3×05: “Life and Death”
Directed by Baran bo Odar
Written by Jantje Friese
* For a recap & review of 3×04, “The Origin” – click here
* For a recap & review of 3×06, “Light and Shadow” – click here
In 2020, Claudia buries Regina in the forest, marking the grave with a cross.
Can anybody really escape the past, or the future?
Adam tells Charlotte in 2053 she will always return there to him and to Elisabeth. He’s asking whether she’s chosen a side. He wants to “untie this knot” for good. Adam tells her that older Martha a.k.a Eva and her world doesn’t deserve saving, and says neither does their own. What part does Charlotte play in all this?
Back in the alternate 2019, Jonas and Martha have had sex. Bit awkward after, though I suspect a good deal of that is because she’s had to grapple with learning there’s an apocalypse happening, there are different worlds, different times. Right now she takes the time to hug Katharina close, knowing what’s going to happen if she and Jonas can’t accomplish what needs to be done. In 1987, Katharina tells old Ulrich she’s going to spring him from the hospital. She promises they’ll “bring Mikkel back.”
Elsewhere in 1987, we see Tannhaus at work when young Charlotte arrives— in the background, news on the radio reports about the trials in the aftermath of Chernobyl— and they wind up in a serious discussion about his work. He has to tell her the truth of her parents. Charlotte arrived one night in a bundle carried by two women, the same night his son’s family, including his granddaughter, drove off the road into a river. The only body never found was the body of his granddaughter. The only thing baby Charlotte had on her? The old watch we saw in 1888 with her name inscribed inside. “Who am I?” she asks Tannhaus. He can’t answer her question.
In alternate 2019, Aleksander gets back to his office where Charlotte’s waiting for him. She asks about when he first came to Winden in ’86 and when he started working at the plant. He’s obviously nervous, given his past. She wants to now more about the plant’s shift schedules in ’86, too. Might get tricky for Aleksander. She discovers that Helge got off work right around when Mads went missing. At home, she asks Peter about it more and he’s adamant Helge did nothing. She knows there’s more to it and won’t let it go. Then there’s her affair with Ulrich tearing them apart rather than Peter’s secretive affair in their original world.
Back to 2020. Claudia discovers her younger self from the ’80s there in that rundown building. Her younger self explains two groups— “Light and shadow“— are fighting for time travel supremacy. Younger Claudia says that the older Jonas cannot be trusted. She claims Eva wants to “save both worlds” because these triple timelines have to exist in an infinite loop. Such a twisted, tangly web of deception on all sides. No telling who’s actually telling the truth. Younger Claudia wants the older Claudia to guide everyone, including Jonas, who she’ll later defy, as well.
Peter and Elisabeth go back to the militarised zone. She has her mother’s watch and it surely makes her think of where Charlotte has ended up, whereas her father tries to keep on going. She insists her sister and mother are dead, but Peter won’t concede, trying to keep hope alive. So she walks away.
Jonas and Martha in the 2nd 2019 are going to the power plant looking for the barrels of radioactive waste that are going to be brought today. When she gets a cut under her eye he stops in his tracks. He remembers the scratch being on the Martha who sent him this way. He’s beginning to question older Martha (who we’ll just full-time call Eva now) and what exactly she’s attempting to do. Jonas realises everybody’s been telling lies, that following what everyone else has told him has just made his life worse. He wants to go back to see Eva. This all causes Martha to wonder whether what she and Jonas seem to feel about each other’s real. All Jonas can say is he feels “wrong” in this time. She doesn’t know that he technically doesn’t even exist in that version of 2019. Regardless of their emotions, how can he feel right in a world where he literally does NOT exist? Goddamn.
In 1987, Charlotte meets Peter at the bus shelter. He says his father used to live here. He didn’t know his father until just before his mother died and she told him about his dad. She asks if he believes it’s possible to bring someone back once they’ve died. She says it’s about getting to them before they die. I guess living with Tannhaus would make anybody a philosopher.
“That time is here and now”
In 2020, Elisabeth gets back to her trailer and a man’s there. He smashes her head off the door. She wakes tied up. The man’s looking through their things, asking if she lives alone. She can’t use her hands to sign, though. Things are slowly getting very creepy. The man starts to lift up her shirt and tears at her clothes. Luckily Peter walks through the door and fights the man. Elisabeth gets to a knife, freeing the ropes from her hands. She runs at the man with it, saving her father from having his head bashed in with a tin of beans. The man gets the knife and in a struggle he stabs Peter in the throat. Elisabeth proceeds to cave the guy’s skull in with a fire extinguisher. But now she’s all alone, as her father bleeds out in the trailer bathroom. She has nowhere to go but to the caves with Noah. In 2053, grown Elisabeth is with Charlotte, the older Franziska, and Adam. Charlotte and Elisabeth are headed to another place, another time via the God Particle.
Katharina’s in 1987 following Helene. This naturally freaks the woman out. Freaks her out more when Katharina lets ‘mom’ slip out of her mouth. That’s got to be unnerving for someone to hear. Katharina looks like an absolute psychotic, plus she has a knife. Things get brutal when she’s got to beat her mother with a rock just to get the key card for the hospital psych ward, and her mother fights back, beating her brutally. Once it’s over Helene fills Katharina’s backpack with rocks and drags her to the water. The St. Christopher necklace gets lost in the sand. Afterwards, Helene goes home and beats the shit out of young Katharina.
At the hospital, old Ulrich waits for somebody who’s not coming.
And at home, Ines has brought Michael back.
Soundtrack: “In the Woods Somewhere” by Hozier plays here
Jonas has brought alternate 2019 Martha to see the Adam and Eve painting, where they meet Eva. He confronts the old woman, wondering why should we tell him they could save both worlds when they can only save one. Eva says there’s “no way back” for him anymore. She explains that a person lives “three lives“— in the first, you lose naivety; the next, innocence; and, in the final, life itself. She tells him it’s time for him to die now. The future Martha from 2052 is there, too. Another Martha, with the same scar as Eva, emerges from the darkness. She shoots Jonas in the chest and he bleeds over the tree of names across the two timelines.
Yet another stunning chapter in this final season. What else can one say? A masterpiece.
2 thoughts on “Dark 3×05: “Life and Death””
Elisabeth is my favorite character throughout the entire series. Not
really sure why. Maybe because her story arc is so heartbreaking?
Yes I feel deeply for her, as well as Charlotte. Such great characters all around in this series.