The 3rd and final season of German sci-fi, supernatural thriller, Dark is all set to premiere on Netflix from June 27 and the expectations are sky-high. Dark over the last 2-3 years has built a huge fanbase for itself for its very complex yet very interesting concept of time travel-related paradoxes. The way the show demands you to not miss even a frame of it makes it an engaging watch. As a viewer, you are always thinking about what’s happening there right in front of you while trying to understand the character graphs, their relationship to each other, and how different timelines are influencing each other.
As the Dark Season 3’s release is around the corner, it’s the time to revisit what happened in the previous two seasons. So, buckle up as we give you a brief of the last two seasons of Dark and prepare you for the finale.
Note: If you haven’t started watching Dark as of now, we request you to complete it first. major spoilers ahead:
Before taking you back, Here’s the tree of all families involved in Dark which need you to understand.
Dark family tree 🤗
— Ajul Aneesh (@ajul_aneesh) June 23, 2020
Dark Season 1 Recap
The story is set in a city named Winden. It all starts with Michael Kahnwald hanging himself to death. After his father’s suicide, Jonas Kahnwald goes through trauma and seeks medical help from the mental expert, Peter Doppler. Before the suicide, Michael had written a letter for Jonas which he should not open before a certain date and time. But Jonas’ grand-mother Ines hides the note from him.
Meanwhile, after Michael’s suicide, Jonas’ mother Hannah is having an affair with Ulrich Nielsen who is also cheating his wife and high school sweetheart, Katharina Nielsen. Ulrich and Katharina have a daughter named Martha and two sons, Magnus & Mikkel.
Apart from the suicide of Michael, Winden is also abuzz with the disappearance of a guy named Erik Obendorf. Ulrich who is a cop is investigating the case along with his senior Charlotte Doppler (wife of Peter) and Jonas comes back to school only to find that his love-interest Martha is now dating his best friend Bartosz.
Bartosz tells Jonas that Erik (who was a drug dealer) had hidden a drug stash near a mysterious cave and he knows its location. So Jonas and Bartosz along with Martha go to the cave looking for the stash at night. They also take Magnus, young Mikkel, and another friend Franziska along. Let’s introduce Franziska here. She is the daughter of Charlotte and Peter and has a younger sister named Elizabeth who can’t speak and listen. As Jonas, Bartosz, Martha, Magnus, Franziska & Mikkel go to the cave, they hear a scary mysterious sound. As they run to save their life, Mikkel disappears.
Now along with Erik, Mikkel’s disappearance leaves the city in shock. Mikkel’s dad Ulrich is frustrated and trying damn hard to find his lost son. The police finds the dead body of a little kid but thankfully he is not Mikkel. On inspecting the body, it is noticed that the dead boy faced great burns and injuries which is unusual. A parallel track also shows Erik being a part of some unusual experiment.
Meanwhile, Mikkel is shown coming out of the cave at night and going back to his house. However, he is shocked to meet the younger versions of his dad Ulrich and mom Katharina. Later he comes to know that he has somehow time travelled 33 years back to 1986.
In 2019, A stranger comes to Winden with a briefcase in his hand and books a room at a hotel which is owned by Regina Tiedemann. In the hotel room, he is seen while opening his briefcase which has time machine in it.
In 1986, a sad Mikkel meets a nurse named Ines who later adopts him. Mikkel also meets young Hannah who is in love with Ulrich and jealous of Katharina. She is in fact so jealous that one day when she sees Ulrich and Katharina making out, she files a police complaint against him for raping Katharina. Young Ulrich is jailed but is later bailed out. So what has happened in 1986 is that Mikkel grew up to marry Hannah and became Michael which means he is the father of Jonas. At the same time, he also becomes a grand-son of Ulrich and nephew of his love Martha.
Parallelly in 2019, some unusual stuff continues to appear. Dead birds crash down to land, one more kid named Yasin who is the best friend of Elizabeth disappears. All this is somehow connected to 1986 when Ulrich’s brother Mads had disappeared in a similar way. Sleepless and frustrated Ulrich is trying very hard to join dots. At the same time, Jonas is equipped by the Stranger, and using his instructions he travels through the cave and reached 1986. Upon travelling 33 years back, he is shocked to see young Mikkel and Hannah together. He wants to stop them and take Mikkel back but is instead stopped by the stranger. The stranger tells him that if he stops Mikkel and Hannah, he will end the possibility of his own existence.
Similarly, in 2019, Ulrich also goes into the cave and finds out the door connected to the nuclear power plant in the city. He suspects that the disappearance of everyone including Mikkel is connected to the power plant somehow. He wants to raid the plant but is stopped by the director Aleksandar Tiedemann (husband of Regina and father of Bartosz).
It is also revealed that the power plant was earlier managed by Claudia Tiedemann (mother of Regina) and it has something mysterious and fishy related to it. Back in 1986, Claudia was a thoroughly professional but not a great mother. It is also shown that Ulrich and Katharina think Regina filed a complaint against him and hence they try to hurt her. However, Regina is saved by an unknown person Boris Niewald who later marries Regina and becomes Aleksendar Tidemann. Young Aleksandar is also hiding his real identity and Young Hannah manages to find his real passport which she keeps along with her so to blackmail him later.
Later, it is revealed that everyone who is disappearing in Winden has something to do directly with a mysterious priest named Noah. Noah is using the kids for an experiment related to time travel and it has claimed so many lives so far. It is also revealed that the body which was earlier found by police in 2019 was of Ulrich’s brother Mads who disappeared in the 80s.
Egon Tiedemann, the policeman who arrested young Ulrich in 1986 also has a parallel track going on. He is the police in-charge in the 80s w.r.t. Mads’ disappearance’s investigation. As the name suggests, he is also the father of Claudia and grand-father of Regina. Helge Doppler is another important character who is extremely old in 2019 and claims to know everything. Helge who is also the father of Peter says he can change past and future and claims time to time that “It’s happening again”. Peter also has his own share of secrets to keep. While he is struggling with his sexuality, he is also cheating on his wife Charlotte with a transgender.
In 2019, while investigating, Ulrich discovers that Helge has something to do with his son Mikkel’s disappearance and tries to interrogate him. But Helge who is under special care is not of much help. Soon Helge breaks out of the nursing home and is followed by Ulrich to the cave. As he follows him, Ulrich manages to travel 66 years back i.e. in 1953. Back in that time, the nuclear power plant’s construction has just begun. Egon Tiedemann and his team find out about two children who were found dead in mysterious conditions. Interestingly, these two children have also died in a similar way, Mads died in 1986 and was found in 2019.
Ulrich meets an extremely attractive lady in 1953 who comes out to be his grandmother Agnes Nielsen. Along with her, there’s a child named Tronte who will grow up to become Ulrich’s dad. After the shocking encounter with his grandmother and dad, he runs away from there.
Agnes and Tronte are new in the city at that time. While Agnes becomes friends with Doris Tidemann, Tronte bonds with Claudia who is also a friend of Jana (who later marries Tronte and gives birth to Ulrich).
Ulrich meets young Helge here. Filled with rage, he tries to kill him so to protect everyone’s future. While he tries to run back to 2019 after attempting to kill young Helge and hide his body, he is caught by young Egon. Ulrich is arrested by Egon and is thus trapped in 1953. On the other hand, it is disclosed that while working for Noah and his time machine project Helge has really been involved in displacing dead bodies of children from one timeline to another. While Helge in 1986 feels what he is doing is not right, Noah assures him that all this is for the greater good. Now 2019’s Helge confronts his own 1986 version and tells him to not believe Noah. As the 1986’s Helge refuses to believe him, 2019’s Helge crashes his car into his, one night. But Helge of 1986 is saved again and instead of him, the old Helge from 2019 dies. Interestingly, no one could kill Helge despite attempts being made in 1953 and 1986 but his ownself.
There is a track of H.G. Tannhaus, a scientist who has been working on the time machine for a long time. He manages to complete it when the Stranger comes from the future and shows him the exact time machine he will create in the future. It’s with the help of this time machine only that he manages to complete his project.
In 2019, Jonas has realised his real relationship with Martha and hence pushes her off saying that they are not a perfect match. He travels back to 1986 again to save Mikkel and fix all things that are messed up. However, when he visits Mikkel, he meets Noah who along with Helge is already waiting for him. Helge kidnaps Jonas and takes him to the facility where they have been experimenting with the time travel machine. Scared Jonas asks for help from the Stranger who is on the other side of the door but he tells him a shocker. The stranger reveals that he is his no one else but Jonas only. “I am you”, he tells Jonas. The stranger reveals that everything that Jonas is going through is important for him. After saying this, the stranger leaves because he has to fix everything. As the stranger initiates the time machine, a wormhole is created which creates a time-travelling portal at the facility. Through the portal, Jonas and 1953’s Helge connect and a swap happens. Helge is in the facility all of a sudden where he sits on the time-travelling chair. It’s working now and takes him back to his time. On the other hand, Jonas finds himself in the future i.e. 2052. where he doesn’t get a very good welcome. This is where the Dark Season 1 ends.
Stay tuned to Koimoi for Dark Season 2 recap.