Dark: What Did It All Mean? Thoughts on Season 3 and the Ending

Dark S3Ep8 Jonas & Martha Disintegrate from Bridge

Because of the odd structure of season 3 of Dark, there were several ideas that I wanted to write about that didn’t fit into any of the recaps. I’m going to discuss some of the ongoing metaphors and and plot points here that I couldn’t easily explain in my regular posts without spoiling future episodes or making the final recap overlong.

Reader beware- spoilers for all 3 seasons and 26 episodes of Dark ahead!

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Lovecraft Country Season 1: Review

 

Now that I’ve finished recapping the German time travel nightmare that is Dark, let’s move on to the quintessentially American nightmare that is HBO’s Lovecraft Country. The series is adapted from Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name, which takes place in 1950’s Jim Crow America, emphasizing the competing horrors of racism, trauma and monsters of pure fantasy.

The “Lovecraft Country” of the title is a pun, referring both to scifi-fantasy author HP Lovecraft’s non-human creations, which are referenced sporadically, and to his racist, xenophobic and misogynist beliefs, which permeated both his writing and mainstream America at the time. Lovecraft Country is an intricate dance competition between metaphorical, cinematic and human monsters. It’s not always clear who wins, but the people of color definitely fight for their lives, on every level.

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Dark Season 3 Episode 8: The Paradise Recap

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The end is the beginning and the beginning is the end. Michael dies again, Jonas startles awake again. Claudia explains it all, then convinces Jonas and Martha to take a star bridge into space.

Adam finally goes full Nosferatu.

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I had to kill her! The fate of the multiverse depends on it!

Dark S3Ep7 Nosferatu Adam

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Dark Season 3 Episode 7: Between the Time Recap

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In episode 6, the worlds ended, thanks to Adam’s double apocalypse. In episode 7, we meet the new world. And tie up a few loose ends.

Recap

The episode begins with a twist on the opening voice over- a segment from HG Tannhaus’ science show from the 1970s:

Tannhaus: “What is reality? Is it singular in nature? Or do several parallel realities exist at the same time? To address this, Erwin Schrodinger constructed an extremely interesting thought experiment. Schrodinger’s cat. A cat is locked in a steel chamber with a tiny amount of a radioactive substance, a Geiger counter, a vial of poison and a hammer. As soon as a radioactive atom disintegrates inside the steel chamber, the Geiger counter triggers the release of the hammer, which smashes the vial of poison. The cat is dead.

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Dark Season 3 Episode 6: Light and Shadow Recap

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In episode 6, we discover that Young Jonas is Schrödinger’s cat. Martha goes to live in a cage, like Hansel waiting for the fairy-tale witch to eat him/her. We finally learn the contents of Martha’s letter to Stranger Jonas, but of course the letter leaves him bitter, because that is Jonas’ relationship to letters from the dead. We relive the apocalypse in the Prime world, because we just can’t get enough, and live through Martha’s apocalypse for the first time.

Recap

Meanwhile, in the Prime world, we jump back to the end of S2, where Young Jonas kneels over Dead Prime Martha’s body and promises he’ll make this right, somehow, somewhere, sometime. But right now, a nuclear apocalypse is coming, so he’s going to abandon her body to its fate and run downstairs to hide in his mom’s basement.

What, that’s not how you remember the end of season 2 going? Go check the footage. I’ll wait.

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Dark Season 3 Episode 5: Life and Death Recap

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In episode 5, we lose some beloved characters in some violent interactions with some hard characters. It’s a tough episode to get through.

Teen Charlotte learns her origin story from Old HG Tannhaus and meets Teen Peter. The two Adult Claudias meet for the first time. Alt Claudia gives Prime Claudia the triquetra diary. Child Elisabeth finds Young Noah in the caves.

Recap

The episode begins in the Prime world, 2020, with Prime Adult Claudia burying Adult Regina, who was recently murdered by Alt Old Tronte under orders from Alt Adult Claudia. Regina was dying anyway, so it was basically a mercy killing, but Prime Claudia wasn’t read to let go.

It’s raining, of course, as Claudia digs a hole in the ground by herself. She’s placed a wooden cross as a grave marker. The body is wrapped in plastic. As we know from our world’s 2020, it can be hard for suppliers to keep up with a heavy demand for caskets.

Sirens blare in the distance as Claudia finishes. A warning that other natural disasters are still occurring or that serious crimes, such as arson or riots, are out of control in the post apocalypse Prime world? Or a warning that this turn of events signals a new, even more dangerous direction for Claudia’s plans?

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Agents of SHIELD Season 7 Episode 11: Brand New Day Recap

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By Metamaiden and Metacrone

Episode 11 is the final installment of Agents of SHIELD before the 2 hour series finale. Nathaniel and Garrett have kidnapped Jemma and Deke and stolen the Zephyr in order to extract Fitz’s location from Jemma’s mind. They take the Zephyr into space, where the team can’t follow them, for the interrogation. In an attempt to foil Sibyl’s predictions, Daisy, Mack and Sousa use the quinjet like a rocket and follow anyway.

Back in the Lighthouse, Azula Kora tries to convince the team that she wants to join SHIELD while she also openly helps Sibyl. It’s a reversal of the S1 split between HYDRA and SHIELD and the reveal of Grant Ward as a HYDRA agent. The Triskelion pays the price, as it always must.

In season 7’s rewind through Agents of  SHIELD’s history, this episode brings the show back to the break point in S1 when HYDRA came out of the closet, SHIELD went underground and AoS became the show that it’s been for most of its run.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 7 Episode 10: Stolen Recap

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After spending last week in a time loop, episode 10 finds the team stranded in the 1980s again. They set up camp in the Lighthouse but are soon visited by Jiaying and Gordon, who tell them what Nathaniel and Kora are up to at Afterlife. Nathaniel recruits S1 villain John Garrett before he’s injured and recruited by HYDRA. While most of the team try to stop Nathaniel from transferring inhuman powers to villainous humans, Deke continues to work on the Zephyr’s time drive.

Recap

The episode opens in the SHIELD bar where SHIELD recruit Young John Garrett is playing darts. Adult John Garrett, who was Grant Ward’s SHIELD SO, surrogate father and HYDRA recruiter, plus S1 Big Bad the Clairvoyant, was played in a tour de force performance by Bill Paxton (Apollo 13, Big Love). Bill died in 2017, but the show pays tribute to him by bringing back the character and casting his son, James Paxton, in the role his dad originated.

Keep the box of tissues out.

Nathaniel shows up at the bar to recruit Garrett for his chaos crew by telling Garrett about his own future. Garrett doubts Nathaniel’s story about his devastating injury, abandonment by SHIELD, and recruitment by HYDRA, but I’m not sure why. Has Garrett met Nick Fury? Or Victoria Hand? SHIELD has never had a problem with leaving men behind. Even when SHIELD was the SSR and HYDRA hadn’t infiltrated them yet.

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Dark Season 3 Episode 4: The Origin Recap

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In episode 4, Young Tronte and Claudia each have an encounter with a creepy old man, Hannah makes a decision that will have wide ranging consequences and Yellow Raincoat Martha gets to know Stranger Martha and her even stranger ideas. Tronte and Jana spend some quality time together, while the Unknown trio check some important items off their To Do list.

Recap

The episode opens with Tronte walking through the woods toward the mouth of the cave. He seems drawn there, though he doesn’t seem to understand why.

This stretch of woods reminds me of the German fairytale Hansel and Gretel, which is ultimately a variant of Ariadne’s thread. There have been so many kids who’ve walked through here while on their way to be sacrificed in one way or another. Tronte doesn’t die, but his life is frequently interrupted as he’s drawn to serve the needs of the knot and the White Devil Witch Claudia. Jana acts as his Ariadne/Gretel, providing the thread/trail of crumbs/home and stability that he always returns to.

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Dark Season 3 Episode 3: Adam and Eva Recap

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In episode 3, we meet Stranger/Adult Alt Martha and Gustav’s father, Heinrich Tannhaus, for the first time. Old Eva and Young Jonas have a long talk before she sends him to another time period with her youngest self again. Alt Martha helps out Stranger Jonas and the teens before going back to the future, but there’s a twist. She goes to the Prime world future. After weeks of frustration, Stranger Jonas begins to find some success in the lab.

Recap

The episode begins in the Prime world 1820s, when Old Gustav Tannhaus was Young Gustav Tannhaus. We find Young Gustav and his father, Heinrich Tannhaus, riding in a carriage in the dark of night, in a raging thunderstorm.

When else would they go out for a ride?

Heinrich reads from the play Ariadne, choosing from the same speech we’ve heard Martha perform at least once every season: “From then on, I knew that nothing changes. That all things remain. The spinning wheel turns, round and round, in a circle. One fate tied to the next. A thread, red like blood, that connects all our deeds.”

Heinrich is the man who started Sic Mundus. As he reads, lightning flashes as if time travel is occuring.

Maybe it is.

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