HomeTelevisionDark Season 3 Review: Get Ready to Have Your Mind Blown

Dark Season 3 Review: Get Ready to Have Your Mind Blown

Dark Season 3
Photo Credit: Netflix

As someone who really enjoys science fiction, and loves abstract movies about space/time like Donnie Darko, The Butterfly Effect, etc. I had a hard time fully wrapping my brain around of Dark Season 3.

***Warning, many (insane) spoilers ahead.***

Gone are the simple days of Dark Season 1 where the big surprise ending was that Jonas traveled to the dystopian future. Dark Season 2 rocked our worlds in the last 30 seconds when we found out there is an entirely different alternate world. Then Dark Season 3 came and the writers figured they’d throw in a third world, because at this point, why not? I cannot count the amount of times I had to pause the show just to figure out who I was actually watching on screen, where they were, and how they were all related at that point in time. 

There are so many things I need to address, but can we just take a moment to appreciate the music? Much like SyFy’s The Magicians, the Music Supervisor for Dark deserves an Emmy. Every single episode undoubtably has a perfectly placed song paired with an elegant and intentional montage of characters causing an emotional reaction to whatever was being depicted at that point in time. 

Now strap in, because it’s about to get bumpy.

There are a ton of biblical references in this last season. You have Adam (Dietrich Hollinderbaumer) and Eva (Barbara Nusse), the oldest versions of Jonas and Martha who become the two opposing factors in each world, multiple references to darkness and light, betrayal by loved ones, and the unnamed son of Adam and Eva being represented by all three stages of life. Not to mention the use of the infinity symbol between the two worlds and the ever-present triquetra, a triangular figure composed of three interlaced arcs. Those with a keen eye (I’m looking at you Claudia Tiedemann) may have put the puzzle pieces together to realize three storylines would inevitably have to merge to untie the knot. 

We can’t accurately discuss Season 3 without addressing the intertwining and dare I say incestuous relationships of each of the characters. By far the biggest WTF connection to come about this season was finding out that little Elisabeth Doppler (Carlotta von Falkenhayn) is actually the mysterious missing mother of Charlotte Doppler (Karoline Eichhorn). So basically, Charlotte gives birth to Elisabeth so that in the future, Elisabeth can give birth to Charlotte who is then kidnapped by an even older Elisabeth (Sandra Borgmann) and adult Charlotte and brought back to the past where baby Charlotte is given to Tannhaus.

Need a minute for that to sink in?

Charlotte’s father is actually Noah (Mark Waschke), who is the son of Silja and Bartosz Tiedemann. Silja  (Lissy Pernthaler)- a new character this season, is the daughter of Hannah Kahnwald (Maja Schone) and Egon Tiedemann (Sebastian Hulk) which makes her the half sibling of Jonas AND Claudia…..time travel, am I right? Anyways, she gets brought way back in time, meets up with Bartosz in the 1800’s and they end up having two children, Noah and Agnes. Jumping forward to the 1950’s Agnes (Antje Traue) becomes the mother to Tronte Nielsen who goes on to father Ulrich (Oliver Masucci) and Mads Nielsen. Add that to all the previously intertwined connections of the families from Seasons 1 and 2 and you have yourself a seriously messed-up family tree. 

If I had to summarize this season’s theme it would be: TRUST NO ONE. It was so hard to know who to trust, who was lying to whom just to have all the right pieces in place come time for the apocalypse. It took several cycles, but Adam and Eva finally realize that neither side was right. They were never meant to exist, they’re “the glitch in the matrix”. In the end they make the heart-wrenching decision to save Tannhaus’ family and no longer exist, which effectively also erases the existence of the entire cast of child/teenage characters we grew to know and love/hate from Season One – talk about having an existential crisis. It was honestly a hard thing to watch these families just dissipate into beautiful specks of nothingness. 

Once we know Tannhaus’ family is safe and sound, the show cuts to our time showing those who still remain in Winden, the ones who were not originally created by the tangled web: Katharina (who finally got a somewhat happy ending), Peter Doppler (Stephan Kampwirth) who has found happiness with Benni (Anton Rubtsov), Regina Tiedemann (Deborah Kaufmann), looking alive and well and Hannah who is now married to Torben Woller (Leopold Hornung). There’s a moment where it seems Hannah might have some déjà vu about her alternate lives possibly being triggered by seeing a yellow rain jacket. And while we still never find out what happened to Woller’s eye, we see that he and Hannah are expecting a baby- who’s name might just be Jonas. 

My personal take on the alternate worlds are that they were a creation birthed out of Tannhaus’ emotional inability/refusal to let his family go. I definitely feel like there were intentional dualities occurring in these characters. If we go back to the beginning, which we don’t actually figure out is the beginning until the end, the “OG world” is the third world where H.G. Tannhaus (Christian Steyer) lost his son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter to an unfortunate car accident.

Although Claudia is a person who actually exists in the “real” world, I believe she manifests in the alternate worlds as the representation of Tannhaus, doing whatever she can to save her child, even going as far as to create a time machine. Jonas and Martha are manifestations in their respective alternate worlds of Tannhaus’ son and daughter-in-law and Charlotte Doppler is the replacement in both worlds for Tannhaus’ granddaughter who was never recovered from the accident. Martha and Jonas’ decision to save this “real” world is Tannhaus’ way of reconciling the loss of his family. I personally don’t think any of these worlds are the one true “real” world. I think they all exist within each other like the triquetra alludes to, but honestly what do I know?  My brain feels like mush at this point.

The cool thing about Dark is that it really can be up to interpretation. If nothing else, Dark Season 3 is definitely a great watch to provoke some deep thought and insight some interesting conversations. A perfect option during quarantine, where we seemingly have all the time in the world(s).

Dark Season 3 is now streaming on Netflix.


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