Dark Finale Explained!

If you thought things can’t possibly get more complicated in Winden, Dark takes us for a trip to the mirror/alternate world in the latest finale season. In this brand new Season 3, the sci-fi saga doesn’t only show different timelines, they also introduce us to the alternate universe. Honestly, I was little doubtful about the season finale, if the makers will be able to keep up with the grandeur they had created in last two seasons, whether we will be given all the answers that have been lingering around our mind from the first season or the show will just have a lame finale like many other shows from the past. Well! The finale is as thrilling and unpredictable as the last two seasons with little to zero loopholes. The creator duo Baran BoOdar and Jantje Friese have created a marvellous season finale that everyone wished for, and they pulled the whole thing off leaving us awestruck and bittersweet.

Before you get into the main part of the article I would like to recommend you to watch the entire show on Netflix! There are major spoilers as I am going to explain and answer few most asked questions.

At the end of Season 2, we saw Adam killed Martha in front of young Jonas, and as her body lied there, Martha from the alternate reality came to rescue Jonas just before the Apocalypse, and the Season ends there leaving us clueless about what just happened! Season 3 opens with a young man, his older version and his younger version creeping around and at this point we have no idea who he is!

The Alternate Universe

Martha 2.0 (sounds like version upgrade but easy to refer!) takes Jonas to the alternate universe. In this universe, we see everything is the mirror image of the universe we have been seeing from the last two seasons. In this Universe, Ulrich leaves Katharina and lives with Hannah, who is pregnant and also is having an affair with Charlotte. In this world too Regina dies in cancer. Ulrich travels to 1980s instead of 1950s and tries to kill adult Helge instead of young Helge. Woller’s eyes are intact but his one hand is absent, Helge’s ear is alright but his eyes are damaged in this universe. The major difference between this world and the previous world is – Jonas doesn’t exist, because Mikkel never went back in time, never met Hannah and thus Jonas was never born. But, the cycle is not broken as both these universes are tied in an intricate knot that we come to know later in the season. We are introduced to Eve, who happens to be the older version of Martha 2.0 and she is like Adam from the previous universe. The only difference is that while Adam wants to destroy the origin and end all the suffering, Eve wants to preserve the knot and keep the endless loop continue unceasingly.

The Unknown

When Martha 2.0 saved Jonas and she takes her to her universe, they end up having sex which leads to Martha getting pregnant with the seed of the endless loop. For the longest time, both Eve and Adam believed that their son is the origin or knot of everything that is happening. He is the reason of all the sufferings because their son who was never given a name (we call him the Unknown) gets hooked up with Agnes in both worlds, which leads to the birth of Tronte Nielsen and the incestuous Neilsen family tree. Tronte’s son is Ulrich and Ulrich’s son Mikkel is the father of Jonas in Adam’s world and Martha is Ulrich’s daughter in both worlds.

Image Source: Netflix

Thus, Eve is so desperate to keep the endless cycle going and make things happen the way it has happened forever to keep his son alive and Adam wants to kill his son to end all the misery that comes with him. Adam and Eve keep outperforming each other in this endless battle. We even see Adam annihilates the pregnant Martha using the power of two apocalypses (destroying the child of two worlds needs extraordinary power) because he thinks that would correct the origin and avert the apocalypse that destroys the world. But it is not that simple, we see their son in flesh doing his mother’s bidding, threatening and killing people just to continue the endless loop and his preserve existence.

Image Source: Netflix

The Alternate Timeline

As if two different universes and so many different timelines were enough, they introduced simultaneous timelines in a single world! There is a loophole in the knot as Eve describes it as Quantum entanglement, a phenomenon that leads to overlapping realities. During the apocalypse, there is a short period where the chain of cause and effect breaks down. In that instance, realities can go into different directions and the characters can act freely. Eve explains it to Martha by drawing the infinity loop and explains how things can follow different paths and can end up at the same place again and again. Brainstorming!! isn’t it?

Even though Adam annihilated a pregnant Martha in one reality, their son is born in another because of quantum entanglement which eve uses in her advantage and Adam has no idea about it until very late. She uses this phenomenon to create two timelines within her universe. In one, she send Martha to save Jonas which we see in season 2 finale and another, she sends Bartosz to stop Martha from saving Jonas. In this timeline, Jonas hides himself in a bunker during the apocalypse and saves his life and has no idea about the alternate universe. This is why in 1888, when adult Jonas meets Martha from the alternate universe, he is so surprised!

Young Jonas that travels to the alternate universe, in season 2 finale with Martha 2.0 never comes back as he gets killed by another version of Martha to keep his son alive.

The Almighty Claudia Tiedemann

We didn’t know how important her character was until season 3 finale and realise only at the final episode that the MVP of the whole series. She is the one who discovers the origin and suggests Adam how to get rid of it. She is the smartest of them all and why not? She is highly educated and was head of the nuclear power plant, while the other two major characters didn’t even finish their high school. She kills her doppelganger from the alternate universe and starts to travel frequently in both worlds to understand the origin of these two realities. In both worlds, her daughter dies and she was sure there must be one reality in which Regina lives. This was her only motivation to find the origin. Eventually, she finds out that she was right and there is an original universe and it all started from there.

In the origin universe, H.G Tannhaus makes a time machine to bring his son back from the dead, who died in a car crash along with his wife and daughter in 1971. He starts building the machine in 1974 and while experimenting in 1986, the machine rips the world into two realities creating the worlds that we have come to realise as Adam’s Universe and Eve’s Universe. Old Claudia explains to Adam that this time machine is the origin of the knot which has led to the beginning of the eternal time loop. To rectify the knot, Tannhaus must be stopped from making the machine in the first place – His son must live!

Image Source: Netflix

How did Claudia survive?

This is one of the most asked question and for a reason. In season 2, we saw Noah kills older Claudia after retrieving the last pages of the triquetra book in the year 1954. So technically she should be dead, but she comes back in the season 3 to tell Adam about the origin of the knot after his failed attempt to kill pregnant Martha. Previously, we discussed the quantum entanglement, where two realities can be created. Claudia uses the same phenomena to her advantage. In one reality she goes to 1954 and gets killed by Noah and probably, in another reality, she sends herself to 2053 to educate Adam about the origin world so he can prevent the origin of the knot. Also, she claims, that conversation between them never took place before and this was the first time, though it is hard for us to trust considering the nature of the show.

The Complicated Family Tree

A separate article can be written on this topic. But I am going to explain the most important connections as brief as possible in this article only.

Jonas and Martha from alternate universe gives birth to the Unknown. Unknown hooks up with Agnes and gives birth to Tronte Nielsen. Ulrich and Mads( who disappears in 1986 ) Nielsen are Son of Tronte and Jana Nielsen. Ulrich and Katharina have 3 kids- Magnus, Martha and Mikkel. Mikkel goes missing in 2019 and time travels to the past and ends up in 1986.

Mikkel Nielsen gets adopted by a nurse, Ines Kanhwald and becomes Michael Kanhwald. At this point he is contemporary of his parents’ younger self. He meets Hannah Kruger and they get married later followed by the birth of Jonas Kanhwald. In 2019-20 Hannah is having an affair with Ulrich after Michale/ Mikkel kills himself.

Image Source: Netflix

Later Hannah travels to 1954 to find Ulrich who has time travelled to 1953. She decides to stay in 1954 for a while and she ends up getting pregnant with Egon Tidemann’s child, Silja. Then she travels to 1911 with young Silja to meet Adam and gets killed by Adam. And Adam takes his half-sister Silja to the future and leave her there. We see her in the last scene of finale of season 1, the girl who knocks young Jonas.

Egon Tidemann was married to Doris and Claudia Tidemann is their daughter. In 1986 we see Claudia has a daughter, Regina whose father isn’t revealed and we suspect it is Tronte Nielsen. But later Claudia herself says tronte Nielsen is not the father of Regina. In 2019 we see Regina has a son Bartosz, who is friends with Jonas and Martha.

Image Source: Netflix

On the day of the apocalypse adult Jonas saves Magnus, Franziska and Bartosz and travels to 1888 and gets stuck there. in 1890 Silja is sent from 2053 by Adam to meet Bartosz in 1890. They get married and in 1904 Silja gives birth to Hanno A.K.A Noah and in 1910 she gives birth to Agnes and while doing so she dies. In 1921 while digging the cave Noah Kills Bartosz because he was losing his faith in Sic Mundus and Noah was completely brainwashed by Adam.

Helge Doppler is the son of Greta Doppler and Bernd Doppler. But in 1921 Greta Doppler confides in Noah that she hated Helge because he wasn’t born out of love and I suspect that Helge isn’t Bernd Doppler’s child. In the family tree that Netflix has published, we see Helge is the son of Greta Doppler and some Anatol Leviev, and not the son of Bernd Doppler. Helge has a son Peter Doppler who is married to Charlotte Doppler. Charlotte has two daughters, Franziska and Elizabeth, whom we see in 2019. Charlotte was adopted by H.G Tannhaus in 1971.

After the apocalypse, Elizabeth meets young Noah and they give birth to a daughter in 2041. Elizabeth’s future self and her mother Charlotte steal the baby on Adam’s Instruction and leave her with H.G Tannhaus in 1971 after Tannhaus’s family was killed. The baby girl grows into adult Charlotte. Thus, her existence forms a perfect loop in itself where she is the child of Noah and Elisabeth and, in turn, Elizabeth becomes her daughter! Also, it answers the long-awaited answer to the ownership of the Charlotte engraved gold pocket watch.

Image Source: Netflix

Jonas and Martha 2.0’s Final Attempt

Right before the apocalypse in Adam’s universe, Adam from 2053 arrives when Jonas is grieving over a dead Martha, to inform him about the knot and how to stop it. Only Jonas and Martha from the alternate world can travel to the origin world to stop everything that started with the accident. Young Jonas then travels to Eve’s world and whisks Martha 2.0 away before she could join older Franziska and Magnus and work for Adam. We will have to remember, in this reality Martha 2.0 never saved Jonas because Bartozs stopped her from doing so, thus Jonas haven’t met her ever and yet they feel intensely connected. If Jonas was late for a moment, Martha would have left with Magnus and Franziska and things would have gone the same way as it has always been in the endless cycle.

Image Source: Netflix

To untie the knot, Jonas and Martha must wait in the tunnel on the day Tannhaus creates time travel in the origin world. Once he starts his machine they can travel to the origin world and go back in time to stop the car crash from taking place that kills Tannhaus’s family. They travel to the night when Tannhaus’s angry son and daughter in law leave home. They suddenly appear in front of their car. At this moment I thought maybe this is how actually everything took place, Jonas and Martha’s sudden appearance out of nowhere caused the accident. But as we saw they talked to him and lied about the bridge being closed. Having no option, he had to return home and the accident never took place and Tannhaus never felt the need to built the time machine in the first place.

For a few moments, they had no clue if their simple act worked and Martha wonders if anything of them will remain or maybe they never really existed and all of these was just a mere dream. As everything falls into its place and they start to fade away, Jonas tells Martha, “We are perfect for each other, never believe anything else”. The dialogue that resonates throughout the series of their intense and unyielding love for each other, gives a beautiful conclusion to their story. My heart ached as Jonas stranded in 1888, Adam and Eve in 2019 and Jonas and Martha in the origin world fade away amidst the melancholic ‘What A Wonderful World’ by Soap & Skin background score.

Image Source: Netflix

The Final Scene

In the final scene, we see present-day Winden of origin Universe – a dinner party with Hannah, Katharina, Woller, Bennie, Peter and Regina in her house. Regina gets to live in this world as Claudia had wished for. Although we see major characters like Ulrich, Charlotte missing, there is a strong reason behind it. Ulrich and Charlotte were born out of time travelling parents and were an intricate part of the knot. Tannhaus never made a time machine in the origin world and none of them ever existed.

Hannah is pregnant with Woller’s kid and Peter is probably with Bennie and Katharina is probably single. The final mystery is solved as the camera pans away from the joyous dinner party and reveals her father, Bernd Doppler.

Image Source: Netflix

Woller tries to tell the story behind his scar again and the light goes off. That’s when Hannah kind of had a deja-vu when she sees a yellow raincoat on the chair (the one which Jonas wore throughout the season). She says she had the same dream last night, that the light was flickering with a loud thunder outside and somehow, the world had ended, which sounds like she’s talking about the apocalypse, and she also says that felt good. Later being asked if she had decided the baby’s name, she says ” I always thought Jonas was a good name” and boom! The show ends on that extraordinary discourse.

Image Source: Netflix

The final scene is up for interpretation. I think it’s up to us what we make out of this scene. Is this is also a part of the cycle? Or maybe creators are giving us hope about some version of Jonas’s existence, who gets to live a normal life. Also, do the characters somehow get to know or see by any means whats happening in the other universes, the way Hannah saw it. Who knows? After all “What we know is a drop, What we do not know is an ocean!”.

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