Netflix’s DARK Season 3 Explained (Part 2)

If you haven’t checked out my guide to understanding Season 3 Part 1, you should. In it, we looked at the origins of the Tannhaus, Doppler and Tiedemann families to see how they all fit into the grand scheme of things.

Heavy spoilers ahead!

This here Part 2 takes us to another world where Jonas doesn’t exist and Martha is subjected to the same level of pain and suffering as Jonas had been. In this post, we look at the how and the why. Then, we’ll look at the how and the why all of this can be stopped in Part 3.

Light and Shadow

At the end of the Season 2 finale, we learned that there are two Marthas. The reason why there are two Marthas is because there are two worlds. In one world, Jonas exists. In the second world, he doesn’t.

In Jonas’s world he has two eventual paths: one where he dies after getting Martha pregnant, and the second, where he turns into Adam. The Martha in this world always dies by being shot by Adam in Jonas’s house. She doesn’t have bangs, never got a scar, never meets Eva, never has a baby, never knew a world without Jonas.

Martha in Martha’s world has two paths: one where she dies in Adam’s hands, and the other where she has a son, and a scar on her face then turns slowly into Eva.

No matter which paths they find themselves on, it all comes back full circle. Everyone is trapped inside. Until Claudia enters the game. But before we learn how Claudia untangled everything, let’s look at Martha’s world, and the mess they’ve made.

Martha’s Timeline

Martha with a scar on her right cheek

In the Season 2 finale, Martha retrieves Jonas, saving him from the apocalypse in his world. In the beginning of Season 3, she drops him off in the Winden caves. She then disappears.

Jonas enters Martha’s world, a world where he doesn’t exist because Mikkel does not travel back to the past. (It’s real sad to see Jonas here, reeling from the loss of Martha only to be confronted with a reality where he doesn’t exist, not missed or longed for by anyone.)

A long-haired creepy old lady intercepts him. She is Eva.

She asks him to bring Martha into the future in her world, to see the apocalypse that she wants them both to prevent. Jonas takes Martha through the tunnels and they meet her older self, Adult Martha in a world 33 years later, after the apocalypse has happened. Adult Martha explains to them how they can stop the apocalypse at the power plant. But Jonas insists on saving his Martha in his world and demands to know how. Adult Martha tells him it is impossible and that his world is not worth saving because of what he eventually becomes: Adam. Adult Martha asks Jonas to save Mikkel in Martha’s world instead.

Jonas and Martha return to their time. Confused, depressed and in the heat of the moment, they make love. The next day, they go to the power plant to try to stop the apocalypse. Martha cuts herself on her right cheek. Jonas figures that Eva is lying to them. He returns to Eva to ask for answers and to demand to be returned to his world. Martha watches on as a freshly scarred face Martha shoots Jonas dead.

Martha, traumatised, returns to her home drenched in blood. She washes her hand and cuts her hair short to get the blood out. She is determined to stop the apocalypse. She seeks Bartosz’s help but is intercepted by Franziska and Magnus on the way to the power plant.

They tell her that they are from Jonas’s world and that Eva had lied to her. They told her that Eva wanted the apocalypse to happen and there is no stopping it. They tell her that Jonas can stop it from happening and that Martha has to choose their world and choose to trust Jonas. Martha is surprised that Jonas is still alive in their world. She wants to go to him (she had just lost him). Franziska tells her that Jonas knows where the Origin is but first, she must help save Jonas and bring Jonas into her world. She goes with them.

Bartosz is retrieved by his older self shortly after. The apocalypse happens in Martha’s world.

Martha receives instructions from Magnus and goes to Jonas’s world to retrieve Jonas. If she succeeds, then everything with Jonas repeats itself. From here, her life diverges into two outcomes.

Outcome #1: Martha Saves Jonas

After dropping off Jonas in her home world, Martha arrives in Jonas’s world in 1888. One interesting thing to note here is that Martha’s scar has switched places. This indicates that she isn’t in her home world.

She goes to Tannhaus’s factory and meets adult Jonas. She tells him that she isn’t his Martha. Bartosz shows her Sic Mundus HQ. She tells Bartosz that Adam is Jonas. She brings rare nuclear fuel to Jonas, the primary purpose of this trip. She leaves to return to Adam in the future.

In the future, Martha sees Adam send off people she doesn’t know into the time machine: Silja, Agnes, Elisabeth, Charlotte, Magnus. Bartosz although a member of Sic Mundus, isn’t there.

Having done her part, she demands Adam explain to her what is going on. Adam takes her to his old home after the apocalypse (her scar is still on the left).

He explains to Martha that she was never meant to prevent the apocalypse. Eva sent her and Jonas back so they could get pregnant and have a child that would give rise to her world, Eva’s world. Adam says that her son, the Origin, is the beginning and the end of the knot (we explore this below).

Adam locks Martha in a cage. Adam triggers the apocalypse to kill Martha and the Origin inside of her. Because her son was born from beings from two mirror worlds, it requires the apocalypses of both worlds to destroy it. Well, that’s Adam’s theory.

(I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the fact that Jonas’s death was quick and relatively painless, while Martha had to suffer through lightning and dark matter just because she had to die for two people. ‘Tis a cruel world you’ve built, Adam.)

Adam was ready to disappear along with her because he believed that the Origin is the beginning and the end. Adam believes that if it goes, both worlds disappear with the demise of the Origin.

It doesn’t.

Outcome #2

Martha returns to the house on the day of the apocalypse in Jonas’s world. Before she could save Jonas, she is intercepted by Bartosz. The apocalypse happens.

Jonas hides in the basement and survives the apocalypse. He never meets Martha from the other world until she shows up in 1888 after the events in Season 1 and 2.

Bartosz takes her to Eva who cuts her face, giving her the scar over her left eye. She tells her the scar reminds her of which side she is on. If she had chosen Adam, she had chosen death (which is true, he kills her). If she chose Eva’s side, she chooses life, and she will turn into old, spiteful Eva.

Eva tells Martha that she is already pregnant with the Origin. These three below.

The creepy young, adult, old guy with a cleft palate who goes around killing people enters the room. The youngest Origin hugs Martha. #creepyAF

Scarface Martha understands why she must do what Eva asks her to do, in order to save her son(s?). She shoots Jonas in front of her younger scar-free self. She writes the letter to Jonas. She is sent to the post-apocalyptic future. She works with Noah to ensure things happen. She waits until Jonas and fresh-face Martha comes to her in the desert.

She tells them what to do. Right after they leave, Noah talks about how Jonas and Martha had gone and that the Origin will come to be. Martha will become pregnant that same night.

Adult Martha returns to watch her Scarface self shoot Jonas again in front of her recently pregnant self. You know, this scene. Martha had to relive this many, many times over.

From the left, you see Adult Martha (who will witness this 3 times) and freshly scarred Martha (who will witness it 2 times), and on the right, recently pregnant Martha (1 time only) and what-the-hell-is-going-on-Jonas. Eva will witness this 4 times.

After the shooting, Adult Martha helps Scarface Martha write her letter to Jonas, the one young Noah is to deliver to Jonas before the apocalypse. She then travels through time to send the letter to the Tannhaus factory.

She returns and continues to guide her son, the Origin, as he goes through the timelines to coerce tougher things into happening (like making the officer sign the building permit for Bernd Doppler’s power plant). She also recruits the same few travellers to do her bidding.

Young Noah, Noah, Egon, Claudia, Bartosz, Adult Martha, Martha

I’m not entirely sure what everyone here does but the Noahs were to intercept Elisabeth in the bunker, Claudia to intercept the Claudia in Jonas’s world, Bartosz to intercept younger Bartosz in Martha’s world before the apocalypse, and Adult Martha to send Jonas’s letter to the factory. I’m not clear as to where Egon and Martha goes from here.

Martha grows old trying to protect her son from Adam, and eventually turns into Eva.

Jonas’s Outcomes

Like Martha, Jonas also has two outcomes. One is where he dies in Martha’s world being killed by freshly scarred, pregnant Martha. The other is when he grows old and transforms into Adam.

In Martha’s world there is no Jonas. The only Jonas she knows, comes from Jonas’s world. The reason we see two Jonases is because of the split in Martha’s two outcomes.

Jonas’s outcome is dependent on whether Martha saves him or he saves himself (by hiding in the basement). Regardless of what happens to him though, his Martha must die, as there can only be one Martha, the one in Martha’s world, just as how he himself must die in Martha’s world, so there can only be one Jonas (in Jonas’s world).

If Martha saves Jonas

The Martha that manages to retrieve Jonas and send him back to her world before skipping to 1888 delivers Jonas to Martha’s world. This is the Martha we see in outcome #1. The Jonas from Outcome #1 eventually dies in Martha’s world. He dies from the being shot by Martha in outcome #2.

Still with me? Good.

If Jonas Saved Himself

For Outcome #2, Jonas saves himself by hiding in the basement. He eventually meets up with Claudia and Noah and they go on the journey we have seen in Seasons 1 and 2.

Noah would guide his own self to dig the tunnels, build the chair, send boys through, affect and alter Helge and Ulrich’s future to ensure Ulrich brings the smartphone to H.G. Tannhaus to make the device work. He would also be the one to explain to Jonas that Jonas cannot die (so stop trying to take your life, Jonas) because Adam already exists.

Noah separates from Claudia and Jonas when he loses his daughter. Unlike Jonas, Claudia and Martha, Noah doesn’t get to grow old. He dies after he kills Claudia. His whole life was engineered by Adam.

Claudia and Jonas would help younger Claudia and younger Jonas through their difficult times: Jonas, through his father’s suicide; Claudia through her father, Egon’s death and daughter, Regina’s illness. They also open and close the tunnels, and help H.G Tannhaus build the time machine by delivering to him the blueprint from Eva and a broken down version of the machine so H.G. can build his first one based on the broken parts.

When Jonas was sent back in time to the 1800’s with young Bartosz, Franziska and Magnus, they were stuck there. Jonas would send years trying to build the machine as he had seen it when he last visited Sic Mundus, and was first introduced to Adam and young Noah. Eventually he will travel with it but for some reason, he would be the only one who became disfigured from it. (Claudia travels a lot, you don’t see her face turning into Swiss cheese #justsaying)


Meanwhile, Bartosz meets Silja and has Hanno Tauber and Agnes Tauber with Silja. Silja dies of childbirth. Adam redubs Hanno as Noah, the man he had survived the apocalypse with.

We do not see Bartosz travel like Adam and Noah does probably because Noah killed him after digging the tunnels, claiming that Bartosz has lost his faith. (The Bartosz that did travel was from Martha’s World.)

In fact, Bartosz has discovered that Silja was Hannah’s daughter and had figured out that she was sent by Adam to young Bartosz to keep him happy in 1888, and birth him Agnes and Noah. Bartosz and Silja were only essential for Noah to come to be.

The Origin

We do not get to see how Jonas transforms into Adam but he and Eva had been at this for 66 years. Time and time again, they meet with their younger self or use their other chess pieces to play the game. If there is a cheating Ulrich in Jonas’s world, there is a cheating Ulrich in Martha’s world.

There are however two differences. The first: In Jonas’s world there can only be one Jonas (hence, why Jonas in Martha’s world must die). In Martha’s world, there can only be one Martha (hence, why the Martha in Jonas’s world must die).

The second difference is the Origin. They exist in Martha’s world. Like how Noah’s life was engineered by Adam, the Origin’s life was engineered by Eva.

They always travel together, either bearing witness as the young self and old self, or doing the deed as the adult self in the middle. They are what caused the accident in the power plant which triggered the apocalypse in the first place.

So the killing of Bernd Doppler for the master key, the killing of Jasmin the secretary, the coercing of the officer to approve the building permit for the power plant – it was all to ensure that the power plant was built and the accident will happen. The only time they separate was to cause the explosion in the power plant and trigger the apocalypse, in both Jonas and Martha’s worlds.

The scars are on different sides

Otherwise, they are always together. I think this is to ensure that they do not do anything to sabotage their younger or older self. This is also why Eva ensures that the three Marthas are there at Jonas’s execution. Plus, because they know Adam is out to destroy their very being. Better to stick together to prevent an ambush. I’m just theorizing here, but all in all, a good strategy to not mess up the timeline.

It’s not all bad. They also meet with Doris in the past to tell her that her husband is cheating on her. They retrieve things for Eva. Oh and remember the book that Claudia, Noah and Adam at some point in their lives were referring to? That’s written by the Origin. That’s everybody’s cheat code.

The Origin also burned down Sic Mundus. There is no love lost between the Origin and Adam. I mean, Adam did manage to kill him in one of Martha’s outcomes.

The Origin: The Be All, End All

As for why the Origin must come to be, it’s because of him, Agnes and Noah that all the four families are connected together. Agnes and Noah comes from the Tiedemann’s family.

Agnes would give rise to the Nielsens and Noah would be the bridge to the Doppler and Tannhaus family. Noah and Tannhaus will create the time travel devices for Jonas, Claudia and Hannah to travel through time. Hannah and Egon would have Silja who then becomes Bartosz wife and mother to Agnes and Noah.

Tronte and Jana would have two sons Ulrich, and Mads who goes missing (I suspect that Mad’s disappearance is so he doesn’t affect Ulrich and Tronte’s bloodline). Ulrich would have two sons and one daughter, Martha.

Meanwhile, Mikkel would travel back in time, change his name to Michael Kahnwald, marry Hannah, and have Jonas Kahnwald.

Jonas and Martha would have the Origin, and the cycle would be finally complete. And there you go, one happy, messed up family. Adam wanted no part of it because in order for the Origin to come to be, he must lose his Martha. And technically, he isn’t even the father to the Origin, the other Jonas is.

Eva is hellbent on saving her son, so mom and dad are at odds at each other but just couldn’t bring themselves to sign the divorce papers, so everybody else had to suffer with them.

Lucky for everyone, Claudia has got a good head on her shoulders and has finally figured out what the hell is going on and how to fix this once and for all. Let’s go to Part 3.

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