[WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Dark season 3]
Netflix’s first-ever German series, Dark, which launched in 2017, has finally released its anticipated third and final season and it’s accomplished just what you would think it would: completely melting your brain.
As we all know, the first two seasons proved to be quite perplexing. Especially by showing us how connected everything is through a variety of decades. As if this wasn’t enough for our minds, the third season took a step forward and added a parallel reality to the mix.
In this other reality we meet an alternate version of Martha (Lisa Vicari), and learn that, just like in Jonas’ (Louis Hofmann) world, there is a never-ending cycle of the same events occurring every 33 years. We already know that Jonas’ world is “controlled” by an older version of himself, Adam, but we only just learn that alt-Martha’s reality is Eva’s world, which – you guessed it – is an older version of alt-Martha.
While the start to the season was a little slow due to the needed introduction to the parallel world, Dark did not disappoint in challenging our brains. One of the biggest and most important questions we ask ourselves throughout this season is: “What, or who, is the Origin of this mess?” At first, due to the film-editing, we are made to believe that it is the random man, followed by two versions of himself (one younger, the other older), who apparently is the “bridge between the two worlds”. Later, though, we learn from the surprisingly alive Claudia that the origin lies “outside of both worlds,” meaning that there is a – surprise! – third world. (If there is anything we know for sure in this show, it’s that everything comes in threes). In the end, Adam has a change of heart, and sends Jonas to fetch alt-Martha and prevent H.G. Tannhaus from creating his time machine, which split the origin world into Jonas’ and alt-Martha’s, thereby causing a loop of the same events.
Watching this season, I was stunned. I was left speechless, and mind-blown several times. My expectations, just as many others’, were quite high when it came to the final season of this complex show. There was a lot of worry regarding whether they would actually manage to wrap it all up in just eight episodes, and whether the conclusion of the show would actually be satisfying enough.
The way I see it, Dark definitely did exceed these high expectations that I had. The creators, Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, took the show to a whole new level. While it was indeed a little difficult at times to keep track of the family tree, the different decades, worlds, and people, it is what made this show, and the last season, so unique and lovable. Not to mention, the visuals were stunning, as per usual – they were simply otherworldly (pun totally intended).
Although this season consisted of two episodes less than usual, it was paced masterfully and brought a fulfilling end to the story. Just like in the first two seasons, the audience was invited to pose a lot of questions, maybe even more than normally, and the answers provided, more or less, an understanding of what was happening (…or even more confusion).
Dark’s final goodbye reminds me of the quote: “the beginning is the end, and the end is the beginning”, which is repeated countless times throughout the show, for the end of alt-Marta and Jonas at last brings the beginning of a happy, loop-less, world.
Feature image credit: Netflix