3×02: “The Survivors”
Directed by Baran bo Odar
Written by Marc O. Seng & Jantje Friese
* For a recap & review of the Season 3 premiere, “Deja-vu” – click here
* For a recap & review of 3×03, “Adam and Eve” – click here
1888. Martha is with the older Jonas. She meets Bartosz, Franziska, and Magnus who’ve all somehow ended up there, too. Except it’s not the same Martha, so it’s a kind of bittersweet reunion. Neither are Bartosz, Franziska, and Magnus the same people this Martha knows. Regardless, they’ve all got to do their part or everybody in both worlds is going to come to an end, perpetually.
Back to September, 1987.
“You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” by Dead or Alive wakes Katharina. She’s in the Kahnwald house, time travelling through her existence. Mads’s empty coffin has been buried while people in town are grieving for the disappearance/loss of a child from their neighbourhood. Tronte is accused by his wife Jana of having an affair with Claudia and being off with her while their son went missing. Not to mention Claudia’s missing, too. Winden’s long been a place full of affairs and secrets, only further compounded by the time travel madness.
In September, 2020, the “global catastrophe” originating in Winden has caused the world to stand still for a nanosecond, enough to cause chaos across the world. An older Claudia brings tamoxifen for her dying daughter, Regina. Elsewhere, Peter and Elisabeth are heading into the guarded area of Winden where soon it will all be walled off and secured from the public by the military. They survey all the pictures taken of those killed during the incident at the plant. They’re searching desperately for Charlotte and Franziska, not knowing where they are, or if they’re alive. At least they aren’t on the wall of pictures.
Back in 1888, Bartosz, Magnus, and Franziska find out about this parallel existence from which the other Martha comes, how Jonas doesn’t exist there, and the rest. Tough pill to swallow. Now, the older Jonas wants to know how Martha found them, and it gets more confusing when she has to explain that Jonas does still exist in the other timeline, travelling from one time period to the next. He’s suspicious of her. And who’s the ancient man helping older Jonas? An old Tannhaus.
Katharina keeps up her quest in ’87, running into a young Ulrich in the halls of the school, stunned by the meeting. She’s got posters, attempting to find young Michael who’s disappeared. Young Ulrich says maybe “the madman” got him. Then Katharina has a strange moment, seeing her younger self. Eerie stuff. She keeps wondering about this madman, and another girl tells him about a guy who escaped the nuthouse, who tried pulling Michael into the cave. This is the old Ulrich she’s talking about, and Katharina’s one step closer to some truth. At the power plant, Tronte’s asking around about Claudia the week before she went missing, hearing about how she was acting much differently than normal. Later he sees Regina at a bus shelter and he offers the girl a ride. He tries to reach out to her, it’s… odd. In 2020, Claudia’s surviving the apocalypse, hoping against all hope that the past can be changed for the better after all.
“We don’t know our end…”
Peter and Elisabeth search the wasteland of 2020 in Winden, going through the destroyed houses. While Peter heads upstairs Elisabeth ends up running into the younger Noah. She and Noah talk to each other through a notepad. She asks where he stays and he tells her the cave. Peter comes down in the midst of the conversation and tells young Noah they want nothing to do with him. Noah knows the past, present, and future. He scares Peter a little, and claims he only wants to protect Elisabeth. Remember we saw Noah go into the bunker once with Elisabeth, and remember the twisted family tree? Yikes with a capital YIKES.
In 1888, older Jonas and the old man talking about “the Paradise” where “every pain” is “destroyed before it even comes to be“— a perfect existence in which nothing is ever wrong, always right. The old man’s cane is imprinted with Sic Mundus Creatus Est, the inscription that’s part of the Emerald Tablet, and the name of the group we know Jonas a.k.a Adam comes to lead.
In 1987, Katharina goes to the hospital looking to see the old Ulrich. She meets Helene Albers at the reception desk. Helen thinks Katharina is crazy, the kind of woman who goes for psychopaths like the women who loved Ted Bundy. But she’s a sucker for St. Christopher. And that gets Katharina in to see old Ulrich. Once again, across space and time, these two are reunited. Beautiful and tragic.
Who is the man / who are THEY with the cleft lip(s)?
They’re making an awful lot of trouble in 1987. Right now, poor Jasmin at the power plant is the next to receive a nasty garrote from this time travelling band of murderers. Even in the credits they’re credited as Unknown. Any guesses as to who they are? How are they connected to everybody else in Winden?
2020 Regina continues to hang on, not dead yet like in the alternate 2019. She receives a visit in the middle of the night from none other than the older Tronte. He apologises to her before he pulls the pillow from under her and uses it smother her to death. It’s the only way to save her, he says. I guess I wrote too soon because poor Regina didn’t even get taken out by her cancer in this timeline, she was straight up murdered. What’s Tronte trying to do here? Meanwhile, Peter’s confronted by Elisabeth asking why he carries around that notebook, why he won’t talk to her honestly about things. He calms her, but she’s scared she’s lost her mother and sister.
In 2053, Charlotte is with the grown Elisabeth in the caves. She’s continuing to grapple with what she’s learned about her connection to Noah. Elisabeth reassures Charlotte that things “will be okay.” But they both kinda know, or at the very least suspect, that this is not entirely true. It’s definitely not a guarantee.
A beautiful split-screen sequence again this season is set to “Broken Sleep” by Agnes Obel. We see 2020, where the older Claudia finds Regina dead. We see young Elisabeth contemplating the note Noah wrote. In 1888, older Jonas discovers Martha isn’t in her room. She and Bartosz are underground, headed into the Sic Mundus temple. They step inside to where they find the familiar library, where we’ve seen Adam and others previously. We also get confirmation that the ancient man is an old Tannhaus, the only member of Sic Mundus left in 1888. Bartosz explains to Martha that Jonas is working on the time machine. He wants to know more about Adam. Martha reveals to him what he didn’t yet know, that Jonas is Adam.
In the alternate 2019, an old Martha tells Jonas that the different worlds are all connected by a single moment, and that everyone will die— nobody is safe from the apocalypse, in either way. There’s only three more days until this world’s apocalypse occurs. They’d better get to work.
“… but our end knows us.”
More spectacular writing that weaves things together, simultaneously weaving more new parts that fit with everything currently existing. Dark blows me away, episode after episode. Can’t wait to see more of the alternate 2019, as well as the old Tannhaus and what’s going on in 1888.
SO MUCH FUN MADNESS GOING DOWN! What an early summer treat.