Season 2, Episode 2: “Dark Matter”
Directed by Baran bo Odar
Written by Jantje Friese & Ronny Schalk
* For a recap & review of the premiere, “Beginnings and Endings” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Ghosts” – click here
The huge mass we saw in the premiere is “the God Particle.” Jonas (Louis Hofmann) is trying to figure out how to use the particle as a means to his ends. He pores over all the papers, listening to the tape of Claudia Tiedemann (Lisa Kreuzer), and he manages to stabilise the particle for a moment.
Then it’s back to being a pulsing mass of energy.
June 22, 1987. 5 days before the Apocalypse.
Mikkel (Daan Lennard Liebrenz) wakes up to his life in another time. He remembers it’s his mother’s birthday. Claudia Tiedemann (Julika Jenkins) prepares for a big day at the nuclear plant. Her father Egon (Christian Pätzold) tries to tell her something important, but decides not to worry her. So many secrets in Winden.
Chief of Police Charlotte Doppler (Karoline Eichhorn) can’t stop thinking about the 1921 photograph. She searches the phrase “Sic mundus creatus est” online, discovering what it means. No closer to truth. Her colleague’s asking around about the power plant, wondering about the coincidence of the disappearances near there.
Again, many secrets.
Young Elisabeth (Carlotta von Falkenhayn) continues looking through her great-grandfather’s things. Her sister Franziska (Gina Stiebitz) is busy chewing out Magnus (Moritz Jahn). He followed her to Bernadette’s (Anton Rubtsov) place, believing she was also doing sex work. Franziska’s selling “hormone therapy prescriptions.” Her father Peter (Stephan Kampwirth) stopped going to see Bernadette and using them to pay her.
“The past is the past…”
“… and now is now.”
Older Jonas (Andreas Pietschmann) shows the “time machine” to Hannah (Maja Schöne). He explains the 33 year time jumps. She looks over the contraption, unsure if it’s all real even if she sees Jonas grown before her. He tells her he tried to “keep a secret” but that’s destroying everything. Now is time for truth.
So, the grown son will show his mother what his father Michael was keeping secret.
In 1987, Claudia gets to the plant. Somebody’s waiting for her. It’s her, only older. We’ve seen her already, of course. Clearly a wild surprise for the woman, to see who she’ll become eventually. The older Claudia knows what’ll happen at every moment. She’s been there before. She used the dog to make sure she and her younger ’80s self would meet. Some things MUST happen.
What about Egon? He’s trying so hard to keep secrets. Other things he tries to remember.
In 2053, Jonas sets up a half shattered Discman. He plays “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis through a speaker in a rundown building. In the street, a fortified vehicle rolls up. People with assault rifles head inside while Jonas hops in back of the truck to siphon fuel. He’s nearly caught, slipping away at the last minute. Jonas wanders through the wastelands of Winden to the dead zone wall. He crawls back through the hole to find himself on the end of a gun at the other side. Elisabeth and her people have him.
In 2020, Charlotte and her colleague go see Regina Tiedemann (Deborah Kaufmann). He starts asking about Aleksander (Peter Benedict), curious about why he’d take his wife’s last name. That’s when Regina shows them a box left by a stranger at the hotel. Inside are various papers about time travel. This sends Charlotte off in a hurry, recognising the work of her grandfather, H.G. Tannhaus.
Egon goes to see Helge Doppler (Peter Schneider) in the hospital, asking about when Mads disappeared. Helge speaks of a man “with the stone” who said he could “change everything.” He calls someone “the White Devil.”
Could he be referring to Adam? Or Noah?
Older Jonas brings his mother to the caves, to demonstrate the machine’s potential. He turns it on and a black orb grows out of it, pulling them into a portal. In ’87, Claudia is showing her younger self the time machine, too. She explains the 33-year cycle and the “never–ending dance” of time. She says Adam must be stopped and gives her younger self a bunch of papers.
Grown up Elisabeth is preparing to hang Jonas on the execution stage. He asks why she won’t tell her people what’s actually in the dead zone. He tells them the Apocalypse will happen back in 2020 if they don’t do anything: “Your paradise does not exist.” The leader lets him hang. Only momentarily.
Egon is looking into the man they arrested for supposedly killing two children in 1953— Ulrich Nielsen (Oliver Masucci). He finds out Ulrich’s still in a hospital. He’s been there 34 years. And he remembers Egon like it as yesterday. He’s even quoting a Kreator tune like he did when they first met— irony being the song was released in ’86, a year before this timeline and 33 years after these two ever met back in the ’50s. HEAD TRIP! Mostly he’s giving the former copper lots of cryptic stuff.
“In the end,
life is just a collection of missed opportunities.”
Older Jonas and Hannah are in ’87. They go see Mikkel from outside the house. All the pieces are falling together. Not easy to begin to see that different moments in time are connected, even if it offers answers for certain things. Mostly it’d be an insanely difficult existential struggle to deal with, and it’d take time to reconcile. Hannah finds it hard, like any normal person.
’87 Claudia digs in the yard. She finds a box she left herself 33 years prior by her future self who’d travelled back to the ’50s, when the nuclear power plant was only just being constructed. Inside is the time machine.
In the future, Jonas is kept in a cage. He’s broken out by Elisabeth’s translator. She wants to know what’s really in the dead zone. He brings her to see the God particle. But what next? Jonas uses the fuel he siphoned to keep more power going so he can stabilise the particle. It becomes like the orb emerging from the time machine. He reaches into the orb, then steps through entirely. The particle soon goes back to its chaotic state.
“Thunder” by RY X plays during the last sequence
Another fantastic chapter, sending Season 2 in plenty of amazing directions.
“Ghosts” is next.