3×07: “Between the Time”
Directed by Baran bo Odar
Written by Jantje Friese
* For a recap & review of 3×06, “Light and Shadow” – click here
* For a recap & review of the series finale, “Paradise” – click here
This episode begins with a lesson on Schrödinger’s cat. Effectively, what this experiment relies on is how our ow observation of a thing “forces it into a definitive state“— until then, the cat, for instance, is both alive and dead until we actually look and see. It exists in “two superimposed states.” This is a microcosm of Dark and how “the simultaneous existence of life and death” works, how different realities sit beside one another. Potentially, time could exist in two different states at once.
Question is, how many realities can exist at one time?
We see time-travelling Martha about to go in to find Jonas and the dead Martha. But Bartosz has come to tell her the truth, sent by the alternate 2019 Martha, and prevents her from saving this Jonas from his apocalyptic fate. He knows the origin. He’s brought the time travel ball and he wants to take Martha with him. They disappear right as the nuclear cloud comes rushing towards them, swallowing the house.
In 1974, Tannhaus is distraught over lost loved ones. His son and daughter-in-law are dead, and his granddaughter’s nowhere to be found. This is when he really gets to thinking about “cheating death” and somehow returning people to life by way of space and time. We see him take a trip out to the bunker. Skip ahead to 2021. Younger Noah and Elisabeth talk about finding paradise and how all the pain one’s ever felt gets erased, how all the dead live again.
In 1890, older Jonas is doing his Tesla thing trying to perfect the time machine. The God Particle partially forms as he adjusts various levers. He goes to adjust some of the equipment and winds up with a nasty burn across his arm. I keep wondering how Adam got so scarred, and it’s probably got something to do with moments like this one. Meanwhile, Bartosz is losing faith in Jonas while the latter’s only concerned with finding the origin. He’s sick of waiting for a paradise when they’ve been stuck in the late 19th century for 2 whole years.
In 2023, Bartosz meets a woman named Silja, who we’ve seen with Adam and the others, in the forest. Elsewhere, Jonas and Claudia are working on the God Particle. They’re not having much success with opening its portal, though. So much time has passed and with no success. They’ve been doing a “series of experiments” and Jonas seems weary. Claudia tells him he can’t give up, but he appears ready to do exactly that. He goes back to his house, looking at the old family photos, the blood stain left on the floor. He goes upstairs where his father killed himself. Now he’s going to try and kill himself again, too. He slips a noose around his neck and kicks a chair out from under himself. Then younger Noah turns up, cutting Jonas down in time to save him. He urges: “You can‘t die.” He even gives Jonas a gun to try. Jonas pulls the trigger at his own head several times. And the gun’s loaded. He can’t die because “time won‘t allow it.” Someone, or something, will always stop Jonas from dying, one way or another. So, Noah takes Jonas with him to the caves where he and Elisabeth have been waiting for the passage to open again.
Back to 1904.
Bartosz and Silja are having a child together. They name him Hanno(!!!) a.k.a Noah. Skip to 1910, where Hanno’s mother is now dead. A grown Bartosz rushes home to their flat where he sees Silja lying bloody in bed. Silja delivered a child, whom she wanted to name Agnes. In 1974, Tannhaus is setting up the bunker for his purposes. He gradually creates a full-fledged scientific laboratory. When he’s finally done it’s the late ’80s. Now jump ahead to 2040.
Noah, Claudia, and a grownup Jonas have started up the machinery once more to test the God Particle, which finally opens up, but not entirely. Later, Noah asks why Jonas trusts Claudia, and Jonas asks why Noah trusted Adam. They’ve each lost faith in their respect. Jonas does hold out hope the portal will work eventually. Noah’s still unsure about Claudia and her motives.
Neither of them have any clue about the other Claudia who’s been giving this Claudia her marching orders. This Claudia’s had enough, though. She doesn’t want her Regina to go on living in other times if it means she’ll just go on suffering. She’s convinced both Adam and Eva are full of shit. Then she blows her other self’s brains out.
The other Claudia remains alive, in another part of space and time. She returns to see Eva, at the burned out Adam and Eve. Eva was expecting Claudia to bring another one of herself, but the latter says Noah’s watching over her. She hands over a blueprint meant for Claudia, which will then be given to Tannhaus. There’s contention between these two. And just as many people are questioning Eva’s plans as they’re questioning Adam’s, too.
In 2041, Noah and a grown Elisabeth talk of paradise again, desperately attempting to hold onto whatever piece of it they can together. In the nearby woods, Charlotte and the future Elisabeth creep into Noah’s camp where they discover a baby. Elisabeth takes the child, crying, then they leave. Not before Charlotte snags a watch from the bed. When Noah realises the baby is missing he finds Jonas, believing this is the betrayal Adam told him of, but Jonas denies knowing anything.
Also, the baby’s Charlotte! Ahh, the twisted weave of time.
In 1911, older Bartosz finds Hannah at the Tannhaus Machinery with a child Silja. Hannah’s come looking for Jonas. Bartosz warns that time travelling has “left its mark on him.” And this is the moment we first see the scarred Jonas a.k.a Adam, whose experiments with the machinery have left him disfigured. Hannah introduces Silja as her daughter, a sister to Jonas. He’s not having a sweet reunion, he only wants to know how his mother found him there. The answer, of course, is Eva. That night, Jonas tells his mother she and Silja are in the “wrong time,” and that everything must be in its right place for things to work correctly. Out of nowhere, he smothers Hannah to death in her bed while Silja sleeps nearby.
Go ahead a little to 1920. Hanno meets his younger self. He then goes to see Adam, who explains Claudia lied to all of them. He’s brought the triquetra notebook. The final pages of the book are missing. These pages are what Adam says Noah must find in order to find Charlotte and his “final destination.” He says Helge will help, as well. We see Claudia in the future, her older self, and she’s sending Jonas off again while tearing out those last pages in the notebook.
Everything must happen again, Claudia says.
And so, the events begin to repeat themselves in the concentric circles of time. We see familiar moments from earlier seasons, like Noah setting up the bunker, younger Claudia finding the barrels and witnessing the God Particle’s portal, Jonas first going into the caves and discovering its secrets, and more. All that pain must occur once more.
Or, must it?
In 2052, Bartosz has brought Martha to the decayed Adam and Eve. Eva is there waiting. She’s had a similar 66-year journey to the truth like Adam. She says that she and Martha share the same pain, the same scar, and she slices her younger self as a reminder about which side she’s fighting for, so she’ll never forget. In 2053, Adam turns on the God Particle with Martha’s restrained in the middle. The portal opens, closes, and she disappears. He senses something’s not right, just as older Claudia turns up to say hello.
“Some pain is never forgotten”
This episode may have been the twistiest of all for Dark, and definitely for Season 3. Again, it’s not too confusing. Even occasionally when I have to pause, rewind, and take something in again, it only takes that one replay and I feel like I’m ready to fly forward through time once more. It’ll be compelling to watch how they close out the season and series in the final upcoming episode. This show’s been a masterpiece to me since Day 1, so if it sticks the landing in the finale, it’ll go down in history as just that.