Dark: Alpha and Omega (Alpha und Omega)
December 3, 2017 7:16 PM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Peter gets a shock. Jonas learns the truth about his family, but there are more surprises still to come. Helge makes a sacrifice. (Season Finale)

2019 - The Day of Mikkel's Disappearance
*Peter sits in his car, watching the sex worker by the RV, then drives to the cabin, goes into the shelter, slaps himself and recites the serenity prayer. Then he sees a rift open in the wall, and a dead boy with burnt eyes drops through. He tries CPR to no avail, then sees the boy has Mads' school ID, and phones Tronte. Tronte arrives and weeps over the body of his dead son, then Old Claudia arrives and says she will explain everything, but they have to hurry and take Mads' body to the place it will be found.

November 12, 2019
*Jonas wakes from a dream of Mikkel, and throws away his medication.
*Martha tells Bartosz she's sorry for everything.
*Charlotte talks to the rest home nurse, Helge is still gone.
*Jonas questions Ines about Mikkel/Michael, if she knew the truth. She gives him Michael's suicide note, it's a more pristine version of the same letter he burned.

*1953: Ulrich is booked and photographed by the police, and locked in a cell.

*2019: Outside the school, Bartosz confronts Jonas about standing him up and about making out with Martha at the play rehearsal. They fight until Martha comes out and yells at them to stop, and Jonas leaves.
*2019: The hooded man returns to Tannhaus' shop to find he has completed his original device by comparing it to the old broken one he asked him to repair, and the hooded man adds Cesium to complete it.
Hoody: Why did you decide to help me afer all?
Tannhaus: Why? That’s a big word. Why do we decide for one thing and against another? But does it matter whether the decision is based upon the consequence of a series of causal links? Or whether it stems from an undefined feeling inside me? That perhaps everything in my life boils down to this one moment. That I’m part of a puzzle. One that I can neither understand nor influence. Will you tell me… what the future’s like?
Hoody: I’m hoping that by tomorrow it’ll already be different from today.

2019: Charlotte asks Peter when Helge disappeared as a boy. He tells her it was 1953, tries to tell her he needs to talk to her but she cuts him off.
1986: Helge arrives at the cabin to find Old Helge waiting for him. Old Helge tells him he must stop, that Noah is evil and is lying to him; he's not the chosen one and doesn't want to save the world from evil, he is evil, and tells young Helge not to make the same mistake he made in Old Helge's past/'86 Helge's future.
2019: Jonas tells Hannah that everything will be ok, hugs her and leaves saying he forgot something at school. Meanwhile, in the shelter, Tronte tells Peter that they just need to wait a few more hours and it will be over, and Mads will live, as Claudia told them.

1986: Helge and Noah talk. Helge has doubts, but Noah tells him a story about a stranger, and when Helge asks who's next, Noah says Jonas Khanwald is. At the hospital, the social worker comes to collect Mikkel, and Ines tells her she wants to adopt him, and foster him during the probationary period. In the woods, Jonas walks by Charlotte sketching dead birds.

2019: Charlotte looks at microfilm of the newspaper report of Helge's 1953 disappearance, and sees Ulrich's mugshot.
1953: The police beat Ulrich in his cell, to get him to tell them where little Helge is.

1986: Jonas goes to Mikkel's hospital room to find Noah has read him to sleep, then Helge chloroforms Jonas and he wakes up in the wallpaper room. The hooded man talks to him through the door and reveals that he is future Jonas, and must leave him to go through everything he has been through.
1986: Old Helge crashes his car into 1986 Helge's car to try to stop him, but only old Helge is killed.

2019: Charlotte gets a text from Peter to come to the cabin. In his car, Noah tells Bartosz that future Jonas thinks his device will destroy the cavern wormhole, but that in fact Claudia lied to Jonas and his using the device in the cavern is what creates the wormhole. Charlotte joins Peter in the shelter, and the lights flicker in all 3 timelines.
1953/1986/??: Jonas and Helge see a rift forming in the shelter and see each other through it. They touch fingers, and Helge is zapped forward into the wallpaper room. Jonas is zapped somewhere/somewhen - the wall is covered with Michael's photograph chart. Jonas walks through the woods, as ashes fall, to find a slew of burnt-out cars. A truck arrives with a bunch of armed people, a drone flies past overhead, and a woman with scars on her face says "Welcome to the future" and rifle-butts Jonas in the head.
posted by oh yeah! (21 comments total)
Nooo, paradox cliffhanger. Ah well, it was an interesting puzzle show. I don't know if they can or should do another season.

Do we know who the 2nd dead boy in 1953 was? The redhead was Erik, but, are we meant to know who the other one was?
posted by oh yeah! at 7:21 PM on December 3

I think it was Yasin, the other missing kid who we never really heard much about. The boyfriend of the deaf girl (Charlotte's younger daughter - forgot her name).

I just finished this and I liked it a lot. It definitely was giving me True Detective (S1) vibes. I have to think through it a bit more, but i have 2 immediate questions:

1. What does Hannah know?? I can't believe that she married the kid from the future and never knew a thing about it, especially as she seemed to be the kind of person who likes to know things about everyone - she sat on that info about Alexander/Boris for 33 years! No way she didn't know the story with Michael. I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't somehow know about the time travel thing and got together with Mikkel as a way of extracting revenge somehow on future Ulrich? Something's up with her.

2. How did Ulrich get it into his head that Helge was the one who killed everyone? Was it because he saw the notebook with the notation "why not forest road?" and thought that Helge was a suspect in his sons disappearance? And then (i think) thought that Helge had done something to cause the death of the two boys who were found in 1953? I'm a little confused on this point because it seems a little random that Ulrich just decided that Helge was baby Hitler who needed to be killed before he killed.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:20 PM on December 3

Oh yeah, and didn't Helge's mom say that she thought that Helge had a different father than the original power plant guy (her husband)? Did we ever hear more about that?
posted by triggerfinger at 9:26 PM on December 3

Wow, so many questions left unanswered. What role did Bartosz play (or was meant to play, as instructed by Noah)? Given the ending, are Noah and Bartosz really the good guys? What mistake did Claudia make that she was trying to fix?

triggerfinger - Ulrich figured out early on that Mikkel's disappearance was related to the power plant where Helge works, and Helge also worked there in 1986. Old Helge was seen running through the woods on the night Mikkel disappeared, and when Mads disappeared in 1986, there was the suspicious forest road note and refusal to be interviewed.

I've been posting character charts in previous threads and here's the final update in case you're like "wait who's Regina and what is her relationship to everyone?" Missing boys are in yellow, 2019-teens-in-the-woods in green, and dashed lines are unmarried relationships. It doesn't do family trees well but at least one parent is linked to their kid.

Random: I guess the last scene was 2052 (2019 + 33). You'd think we'd have evolved beyond huge quadcopters by then.
posted by AFABulous at 8:09 PM on December 4 [2 favorites]

Oh and I still don't know what's behind the door that Ulrich was trying to get into in one of the early episodes. Charlotte found a different door later (the one that Claudia had Aleksander weld shut) but I don't know what's behind that either.
posted by AFABulous at 8:10 PM on December 4

Wait, wasn't that the same door?
posted by triggerfinger at 8:29 PM on December 4 [1 favorite]

So, if we're in 2052, then something has happened to the structure of the portal. Previously it was tripartate, as hoody-future-Jonas explained with a diagram. From the 2019 entrance, 1986 was right and 1953 was left. So how do you get to 2052?
posted by neroli at 8:57 PM on December 4

Ohhh maybe it's an alternate 2019 then. The quad makes more sense then.

triggerfinger - the door Ulrich found was gray and not welded. The one Charlotte found was red and welded.
posted by AFABulous at 9:24 PM on December 4

But couldn’t it be the same door from opposite sides? Claudia entered the caves from the fenced-in chasm within power plant property, while Ulrich entered from the forest side. Maybe the welding was only visible on the side it was done on,
posted by oh yeah! at 10:06 PM on December 4 [1 favorite]

I was under the impression that using the machine in the tunnels caused a bit of a reset; maybe the 3 periods it links to now include 2052? Maybe bumping 1953 off the other end of the list? Whatever happens, poor Jonas spends a good deal of time getting older in this period, I guess, before he can time travel any more.
posted by destructive cactus at 10:22 AM on December 5

Nooo, paradox cliffhanger.

I almost wrote in the episode 8 thread that if this ends with someone popping out of a door from 2052 I'd throw a shoe at the TV. Wish I had, because I haven't been this disappointed with a show finale in a long time.

Am I really the only one here who's hugely pissed off at how lame the final 50 minutes of this generally cool and creepy show were? As the minutes ticked down I was telling myself, "ok they can still work this into something coherent" but as 25 minutes left became 12 became 5 I realized they really were going to ignore all the important questions to string us along for next season. Fuck that. No way am I continuing with something that failed so miserably to payoff what initially looked like a pretty smart narrative. The late insertion of the stupid Boris/Alexander thing, Hannah's ham-handed "destroy Ulrich" plot twist, Noah's sermon explaining his insultingly simplistic motivation, the absurd special effects as the machine started to do whatever it was doing, the complete lack of any resolution about the effectiveness of middle-aged Jonas's plan after Noah's diabolical take...I could go on, but the bottom line is I haven't felt my chain yanked so hard and so awfully by a show in a long time, and I can't imagine a future in which I'd bother giving my time to this show's creators ever again.
posted by mediareport at 9:10 PM on December 6 [3 favorites]

The ending was all just so fucking *clumsy*. That's what makes me so angry that I spent 10 hours on this thing: they just didn't seem to give a shit about providing an ending worth coming back to a new beginning for.

I mean, I know all about the tension between creating a coherent season and setting things up for the next one. I think Stranger Things balanced that tension perfectly in its first season, giving us a compete story while leaving things open to return to the world they'd shown us. None of the comparisons I've seen being made between the two shows have made it clear that Dark failed miserably in that regard.
posted by mediareport at 9:17 PM on December 6 [1 favorite]

Maybe it's the sunk cost fallacy at work (since it took me all weekend starting Friday night to get through the 10 hours), but, I didn't mind the ending. I mean, are they even planning to try for a second season? If what Noah said to Bartosz in the car about Jonas is true -- that his turning the device on in the tunnel to stop the event is what actually started the event in the first place, then the show is a closed loop already - a 12 Monkeys 'there is only one timeline' time travel story, not a Back To The Future 'the past can be changed' time travel story. (I jokingly described Dark to a friend as "What if we did Back to the Future but made it creepy and German?")

My biggest lingering gripe with the show is the whole thing with Peter Doppler's tragic longing for dick. When he slapped himself and tried to serenity-pray the gay away? Ugh.
posted by oh yeah! at 10:00 PM on December 6

Wow, I guess I was venting a lot last night. It's a worthwhile show, for almost all of its run; I'll give it that.

If what Noah said to Bartosz in the car about Jonas is true -- that his turning the device on in the tunnel to stop the event is what actually started the event in the first place, then the show is a closed loop already...

I get that. And Ulrich ending up destroyed (presumably by time-traveling Alexander/Boris), is another part of the town's festering evil wound, and another closed loop?

So why does it all feel so unsatisfying? Eh, like I said, it's a generally cool and creepy show.
posted by mediareport at 4:36 AM on December 7

I don't know about Ulrich's odds for getting out of 1953 jail and back to 2019 for Aleksander to destroy are. Though I guess Helge doesn't stay missing in 1953 after being zapped to the 1986 shelter - Noah must take him from the room and return him to 1953 to resume living out his natural lifespan so he can be his henchman in the other kidnappings, the police will still be able to charge Ulrich with attempted murder for bashing Helge with that rock. Unless Charlotte tracks down what happened to him via the newspaper/police records, and/or another time-traveler intervenes, I think he's stuck imprisoned in the past.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:41 AM on December 7

I was thinking that Ulrich ending up in 1953 jail getting beat up by cops *was* the destruction, actually.
posted by mediareport at 4:18 PM on December 7

Does anyone have any idea why Boris/Aleksander was running through the woods, bleeding, with a gun?

Does anyone else feel like chunks of this show were left on the cutting room floor after it was done?
posted by mediareport at 4:39 PM on December 7

I finished watching it tonight. They threw so much stuff in the last couple episodes that I'm not sure what's worth discussing, and by the time season 2 comes around I don't know how much of this stuff I'm going to remember anyway.

Towards the end I started to feel a pretty strong story aversion. Like, I didn't care about the steampunk clock; I didn't care about Noah because they didn't reveal anything about him, not really, and he was too magical. I disbelieved there was anything there and they didn't call my bluff. And.. a Lindeloffian good vs. evil thing? Oh dear. And why did they think they needed to add old Claudia at all, what the crap.

My other dumb stray thoughts:

- I wonder how the 2019 teenager stuff with Saoirse and Mutant Michael Cera will ever even matter the tiniest bit to anything else.

- It was nice of Matthew Lillard and Carey Mulligan to pop by to play the 1953 Tiedeman parents.

- The 80s hair in this show looked a lot more like 80s hair to me than Strange Things' weird cat hairball wigs.

- My SO and I had a big disagreement about whether Kids Today would be able to solve a Rubik's Cube. I guess Mikkel is even more likely to for being a magician. (Is the Houdini status going to matter?) I probably lose this one but I immediately recognized Nena so I have points there.

- So much dark gray with yellow-orange stuff it's like an old video. So many red cords.

- It's weird to me how disconnected the creepy boy's-bedroom is spatially. I think it's supposed to be the bunker in the 80s, but it doesn't *feel* like it, and they don't really do anything with that room. Honestly everything with the bunker in all timelines has a sketchy and halfassed feel to it.

- The cave maybe needing a map, maybe not... Our Hero Jonas maybe needing special tools, maybe not? The very awkward adding a note to the map that is crucial but vague. I was mad at the cave layout from very early on when it seemed like it just ended in a door, that's it, and it's about the door for a bit, but then no the door doesn't fucking matter at all, nothing interesting would have happened if Ulrich would have been able to open it way back when... That's all some sloppy shit, but I did like the spooky tunnels and the Hermetically sealed doors nyuk.

I could go on, but the bottom line is I haven't felt my chain yanked so hard and so awfully by a show in a long time, and I can't imagine a future in which I'd bother giving my time to this show's creators ever again.

This is how I feel after every scandinoir.
posted by fleacircus at 1:37 AM on December 8

This was so good and then it very, very suddenly felt like a bad children's sci-fi TV series.

- Why was Franziska even a character? Or Magnus? Why were they together? What was with the box and the money and the necklace and why should I care? So much screen time on these two because...why?

- Why did Boris become Aleksander? Why did Hannah keep what was, at the time, some random drifter's stolen passport in its original discarded plastic bag for 33 years? Why did nobody raise an eyebrow about this new person suddenly moving around their small community and eventually running a nuclear power plant, having risen through the ranks from a long-haired drifter who is exactly the sort of person you'd charge with keeping a very important secret?

- Why were kids being sent back and forth with the time machine? Some sort of matter-balancing act to counter people using the cave?

- Who made the doors in the cave? What's with the other door in the cave that was welded shut?

- What took Claudia from somebody who calmly reacts to news that the plant is hiding a terrible secret to wandering post-apocalyptic sniper rifle-wielding Mad Max extra?

The threads started to draw together with the 'Mikkel is Michael' thing and then it's like they just started throwing shit at the walls.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:41 PM on December 12

they didn't reveal anything about him, not really

I thought him being Bartosz was a biggish reveal even if obvious?
posted by queenofbithynia at 10:30 PM on December 14

I thought him being Bartosz was a biggish reveal even if obvious?

You think Bartosz becomes Noah? I didn't notice that being explicitly revealed. Did I miss it in the conversation in the car, or did you think it was implicit?
posted by oh yeah! at 5:32 AM on December 15 [1 favorite]

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