Netflix’s Dark season 2, episode 3 recap: Ghosts


The spotlight is on Helge and Egon, as Claudia Tiedemann begins to make sense of the time-travelling paradox in Dark season two.

In the first season of Dark, Ulrich Nielsen had gone to the past, 1953, and found the child Helge Doppler. Believing him to be the cause of all of Winden’s ills, Ulrich had beaten the child half to death. Having somehow survived, little Helge had been transported to Noah’s experimentation room when Jonas Kahnwald travelled to 2052.

The third episode of Dark season 2 re-visits young Helge’s brainwashing at the hands of Noah and expands on Noah’s history.

Four Days Before the 1954 Apocalypse

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Seven months after he went missing, Helge returns home to his mother. She used to be cold and appeared to hate the boy, but on seeing her son return, Greta believes a higher power is looking after them.

Meanwhile, Ulrich Nielsen is in custody for his attack on Helge and the police are confounded by him. Before they can ponder further, news comes to them of Helge’s return. Egon Tiedemann, from 1954, tries to question the boy about his whereabouts and his attacker, but Helge is not forthcoming. Greta has gone back to her usual self, mercilessly yelling at the boy to speak.

After Egon leaves, Greta is unnerved by Helge’s silence and turns to Noah for help. As soon as Helge sees Noah, he runs to the pastor. Noah feeds him the same nonsense about being a messiah, even turning to Greta to inform her that Helge ‘is a miracle’. Greta is pleased that her son seems to be going back to normal.

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In the same timeline, young Claudia was not be aware of what the future holds for her, but older Claudia, from 2020, was. This is the day she dies and she wants to ensure she doesn’t die in vain. Claudia had an unlikely ally back in 1954 – Agnes Nielsen, a woman new to Winden and who was having a clandestine affair with Claudia’s mother Doris. Neither woman was allowed to be openly gay, but they made each other very happy. Agnes and older Claudia have been in cahoots for a while, and Agnes is not afraid of Noah returning to this timeline. There’s a reason why – Noah was Agnes’ brother, and she wanted back into Adam’s circle. In lieu of this, Agnes was willing to give up the location of the missing pages that Adam was looking for; they are with Claudia.

The Bootstrap Paradox

In the 1950s, Claudia was Helge’s friend, and they maintained a connection throughout their lives. After uncovering the time machine in 1986, Claudia finds the H.G. Tannhaus book “A Journey Through Time” that Helge had given her. The book is central to Dark, though most of the characters have yet to make the connection. Claudia is unable to get anything coherent out of Helge, because he still mouths the words that Noah told him – they don’t make sense to anyone who hasn’t been indoctrinated like Helge has. Not getting any answers from her friend, Claudia goes straight to the source, Tannhaus. She may not know him, but he has met Claudia before.

Tannhaus explains that the book was sent to him from the future (in fact, it was Claudia’s parting gift before she faced her death), and has thus created a ‘bootstrap paradox’ – the book exists but has no point of origin, and almost everything in the world of Dark is similar.

Another paradox is Ulrich Nielsen. While young Egon tries to ply Ulrich for answers in 1954, a dying Egon meets ‘The White Devil’ version of Ulrich in 1987. When Ulrich finally reveals his name to Egon, the former inspector returns to his files and discovers that Mikkel had named Ulrich Nielsen as his father when he’d first appeared in 1986. But questioning Mikkel’s foster mother Ines yields no results.

Egon gets a moment with Claudia to inform her that he has cancer, while in the past, Claudia – knowing that these are her final days – makes amends with young Egon. He can’t understand what she’s telling him because Egon doesn’t know who she is, but Claudia apologizes to him and leaves. When Egon returns home to his daughter, little Claudia inadvertently repeats her older self’s words, unnerving Egon.

In 1987, Egon confronts Ulrich with the truth – a photograph of Mikkel. When Ulrich sees the picture he loses his mind, throttling Egon for hiding his son’s location from him.

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The episode ends with Noah shooting older Claudia in the woods and uncovering the last pages. He is not pleased with its contents and refuses to reveal that he’s found the papers to Adam. Meanwhile, Claudia from 1987 takes her first steps as a time traveller – she sees her daughter Regina in 2020, suffering from cancer, just like her father once did.

What did you think of this episode of Dark? Let us know in the comments!