When discussing or writing about the Netflix original series DARK, we probably over-use the term “mind-bending.” But it’s hard to describe this brilliant show as anything else.
The third, and final, season of DARK is now streaming and we will be discussing it piece by piece. We’ll attempt to break down the perplexing timeline, the mothers who are really their daughter’s daughters, and the existence of a new, alternate world.
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DARK Season 3 – The Final Cycle
If you’re just beginning on your DARK journey (or if you want a refresher), you may want to first listen to our discussion of DARK season one and DARK season two. You’ll also want to read Fadra’s post on the timeline for DARK.
DARK is like a crime drama, supernatural thriller, and time travel sci-fi all wrapped into one. It’s a German Netflix original, so you will need to watch it dubbed or subtitled. We recommend dubbed AND subtitled to get the most out of it.
So let’s dive into our recap of DARK season 3, episode 1.
Episode 1: Déjà Vu
In the beginning of the episode, we see three people. A boy, a young man, and an older man. It quickly becomes apparent that they are all the same person from different times. They all have the same clothing and a cleft palate.
Then we pick up right where we left off in season 2. A version of Martha – we are calling her “Badass Martha” – takes Jonas to an alternate world. We see ANOTHER Martha, along with siblings Mikkel and Magnus and their mother Katharina. They all look a bit different and they are living in Jonas’s house.
But the layout of the house is flipped from what we are used to. We see Martha in the bedroom that we know as Jonas’s, but the bed is on the other side of the room. The staircase is facing the other way. All this symbolizes that we are in an alternate world.
We’re calling this “World B” and the original is “World A.”
We find out that Katharina and Ulrich are divorced and Ulrich is married to a pregnant Hannah! And Hannah finds a blonde hair on his shirt – just like Katharina found a hair on Ulrich’s shirt in season 1. All these little details are a clever way to show that the same things are happening in this world, but in a slightly different way. We loved this!!
Helge is living with Charlotte and Peter. He is muttering “tick tock” and “it will all happen again.” But in this world, it’s his eye that has been scarred, not his ear.
The events we are seeing here in World B are basically the events of Season 1 of World A. We are in the days leading up to the apocalypse.
A few other details:
- Charlotte and Ulrich are having an affair.
- Franziska is the deaf mute instead of Elisabeth.
- Woller is missing an arm instead of an eye.
- Martha’s boyfriend is now Killian. Is he important?
We jump to 1987 and see the 3 men from the beginning. They visit Bernd Doppler to get the master key to the power plant, then they kill him.
Jonas is trying to make sense of what is happening in World B and trying to figure out why he is there. He sees Magnus, Franziska, Bartosz, and Killian. He asks why Mikkel isn’t there and Magnus blows him off, saying that Mikkel is old enough to take care of himself and telling Jonas to get lost.
But then we see the lights flickering and hear the rumbling noise, just as we did on that night in season 1. The teens all run, and Martha encounters a version of herself covered in black goop. This is the same as Jonas seeing his dad covered in goop in season 1. This could be a reference to the toxic waste?
They all run into the bunker. Suddenly, a rift in time opens and dead Mads Neilsen falls into the bunker.
Meanwhile, Jonas goes back to his house again and comes across an older woman who looks like it could be Martha.
Old Woman: “Mikkel. He didn’t travel back. He won’t become your father. And you will never be born in this world. A world without you. Isn’t that what you wanted? Yet despite that, this world is doomed to the same fate as yours. Everything will fall apart. In this world, just as it will in yours. Again and Again. Because of you. And because of me.”
We do know from trailers and clues that there is an “Eva” in this season. So we’re figuring that old Martha goes by “Eva” they way old Jonas goes by “Adam.”
Next we go back to 1888 and see Badass Martha finding older Jonas in the Tannhaus factory working on the time travel machine. This is World A. (Confused yet?) Jonas is teary and overwhelmed seeing her, but she has to tell him once again, she’s not “his” Martha.
She tells him she came to help him find the origin.
Episode 2: The Survivors
We start with Badass Martha in 1888 World A. In addition to Jonas, Magnus, Franziska, and Bartosz are there. These are the survivors from the apocalypse that went back in time and apparently got stuck there because there is no radioactive material to power the device.
We jump to September 22, 1987 in World A. Katharina is in the house of Ines and Mikkel/Michael and there are “missing” posters for “Michael Kahnwald” all over the table.
Remember that at the end of season 2, Katharina traveled back to 1987 to find Mikkel. She has been in 1987 for three months looking for Mikkel. She visits the school to hand out missing flyers and encounters her 1986 teen self – weird! Teen Hannah tells her that the “madman” who tried to take Michael is in a mental hospital.
We get a brief funeral scene for Mads. We find out that Tronte was having an affair with Claudia, who is missing in this world. We know that Claudia went to the future and took Regina to the bunker. They also survived the apocalypse.
We skip to September 2020, World A, and see post-apocalypse Claudia and Regina, as well as Peter and Elisabeth. Peter and Elisabeth are searching for Charlotte and Franziska.
Has anyone noticed that they are pronouncing Tiedemann differently this season? In past seasons, I feel like they pronounced it “TIDE-a-min” and this season they seem to be saying “TEED-a-min.” Does this mean anything?
A younger Noah shows up in 2020 and meets Elisabeth. He seems to know who she is, but she is meeting him for the first time. Except that she met him in the woods in season 2, but it was an older version of Noah, so she doesn’t realize. Noah seems very protective of her.
Back in 1987, Katharina goes to the mental hospital and encounters her own mother – Helene Albers. She sees Ulrich and vows to get him out.
Other important details:
- There is an implication that Tronte is Regina’s father.
- The trio of lip-men kill Claudia’s secretary.
- We see Peter with THE BOOK – the one with all the time travel notes that Adam was searching for the final pages and kills old Claudia (white devil) to get the pages. Why does he have it?
- During the apocalypse, Charlotte gets transported to the future 2053 with her daughter/mother Elisabeth.
- Badass Martha tells the 1888 survivors that Jonas is Adam.
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