Season 1, Episode 9: “Everything is Now”
Directed by Baran bo Odar
Written by Jantje Friese & Marc O. Seng
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “As You Sow, so Shall You Reap” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 1 finale, “Alpha and Omega” – click here
“If we could see yesterday and tomorrow at the same time, the origin and the end, the entire universe in a single moment, we might finally find answers to the biggest questions of all:
What is man? Where does he come from? What drives him? What is his purpose?”
We see the Tannhaus machine, spinning, working. We cut back to 1953, as Bernd (Anatole Taubman) inspects the construction site, as his wife Greta (Cordelia Wege) laments her missing boy, Helge (Tom Phillipp).
And Ulrich (Oliver Masucci), he’s outside the bunker, where he’s laid the body’s body. Now everybody is scrambling, looking for the child. Plus, the cops, Egon (Sebastian Hülk), who’s got Bernd in his office to talk about his missing son. Things are getting tense.
While Claudia (Gwendolyn Göbel) walks with Tronte (Joshio Marlon) in the woods, Agnes (Antje Traue) is helping Doris (Luis Heyer) dress up nicely. Then there’s Greta, talking to the priest, Noah (Mark Waschke). She claims that Helge may not even be her husband’s child. Curious to see how he fits into everything, further than what we’ve seen. I want to know his motivations.
“We don‘t meet the people we meet by accident”
On the road, a rough looking Ulrich is stopped by Egon, so he takes off into the trees. Egon gives chase, eventually catching him. Just before they get to the cave’s entrance. Ulrich’s under the delusion he’s already changed “the course of time.” He also readily admits that the boy is dead. However, the kid is awake, still alive.
Skip to 1986. Young Ulrich (Ludger Bökelmann) is about to get out of jail. Katharina (Nele Tres) is angry, and Hannah (Ella Lee) suggests it was Regina Tiedemann (Lydia Maria Makrides), that she told her grandfather. Planting a nasty seed that lives on for three decades.
We see Claudia (Julika Jenkins) go down into that cave again, where she saw all those radioactive waste barrels. They’re still there, stacked high. She’s brought a Geiger counter, measuring the radiation coming off them. From the dark comes running a dog; yes, her old dog from the ’50s, Gretchen, up through the wormhole.
“Why does Tiedemann have it in for you?”
“He thinks I‘m the Antichrist” (Interesting reference given the stranger’s recent talk of the Antichrist + the 33-year cycle, no?)
Katharina runs into Regina, beating her up. She’s stopped when a young man with a gun shows up, driving her and Ulrich off. He soon falls over. He’s bleeding from the chest. Who is he? Aleksander, the man who’ll become her husband later on. Wow. And hmmm. So many threads to follow, yet it’s not confusing, it’s utterly compelling!
With more concerns, Claudia talks to Bernd (Michael Mendl) about the radiation int he caves. He says everything is safe down there. Yeah, right. We also hear that Helge (Peter Schneider) knows of the situation, of course. But certainly Claudia has further questions, about strange events. Bernd brings up Hannibal and the elephants in the Alps, he speaks of truth, illusion, Chernobyl, more.
“There are no truths, just stories.”
Out at the bunker, old Helge (Hermann Beyer) watches ’86 Helge, going to and from the bunker to the cabin nearby. While at the police station Egon (Christian Pätzold) mulls over what he knows about the man, the forest road, so on. Eventually he goes up there to see Helge, who’s not exactly thrilled to see the police car show up.
The younger Aleksander is actually Boris Niewald, not Aleksander Köhler, the identity he’s taking over in Winden. He buries his gun, his original passport out in the woods, though he doesn’t realise Hannah is watching closely from not far. Not long after he goes to see Claudia, hoping to find a job.
Finally, we see Helge and Noah building the children’s room in the bunker: the restraint chair, the wallpaper, the bunk beds and the TV set. But things aren’t so hot between the two. Helge is having second thoughts. Noah convinces him they’re doing the right thing. We also see that the priest doesn’t particularly believe in God, or fate, he believes everything is mere “chaos.” He thinks their experiments will create a time machine, in order to change the world, to master fate themselves.
In 2019, Hannah (Maja Schöne) opens up a box, where she’s long kept secrets. Such as the gun and the passport Aleksander left in the woods all those years ago in ’86. At the station, Charlotte (Karoline Eichhorn) listens to Ulrich’s frantic message about Helge, just as Katharina (Jördis Triebel) barges in, wondering where her husband’s gone. They’re both pretty worried at this point, even if the wife believes her husband is off cheating again. She even goes over to confront Hannah, who’s got no idea where he’s been, either. Hannah does paint Ulrich as even worse, making out that he pursued her, that he wanted to leave Katharina, claiming she was the one to end their affair. How much more devious can this woman get? Yikes. Ulrich’s not without fault, but Hannah is truly poison, as he said.
We see Bartosz (Paul Lux) have a run-in with that woman we saw last episode, down in the bunker: it’s his grandmother, Claudia (Lisa Kreuzer). Whoa. We begin seeing how she must’ve gotten consumed by the mysteries of the power plant, the caves, and she’s been lost, or willingly lost, all these years.
As Hannah gives Aleksander (Peter Benedict) a massage, she lays out the bag he buried in ’86 so he can see. She’s doing a bit of blackmail, resentful of all she doesn’t have, all he has, and all for what? To “destroy Ulrich.” She wants him to lose everything in his life. Wow, she’s going right to the fucking bone.
Regina’s gone into the stranger’s (Andreas Pietschmann) room, she finds all the clippings, the notes, the drawings. Simultaneously, Bartosz is meeting Noah again. Turns out it wasn’t about drugs. The priest predicted things for the young man, which all came true. Ah, so where’s this all headed? Very interesting.
In the caves, Claudia puts Aleksander to work trying to open the door she found. And in 2019, the stranger has found Aleksander’s stash, those radioactive barrels he had towed away out by where the transgender sex worker keeps her caravan. In ’53, H.G. Tannhaus (Arnd Klawitter) is busy taking apart the smartphone he found, when suddenly the 2019 Claudia walks in to see him. She has blueprints for a machine, one she wants built. You know which one. She wants to set the course of space and time straight, once and for all.
Yet again, an impeccably weaved episode that takes all sorts of secrets we’ve known about, some new ones, and loops them back onto one another. Dark has my vote for best time travel show I’ve seen to date. Just for the writing and how it really doubles back appropriately, even at times when you’ve nearly forgotten little pieces. Everything becomes relevant eventually.
“Alpha and Omega” is next, the Season 1 finale. Not sure how it’ll end, but I’m already hoping Season 2 is coming, because I’m totally obsessed.