During the pandemic everyone is binging shows like crazy. So I have a question for you, dear reader. Have you watched Dark yet? If not, stop what you’re doing and go watch it. And make sure you’re watching it in the original German with subtitles because it is much better that way. Caution: spoilers will abound in even this small preview of the final season. Netflix released a teaser today for the final season of Dark – their fascinating German show about time travel. And it looks just as mind-bending as the rest of the series has already been.
Dark Is A Time Travel Drama Like No Other (Except, Maybe 12 Monkeys)
The first episode of Dark aired in December of 2017 on Netflix. The show centers around several families in a (fictional) small German town called Winden. Complete with a spooky forest, a mysterious cave, and intergenerational time travel conspiracies. It is through this cave that a young boy travels back in time in the very first episode of the series. This sets off a search for the boy, who turns out to be an adult (and one of the main character’s fathers) in the present time period. And that is only the beginning of the time twistiness in Dark.
Jonas knows the end of the world requires a good mask | Image via Netflix
Over the course of the series, other characters enter the cave and travel through time as well. This results in many characters ending up as the parents of their parents, and sometimes the children of themselves? I put the question mark there because even though I have watched the entirety of the show, it is still a little confusing. But the journey is worth it. Dark is an excellent drama with well developed characters and intriguing ideas about time travel, and the nature of time itself.
Dark is a mystery that is meant to be solved by the viewer, more than by the actual characters in the show. The intricate plot may require a cork board with a lot of string to connect all of the dots. But figuring out the puzzle is part of the allure of the show.
The Third Season Will Be The Final Cycle In Dark
Image via Netflix
The time-travel on the show is tied up in both magic and super-science (surprise, surprise – there is a nuclear power plant at the heart of it all). The paradoxes of time travel on the show are very real and explored in fascinating ways. There are a few different timelines to keep track of, but the show makes it reasonably clear which era we are in at all times. There are also several versions of many of the protagonists from different timelines. Kudos to the casting department for finding multiple actors that can inhabit the same role, and who also looks remarkably like their counterparts.
It was always likely that Dark would run for only three seasons. After all, the series sets up three timelines and the cyclical nature of the time travel indicates that there are three paths that can be followed. There are also three versions of most of the main characters. Patterns are very important in Dark, and the pattern of three is intentional. For once, a show set out to only make three seasons for Netflix, instead of getting cancelled after season three like so many others do.
Will The Final Season Solve The Mysteries of Dark?
This is an actual screencap from the show of a corkboard trying to figure out the mysteries of Winden and it is not nearly big enough | Image via Netflix
With all of the time-travel shenanigans that happen on this show, the finale of the second season offered a new twist. The potential for multiple dimensions, and characters who can cross between them. This raises new questions about the nature of reality and time in the show. We can only hope that the third season will have time to unravel all these mysteries in eight episodes.
“We will offer answers to the questions that our viewers have been asking and help untangle the story through time,” said Dark co-creators and showrunners Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar last year. “It will be hard for us to walk away from those characters we have really grown fond of, but the beginning is the end, and the end is the beginning.”
The final season of Dark will air on Netflix on June 27, 2020. In the show’s lore this is the date of the apocalypse, so it is only fitting that this will be the day that kicks off the final cycle for Dark.
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.