Season 1, Episode 8: “As You Sow, so You Shall Reap”
Directed by Baran bo Odar
Written by Jantje Friese & Martin Behnke
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Crossroads” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Everything is Now” – click here
We begin in 1953. A young boy, Helge Doppler (Tom Phillipp), rides through the woods. He hears a police car’s siren, the vehicle driven by Egon Tiedeman (Sebastian Hülk) on his way to a construction site where two corpses are found, two children. Dressed as if someone put them “in costumes” aka like they’re from the 1980s, if you had to guess.
Oh, and they’re found where the nuclear power plant is about to be built. No coincidence, surely.
H.G. Tannhaus (Christian Steyer) gets a visit from the stranger (Andreas Pietschmann), they speak of travelling through time, black holes, so on. The scientist talks about the triquetra, that symbol from the Emerald Tablet that I assumed was runic, Celtic, something like that. It is the trinity knot. And this helps explain some of what’s going on concerning the time travel here. At the very same moment, across space and time, Ulrich Nielsen (Oliver Masucci) is going further into the caves. He finds the red rope, strung along the rocks, connected someplace. He hears a rush of wind. He soon finds the wormhole door with the triquetra on it.
And he goes through.
“Our thinking is shaped by dualism. Entrance, exit. Black, white. Good, evil. Everything appears as opposite pairs. But that‘s wrong.”
Back to ’53. Little Helge gets home, scolded by his mother Greta (Cordelia Wege) for coming back filthy, getting dirty over at the construction site. She makes him strip down in the foyer. Right about the time his father Bernd (Anatole Taubman) arrives; he’s much more warm and understanding than mom. The kid then tells his parents of the grisly discovery he witnessed, the dead children.
Meanwhile, the medical examiner can’t figure out what made the wounds on the dead children’s faces. Perhaps a “phosphorous grenade.” Not to mention their ears, inside, are destroyed. Plus, those little penny medals hung around their neck; coins from ’86. And their clothes, they were made in China. One of them has a tattoo you’d never see anywhere in the ’50s. Christ, imagine seeing that in ’53. In addition, the bodies? They’re Yasin and Erik.
Young Helge goes down in the bunker in the woods, playing about and throwing pine cones like grenades. We notice that on the wall are the dates Noah wrote in chalk, already there for the boy. So many things happening outside the space-time continuum. Somewhere else along that curving, looping line, Tannhaus and the stranger speak of the number 33, which, among other things, signals the age of the Antichrist beginning “his rule.” Immediately we CUT to a shot of Noah.
Ulrich’s come out the other side of that door, out of the cave. He didn’t go back to ’86 like Jonas. The door he went through has taken him all the way back to ’53. He unintentionally interrupts a couple older boys beating up on Helge, pissing on him. Oh, man. This is so wild. Ulrich is trying to find the old Helge, and he’s found the young one instead.
In between it all, Tannhaus gives us a crash course in wormhole time travel. He explains how time bends, and then “nothing is where it belongs anymore.” No shit, dude! Perfect that we go right back to Ulrich, running around Winden before he was even born. A woman stops him in the road, looking for directions. It’s his grandmother Agnes (Antje Traue), his father Tronte (Joshio Marlon) in the car, too. Quite the wild situation for Ulrich. One that leaves him rightfully speechless. But he’s starting to figure it all out, tough as it is to comprehend.
We see Ulrich go to a clock and watch shop. He finds H.G. Tannhaus (Arnd Klawitter), showing him his A Journey Through Time book, but the man is much younger, he hasn’t written it yet. Ulrich is having a crisis, unable to believe he’s travelled back through time. And who wouldn’t?
In ’53, Agnes and Tronte make it to the Tiedemann house where Doris (Luise Heyer) receives them, and young Helge is getting help with his homework from Claudia (Gwendolyn Göbel), so we see now why in ’86 the slightly older Helge has a bit of a thing for her. And while at the Tannhaus shop, Ulrich sees his own mother, finding out about those dead boys at the construction site. He also forgets his jacket. Might cause a stir.
There’s a big stir about the nuclear plant. We see that Bernd is heavily involved, and he believes the coal industry is behind a conspiracy, thinking it’s suspicious that two bodies turn up on the site right now. Egon passes it off, though it’s clear big business is going to begin running Winden.
Claudia and Helge show Tronte around, when they end up at the caves. Although Helge is shunned. So the boy plays fetch with the Tiedemann dog. He tosses a stick into the caves, the dog chases, and then it’s… gone.
Down at the police station, Ulrich is causing a bit of commotion asking about the dead boys, wanting to know if one of them is Mikkel. Now the cops know of him, Egon does – is that what inadvertently gave him a bad opinion of the young Ulrich in ’86 somehow? Hmm – and he’s also realised he left his jacket back at the shop.
“The past doesn‘t just influence the future. The future also influences the past.”
Young Helge has a box of dead birds, ’cause that’s normal. He gets a visit in the woods from Ulrich, who shows him one of the penny medals from ’86. The kid obviously doesn’t recognise it. To what lengths is Ulrich about to go in order to figure things out? He’s starting to scare me. He tells Helge he will become a killer. Although now he believes it may be time to change the future. OH, LORD. He’s really trying to kill a boy, in order to hopefully prevent missing, dead kids in the future. And so the grown man beats young Helge in the head and the face, busting his skull in; bloody, brutal. He drags the boy’s body down into the bunker and closes it up. Is this what leads to Helge waking up in the ’80s decorated room?
Note: Who is the woman we see in the bunker briefly, in front of the web of connections linked on the wall? A compelling little addition to this episode.
“Everything is connected to everything else”
The stranger reveals to Tannhaus he has travelled through the wormhole. He has the machine we saw before, the one Tannhaus himself worked on, and says it’s broken. The device can help destroy the wormhole. But the scientist is unsettled, he tells the man to leave. When the stranger leaves, Tannhaus opens up his own machine kept on the shelf.
And so we cut back to ’53 momentarily, where H.G. finds Ulrich’s jacket left in his shop. He looks through the pockets, finding an smartphone. He inspects it, mystified by its technology. Maybe a bit of inspiration? Some technology through the wormhole that inspires his machine?
Spectacular! God, can this series get any better? Yes, yes. It always can, apparently.
The penultimate episode “Everything is Now” comes next.