Season 2, Episode 8: “Endings and Beginnings”
Directed by Baran bo Odar
Written by Jantje Friese & Daphne Ferraro
* For a recap & review of the penultimate episode, “The White Devil” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 premiere, “Deja-vu” – click here
In 2052, Elisabeth (Sandra Borgmann) digs an ammo box from the ground. Inside is a picture of her family, the Dopplers, as well as other sentimental souvenirs of the past. There are other pictures, too. Photographs of Noah (Mark Waschke) showing Charlotte (Karoline Eichhorn) as a baby with her real parents.
Noah and his younger self speak of the things that cannot be shared between versions of themselves. Certain things have to happen. “We‘re not free,” he tells himself. The younger Noah is off on his own journey now, too.
June 27, 2020. The day of the Apocalypse.
Older Jonas (Andreas Pietschmann) doesn’t know where his mother Hannah (Maja Schöne) has gone. In 1987, the younger time travelling Jonas (Louis Hofmann) is trying to cauterise the timelines. He’s with Claudia (Julika Jenkins) down where the radioactive waste barrels are kept. He’s determined to change things and says altering the smaller things, rather than the bigger ones, is key.
Bartosz (Paul Lux) tells Regina (Deborah Kaufmann) how his grandmother was in Winden last year and left something to give her. It’s an old picture of them together. Older Claudia apologised, wishing she could change things. Where exactly did she go wrong? And how can somebody effectively do what she couldn’t?
“The beginning is the end.
And the end is the beginning.”
Aleksander (Peter Benedict) finds out Clausen (Sylvester Groth) has obtained a warrant for the nuclear power plant. Tiedemann is obviously freaked out about what they’ll discover. At the same time, older Jonas goes to Martha (Lisa Vicari) and tells her things are about to explode, literally. “A new cycle” will begin. He wants to save her, yet it’s difficult for her to accept things. He refuses to let her die and he’ll save her by gunpoint if necessary. Only six hours to the Apocalypse.
Magnus (Moritz Jahn) and Franziska (Gina Stiebitz) are together when Bartosz comes looking for the time machine. They tell him Katharina (Jördis Triebel) has it. He’s scared because Noah didn’t tell him what to do if anything deviated from the original plan. He needs to find the device. Or, was the whole purpose for it to end up in Mrs. Nielsen’s hands? She can’t figure out how to use the thing, so she goes looking for Jonas. She sees the futuristic light source he carries in the caves, as well as a map of them that reads FOLLOW THE SIGNAL. In the ’80s, Jonas and Claudia are in the caves. He tells her how Adam and Sic Mundus are attempting to shape a new world in their image as opposed to God’s, whereas he’s trying to save the one that exists.
At the bunker, older Jonas takes Martha inside to the “only safe place” in Winden. She sees the wall of information. She asks him if the story about Mikkel is true, and it’s all the more complicated to comprehend. Jonas apologises, telling her he’s only trying to save her life. He asks her to stay in the bunker.
Charlotte discovers Clausen is headed to the plant. She’s stopped by Wöller (Leopold Hornung). He tells her he knows what Aleksander buried there— he helped on the job. She knows this helps trigger everything that’s about to happen.
In the caves, Jonas and Claudia are at the door preparing to “connect past and future” by using the time machine within the tunnel.
Katharina and older Jonas meet again. He tells her about trying to “prevent the origin.” It isn’t possible. Only the smaller things are preventable, like personal paths on which each individual winds up. Jonas may be able to prevent himself from becoming Adam.
Speaking of, Noah goes to see Adam in the temple. He pulls out a gun only to try firing and it won’t work. Adam explains Charlotte is the priest’s daughter, but because of all the time travel games Elisabeth is also her daughter / mother. “No human is without guilt,” he says. Agnes (Antje Traue) comes to shoot Noah, to untie the twisted knot.
[Note: We later see young Noah descend into the bunker. Could there be a disturbing connection there concerning young Elisabeth?]
When Jonas turns on the machine everyone in 2020 feels the ground shake. Martha runs off from the bunker while Peter and Elisabeth arrive. At the caves, Jonas and Claudia come out. He leaves her with the machine to take to the bunker. He needs to find Martha and his mother— he’s got no clue Hannah went back to the ’50s. Everything’s chaos. There’s not enough control over what’s happening, for anybody. At the plant, Clausen sees the old pool is already sealed, so he orders it broken open.
Claudia goes to Regina’s home, providing quite the shock for her grown daughter. She tries to offer more apologies. She wants to protect her daughter now. They go to the bunker with Peter and Elisabeth.
Older Jonas is visited by younger Noah, who dares his time travelling rival to shoot him. He has a letter for Jonas from Martha. The letter says something that devastates him. Young Noah says Jonas has to save Bartosz, Magnus, and Franziska, as well as Noah and Agnes later. This is necessary so “the next cycle begins.” All according to prophecy.
Adam is being suited up to head inside the God Particle back in 1921. At the same moment, Katharina is following the signal in the caves. Charlotte is headed into the old reactor. In 2053, Elisabeth passes through the wall into the dead zone.
And 2020 Jonas finally returns to Martha. A “perfect match” again.
Not a long reunion. Adam has come to enact “the beginning of the end.” He needs the God Particle to put an end to the world. He’s the trigger for the true Apocalypse, for what Jonas will become— he shoots Martha, killing her. An eerie callback to the calendar on the wall, that sits there in the future, when Adam marks off the date with a circle.
Poor Jonas must watch his love bleed out on the floor.
In 2053, Elisabeth turns on the stabiliser, and in 1921, the Sic Mundus disciples— Magnus and who we can assume is Franziska— use their machine. In 2020, Charlotte and Clausen watch the God Particle form out of an open barrel, and in the caves Katharina sees a portal opening. At the plant, the orb disappears. In the caves, all the energy heads towards the door and Katharina opens it. A portal hole opens in the plant and Elisabeth looks through from 2053 at her mother on the other side. The daughter signs to mom, they reach through the void to touch.
Above Winden a massive hole opens.
Soundtrack note: “My Body is a Cage” by Peter Gabriel plays over the montage
Jonas mourns Martha as the ground shakes. That’s when another Martha appears. Or, is she Martha? She tells him: “I‘m not who you think I am.” She takes out a gold orb she’ll use to travel through time. Jonas wants to know what time she came from, and the answer shocks him: she’s from another world.
They travel through time before the Apocalypse blows everything in Winden away.
“Some pain is unforgettable”
With this finale, Dark not only totally rocked Father Gore, it opened up a HUGE third cycle / Season 3. What an amazing piece of work! The best sci-fi series of the 21st century. Everything is too good to be true. The way they timed this season to begin on the date of Michael’s suicide was perfect, as is the plan to end with Season 3 a.k.a the Third Cycle. Already dying for it.