In this three-part guide (I’m sorry this can’t be shorter), we’ve looked at the origins of the Tannhaus, Doppler, Tiedemann and Nielsen families (Part 1) to see how they all fit into the grand scheme of things, then we looked into what happened in Martha’s World (Part 2).
Heavy spoilers ahead!
Let’s jump in to see the War of the Worlds between Adam and Eva and how Claudia has finally fixed everything in Part 3.
Why There Are Two Worlds
Jonas/Adam’s sole goal of destroying the knot that binds the two worlds together involves him making sure everyone who is born is born, everyone who is meant to die, dies, and also in making sure that the apocalypse happens, in both worlds. He thinks that by killing the Origin, this will all go away.
Eva does all the above too but in an effort to save her son, the Origin. The two try to sabotage each other’s efforts which ironically produces the outcomes of what had happened.
Just like how Jonas cannot die before his time, Eva and the Origin too cannot die before their time. Nevertheless, Jonas/Adam is convinced that by using the power from the two apocalypses, he will be able to stop the beginning from happening, killing Martha and her son before he comes to be.
He succeeds, she dies, but everything still stayed the same, mainly because he didn’t know about the third world, and he didn’t know about the switch point.
In the third world, which Claudia calls the origin world, H. G. Tannhaus loses his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in a car accident. Devastated, Tannhaus creates time travel in order to bring back his loved ones. However, the process not only destroys his world but creates two other worlds, Jonas’s world and Martha’s world, both mirror worlds.
The knot that binds the two worlds together is not created by Martha, Jonas, Adam or Eva. It’s created by a grieving father who had lost his loved ones and he would do anything to get them back, including creating a way to travel through time.
Claudia’s plan to undo everything is to prevent the invention of time travel in the origin world. Prevent the cause and you will prevent the effect.
Figuring out the Origin World
But first, how does she figure out that there is an Origin world in the first place? Well Claudia was smart enough to kill her counterpart in Martha’s world so she could function as herself in Jonas’s World AND her alternate self in Martha’s world.
While Adam spent 66 years to get to where he is in his world, and Eva spent 66 years to get to where she is in her world, Claudia spends 33 years in each, looking through both worlds for a way to save Regina.
Regina is the only person who is not tied to the knot mainly because her father was not Tronte Nielsen like everyone believes. Her true parentage is hidden by her mother’s insistence to use her family name, Tiedemann instead of the actual father’s, Bernd Doppler. So it is Claudia’s belief that Regina is from a third world, the origin world. With the removal of these two worlds, she can live in a world where she does not die.
To save Regina, she has to prevent the two worlds from splitting up, and keeping the origin world intact, the world in which Regina does not die.
Now, in the two worlds, both Jonas’s and Eva’s, everyone’s fate is all tangled up in what they keep calling a knot. There is almost no room for freewill, no leeway for changes. If you die in one world, you die in the other. But why then are things different from Jonas, Martha and the Origin? Why does Jonas exist in his world and Martha and their son exist in the other? Their worlds should be mirror worlds.
Because there is a loophole, a switchpoint.
There is a fraction of a moment during the apocalypse when time stands still. There is no cause-and-effect, you can change your destiny during that brief moment. Eva who knew of the switchpoint, uses it to produce the two paths (the two outcomes). She uses the switchpoint to have her son, to kill Jonas, and to maintain the cycle.
Claudia used the switch point to come to Adam and explain all this because she may understand how to fix the problem but it isn’t her problem to fix. Adam, who previously had not known about the switchpoint, hasn’t used his.
She asks Adam to use the switchpoint to send Jonas and Martha to the origin world and prevent the accident in the origin world. Jonas and Martha will take the tunnel and cross the bridge when it materialises as a result of Tannhaus using his machine. They then will travel to the past using Martha’s pokeball (don’t hate me) time machine and prevent Marek from crossing the bridge where the car accident happens.
We know that this will work the moment Adam’s gun is unusable against Eva. She says that she always dies in Adam’s hands. But as this time is different, this is her Outcome #2. Jonas and Martha had done it.
Another hint that Jonas and Martha succeeds is that while in the tunnels, they see each other in visions from when they were children. If it had happened in the past, that means it will happen in the future. It just took a while to get there.
Saying Goodbye to DARK
The final 25 minutes is just a great sendoff to all the wonderful characters of this magnificent show. And after reading this guide, if you rewatch the episodes, many scenes carry significance that we have previously missed, like when Jonas asks alternate-Martha in the tunnel what the Jonas in her world is like. #noweverybodyiscrying
We learn to appreciate many scenes, dialogue, the significance of relationships between each of the characters, even glances, all anew.
In this scene, Charlotte finally realises that Elisabeth is not only her daughter, but also her mother. Adam sent them both to do this so she can understand this relationship.
But more importantly, this scene in the Origin world becomes less of an afterthought.
In the Origin world, Regina holds a dinner party attended by Benni and Torben, Hannah, Katharina and Peter.
Regina doesn’t die from cancer. Benni and Torben don’t die in the apocalypse. Peter doesn’t die a horrible death trying to protect Elisabeth in the apocalypse which took away Charlotte, Franziska and Helge. Katharina doesn’t die being pulverised to death by a mother who never wanted her. And Hannah finally has a life that is fair to her, a husband who loves her, a child she doesn’t lose (or who kills her when he is all grown up).
This attendance also probably means that Bernd, Claudia, Egon, Doris, Greta, Helge and Peter’s mom exists in this timeline. Regina is a Doppler and related to Peter via Bernd. Katharina who is an Albers and Hannah who is a Kruger are not part of the knot. They are friends here instead of sworn enemies because there is no Ulrich. There are no Nielsens or Kahnwalds. No time travel and complicated relationships. No apocalypses, murders, sabotage, and kidnapped boys.
All because one car accident was prevented.
Hat’s off to the wonderful people behind DARK. It is a masterpiece and one of the most compelling story about time travel there ever was, and probably will be.
If you are sad to see it go, just rewatch the show from the start. And if you ever feel lost, here are the guides again.