Season 2, Episode 6: “An Endless Cycle”
Directed by Baran bo Odar
Written by Jantje Friese & Martin Behnke
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Lost and Found” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The White Devil” – click here
Adam questions if they’ll ever be able to find out the origin of where everything began in the 33-year cycle. “Beginning” and “end” are simply two words for the same thing. On June 20, 2019, Jonas (Louis Hofmann) wakes at home on a normal day. His father Michael (Sebastian Rudolph) is alive. It’s the day of Katharina (Jördis Triebel) and Ulrich’s (Oliver Masucci) anniversary party. Jonas is about to head out and Michael sees the yellow raincoat, feeling a sense of “deja vu.” Hannah (Maja Schöne) worries about her husband, urging him to go to the party but he’s trying work hard on another painting— clearly bothered by… other things. Because tomorrow is the day he’ll kill himself.
Jonas rides his bike with Martha (Lisa Vicari), Magnus (Moritz Jahn), and Bartosz (Paul Lux) out to their swimming spot. We see that the necklace from previous episodes comes from this day, when Jonas digs it out of the sand. Martha tells him it’s Saint Christopher— “patron saint of travellers.” A beautiful little moment of large significance.
At the same moment, the other Jonas with his scarred neck comes out of the church after travelling through the portal. The timelines are splitting / merging in incredible ways.
In the paper, Aleksander (Peter Benedict) reads about a murder in Marburg from 33 years ago that remains unsolved. Any relation to his prior identity as Boris Niewald? Father Gore would bet money on it. Regina (Deborah Kaufmann) is still doing okay at this point, not yet suffering brutally from cancer. At home, Charlotte Doppler (Karoline Eichhorn) and her husband Peter (Stephan Kampwirth) are struggling to mend their broken marriage through a sea of silence. She decides to go to the Nielsen party alone.
A weird moment for time travelling Jonas as he runs into Ulrich, Mikkel, and Katharina on the road. They invite him to the party. At the swimming spot, Martha reads a stage play of Ariadne. She talks with Jonas about thinking of the future, even if it’s only the next five minutes. He soon has to run off to see his grandmother. The other Jonas watches them from the trees. He then goes to see Martha, though he speaks cryptically. Then he says they’re “the perfect match,” like in that memory they’ve both dreamt of, and they kiss for the first time.
Michael sees the Nielsens outside his place. Even Hannah is having her own deja vu moment while looking at the boy. Time is rippling. The various connected threads are kind of dangling in the wind together. The boy goes inside the Kahnwald home to use the washroom and runs into his grown self.
A shocking existential moment for them both. More so for Michael.
The party at the Nielsen place gets going with music and booze. Ulrich and Katharina are having a good time. Upstairs, Martha gives Jonas the St. Christopher pendant on a necklace. This is when they make love, that memory we’ve seen. While Hannah’s out her time travelling son drops in to the house, not thinking his father’s still at home. Jonas goes up to his room and dad comes in. He hugs Michael for the first time in ages. He uses Mikkel’s “ultimate fist bump” line and reveals everything. He tries to explain what he needs to change the course of the present.
“We are wanderers
in the darkness.”
Michael tells Jonas someone showed him the passage. It was his own son. That night in the woods— when the teens all heard something outside the caves and their flashlights started flickering— Mikkel got separated from the current Jonas and time travelling Jonas brought him to the door. They stayed in the cave until morning, then the time traveller was gone. Eventually, Michael thought it was “a dream.”
Except Jonas doesn’t remember doing it. His father thinks the whole reason his son returned is to show him the way forward, to help him die so Jonas can go on. Dad thinks he’s a “small part of a huge cancer” that’s far more vast than any of them can comprehend. Similar to what Jonas has told himself in another timeline. They’re interrupted by old Claudia (Lisa Kreuzer). She knows Jonas is the way to end everything. She tells him he must wage war against his future self, Adam. It’s not as simple as Jonas dying, because the world needs him.
The sacrifice Jonas must make is to let his father die.
“Is this the Apocalypse?”
“A bit disappointing”
A beautiful, tragic, and emotional montage of all Winden’s secrets here.
Everything leads to that room where Michael writes his letter and kills himself.
At the caves, Jonas goes with Claudia on the next leg of the journey. In 1921, Adam is confronted by others from Sic Mundus— one is Magnus, might the other be a grown Franziska?— who wonder why he didn’t tell his younger self the true reason he’s sent him down this path. He’s only concerned with the final cycle.
Like usual, a great chapter. Things continue to get more twisty.
“The White Devil” is next.