Each recap aims to be spoiler free. I won’t speculate too much on the future but will get you up to speed in the current episode. Thank you for reading and you can contact the show by emailing email@example.com. I am putting this part at the top of the recaps to prevent spoilers from the posts. Cheers!
Welcome to 1986! That is where we spend a majority of the episode. Mikkel wanders around Ol’ Winden, visiting his house, the school, the police station, the hospital and eventually the caves. We are introduced to two new generations of the Tiedemann family. Regina’s grandfather is the embattled chief of police, four weeks into the Mads Nielson investigation. Regina’s mom, Claudia, is slated to become the first female executive at the Winden Power Plant. Regina shows signs of hurting herself. We see bits of life from Winden ‘86. At the end, both Ulrich and Mikkel are in the same place in the cave… separated by 33 years.
Past and Present:
- Tronte and Ulrich – father and son – both cheat on their wives.
- Missing children – Mads in 1986, Erik/Mikkel in 2017
- Dissatisfaction with the Police in both time periods
- Charlotte – Drawing the birds in the past, dead birds on the ground in the present
- Jana – Still going through the same problems as 1986 – torn apart with grief, absent, cheating husband
- Nurse Innes/Grandma – Looking for Mikkel, Reading her son’s note
- Regina – Alone and afraid in both time periods, appears to find a cancer tumor in present
- Ulrich – Looking moody on bed in past/crying about Mikkel in present.
- Claudia Tiedemann in charge of the plant in the past. Aleksander Tiedemann in charge of the plant in the present.
- Dead animals – do they signify time travel? If so, what was happening at the end?
Three episodes in, already a frequent flier on the trending down list. We learn that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In one of the first scenes in episode one, Ulrich is having an affair with Hannah. In Episode 3, we see a Tronte-Claudia relationship while Tronte’s wife Jana is home alone grieving her missing son. Cut to Jason Concepion in New York yelling “ROUGH LOOK FOR MY GUY TRONTE!” I considered lumping Ulrich in here and labeling it the Nielson Men, but I’m left with a softer spot for Ulrich at the end of the episode. But he isn’t off the hook! Tronte has nothing likable about him so far. You know he’s a second rate journalist at best, He probably couldn’t swim in the big pond of Frankfurt and had to slum it up in Winden (sorry to dump on Winden and make up a fictional past for a crappy character).
Katharina Nielson: Oh my god, everybody in this show is related. She is related to Tronte through her marriage to Ulrich. Although, she would not have been a Nielson in 1986. Anyway, Katharina as a teenager was terrible. She sees Mikkel, who looks about 7 years younger than her, and just roasts him the whole time. That is supposed to make Katarina look cool? Fellow high schoolers? Sure. A lost boy much younger than her? Even Draco Malfoy would have been like “Hey take it easy Kat!” (Editor’s note – He wouldn’t have)
Here’s me running to my computer to put Katharina on my trending down list after her homophobic slur. Also, that was her son she trying to dunk on. Woof.
First, I need to give some props to Claudia because she did become the first female board director in the history of the Winden Power Plant. We stan our Nuclear Queen. While her career is trending up, her relationship with her daughter is not. Poor Regina. I now regret putting her on my trending down list in episode one, but these are meant to be how I feel with current information. Seeing this episode, I have a lot more sympathy for Regina. Claudia is lecturing Regina on the way to school. She lets Regina know that Regina looks like a limp dishrag and she really ought to do something with her hair. She is aghast that the daughter of such an important woman would dare go to school looking how she does. For the record, there was nothing wrong with how Regina looked. It doesn’t look like Regina’s father is in the picture. Regina is home alone (doesn’t seem new) and Claudia tells her via phone message that she can heat up a pizza. Regina reveals scars on her wrists in one of the more heartbreaking moments on a sad show. Where is Claudia in 2017?
Sound Designer/Supervising Sound Editor Alexander Würtz
Ok I’m cheating, this is not a character. Huge shout out to the entire sound team on Dark. The sound effects and tones set the stage and the music they pick for the musical montages are spot on. Familiar by Agnes Opel hits so hard and I love the comparison of the characters in the past and present. It gets a ton of play at our house. It’s so danger USSSSSSSSSSS.
Besides that gem, check out Partita for 8 Voices: No. 3, Courante by Roomful of Teeth. Ya know back in my day, songs used to be called simple things like All-Star or Who Let the Dogs Out (Really? Those are the songs you picked)
Nurse Innes/Grandma of Jonas
And now we understand the reason for the gigantic mole.
(When Nurse Innes appears on screen) I know that mole.
We see a younger version of Jonas’ grandmother in this episode. She is a solid team player as she covers for a nurse because “she has no family.” She says it in jest, but it’s one of those jokes that hurts because it’s true. Anyway, she is sent to pick up Mikkel at the police station and she is warm, kind, and compassionate to him the entire episode. Nurse Innes is just trying to do her job by asking Mikkel about his name and his home. She doesn’t know why Mikkel wouldn’t be able to answer that. But she vows to take care of him because she’s also on the night shift. We will let it slide that he escaped out the window under her watch. She can’t do everything at that damn hospital.
Mikkel is fairly quiet this episode, but the plot is thrust forward through him. He is in a situation that nobody would be equipped to handle, let alone a 11 (?) year old. He answers the policeman honestly when asked about his parents, but the Chief only knows Ulrich as a punk 15 year old. Mikkel has no playbook for how to act. I liked that he tried to take action. He went back to the caves to try to go back. Seems like a good place to start. So sad at the end to see him and Ulrich 33 years apart, both crying. I love that he told Nurse Innes “I’m from the future.” Do we see where this is all going? I’m gonna wait.
- What’s up with book Claudia receives from the custodian at the power plant? The custodian is featured in the pictures of the old boss (is he his son?) and we have seen this character in the present (based on the injured ear, he is the old man running through the streets in episode 1).
- The book is called A Journey Through Time. Gee, I wonder how this could be relevant.
- We see the author of the book constructing the device seen in The Stranger’s hotel room in episode 3. Who is he? He was in one of the videos shown in the torture room, but no name for him yet.
- Egon Tiedemann, chief of police, hates Ulrich. We don’t know why. He is critical of Ulrich’s music selection when he barges into their home. He suspects Ulrich murdered the dead sheep. He automatically thinks that it was him who gave Mikkel the injuries. He appears to think Satanism is involved with Ulrich and he is dead serious.
- Why does Ulrich have a hoof?
- What’s up with the birds and now the sheep dying all at once? The first time we see it is when Mikkel is time travelling. Why does it keep happening. Are people time travelling off screen?
- Obviously something is going on at the power plant. Awesome repel by Claudia to get down to the caves after she gets the Board of Director keys to the secret hideout. She finds barrels… lots and lots of yellow barrels. Someone’s gotta help me on this one. Is the city on top of powder keg that is going to explode with all of these stacked danger barrels? What do they mean?
- I liked the scene with young Ulrich/Hannah. They have a long history of knowing each other and Hannah seems way more likable in her youth. Ulrich wishes for a world without Winden. Guess there is no FC Winden for him to swell up with pride about his city.
- I guess Katharina never thinks back on these interactions with Mikkel years later and says, “God my son looks like that weird skeleton boy I used to bully.”
- Why can Ulrich and Mikkel hear each other at the end?