The Rook is a new series from the premium cable network Starz, home of Outlander and the recently cancelled Counterpart. It’s loosely based on the 2 book series of the same name by Daniel O’Malley, about a woman who wakes up with amnesia and secret powers, surrounded by bodies, then discovers she works for a secret government spy agency in London. Myfanwy (rhymes with “Tiffany”) has unknown enemies who continue to hunt her, and probably have supernatural abilities of their own. It’s not the most original concept in today’s TV landscape, but I’m always up to try another dark, gritty scifi series with female leads, so let’s check it out.
The TV series is veering away from the books, so for the most part, I’m going to write about The Rook as its own separate entity. Before I do that, though, let me say that this show is crying out for a Greek chorus or narrator to provide 1940s noir style sardonic commentary. Myfanwy’s inner voice provided that point of view in the book, and you can feel the loss all through the pilot. (I haven’t even read the book, I could just tell something was missing and went looking. Check out the difference in the Amazon book sample.) Hopefully she’ll find her voice again in the show, because otherwise, the characters’ intense seriousness could start to drag the show past darkness and into dullness before long.
Continue reading “The Rook Season 1 Episode 1: Chapter 1 Recap”
In season 2, episode 2, Dark Matter, the characters confront the darkness of their pasts and their inability to repair their mistakes. Egon revisits Helge’s kidnapping and Mad’s disappearance. Jonas take Hannah back to 1987 to prove to her that Michael and Mikkel were the same person. Mikkel continues to process his new circumstances, including facing younger versions of his family. Clausen takes Charlotte to interrogate Regina, who’s kept the items that Stranger Jonas left in his hotel room. Older Claudia assigns a mission to Adult Claudia. And Young Jonas attempts to escape from the future, at any cost.
Recording of Claudia, found in Bunker:
“We have managed to successfully stabilize the God Particle, and consequently the resulting mass as well. In a stable state, it seems to create a kind of portal which possibly allows for time travel. If the matter is supplied with sufficient voltage, it can be kept in a stable state in the long-term. Sending objects through the stabilized matter has already proved possible… A generator has to provide sufficient AC current for that. Despite lengthy observation, we have yet to determine the matter’s energy source. It would appear to be running entirely on its own. The readings indicate that there is no loss of energy. It appears to be a type of self-sustaining recursive system. The matter’s radiation levels exceed control values. Still, no signs of decay have been observed. While this is consistent with conservation of energy, it does contradict the second law of thermodynamics. The matter seems to exist, independent of external temperatures, in solid, liquid and gaseous states simultaneously. Its molecules are continually rearranged in a cyclical process. The presence of the field explains why…”
Continue reading “Dark Season 2 Episode 2: Dark Matter Recap”
Welcome back, fellow travelers! Let’s jump right into season 2 of Dark, since that’s what the show itself does. The action picks up in the far future of 2053 and the distant past of 1921, because why start with anything familiar?
I’ve started a new character list at the bottom of the post. You can also find a list of the characters for each episode of season 1 with the recaps and a season 1 character master list post at my Dark tag.
Dark season 1 recaps and posts
“And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Winden, the darkest place on Earth, where it almost always rains, is apparently sunny in June. Judging from the quote, in season 2 the characters will be facing the minotaur/beast/darkness within themselves. Even Ariadne can’t save you from yourself.
Continue reading “Dark Season 2 Episode 1: Beginnings and Endings Recap”
Here are all of the characters, with photos and descriptions, from season 1 of Dark. If there’s anyone you think I should add, let me know. There are spoilers in these descriptions.
Each of my Dark season 1 recaps also has a character list which only shows the characters and their connections up to that point in the season- no spoilers!
Cast from the Episode 1/Secrets Murder Board:
Charlotte Doppler in 1986 and 2019. Granddaughter of HG Tannhaus, the Clockmaker. Married to Peter, mother to Franziska and Elisabeth, daughter-in-law to Helge. High school student and amateur science detective in 1986. She investigates the unusual deaths of birds she finds. Dedicated and thorough Police Chief in 2019.
Continue reading “Dark Season 1: Complete List of Characters”
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.
“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.
Continue reading “Dark Season 1 Episode 10: Alpha and Omega Recap”
“Humanity has always puzzled over our true origin. Our genesis. Were we created by God? Or are we a product of evolution? If we could somehow see yesterday and tomorrow at the same time, the origin and the end, if we could feel the entire universe in a single moment, then we might finally find answers to the biggest questions of all. What is humanity? Where do we come from? What is it that drives us? And what, ultimately, is our purpose?” -HG Tannhaus
In this episode of Dark, Everything Is Now, the Clockmaker’s opening voiceover suggests that the initial time travelers were exploring the mysteries of the universe and using reality as their laboratory. Humans are not particularly willing lab rats, so later time travelers have been trying to fix the timeline which was broken by earlier experiments, whether they want to get themselves home or to right wrongs committed by people outside their normal time. So far, their efforts seem to either have a neutral effect, or to help create what they’re trying to prevent.
Episode 9 brings us as close as possible to seeing the entire universe in a moment, by showing what’s happening simultaneously in all three time periods (1953, 1986 and 2019) and allowing the cause and effect loop play out between the three. After the Clockmaker and Stranger expressed their beliefs about the nature of time and the universe in episode 8, Noah finally has the chance to speak for himself, as he shares his worldview with Helge. And we reach the point in the timeline where several of the events that have been referred to, but so far left unseen, now occur on screen.
Continue reading “Dark Season 1 Episode 9: Everything Is Now Recap”
In this episode, Ulrich follows Helge from 2019 back to 1953 and we’re introduced to a generation of new characters. Most shows wouldn’t introduce an entirely new cast just 2 episodes before the season finale, but most shows aren’t Dark. I love this show so much. It takes no prisoners.
The new characters are an intriguing bunch, including middle school Helge, Jana, Ines, Claudia and Tronte, and some of their parents. Tronte’s mother, Agnes, who comes to town as a single mother, wearing a red dress and a confident, flirtatious air, is particularly worth noting. She’s hiding something.
This episode also begins to explore Helge’s origin story and to explain why Egon has always been suspicious of Ulrich. But, while he’s had some good reasons to dislike Ulrich, he’s also always been an incompetent investigator.
1953 Winden alternates with the Stranger and the Clockmaker in 1986, having a physics discussion that starts with wormholes and proceeds through time loops and the creation of time machines.
Continue reading “Dark Season 1 Episode 8: As You Sow, So Shall You Reap Recap”
In episode 7 of Dark, Crossroads, people, locations and time periods begin to converge and interact that both deepen the mystery and begin to solve it. Our three lead characters, Charlotte, Ulrich and Jonas, are the focus for much of the episode. Jonas explores Winden in 1986 and makes a decision about Mikkel the boy vs Michael the man. Ulrich continues to investigate Mads’ disappearance and death, using Egon’s botched 1986 investigation as a starting point. Charlotte is granted the long awaited search warrant for the power plant, which leads her to some suspicious findings. Both Charlotte and Ulrich find new connections to Helge, his cabin and the cave.
At the end of the episode, we get a cameo by Noah and the infamous back tattoo of the Emerald Tablet. Mikkel is also connected to the framed version of the Hermetic/Alchemic text.
It’s all connected.
Continue reading “Dark Season 1 Episode 7: Crossroads Recap”
It’s only one week until Netflix releases season 2 of their German time travel mystery series, Dark. They’ve recently released a teaser and a full length trailer for the Dark 3 season trilogy.
The full season will be released on June 21, 2019, the day of Michael Kahnwald’s death, with which the series began. Season 2 will consist of 8 episodes that are each one hour long. The ensemble cast returns, joined by Sandra Borgmann, Winfried Glatzeder, Dietrich Hollinderbäumer and Sylvester Groth. No news that I’ve been able to find on who’ll they’ll play.
Continue reading “Dark Season 2 Teaser and Full Length Trailers”
In Dark episode 6, the Nielsons sink deeper into grief over the loss off Mikkel, with each expressing it in a different way. Jonas goes deeper into the caves than he ever has before. Regina and Alexander get some bad news. And Ulrich does the thorough investigation into Mads’ disappearance that Egon failed to do in 1986, answering more than one question in the process.
Episode 6 opens on a flashback to 1986, when Ulrich and Katharina tied Regina to a tree near the cave and left her there for hours, long after it was dark. She sees something that frightens her enough to scream.
Regina wakes up in bed in the present day. Alexander wakes up too, and comforts her that it’s only a nightmare.
The next morning, Charlotte instructs the entire police department that they’re intensifying their search. She wants them to knock on every door, question everyone, coordinate with other agencies in the area, search the records for similar cases going back 50 years, search every basement. They’ll be working double shifts until they solve this case. They just have to find the one clue that breaks the case.
Continue reading “Dark Season 1 Episode 6: Sic Mundus Creatus Est Recap”