Netflix’s Dark season 2, episode 2 recap: Dark Matter


Uncomfortable truths surface in the second episode of Dark season two. As Jonas tries to travel through time, others must accept the era they’re stuck in.

In 2052, Jonas Kahnwald had stumbled upon an unknown phenomenon in the season two premiere of Dark. The radiation area Jonas is investigating is Claudia Tiedemann’s lab from 2020. She was attempting to stabilize the God particle in the hopes of travelling through time and stopping the apocalypse.

In episode two, Jonas follows Claudia’s blueprints and diagrams to re-work the lab instruments. Where Claudia failed, Jonas seemingly succeeds. The unstable floating mass solidifies into a perfect sphere. Has Jonas found a way home?

The experiment lasts only a moment before the system shuts down and the matter sphere dissolves into an unstable mess again. Jonas bangs his fists in frustration.

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What wasn’t clear in the season two premiere of Dark, was that every 33-year cycle comes with its own attempted apocalypse. June 22, 1987 was five days before the previous apocalypse took place. It’s been around eight months since Mikkel was trapped in the past and he continues to struggle with his lost life. Young Ines Kahnwald wants him to fit in with his new normal:

"“The past is the past, and now is now.”"

Mikkel isn’t a hot favourite at school, but young Hannah has taken a shine to him. Not able to face the day, Mikkel takes a walk in the forest. He runs over to the cave, believing he can hear something, but is interrupted by…Noah. Noah warns Mikkel away from entering the cave, insisting that there is a higher power dictating their lives. And then he leaves, while Mikkel ponders his words and seems to accept his fate.

Meanwhile, still in 1987, younger Claudia Tiedemann is visited by her older self at the nuclear plant. Older Claudia tells her younger self to stop Adam, even though she knows nothing about this man. She shows her younger self the time machine and before entering the wormhole, older Claudia leaves Claudia directions to find another time machine and a warning about the apocalypse coming in five days. If Claudia plays her cards right then she and her daughter Regina will live.

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Claudia is so wrapped up in her work that she doesn’t notice Regina falling in love with resident bad boy Aleksander. She also doesn’t know that her father, Egon, has been diagnosed with cancer. Facing his mortality head on, Egon tries to solve the one case that has bothered him for a long time – the disappearance of Mads Nielsen.

He speaks to Helge Doppler about the day Mads was last seen, but Helge is incoherent – at least to Egon. Then Egon decides to speak to the man whom the police suspected had played a part in the children’s disappearances in 1953 – Ulrich Nielsen. Nielsen is alive, but now an old man living out his days in a closed ward. Ulrich is well-liked by the staff and inmates of the facility, even earning the nickname ‘Inspector’. Nielsen has always hated Egon for his ineptitude regarding Mads’ disappearance, and he doesn’t even try to hide his distaste for their meeting, even though Egon has no idea who Nielsen really is.

The Task Force Investigation

Task force lead Clausen is planning on interrogating Regina Tiedemann first. Charlotte Doppler finds that a strange choice, considering Regina wasn’t attached to any of the missing persons, but Clausen thinks the link with the nuclear plant makes the Tiedemanns suspicious. He’s especially curious about Aleksander Tiedemann taking his wife’s name after marriage.

Clausen and Doppler meet Regina at her palatial home. She’s still undergoing treatment for cancer, but has made the effort to dress up for the meeting. She makes no bones of her dislike for the Neilsens (Katharina was truly awful to Regina in the previous season of Dark), but her shifty behaviour piques Clausen’s curiosity. Finally, Regina reveals that a stranger came to her hotel the previous year and she has a box of his belongings.

Doppler opens the box and removes the items within. They are drawings and clippings that older Jonas had wanted Regina to send to his younger self. As Doppler goes through the contents, she makes some mental connections and leaves in a hurry. Clausen stays back to find out more about this stranger.

Charlotte saw that Jonas’ drawings were all from the book her grandfather, Helge, had amongst his belongings. She’s out of her mind trying to figure out what Helge’s connection to all this is.

Jonas – Young and Old

Older Jonas, now comfortably living in his childhood home, decides to come clean to his mother, Hannah, about his father’s convoluted history. He shows her the portable time machine, and Hannah looks elated, probably believing that this Jonas will take her to her teenaged son. Unfortunately not, Jonas is taking her back to the past. Hannah sees who her husband really was, the missing boy Mikkel, and breaks down in Jonas’ arms.

In 2052, Jonas cleverly steals some much-needed fuel for the lab equipment. But on his way out, he is discovered by Elizabeth and her people. As we saw in the previous episode, entry through the wall into the Dead Zone is strictly forbidden. Now that Jonas has broken the rules, he must hang.

As Elizabeth prepares to execute Jonas, the boy uses his last few moments to tell the people the truth. People are going to die in 2020 and there is no fabled paradise awaiting them as per the prophecy. Jonas is tired of lies and even a shot in the leg from Elizabeth won’t stop him. Once he’s done, Elizabeth, in a surprising move, lets him loose, but she doesn’t free Jonas.

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Jonas is left in a cage, where Elizabeth’s interpreter interrogates him about why Elizabeth let him live. Jonas has no answer, so she demands to be shown the Dead Zone. Jonas takes her to the lab, where they find the unstable dark matter. Jonas fills the gas into the generator and it powers the system long enough to stabilize the sphere. Jonas enters, leaving the girl behind. Which year has he gone to?