention with the mean teacher.
Charlotte is going through her grandfather, the Clockmaker’s, things. She finds the blueprint for the time machine. Before she can look at it closely, the phone rings.
Stranger Jonas comes downstairs and, predictably, goes straight to the fridge. Then he notices Hannah’s metal box on the table and opens it up. Aleksander’s gun and alternate passport are still inside. Hannah enters the room. Stranger asks her where she got the gun and who the passport belongs to. He’s aghast that his mother would own a gun. Hannah asks him if he wants breakfast.
He thinks she’s been living in some safe little haven while he’s been out living a dangerous life, but, in reality, she’s been a woman living alone in a house on the edge of a town where several boys and men have disappeared. She’s been a woman who needed to protect and support herself financially and to navigate the complicated social structure of Winden.
Her husband died by his own hand. Jonas left. They both abandoned her. Jonas doesn’t get to judge her now.
Yes, she took the gun for potential blackmail, but it stayed in the box in the cupboard until she was alone and the third man left her within a year. No one ever thinks about just how alone Hannah is, and how used she feels. When her men were done with her, they tossed her aside like she was worthless. People focus on her flaws, but not her injuries.
That metal box is Pandora’s box, for sure.
Martha and Magnus are wondering what to do about their mother’s increasingly erratic behavior when Franziska and Elisabeth arrive at the door. Franziska tells Magnus that he’s still a jerk for accusing her of a being a prostitute, but she said things that she shouldn’t have said, too, so they’re even. She holds out her hand for him to shake.
When Martha complains about being left in charge of Elisabeth, they all realize that their parents are acting strangely and are never home. Magnus takes out the map of the caves and decides he’s going to figure out what’s going on. The others can come if they want.
Jonas startles awake in a small attic bedroom. His neck and gunshot wounds have been cleaned and dressed and he’s in clean pajamas. Young Noah, who already has his older self’s habit of creepily waiting for people, says that Jonas slept for nearly 24 hours.
This is the first time they’re really meeting, if you don’t count the time Adult Noah watched Helge knock Jonas out with chloroform. The kidnapping didn’t allow for much conversation, and Young Noah hasn’t experienced it yet, so let’s consider this their beginning. Noah doesn’t introduce himself.
Young Noah is trimming his fingernails with a knife. He and Agnes always seem to have a sharp implement available, even if it’s just a hat pin (probably laced with poison). It’s being telegraphed that they’re dangerous, possibly the chosen Sic Mundus assassins.
Noah mentions the thing about Erna taking in stray dogs. Jonas says that he’s in the wrong place and doesn’t feel right there. Noah says that he pictured Jonas differently. Jonas wants Noah to explain what he means, but Noah just gives him that enigmatic stare and leaves the room. Jonas notices the plaque of the Emerald Tablet on his bedroom wall and that it includes the phrase Sic Mundus Creatus Est. He gets dressed and picks up a lantern, then runs downstairs.
Agnes is sweeping the floor. Jonas stops and looks at her a moment, but an understanding passes between them and he leaves. 8 year old Agnes is already a secret agent. The camera focuses on her shoes.
Cut to 1987 Claudia, dressed up for work in a colorful outfit. The camera also focuses on her shoes, a pair of sensible pumps. She has the time travel suitcase and asks for herself at the power plant door.
As we can see from the switch between 1921 Agnes’ feet and 1987 Claudia, a good pair of shoes never goes out of style. Both would look fine in 2020. Agnes looks as chic as ever, even as a child of limited means.
Claudia asks for herself at the door, just to see what will happen. The guard tells her that the only Tiedemann there now is Aleksander. She’s never heard of the guy.
Meanwhile, Claussen and Torben begin their fun at the power plant. After Aleksander stonewalled Claudia and Ulrich last fall, Clausen breezes right in and interrogates Aleksander like he’s a murder suspect.
Aleksander claims that he kept Ulrich out of the plant because of the safety standards put in place after Fukushima. (He’s referring to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan which caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Nuclear power=Bad Idea.)
Aleksander points out that Mikkel wasn’t on the grounds of the power plant, and the door Ulrich was obsessed with has been welded shut since the 80s. It’s still welded shut. Claussen brushes all that aside, as if it’s irrelevant to his real purpose.
Instead, Claussen thinks it’s odd that people born in the small town of Winden stay there when they grow up. He wants Aleksander to explain this trend. Aleksander is the head of the largest employer, so of course he gives the power plant credit for providing steady employment. But that will change, since the plant is closing.
Claussen notes that Aleksander himself isn’t from Winden, having come to town in 1986, when Mads disappeared. Aleksander says that’s not true. He came a few weeks after Mads disappeared. Aleksander asks how the date he moved to WInden is relevent.
Clausen smiles a little smile at Torben and says that it isn’t. He gets up to leave, walks as far as the door, then turns back to Aleksander. He thinks it’s strange that Aleksander took Regina’s last name and wants to know why.
Aleksander gives the reasonable explanation that Regina was the last of her line and they wanted to preserve her name. Claussen asks what Aleksander’s real name is. Aleksander says his last name was Köhler.
They’ve been standing face to face, less than a foot apart. Claussen ask Torben who’s next on the list. He says it’s Hannah, so they set off to find her.
Why do I feel like the entire point of the interview was so that Claussen could stand in front of Aleksander and look him in the eye?
Stranger Jonas and Hannah establish that Hannah has the gun and passport for the purpose of potential blackmail. Hannah doesn’t try to hide what she’s done or defend it. She lets it stand. Jonas asks, “Who are you?” She responds, “Who am I? Who are you?”
Who is this version of Jonas? We know very little of what he’s done while he’s been away. He’s a son who left his mother alone to deal with her grief. Sure, he meant to come back, but he knew that Mikkel had been unable to get back on his own. He knew he might not return.
What has he done to survive? What have any of us done? He doesn’t get to waltz back in after 33 years away and act like his mother should be a paragon of virtue, sitting and waiting by the spinning wheel for him to return. He may or may not be the savior, but that doesn’t mean his mother has to conform to some misogynist biblical archetype, whether it would make her saintly or fallen.
Charlotte knocks on the door. Stranger signals for Hannah to be quiet, but she answers it instead. She apologizes to him, since she knows he has a natural tendency toward privacy and acting like a fugitive, but she thought it was time they stopped with all the secrecy and told someone who might be able to help them.
Jonas actually looks around for exits and tries to figure out if he can jump out a window before Charlotte sees him. It’s hilarious when he reverts back to his teenage self. Quick, it’s the cops! Run!
Dude, you’re one of the grown ups now and she’s one of your mom’s friends. Chill.
Hannah explains to Charlotte, succinctly and matter of factly, that time travel exists, this is Jonas but much older, and he knows where Ulrich and young Jonas are. Charlotte, the Athena of Winden, recognizes that he’s the man Regina described as her hotel guest. She shows him the Sic Mundus photo and asks if he knows who a certain man is.
Stranger identifies Noah for her, and they go back and forth confirming the existence of Sic Mundus and the Travelers. Hannah wants to know what they’re talking about. Charlotte decides they should all go to the bunker.
The kids stop just short of the entrance to the cave and take a minute to prepare. Elisabeth, the voice of reason, can’t believe they’re planning to go in, when 4 kids have already disappeared there. Franziska tells her to stay close and they’ll protect her.
Yes, because that worked so well for Mikkel.
1987 Claudia goes to the 2020 library and asks the librarian how she can learn about the last 30 years of town history. He points her toward the computers. She’s used computers before, but a touchscreen is new to her. She picks up the basics quickly. As she looks through newspaper archives, she discovers that she disappeared. She also discovers that Egon will die this week.
Hannah has gone to the bunker with Charlotte and Stranger Jonas, so she’s not home for Claussen’s interview. While they wait to see if she comes home, Claussen asks what Torben knows about Hannah. Torben tells Claussen that Michael killed himself . No one understood why Hannah married him to begin with, because she was out of his league. She was so pretty that she could have picked any man she wanted. There were also rumors about her and Ulrich. Claussen wonders if Katharina knew about the affair. Torben doesn’t know.
I’m going to hope that Torben gave that description in order to throw Claussen off the scent, because otherwise, that was an awful description, especially coming from a police officer, who has an obligation to be objective. She was so pretty she could have married anyone, but she married a suicidal weirdo? That’s who Hannah is? She has no family or history of her own? She’s only important in relation to what men want from her?
This is why I defend Hannah. She’s living in a modern version of The Scarlet Letter.
Torben asks how Claussen got his job? Did he volunteer for the special task force? Clausen give him an enthusiastic yes.
Stranger and Hannah look over the evidence Charlotte and Peter have collected in the bunker. Peter tells them about Claudia, the diary and the bodies. Hannah clarifies that they knew about everything. Stranger is silent. I’m not sure he knew the last few pages had been ripped out of the diary. Hannah says that they have to tell Katharina. Stranger’s nod to Charlotte is almost imperceptible. She tells Hannah okay, but she’s going to be the one to do it.
That little nod of permission from Jonas is interesting. That’s one bit of evidence toward him being the author of the diary. The author doesn’t have to be someone who witnessed everything. They just need to be someone who’s done a lot of time traveling and/or talked to a lot of people and is enough of a deep thinker to figure out what some of the clues mean. So far, I think it could be Jonas, Claudia, Claussen, Aleksander or Tannhaus. Regina and Michael are long shots.
Inside the cave, Martha tells the others, “Sometimes I dream about him. Jonas. It feels so real. As if he were still alive. How can it feel so real if he’s dead?”
Franziska wonders if Jonas found out something he wasn’t supposed to. Magnus has been examining the map, and decides which direction they should go in next.
As Charlotte drives Katharina to the bunker, Katharina guesses that they’ve found Ulrich and Mikkel. Charlotte confirms that it’s true, and that they’re alive, but tries to explain that they aren’t “here”. Katharina is confused. When they get to the bunker, she’s angry that Hannah is there. Charlotte tries to explain that both Ulrich and Mikkel found a tear in time. Katharina thinks Stranger Jonas is another of Hannah’s “boytoys”. She’s not really open to hearing what the others are trying to tell her.
Hannah tells Katharina that she saw Mikkel in the past and they explain that Mikkel is Jonas’ father. Katharina asks Jonas what’s in it for him. Money? She tells them they’ve lost their minds and leaves.
The cave vibrates. Elisabeth feels it first. Magnus can tell from the vibration that they’re not alone. They put out their lights and hide. Bartosz comes out through the passage door, carrying the time machine. The other kids get angry and want to know what he’s been doing and why he’s here.
In 1921, Young Jonas takes his old timey lantern and heads for the caves. He uses a match to light the flame and heads toward the passage door. The metal ring is there and the Sic Mundus door. He opens the door and enters the passage. But it only goes a few feet, without branching off to the other 2 time periods. Jonas pounds on the intact rock, but it won’t change anything.
Margnus, Martha and Franziska tie Bartosz up while Elisabeth watches. Magnus punches him and they ask him again about what he’s doing in the cave. Then they open the time machine. Bartosz orders them to leave it alone, because it has nothing to do with them.
The missing are their father, their brother, their uncle, their grandfather, their best friend, their boyfriends- that’s before you take the incestual connections to Jonas into account. It has to do with them. The most awful thing about Bartosz is that I have a feeling he never considered the connection between what he was doing and his friends, once the missing were gone and Noah told him it was none of his business. He really thinks it has nothing to do with them.
Magnus threatens even more bodily harm to Bartosz if he had something to do with the disappearance of Magnus’ brother or dad. Martha decides that they’re taking the time machine with them and leaving Bartosz tied up in the cave, alone, in the darkness, overnight. Maybe he’ll be ready to talk after that.
Martha goes hardcore. The others follow. Elisabeth isn’t really sure what’s going on, because Franziska didn’t translate much for her.
But nobody knows the power of the caves and the darkness like Ariadne. What do you think she had to go through to put that thread in place? Bartosz is now in the place of the minotaur. He’s never truly faced adversity without someone to save him or being able to lie his way out of it. This is his test. Not just being left in the cave, but losing the trust of his friends and being separated from his family. He’s alone in the dark and he hates to be alone, even in the light.
Regina was left tied up to a tree overnight by Katharina and Ulrich, though I think that was just cruelty, not an existential test. This is another echo between cycles, with the meaning and circumstances of the event flipping between the sides of a duality.
As they drive to their next stop, Claussen summarizes the situation and asks for Torben’s opinion. There’s a man-eating cave, a nuclear power plant director who’s hiding something, a police chief who’s hiding herself, and a town full of lying, cheating, backstabbing citizens who want to keep the truth from him.
Okay, the small town citizens who are all cheating each other in various ways is pretty normal human behavior, in my experience. And the police chief who doesn’t want to work with an outsider is a cliche. The only actual evidence he has is the cave. His suspicions about Aleksander happen to have some truth to them, but that’s just luck. He’s working some personal agenda of his own.
Torben tries to give a noncommtal reaction. Claussen moves on and asks about his eye. Torben starts to tell the story.
Something happened last summer. Torben wants Claussen to keep it secret. But the long awaited story is interrupted when Claudia wanders into the middle of the road on her way back to the cave.
She doesn’t have to watch for cars because she knows she won’t die for decades. There’s a greenlight behind her, signalling danger, but the danger isn’t to her.
Katharina lets herself into the school records room, then pulls out Mikkel’s class photo from 1987. Finally, the photo in the photo case pays off. Katharina sees her son and can’t deny the truth.
In 1921, Young Noah is waiting in his customary creeper spot when Jonas exits the man-eating cave. He is, of course, carving and eating an apple with a knife. Sic Mundus knew Jonas wouldn’t believe them if they told him the passage wasn’t there yet, so they let him find out for himself before even trying to talk to him.
Noah tells him that the passage won’t open for another 32 years, in 1953, but Sic Mundus are waiting for him now. The Travelers said Jonas wants to get home. Doesn’t he? Noah walks away, expecting Jonas to follow and he does. What choice does he have?
In 2020, in the bunker, Stranger Jonas, Hannah, Peter and Charlotte sit on the bench and try to figure out what to do next. Stranger says it doesn’t matter what they do, everything will just repeat itself again. He explains to them that Adam, the leader of Sic Mundus, wants the last cycle to begin in 3 days. Jonas is there to try to stop him. Adam said there would be a loophole that would allow Stranger to stop the eternal repetitions.
He looks at the drawing of Claudia. “She tried to do it. But in the end, she became exactly what she was fighting.” He walks out.
Claudia returns to 1987.
Young Noah brings Jonas to the unfinished church. Jonas guesses that Noah is one of the Travelers. Young Noah says that he isn’t yet, but he will be soon.
So he hasn’t time traveled yet, then.
Father Noah joins them in the sanctuary. He looks at Jonas like he’s looking at a ghost he desperately wants back, if only he could turn back time. He looks at his younger self with fondness. Then he remarks on how strange it must be for Jonas to see the older version him here like this, even though Jonas has just met Noah again for the first time.
The creepiness factor increases exponentially for Jonas, but Father Noah promises that he’ll get the answers to his questions.
Time for our eternally recurring montage.
In the cave, Bartosz struggles to free himself.
There is no freedom, Bartosz. Hasn’t Sic Mundus taught you that?
At home, Katharina compares a family photo of Mikkel with the 1987 class photo.
Magnus and Martha bring the time machine home. Martha notices that Katharina is there, and for a moment hopes she might engage with her other two children.
Franziska and Elisabeth come home to an empty house.
Claussen examines his wall. He writes “Aleksander Köhler?” in big letters across the top.
Just in case there was any question left about his real purpose in town.
Hannah, Charlotte and Peter leave the bunker. Hannah looks back for a moment.
Claudia returns home in 1987 to find Regina asleep on the couch.
The Noahs take Jonas through a set of concealed blast doors, into an elevator lit by round glowlights like the one Stranger Jonas gave his younger self. They’re taken to the bottom of a mineshaft, deep underground. They walk through the caves to an underground carving which looks like the entrance to a Roman temple. Above the door is carved, “Sic Mundus Creatus Est”. Father Noah takes Jonas inside, while Young Noah is excluded. Travelers club only.
In 2053, Silja decides she’s waited long enough for Jonas to return and leaves the control room. Future Elisabeth is waiting just outside the door, gun loaded. Silja doesn’t even get a hanging.
Silja asks Elisabeth what the thing in there is and why Elisabeth has been lying about it. Elisabeth says, “They say it’s a piece of God. But it’s really a piece of the devil.” She continues to point her gun at Silja.
Young Noah looks at a framed version of the pages from Tannhaus’ book which Elisabeth loves to look at. He asks how the Prophecy arose and who wrote the book. Father Noah is standing in front of a fireplace, looking at the book and the missing pages. He tells his younger self, “Whoever it was who wrote it, had already seen the future and past.”
Young Noah asks what will happen to Jonas. Father Noah says that Adam will send him off to fulfill his future so that the last cycle will start.
The fact that Young Noah had to ask what would happen to Jonas, with that look on his face, tells you what kind of person Adam is. It’s not assumed that he’ll help anyone or that you’ll make it out alive.
And, now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for.
Actually, Adam milks it for another minute so that he can make an entrance.
Jonas wanders into Adam’s study, which looks like it’s straight out of a Renaissance era secret society. It probably is. But it’s also elaborately staged. Jonas is now Jonah in the belly of the whale.
God Sic Mundus is done with the soft sell and is now going to throw everything it’s got at Jonas. Everything. Jonas is still, when all is said and done, a kid who’s lost his family and the love of his life and can’t get home.
Adam is not waiting in the room to greet him warmly with tea and cookies like a normal person.
Adam waits until Jonas has walked to the other end of the cavernous room and had a moment to be overwhelmed by it. It’s meant to feel like a cathedral, with the candlelight, religious iconography, wide center aisle leading to an altar, and the dark, rich tones used in the decorating. Then Adam speaks from the doorway at other end, the way a priest might when beginning a service. He stands alone in the doorway in his pseudo dress uniform, invoking authority and breaking the silence in such a way as to make Jonas jump and worry he’s broken the rules.
Adam automatically becomes the voice of God in their relationship, while Jonas is the child called before the authority. And Adam’s first words are, “You must have a lot of questions.” Perfectly worded so that it sounds unassuming, but actually assumes that he’s the authority with the answers and Jonas has willingly sought him ought looking for answers.
It assumes that Jonas doesn’t have anything useful to offer Adam. The room also makes the case that Jonas is nothing compared to Adam. He’s been put in his place before the conversation has begun.
Anyone who was naturally compliant and respectful of authority would sit down and do what Adam said, giving him the respect the environment is telling them he deserves. Institutions have had thousands of years to develop these strategies and they work on most people, most of the time. Demagogues and tyrants depend on it.
Once Adam enters, both move forward, until they are facing each other several paces apart, as if they are about to duel. Jonas stares at Adam’s head, since no one warned him that it would be so heavily scarred.
That allows Adam to have the upper hand as well, since it’s another way in which he knows what’s coming, but his visitor is thrown off balance.
(As always, any of Adam’s tactics in isolation isn’t necessarily manipulative. It’s the stew he’s creating.)
Adam answers the unasked question. “Traveling doesn’t leave one unscathed. The human body isn’t equipped for it on a continual basis.”
We think he’s just told us what happened to him, and maybe he did. But he used the third person rather than the first, and gave no specifics. What he said was meaningless. And we know that Claudia, Noah and Helge have frequently traveled, using various methods. None of them were “scathed”. Claudia was beautiful as an old woman. Her skin was gorgeous. His external scarring is not from frequent normal time travel, as he’s implying.
Jonas ignores the scarring issues and asks where they are. Adam tries to stick to his program, and formally asks, “Shall we begin?”
Jonas yells at him that he’s not there to begin anything, he’s there to put an end to this. Adam tells him not to worry, the end is inevitable. Jonas’ end. Adam’s end. Really, everyone’s end.
Jonas is in awe of his nihilism. He thought Noah and Elisabeth were bad. Now he’s met the puppetmaster.
Jonas: “Who are you?”
Adam moves closer. “Don’t you know?”
He undoes his collar and reveals a scar on his neck. He’s been hung in the past, just like Jonas.
Jonas stumbles back a few steps. He can’t believe this is true.
Adam: “I am you.”
Good for Jonas for doubting. His neck scar hasn’t healed yet, so they can’t compare the two. Stranger Jonas showed Hannah a scar on his arm to prove his identity. I’d like them to compare those scars, please. This guy probably says the same thing to everyone who walks in the door and is the same height, just for dramatic effect. Also, height is one of the easiest aspects of appearance to change, as every woman who wears heels knows. Remember the focus on shoes, earlier in the episode?
If there’s one thing we know to be true about Sic Mundus, it’s that they’re liars. Or magicians, playing a shell game. Listen to what Adam says next.
Adam: “Every stone is once again where it belongs. Everyone in the place they were destined to be. Now all that’s needed is a little push.”
He’s playing a game. He’s just formally begun the next round, in which Jonas is his key playing piece.
“I am you” in a metaphorical sense.
Can we get a series finale movie that’s just young Jonas and young Martha swanning around a tropical island together while solving some small mystery on their honeymoon, after the incest issue has been resolved? They could be on the island of Crete and the mystery could involve the original labyrinth. Somebody write me the fan fiction.
Where was Bartosz coming back from when the other kids captured him? Is he making regular trips to 1987 or 1954 to be mentored by Noah? Is he an accomplice in another of Sic Mundus’ nefarious schemes?
Adam kept a physical distance between him and Jonas while he convinced Jonas that they’re the same person. Now that he’s achieved his illusion, Jonas won’t be looking that closely. People don’t want to appear to be staring at those who are disfigured, which Adam will also take advantage of. Adam is free to move in closer now. He’s also had some time to observe Jonas, so that he can mimic Jonas’ mannerisms.
The show is certainly sending out signals that Jonas and Adam could be the same person. If they are, they are from different dimensions. But I’ll lose all faith in this show if the 2 Jonases we’ve been watching for 2 seasons turn into Adam, who has no empathy and is a game player above all else. The Jonas we know literally won’t play games, even to save his life. The most he’ll do is lie by omission or tell a necessary small white lie, like the “eastern front” answer.
Random Genetic Musings
Clausen looks meaningfully at Torben through this whole episode. Torben and Benni are siblings, but never included in the characters’ family trees. Whose kids are they? I always feel like Torben knows more than he’s letting on, too. Agnes and Doris were both young enough to have more children. Maybe they went to live in 1986 and had a couple of kids.
Imdb lists Not-Ulrich, played by Hendrik Heutmann, as Farmer #1. He has to be another Nielsen, yes?
Young Jonas and Young Noah could almost be twins. The way Father Noah looked from one to the other was heartwrenching. There’s something there. Maybe he knows they’re brothers, or father and son.
I can’t believe Father Noah, who was pure evil, is breaking my heart now. And bumbling, stupid Egon is so heartwarming and diligent. This show, man. Dualities all around.
Young Agnes has big blue eyes. As with her brother, Noah, Adult Agnes has retained her light blue eyes.
Maybe the difference in eye color is caused by different timelines instead of time travel. It could be that the characters played by different actors sometimes actually are different people, because they are from a different dimension/time loop. Either it’s the bigger, dimensional jump that does the damage, or that kind of minor difference is common between dimensions. I keep thinking about Hannah and Jonas asking each other, “Who are you?”
There is a similarity in the names of these characters: Erna, Ines, Agnes, Hannah, Jonas, Noah. (Try typing them repeatedly. You’ll see it.) We know Jonas’ and Agnes family named the kids in one generation Mikkel, Magnus and Martha. Everyone but Hannah and Ines are already easily connected by blood. This makes me wonder if they are also Nielsens. I’ve wondered this before, based on how much they look like Martha and Agnes.
Katharina, Peter and Charlotte look like siblings.
If the time periods are running concurrently, that means Silja waited for more than 24 hours, more likely a day and a half (depending on how long Jonas was out cold in the wheat field), for Jonas to come back out of the God Particle. They must be more than just acquaintances.
Elisabeth confronted Silja in the power plant, instead of at the wall. Because she didn’t want anyone to see her shoot Silja, or because she can’t do it?
Random Color Theory Musings
The 4 kids outside of the cave are each wearing one of the three important colors from last season, plus Martha is in black. This is a dream team in some way. They represent Winden/Sic Mundis’ important genetic lines, or an even distribution of talents and skills, or the key players in the future. Martha the rebel is in black. Elizabeth the guardian of the God Particle in blue, but she also becomes a leader, so her top is multicolored. Magnus is in red for love, death, sex, and passion. Franziska is in yellow for science, logic, reason.
We’ve already seen Magnus show a tendency for compassion, passion and romance, and Franziska show business and analytical sense, plus a passing interest in science and medicine. Elisabeth’s blue matches the God Particle and is also associated with mystery and the occult. She’s taken to reading Tannhaus’ books on hermeticism, giving her an introduction to those subjects.
Black has been one of Martha’s three colors since she played Ariadne. In Cycle 1, her red was emphasized, instead of black or white, but this season, she’s wearing black. The God Particle is black as well as blue, and there’s the association with black holes, death and the night sky. Ariadne wears black for her death scene.
The only other character who is associated with black as strongly as Martha is adult Noah. He is a pivotal, powerful character who is also associated with death.
Mikkel wore the black skeleton suit when he traveled to 1986, and for a while after he got there. The ghost of Michael appeared several times in season 1 with something black dripping down his head. I thought it was blood in season 1, and it might have been, but now I’m wondering if it’s shifted to the liquid state of the God Particle. Whenever he’s appeared with it, time travel has been involved. Maybe I should start associating Mikkel with black and death as well. The series did start with his suicide.
Stranger Jonas is still wearing olive green. Hannah continues her affinity for the red family.
Apples and Gods
Underneath all that creepiness, Father Noah has a great sense of the ludicrousness of their recurring situation. Actually, that might be what all the apples and creepiness are about. The man has a great sense of theater, without overdoing it the way Adam does. He might be the only character who’s completely aware that he’s in a Greek tragedy.
Adam rules Sic Mundus as God would, but he’s in the Underworld. He’s Hades or Lucifer, not an official representative of the Christian God. Adam’s representative, Noah, does have an ironic thing for apples, after all, while Agnes has a snake hat pin. Or Adam is Hermes, trickster god and patron of the Hermetics, the inspiration for Sic Mundus, as we were reminded this episode.
Hannah’s metal box, and all of the boxes in Dark, are Pandora’s box. The contents of boxes are complicated and people might be better off if they didn’t open the boxes, but they always do anyway.
Hannah’s has the gun and passport. Ines’ has Michael’s letter. The metal box in the bunker in 2053 has Claudia’s time travel instructions. The time machine box is obvious. Regina puts the things she takes down from Jonas’ hotel room wall in a box for Charlotte. Franziska and Benni exchange hormone prescriptions and money in a metal box. The Clockmaker’s belongings are in boxes. Then there is the coffin in 1921.
Mikkel’s shell/cup game could conceivably be included in the list of containers. We’ve seen him use it as a metaphor himself, several times. While some people think in terms of chess, Mikkel thinks in terms of the shell game, and whether the pebble is in an advantageous spot or not. Sometimes, he’s the pebble in question.
Bernd and Alexander have been playing an elaborate shell game with the yellow barrels for decades, which are surely a Pandora’s box.
In 2053, the powerplant is a box holding the God Particle.
Beware the boxes!
Season 1 Character Board
Season 2 Characters and Connections
Adam’s Family Tree Board: All individual photos are young versions of the characters. Left Panel: Hannah, Jonas; Doris; Egon, Claudia; Regina, Aleksander/Boris; Bartosz. Center Panel: Hannah, Jonas, Michael/Mikkel, Ines; Peter, Charlotte, Franziska, Elisabeth; Aleksander,Bartosz, Regina; Ulrich, Magnus, Martha, Katharina, Mikkel; Solja, Noah, Agnes. Right Panel: Upper left??, Charlotte; Peter; Franziska, Elizabeth; Tronta, Jana, Mads; Katharina, Ulrich; Magnus, Martha; Mikkel.
Jonas Kahnwald, Time Traveler. Also known as the Stranger. Originates in 2019-20, but appears in every time period, except possibly 1953? Son of Michael Kahnwald/Mikkel Nielsen and Hannah (Krüger) Kahnwald. Star-crossed lover of Martha Nielsen. Former best friend of Bartosz Tiedemann.
Hannah (Krüger) Kahnwald, 1986-87, 2019-2020. Time Traveler. Massage therapist. Married to Mikkel/Michael. Jonas’ mother. Has an extramarital affair with Ulrich Nielsen. Blackmails Aleksander Tiedemann.
Daniel Kahnwald, 1953-54. Chief of Winden police. Ingrid’s father. Michael’s adoptive grandfather.
Ines Kahnwald, 1953, 1986-87, 2019. Mikkel/Michael’s adoptive mother. Daniel’s daughter. Jonas’ grandmother. Hospital nurse in the 80s. Adopts Mikkel after she gets to know him during his hospital stay when he arrives in 1986. Eventually figures out that he really is from the future. Encourages him to forget about the life he had before she adopted him. Is estranged from Hannah and Jonas by November 2019, for unknown reasons. Tells both Mikkel and Jonas to leave the past in the past and the future in the future.
Bartosz Tiedemann, 2019-20. Time Traveler and follower of Noah. Son of Regina and Aleksander Tiedemann. Grandson of Claudia Tiedemann. Former boyfriend of Martha and former best friend of Jonas.
Regina Tiedemann, 1986-87, 2019-20. Wife of Aleksander and mother of Bartosz. Daughter of Claudia. Formerly owned a hotel which was forced to close after the disappearances started. Dying of cancer. Currently on hormone therapy, but may have to switch back to chemo.
Aleksander Tiedemann, 2019-20, director of the nuclear power plant. Regina’s husband and Bartosz’ father. Arrived in Winden in 1986 with a gun and two passports under different names, while being hunted by dogs and police. Told Regina his name was Aleksander Köhler. The other passport said Boris Niewald. Has helped keep the yellow barrels of radioactive waste hidden since 1986. Dies on the day of the apocalypse, 6/27/20.
Claudia Tiedemann, 1953-54, 1986-87, 2019-20. Time Traveler. Regina’s mother. Egon and Doris’ daughter. Bartosz’ grandmother. Director of the power plant in 1986. Her older version is known as the White Devil by the followers of Adam. Developed the process that stabilized the God Particle into a time travel portal. Fighting a time war against Adam. Has heterochromia (one blue eye, one brown eye).
Egon Tiedemann, 1953, 1986-87. Police officer. Husband of Doris. Father of Claudia. Grandfather of Regina. Arrested Ulrich for murder and kidnapping in 1953 and rape in 1986. Was an alcoholic in 1986. Was in an unhappy marriage in 1953. Tries to do the right thing, often fails. In 1987, retired and dying of cancer.
Doris Tiedemann, 1953-54. Wife of Egon, mother of Claudia, Agnes’ lover and landlady. Starts affair with Agnes while still married to Egon.
Gretchen the Dog Tiedemann, 1953, 1986-87. Time Traveler. Claudia’s childhood dog. Older, White Devil Claudia brings Gretchen to the future to help prove to Adult Claudia that time travel is real. Recognizes every version of Claudia as if she hasn’t aged, proving that the time travelers aren’t fundamentally changed by the experience, or at least Claudia hasn’t been.
Katharina Nielsen, 1986-87, 2019-20. School principal. Ulrich’s wife. Mother of Magnus, Martha and Mikkel. No information on her family background, except that her mother was violently abusive, frequently leaving Katharina with bruises. Obsessed with using Ulrich’s files to continue investigating the disappearances.
Ulrich Nielsen, 1953, 1986-87, 2019. Time Traveler. Police officer. Katharina’s husband. Father of Magnus, Martha and Mikkel. Son of Tronte and Jana. Grandson of Agnes. Has extramarital affair with Hannah Kahnwald in 2019. Becomes obsessed with finding Mikkel and convinced that the 1986 version of Helge Doppler is responsible for the disappearances. Arrested in 1953 for allegedly kidnapping Helge and murdering 2 boys, after he tried to kill child Helge and locked him in the bunker. Committed to a mental institution in 1953. Still there in 1987. It’s not clear if he ever had an ongoing mental illness other than the trauma of losing Mikkel, and then everything, or if the “illness” was a combination of the side effects of the medications of the mid 20th century and his strong reactions to anything related to his real life.
Magnus Nielsen, 2019-20. Son of Katharina and Ulrich. Brother to Martha and Mikkel. Oldest child. Franziska Doppler’s boyfriend. Suspicious of Franziska, causing arguments between them.
Martha Nielsen, 2019-20. Ariadne. In love with Jonas. Bartosz’ former girlfriend. Daughter of Katharina and Ulrich. Sister of Magnus and Mikkel. Middle child. Dies on the day of the apocalypse, 6/27/20.
Mikkel Nielsen/ Michael Kahnwald, 1986-87, 2019. Time Traveler. Artist. Magician. Interest in Hermeticism. Youngest son of Katharina and Ulrich Nielsen. Brother of Martha and Magnus. Adopted in 1986 by Ines Kahnwald and raised as Michael Kahnwald. Married to Hannah (Krüger) Kahnwald. Jonas’ father. Hanged himself on 6/21/19.
Tronte Nielsen, 1953-54, 1986-87, 2019-20. Journalist. Husband of Jana, father of Ulrich and Mads, son of Agnes and lover of Claudia. He and Peter Doppler placed of Mads body in the woods in 2019 on the night of Mikkel’s disappearance, based on Claudia’s instructions. They continued to be involved in the events of Cycle 1 during November 2019 in other ways, guided by the triqueta log, which Claudia gave them.
Agnes Nielsen, 1953-54. Tronte’s mother, Doris’ lover, Noah’s sister, Ulrich’s grandmother. Renting rooms at the Tiedemann home. Was working with Claudia, until Claudia ordered Agnes to betray her. According to Tronte, before they moved to Winden she was sad and he was living in an orphanage.
Peter Doppler, 2019-20. Therapist. Charlotte’s husband, father to Franziska and Elisabeth. Son of Helge Doppler. Mother unknown. Moved to Winden in 1987. Frequently visited Benni in the past, but promised Charlotte he’d stop and has kept his promise. Along with Tronte, helped Claudia in Cycle 1, guided by the triqueta log.
Charlotte Doppler, 2019-20. Police chief. Wife of Peter. Mother of Franziska and Elisabeth. Raised by her grandfather/guardian, HG Tannhaus, after her parents died when she was very young. The identity of her parents hasn’t been revealed to her or us. She and Peter are running an in depth investigation of the Winden disappearances, which includes the knowledge of time travel, out of the bunker, unbeknownst to the rest of the police force or Clausen.
Franziska Doppler, 2019-20. Daughter of Charlotte and Peter. Sister of Elisabeth. Magnus’ girlfriend. Sells hormone therapy prescriptions to Benni when Benni can’t get them from Peter anymore.
Elisabeth Doppler, 2019-20, 2053. Leader of the apocalypse survivors in 2053. Daughter of Charlotte and Peter. Sister of Franziska. Briefly taken by Noah in 2019 and returned with a pocket watch of Charlotte’s. Deaf, communicates using sign language. Silja is her interpreter in 2053. Yasin, one of the missing/dead boys, was her friend and crush in 2019. Strict enforcer of the law in 2053, but relents and doesn’t kill Jonas after he trespasses into the dead zone. Does kill the French delegation.
Helge Doppler, 1953, 1986-87, 2019. Time Traveler. Noah’s assistant in the development of the evil chair time travel device. Father was Bernd, the builder and first director of the Winden Nuclear Power Plant. Mother was Greta, strict disciplinarian who had a thing for Father Noah and thought Bernd might not be Helge’s biological father. Father of Peter. No information on when he fathered Peter or with who. He didn’t raise Peter. Was in an institution in 1987. Was in a nursing home with dementia in 2019. Kidnapped Mads, Eric, Yasin and maybe more for Noah to experiment on and kill, then he disposed of the bodies. The 2019 version died in a car accident in 1987 while trying to stop his younger self from helping Noah.
It’s possible that his “dementia” is just a misunderstanding of his ramblings about time and time travel. He gave Claudia her copy of A Journey Through Time with the hope that it would help her understand him.
Greta Doppler, 1953-54. Helge’s mother. Bernd’s wife. Strict disciplinarian. Follower of Noah.
HG Tannhaus (with Teen Charlotte), 1953, 1986. The Claockmaker. Time machine inventor, author of the guide to time travel “A Journey Through Time”, owner of the clock shop. Charlotte’s guardian/adoptive grandfather. Had some connection to Sic Mundus which hasn’t been revealed. Studied Hermeticism. Exchanged information with Claudia and Jonas.
Noah, 1921, 1953-4, 1986-87, 2019-20. Time Traveler. Taken in when young and named by Adam. Pastor of the Sic Mundus cover church, who doesn’t believe in God, follower of the Prophecy who also seems to have doubts about that. Does Adam’s dirty work, from murder to recruitment. In Cycle 1, Helge did his dirty work. Mentored by Adam. Mentors the younger version of himself. The older version barely seems to age. Hasn’t been given a last name, though his sister Agnes uses Nielsen.
Silja, 2052-53. The girl from the future. Elisabeth’s interpreter. The first person Jonas met when he arrived in 2052 after touching fingers with young Helge through the rift in time.
Clausen, 2020. Head of the “task force” meant to start a new investigation into the missing persons cases in Winden. Sent by the national government. Believes in the power of careful observation and catching people off guard. Seems to assume that everyone is guilty. Despite the title of “task force”, he’s the only person sent to Winden. He insists on working closely with Charlotte, staring her directly in the face.
Torben Wöller, 2020. Police officer. Benni’s brother. Tells her to call their mom, so she’s still living, though unnamed. Lost an eye before the series began, but we haven’t been told how. Dedicated and conscientious police officer. Also works for Aleksander on the side. Responsible for the truck with the radioactive yellow barrels while they couldn’t be stored at the power plant. Dies on the day of the apocalypse, 6/27/20.
Benni/Bernadette (Wöller?), 2020. Trans sex worker. Torben’s sibling. Object of Peter Doppler’s desire. Watches the truck with the yellow barrels for Torben. Buys hormone therapy prescriptions from Franziska. I have a hunch that she and Torben are more important than they appear, especially since they’ve had custody of the truck for months. That’s a lot of exposure to whatever’s in the barrels.
Justyna Jankowksi, 2020. Police officer. Dies on the day of the apocalypse, 6/27/20.
Jürgen Obendorf, 2020. Maintenance worker at the nuclear power plant. Erik Obendorf’s father and drug dealing partner.
Adam, 1921? Time Traveler. Leader of Sic Mundus, fanatical megalomaniac. The Devil, the Demiurge, the Bond villain. Or maybe he’s the biblical Adam, God’s first and most perfect human creation, who’s been led astray by an evil woman (Claudia?), and is now trying to restore mankind to his proper place in the universe. Only time will tell.
Why does Adam have such extensive scarring when none of the other frequent time travelers do? Noah is ageless and Claudia aged beautifully. After his first trip in the chair, Helge seems to have traveled without damage.
The Nameless Tattooed Man, 1921. Helped create the passage. Lost faith in the Prophecy, but was able to keep his sense of humor and emotional distance about the situation. Was attacked and potentially killed by Young Noah, on Adam’s and Adult Noah’s orders, likely as an initiation rite for Young Noah. Accepted his fate. Had some prior connection to Noah that made him an interesting choice for the job. Has the same tattoo as Noah, but on his chest and abdomen, instead of his back. This also suggests a connection to Noah, and to the several episode titles referring to beginnings and ends. The end credits call him “Man in Cave“. We’re probably supposed to think he’s Bartosz. I don’t believe it. I think he’s a different founder of Sic Mundus, but probably a close relation of Bartosz. He could be Noah’s brother. This season is already big on sibling relationships, and Genesis has important murderous siblings. As in the story of Joseph, they don’t always die. But some do, such as amongst Adam and Eve’s sons.
Honestly, can you imagine Bartosz digging in the tunnels, alone with just one other man, without complaining about the hard labor he was doing?
Images courtesy of Netflix.