Netflix’s DARK Season 3 Explained (Part 3)

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!

The ultimate embrace

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.

Tannhaus’s World

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.

The Switchpoint

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.

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)

Bartosz

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.

Netflix’s DARK Season 3 Explained (Part 1)

It’s finally here! DARK Season 3 was spectacular. If you’re just starting out on Netflix’s DARK, and have already lost your way, don’t worry. It happens to all of us. If you are struggling with Netflix’s DARK Season 1 and Season 2, follow the links below to my guides which can help clear things up for you.

If you are here, I take it that you have already watched the entirety of the show and that you won’t lash out at me if you come across spoilers in these guides.

In other words, if you keep reading this post before you have finished the show, you lose the right to be mad at me for sharing spoilers.

And if that isn’t clear enough, heavy spoilers ahead.

DARK Season 3 is here!

I never thought I’d see the day when we’d see the whole family together. Well, sort of. Turns out everyone has got an evil twin in an alternate world. If it wasn’t for the training from the mindblowing plots in Season 1 and 2, I’d just about give up on DARK Season 3 (gasp, blasphemy!). #ikid

The Nielsens

So, it turns out that the Martha that comes to save Jonas at the end of the Season 2 finale is from, not a parallel world, but a mirror world. The fates and destiny of everyone in both worlds are fixed and eventual. They may not happen at the same time, but there is no escaping what is predestined for them.

So how do we untie this knot? Well first we need to understand why the knot exists in the first place. And to do that, we need to do a recap of the families. Trust me, it’s important. And because there is a lot of work to be done, we best be getting started now.

The Tannhaus Family

We begin with the least complicated subfamily. The Tannhaus family consists of Heinrich, father of Gustav, who is father of Ijopold, who is father to device-maker H.G. Tannhaus.

Created with FamilyEcho

The Tannhaus family is obsessed with bringing back the dead. They want to bring back a wife, or a child, or their grandchild. All of that contributed to this obsession with time travel which we see present in good ol’ H.G. Tannhaus.

We know of Charlotte’s storyline. She was adopted by H.G. Tannhaus but it was only in Season 3 that we find out that her adoption wasn’t the paperwork kind of adoption.

When H.G. loses his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in a car accident, he becomes the adopted father to a baby brought to him by two women who tells him that they know that he will lose everything that night. The two women are post-apocalyptic, adult Charlotte and post-apocalyptic, adult Elisabeth, sent back by Adam in 2053.

This event is important because this ensures Elisabeth’s birth. Without Charlotte, there is no Elisabeth and without Elisabeth, there is no Charlotte. We will see this self-preservation-through-time-travel happen a lot within the loops.

Charlotte would grow up and meet Peter Doppler. They would have two beautiful daughters, Franziska and Elisabeth. Of the two sisters, one of them is deaf in either worlds.

When the apocalypse hits, Franziska would travel to 1888 with Magnus and Bartosz, while Elisabeth would survive the apocalypse with Peter, then end up with Noah, delivering a baby that would be taken away from her.

The abduction is important to ensure that Noah will stop at nothing to find his daughter again, including kidnapping and experimenting with time travel on boys, resulting in their deaths, working together with, Helge, Claudia and Jonas, and killing Claudia. Once he has completed everything that has to be completed, and has uncovered Jonas/Adam’s betrayal, he is killed by Agnes, his own sister.

H.G. would also receive visits from Claudia, Jonas and Ulrich, which would help him build Jonas’s device. It isn’t mentioned if Tannhaus built Martha’s pokeball time machine but if you think about it, who else could have done it? #amirite

The device H.G. builds provides the vehicle for Claudia and Jonas to travel through time and ensure everything will happen as it has happened.

The Doppler Family

The Doppler family owns the site at the power plant which is ground zero for the Apocalypse. Bernd Doppler buils the power plant and manages it all the way until Claudia Tiedemann takes over. She could do so because Bernd had nobody else to leave the power plant to.

Bernd had but one son Helge and that son was brutally attacked by Ulrich at some point in his life (as a child and as an adult in the mirror world) rendering him incapable of running anything, let alone a power plant.

Created with FamilyEcho

Ulrich’s obsession with Helge being the abductor of his brother, Mads and son, Mikkel is what took Ulrich back into the past to stop Helge. In the process, he accidentally delivers his smartphone to H.G. so H.G. could make his device work.

Helge is also essential for Elisabeth and Charlotte to exist, via Peter. Elisabeth may be Charlotte’s mother and daughter but Charlotte’s father is Noah and Elisabeth’s father is Peter. Peter is crucial to the family tree. He is brought to Winden when his mother died and his father was involved with an accident (either the car accident or Ulrich’s beating). Peter prevents Charlotte from leaving Winden when they met at the bus stop the day he arrives.

Together with Tronte, Helge is also Noah’s helper. His relationship with Noah is forced upon him by his overbearing mother, Greta, who had him with another man, and had been seeking salvation via Father Noah.

The Tiedemann Family

Until Season 3, the Tiedemanns have a relatively low profile, apart from Claudia Tiedemann. By Season 3, the family seems to be the movers and shakers behind the DARK realm.

While we see mostly Claudia doing all the work up until her death, it is her father, Egon and grandson, Bartosz that really pushed things over the edge.

With Doris, Egon has Claudia, who then has Regina. Regina would meet Aleksander and together they have a son, Bartosz. So far, so good, until you find out that Egon is also in a relationship with Hannah. And that opens up a whole new can of worms.

Silja and Bartosz

Hannah, who travelled back in time in search of Ulrich has settled down as a mistress for Egon Tiedemann. She got pregnant, which was bad news for Egon, a married chief of police. She tried to abort the child but… aborted the plan after speaking with Helene Albers, Katharina’s mother.

Doris, missing Agnes and heartbroken after learning about Egon’s affair from the Origin, leaves Egon. Hannah also leaves Egon and raises her daughter alone at an unspecified period and location.

Created with FamilyEcho

In the late 1800’s, Bartosz had grown impatient with Jonas after two years of waiting. He meets a woman, Silja and has a son, Hanno Tauber, a daughter, Agnes. Silja dies during childbirth.

Years later, Claudia tracks Hannah down and sends her to see Jonas, who at the time had slowly turned into Adam, mentally and physically. Hannah turns up with her daughter in tow. She calls the little girl, Silja.

Bartosz recognises Hannah’s daughter as his wife. Adam hardened by his fate, disposes of Hannah then sends Silja to the future to follow and help Elisabeth search for Paradise. Eventually, Adam would send her back in time to be wife to Bartosz. This serves two purposes, one, to keep Bartosz happy and off his back, and two, to have Noah and Agnes, Adam’s most loyal pawns.

To recap, Silja is Egon’s daughter and Claudia’s stepsister. Via Hannah, Silja is also Jonas/Adam’s stepsister, and Elisabeth is her daughter-in-law. More importantly, Silja is Bartosz’s step grandaunt since Egon is Bartosz’s great grandfather. That’s one tightly bound knot.

Created with FamilyEcho

Noah aka Hanno Tauber

As a young man, Noah would follow the guidance of his older self, who in turn listens to Adam. Noah would end up to be protector and husband to Elisabeth, and father to Charlotte.

Adam tells him that he and Jonas will be friends. Noah saved young Jonas when he tried to kill himself, explaining to Jonas that he cannot kill himself as Adam already exists; any attempt to off himself will fail.

Young Noah would stay by young Jonas’s side until they enter their 40s.

Adam had also told Noah that Jonas will betray him. In truth, it was Adam who betrayed him (so technically Adam did not lie to Noah, Adam IS Jonas), first when he ordered the abduction of Charlotte, and a second time, during Noah’s final moments. Noah would work on the time machine and with Helge’s help abduct the boys to experiment on in an effort to time travel to try to find his daughter.

In Season 1, he makes contact with a young Bartosz (his father). He passes the book and Jonas’ time travel device to Bartosz, knowing that he, Franziska, Magnus and Jonas can travel back to 1888 to escape the Apocalypse. This and Silja’s arrival ensures that Noah and Agnes would be born. Hannah would use Jonas’s device to travel.

Agnes

Agnes and Silja, her mother

Meanwhile, Agnes will have Tronte together with the Origin (son of Jonas and Martha). As a kid, Tronte was in a home briefly, where he got all those cigarette burns. Agnes would take Tronte to Winden and spend time with the Tiedemanns.

Agnes being the daughter of Silja, makes her the granddaughter of Hannah. Hannah had used Ulrich’s family name, Nielsen in order to get to see Ulrich in jail, telling Egon that she is his wife. Agnes thus has to use the same name so it can be passed down to Ulrich via Tronte. Agnes’s grandmother was mentioned briefly when Egon asked her who her grandmother was.

Agnes sets up Tronte with the Tiedemanns, romances Doris (who is Agnes’s great-great grandmother), and under Claudia’s order, gives Noah the information on where to kill Claudia. Noah successfully kills Claudia and finds the notes on where Charlotte really is, realising that Adam had ordered for Charlotte to be taken from him.

Agnes would eventually kill Noah when he confronts Adam in order to secure her position in Sic Mundus after the death of Claudia. When she disappeared together with Noah, Doris tries to track them down, unaware that her husband is in an affair with Hannah until pointed out to her by the Origin. She leaves Egon, which triggers Egon’s drinking.

Tronte

Tronte, who had always suspected that Regina is his daughter, has always been at Claudia’s beck and call despite being married to Jana. Tronte, with the help of Peter Doppler, helped Claudia collect the bodies of dead boys sent through time by Helge in the past.

In the future, Tronte suffocates Regina under older Claudia’s command. Regina’s death was necessary to release younger Claudia to help Jonas built the time machine. Whether Tronte is Regina’s father or not has little to no consequences to his own timeline and bloodline but it does free Regina from his bloodline. And that is very, very important.

After Tronte marries Jana, he has three kids, one of which turns into a Kahnwald and has Jonas. And as we all know, Jonas is to blame for everything. Or is he?

Up to speed? Let’s check out Part 2.

A Guide to Understanding Netflix’s DARK (Season 1)

DARK is a sci-fi family drama with plenty of plot twists and revelations. It is a show that requires your full attention so if you are the kind to check your phone a lot while watching a show, skip this. It will leave you scratching your heads often and force you to go back to an earlier part of the episode or even an earlier episode to check and recheck your suspicions.

Netflix’s DARK

It’s also the kind of show that will make you want to draft your own guide – which I did. I have about 6, 7, 8 9 other drafts in open tabs that I had been working on for weeks. My own guide has helped me enjoy the subtleties of this show in unexpected ways.

If you have trouble getting what The OA is about, here’s my guide to understanding the OA Universe and How It Works.

The hours I’ve put into the OA and Black Spot is nothing compared to how I’ve pored over Netflix’s DARK. So no, I’m not going to hold back on the spoilers. That’s on you. If you haven’t watched Season 1, you shouldn’t continue reading beyond this full stop.

Season 1

While Season 1 is supposedly about the dynamics of the four families: Kahnwald, Nielsen, Tiedemann and Doppler; in truth, it is about how Jonas Kahnwald created the black hole through which time travel was made possible in the Winden cave tunnels.

For this to happen, the Winden cave tunnels must become the time travel pathways they are. And to do that, we need (1) Jonas Kahnwald and (2) the device he lugs around.

(1) Jonas Kahnwald

Jonas’s life is a closed loop, and as explained in the show by H.G. Tannhaus, in a closed loop, everything is mutually dependent, the future is dependent on the past and the past is dependent on the future.

Jonas himself is a product of time travel. His father is Mikkel Nielsen from 2019, a boy he actually knew growing up because he goes to school with Magnus, Mikkel’s older brother. And they do hang out together. Or is it did hung out together. (Getting the tenses right is very difficult for this post.)

Although his grandmother, Ines Kahnwald could clearly recognise Mikkel as the young Michael (I mean, it’s a small town, she was bound to have bumped into him since all the kids in Winden go to the same few schools), she did nothing to stop him from disappearing. If she had acted, things would have been very different. But no, she’s in the “things happen for a reason category”.

For this closed loop to happen, his mother Hannah, must end up being with Mikkel/Michael instead of being with Ulrich, the man she has been obsessed with since she was a kid. Otherwise, Jonas wouldn’t come to be.

On top of that, Ulrich must end up with Katharina in order to have Mikkel Nielsen who eventually has Jonas Kahnwald with Hannah. Yup, Ulrich is Jonas’s grandfather and is sleeping with Jonas’s mom, whilst his daughter Martha Nielsen is Jonas’s crush cum aunt. #yikes #ImOverIt

You don’t want to be Jonas.

Even Jonas doesn’t want to be Jonas which was why he went back in time to 1986 to retrieve Mikkel, essentially sacrificing his life to bring his father (or non-father) home.

But Noah can’t have that. He needs the black hole created by the device. So he kidnaps Jonas and puts him in the bunker where he and Helge witness a portal open.

Helge gets thrown into 1986 while Jonas gets thrown into the future, around 33 years after 2019, which makes it 2052. It’s probably there where Jonas turns into the tired-and-sad-looking Adult Jonas (i.e. Season 2) before returning as Adult Jonas to repeat the cycle with young Jonas.

To complete the cycle, Adult Jonas’s plan was to have young Jonas go through what he had gone through so that he would be committed enough to go all the way and attempt to destroy the Winden cave tunnels and break the time loop.

To do that he had to go back to Winden, wait for young Jonas to lose Mikkel, put the right markings on Michael Kahnwald’s map of the Winden Caves, give young Jonas the Geiger counter and light source via Regina, follow him to 1986 and try to convince him to not bring Mikkel back, which would erase both their existence (or is it his existence?), find young Jonas in the bunker and explain to young Jonas who he really is (ie I’m you just older and not particularly wiser). Still with me? Ok, good.

Jonas Kahnwald’s life is a closed loop.

(2) The device

The device which I originally thought was a time machine isn’t really a time machine but one that triggers the formation of a wormhole through which people could time travel. So it’s essentially a wormhole maker.

It was built by H.G. Tannhaus with help from a few characters. Claudia brought him the blueprints back in 1953.

We see that Tannhaus builds it but isn’t really sure what it does. By the end of Season 1 it is also not clear yet who drew this blueprint.

Ulrich’s phone which he found in 1953, helped him figure out the electromagnetic parts of the device. It took technology from 2019 to help him figure out the device, by the time Jonas arrives in 1986 to visit.

Jonas has his own version of this device. It’s broken, so he takes it to H.G. Tannhaus to fix. At the time that this happens, Tannhaus has not even finished building his own version of the device, you know, the one built based on the blueprints given to him by Claudia Tiedemann in 1953.

But Jonas is sure that Tannhaus was the one who built it because the device has his initials on the side.

Can you see H.G. T below the circle?

In bringing his worn-out version of the device to Tannhaus, Jonas helped Tannhaus figure out parts that were missing from the blueprint. This allowed Tannhaus to complete the construction of his brand new machine, which he then gives to Jonas. To destroy.

Despite knowing that Jonas intends to destroy the machine, Tannhaus helps him. Had he decided not to help Jonas, none of this would have happened. Like Ines, Tannhaus could have shut this whole thing down in a heartbeat. But he doesn’t.

“So… it’s my fault?”

To power the device, Jonas retrieves Caesium radioactive isotopes from 1986. He gets this from the barrels of radioactive wastes that were kept by Tiedemann in a truck at the side of the road in an attempt to evade detection.

The waste barrels were placed there because Ulrich suspects that his son is somewhere in Alexander Tiedemann’s power plant. Charlotte makes a search warrant happen.

The search warrant compels Aleksander, chairman at the power plant to remove the barrels from its usual hiding place, and to store them in an unassuming truck in an open parking lot, providing easy access of the radioactive samples inside to Jonas.

Adult Jonas puts the device altogether then activates it right in the middle of the tunnels there, thereby destroying the wormhole.

Except… he doesn’t.

What Jonas Actually Did

For the entire first season, we watch Adult Jonas and Noah do everything to lead Jonas to this point in time. For Jonas, he believes that by destroying the device H.G. Tannhaus built all the time travel that has been the bane of his existence will end.

However, as Noah has explained to Bartosz, Adult Jonas was lied to by Claudia Tiedemann. His actions would not destroy the cave tunnels but instead turn the tunnels into the time travelling pathways that they are.

Instead of ending it, he triggered its beginning.

Young Jonas and Helge were in the bunker (which was right above where Adult Jonas detonates the device inside the cave) albeit in different time periods, 1953 and 1986. A portal opens and and the two see each other across the divide. They touch hands and were sent to different timelines.

Where or when exactly is answered in Season 2.

Time Travel Via The Winden Cave Tunnels

We need to talk about the Winden Cave Tunnels, home to the most rudimentary and painfully slow way to travel through time. You basically open a steel door and crawl through to the other end.

And if that’s not bad enough, its list of destinations is scant – you can only travel between 3 timelines, 2019, 1986 and 1953, and all the timelines are moving along linearly. If you enter on November 11 in 1986 and end up in 2019, the date will still be November 11.

Like Adult Jonas puts it, this isn’t like the DeLorean where you can input a specific time you want to get to. If you get there early, you’re just going to have to wait, like what Adult Jonas and Helge did.

Jonas tries to navigate through the caves using a map he finds in his father’s shed but it wasn’t until Adult Jonas added markings on the map and gave him a light source plus a Geiger Counter that Jonas finally successfully makes his way through to 1986.

In the cave, he comes across an ouroboros handle with a red string tied to it. Its significance is still not clear yet.

A number of characters have gone through the tunnels to get between 1953, 1986 and 2019: Helge, Ulrich and Jonas. While Jonas had help from his older self, Ulrich basically just followed Helge Senior and figured things out on his own. He too stumbled upon the ouroboros ring handle.

To enter the tunnel, they must open a heavy metal door which has a trinity knot sculpted on it.

The tunnel itself is extremely windy despite being underground which is why every time a tunnel door is opened, the cave “roars”. When the door closes behind the person crawling through, there is a loud metal clang that rings through the caves.

The tunnels meet in the centre at a fork where you can go left or right, each leading to one of the three periods. Regardless of which tunnel you take, you leave via the mouth of the Winden Cave.

I’m not sure how Claudia’s dog, Gretchen, Mikkel, Claudia and Noah travelled seeing as how Gretchen can’t open the doors to the tunnel, Mikkel was unconscious and it would be difficult to drag his limp body through the tunnels, whereas Claudia and Noah don’t seem like the crawling type. Ergo it is possible that there is an alternative way to travel.

The chair

The chair is what Adult Jonas calls an early prototype to time travel. It’s housed in a locked room with a teal cartoon-filled wallpaper.

Charlotte would find a remnant of this wallpaper in Helge’s underground bunker, a clue left for us, the audience, to put 2 and 2 together: the two location is one and the same, just from different time periods.

The Chair was built and perfected by Noah, with help from a reluctant Helge who was tasked to abduct the boys to experiment on. It isn’t clear why they chose those boys.

Although we never see Yasin and Mads in the room, we do see Erik being strapped in the chair. As they all ended up with scorched eyes, like Erik did, it’s safe to assume that they all went the same way.

Helge is also seen in the locked room but by the end of Season 1 he had only arrived there via the portal. We don’t know how many lives The Chair has taken (I count 3 so far), but Helge’s isn’t one of them. In watching what happened to him, I’m not sure if Noah and adult Helge are the most evil characters in the show.

That beating was brutal but not enough to snub out his life

All the boys have a red string with a pfennig coin around their necks. Its significance is unclear.

Erik’s
Erik and Yasin’s coins in 1953
Yasin

In 2019, Ulrich would find Helge’s pfennig coin snuggled in his copy of A Journey Through Time. How he got it, and why he is still alive is something for Season 2 (or 3?) to unveil.

Helge’s coin

The boys’ bodies will travel through a time portal, and end up in the bunker, where someone on the other end will retrieve them. All the bodies would have scorched eyes and burst ear drums.

Helge, Tronte and Peter have retrieved bodies from the bunker. They do this based on a schedule provided for them. Helge is told by Noah who to abduct, and which body to move from when to when, whereas Tronte and Peter were given their schedule of when the bodies will appear by Claudia Tiedemann. Little else is known of the origin of the schedule at this point.

So… now what? Off to season 2!

HDIM Reviews: Black Spot Season 2 (2019)

I wrote briefly on Black Spot‘s first season (2017) two weeks ago which was when I first stumbled upon it on Netflix. The only reason I went into it was because Season 2 was slated for a return on June 14th (it has cometh and goneth), and anything that gets a Season 2, usually features a pretty solid Season 1.

A piano in the woods. Why not?

And I was right. Black Spot aka Zone Blanche is one of the more stranger, non-English speaking shows on Netflix right now, stranger than Osmosis and Perfume. You got a bit of the supernatural, a bit of police procedural drama, plenty of secrets and murder and whodunits. What’s not to love?

Read more: HDIM Reviews Osmosis (2019)

At the end of Season 1, we finally find out who is behind the disappearance and murder of Marion Steiner: police-officer-in-training, Camille.

Can’t even hold a gun right but she can kill ya

Camille was under the Gerald Steiners’s payroll (isn’t everyone?) and had accidentally caused the death of Marion, who had been collecting evidence to bring down her own grandfather’s schemes. Bertrand Steiner, Marion’s father who had been holding out for her return was understandably heartbroken, and an absolute total wreck for most of Season 2.

Guided by Roman, a member of the environmental protest group, Children of Arduina, Cora Weiss, daughter to Captain Laurene Weiss, had unknowingly asked for Camille’s help to retrieve a USB drive from where they had found Marion’s body. The drive contains important documents that will help Prosecutor Frank Siriani nail the Steiners. In the process, Cora was almost murdered by Camille herself.

Cora’s mother, Laurene was not so lucky. Camille shot her pointblank then left her for dead in the forest. Her death was particularly brutal. She was shot at close range, then dragged like an animal and thrown off into the woods to bleed out.

Laurene dies, or does she?

I’m not sure why Camille was particularly cold-blooded against Laurene. Laurene had never been mean to Camille nor do they have bad history of any sort. Perhaps Camille just wants to make sure she gets the job done, right?

Except she doesn’t! While Camille herself could not escape the deadly antlers of a dead deer…

I thought it would be crows who would get her tbh

… Laurene, owing to her special relationship with the forest, got to return from the realm of the dead…

… with help from the Celtic horned-god, Cernunnos himself.

*purrs*

When I wrote the review for Season 1, I did mention that the show never really fully committed to the supernatural genre. I like that angle very much. Instead of waving away logic and reason with stories about horned beings with supernatural powers prowling the forest floor, Black Spot at most only teases the possibility, but refuses to fall in.

Hence, it does a very good job explaining what actually happened to Laurene and why she had been so eager to find the sanctuary where she had been chained for 3 days. It turns out that she was not alone in those three days. No, I’m not referring to her kidnapper being nearby. I meant that she had a fellow captor who like her was chained to the rocks for three days, possibly more (he had mentioned he had been there for three days before he decided to make contact with her).

Fellow captor, Sylvain Tessier

Possibly due to the trauma she had suffered, and maybe due to the blood loss from cutting two of her fingers off, Laurene’s memory had blocked out the existence of the other boy: 18-year-old Sylvain Tessier.

In Season 2, she would only regain her memory of him during a hallucination she suffered from, having fallen off the cliff into the very place she had been held against her will two decades earlier, the place she dubbed The Sanctuary.

How terrifying is that thought? To have totally forgotten a fellow kidnapped victim once you yourself have gotten away. Any sane person would do all they can to conduct a rescue, which explains why Laurene had been searching the forests on her nightly walks for the sanctuary. She may not remember why she was doing it, but she knows it is important that she does.

And that’s not the only surprise this show has for us.

In the season finale of the second season, the people of Villefranche had organised a hunt for the culprit, who had been freaking everyone out, leaving bloody spines from deer(?) in the houses of the townsfolk…

A calling card?

… and at least one in a cradle. If you want to know the story behind that, you just have to watch the show.

The Mayor gets special treatment

The thing you need to know at this point is that the townspeople are turning the tables on the so-called horned god and they are bringing pretty big guns to get the job done. And where there are guns and men, there will be accidents, and people getting hurt. It was a total mess.

The good news is that Cernunnos himself also bleeds! He’s not a god, after all! And who got him? Good old Hermann of course.

Hermann’s a good shot but only manage to wound Cernunnos.

Laurene catches up to the wounded stag-god and figures out that there is a man behind the ghostly horned creature who had been her stalker cum saviour – and that man is none other than Sylvain himself. #whaaaaaaat?

But frankly though, who else could it be? Of course it had to be Sylvain, her fellow captor who was almost her age, and had not been seen for twenty odd years, which makes him her age. Weird things happen to people who have been isolated from society for long periods of time. I’d like to see them explain that low, deep purring sound the horned god always makes when he is nearby though. #creepyAF

But wait, there’s more!

Horned god’s blood sample not only proves that he and the wood man Laurene had been looking for for twenty years are but the same person, Sylvain. It also reveals that Sylvain actually shares a 50% match with Laurene, which means he is family, and a close family member at that, perhaps a pure sibling.

This would explain a few things, namely why he saved her at the end of Season 1 and had been protective of her whenever she is in the vicinity of the forest. Don’t forget, he had also attacked the man who had been chasing Roman and Cora, so he is at least aware of who Cora is.

This also explains why Laurene has been seeing clues that the animals have been leaving her all throughout Season 1. They may have been sent by Sylvain or there is still a special connection Laurene has with the forest that the writers have not explored enough in just two short seasons.

Oh, by the way, Sabine is totally connected to this. Definitely. She had spoken highly of the forest and its protective nature throughout Season 1, and in Season 2, Episode 4 Moonstruck, we actually got to see her face-to-face with Cernunnos over a camp fire.

I wonder if Sabine brings alcohol whenever she meets up with Cernunnos

Now, it is possible that Sylvain and Sabine are related, possibly even mother and son, because it was mentioned to Cora that Sabine had to sacrifice or had lost her son years ago. Not much was said beyond this but safe to say, Sabine knows more the stag god than she had been telling anyone.

You know what this means, right? This means that Sabine may also be related to Laurene, since both women have connections with Sylvain.

Can you see the resemblance?

And this also means one more thing. That Sabine may know who Laurene and Sylvain’s kidnapper was. Clearly Sylvain had not been the one who had taken Laurene when he was a mere teenager. He himself had been chained with Laurene for days. They had only each other for company. Who had taken them? Sabine may know. Or Sabine may have been the kidnapper.

I don’t know. I’m just speculating because this is what the show makes you do. It makes you see connections in places where there might not have been a connection at all. I guess we will have to wait for Season 3 to find out.

Oh yeah, Siriani’s got a girlfriend, Hermann misses Camille and had difficulty letting go of her to the point of being able to see her, Teddy Bear almost got killed from falling off a cliff and having a branch break his fall by protruding through his gut (I don’t know what Villefranche feeds their police crew but they are very hard to kill – well, some of them), Bernard is expecting another baby but his wife decided that she is tired of being the third wheel and has checked out of the relationship, people are still killing other people in Villefranche in very interesting and weird ways – all in all, Season 2 is still a fun watch. Here’s to hoping for more weird, dark and creepy fun in Season 3 for Black Spot (Zone Blanche).

You might also like: The OA or You.

New: A Guide to Understanding DARK: Season 1

HDIM 100-Word Reviews: IO (2019)

What happens when the Earth is no longer habitable? Do you escape it, where to? Do you stay to save it? Can you stay? Io makes you ask these questions. How much are you willing to work on, no, bet on to ensure the survival of the human race?

Io shines the spotlight on how far humanity has come. If we leave a dying Earth, we not only leave the bad. We also leave all the good we made with it.

For Sam, last woman on Earth, that’s the reason why we can’t abandon home. Even if it means loneliness.

HDIM Reviews: Wanted (2016-2018)

Wanted is an Australian series about a tough and downtrodden supermarket teller, Lola and the strange alliance she forged with Chelsea, a young accountant with posh tastes.

They took the same bus for 18 months but never really spoke to each other.

They met at a bus stop where a criminal exchange had gone wrong and when Lola went to help, she and Chelsea were kidnapped by one of the ruffians. In their attempt to escape attempted murders from criminals and capture by the police, the unlikely duo turned into Australia’s Most Wanted. And they have been on the run ever since.

Hey, they both got surnames that start with B

What started out as an already interesting (but not new) premise evolved into a more interesting look into the relationship between these two women. The younger Chelsea is green around the gills and lived a sheltered life, while Lola is older, wiser, more tested, having killed before.

I want to say that they developed a mother-daughter relationship over the three seasons, but their bond seemed more balanced and levelled. It’s almost as if they became the only other person on Earth that either of them would trust. That’s what happens when you save each other’s asses while you fumbled in and out of messes, countless times.

They spend a lot of time in very remote places

Despite all the coincidences and the fact that they have 29 lives (how do they not die from dehydration when stranded in the Australian outback, it’s just ridiculous), the series is rooted in some of the toughest of realities: domestic violence, crooked cops, human trafficking, smuggling, brutalities in prison, etc.

Kidnapped in Bangkok

(Spoilers!) Near the end of season 3, at the verge of being caught, Chelsea launches into this emotional tirade of how they had been running (for three seasons) mostly because nobody believed that they were innocent and that they had to run. I think that “believe women” bid was nicely and timely done and the season finale can’t be better, because of it.

HDIM Reviews: YOU (2018)

Spoiler Alert! If you are reading reviews, you’re gonna get spoiled.

YOU is a killer hit Netflix bought from Lifetime starring Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager, and Elizabeth Lail as Guinevere Beck, the girl of Joe’s dreams. It’s not a typical love story, but it is one for the ages, more specifically, it’s one for this age.

You (2018) is based on a book by Caroline Kepnes

By now you would have heard your friends wailed about how romantic or how creepy Joe is, and that’s why they kept watching, to see if he would prevail, or if he would get caught.

Hi, I’m Joe. Not Joseph. Just Joe.

See, Joe believes in love at first sight, and he strives to be that perfect boyfriend. You know, the one who knows your favourite food, your favourite cafe, how you take your coffee, what song you like, what your insecurities and deepest, darkest secrets are. And how does he know all that?

He stalks you on social media, duh. Oh, and your friends too. For a guy who doesn’t have any social media presence, Joe is ridiculously adept at online-stalking. Then again, it doesn’t really take a genius to figure these things out, and Joe is one very, very clever guy.

If that wasn’t enough, he also breaks into people’s houses. He’ll break into your house, your friend’s house, your therapist’s office, anywhere just to get the information that he needs and will use for nefarious purposes.

Joe believes love conquers all, even breaking and entering, sabotage, kidnapping, assault, even a murder or two, or three (I don’t really know the final count), and he believes that what he is doing is protecting, helping and motivating Beck to excel in her otherwise meaningless life.

Oh, wait. We need to talk about Beck. This is Beck as viewed by Joe on the street, through her house window. Notice anything missing?

Beck has issues.

She also has a pretty face, dresses well, is a shameless flirt who refuses to acknowledge this (girl, control yourself), doesn’t believe in blinds or curtains, is a pushover, is self-absorbed, has no self control when it comes to healthy relationships, social media, friends, men, sex, money, or her craft (writing), but the worst of it all is that she sighs a lot.

Like a lot, lot. Like everything in the world is too much work for her lot. She sighs when she said or did something wrong, she sighs when she knows she has to fix something, she sighs when someone is upset with her through no fault of her own. She lives for sighs. Sigh, Sigh, Sigh. But I digress. #Becksighstoomuch

She is today’s equivalent of the damsel in distress, depicted as a girl who is is hopeless without Joe. This, to me, is why YOU works – because when the antagonist is charming but clearly demented and evil, and the protagonist is a loser yet innocent, naive, and in general can do no wrong to others: who do you root for?

Ah, the perfect couple

To help drive this concept home, from the get go, we entered the story from Joe’s perspective. We hear his inner thoughts, his inner panic, his inner frustrations but he never tells you his plans. Those, you get to see unfold as it happens. It helps that he has a narrative voice that will lure you into a false sense of security. Cause that’s so Joe.

Another thing that helps make you root for not-Beck is the toxic environment Beck almost always finds herself in. There’s her diva friends, Peach, Lynn and Annika. I enjoy them whenever they are on screen because of how ridiculous their characters are depicted to be. It’s hilarious.

The first time we see Annika, Peach and Lynn #goodjobbeck

Then there’s Beck’s boyfriend, Benji, a douchebag and totally someone you can see Beck falling for because she is terrible with men. Speaking of men, Beck has daddy issues as well. I don’t really see the point in the father as a character. But you gotta fill those hours, right?

Outside of how Joe treats Beck, he is a saint compared to Ron, the guy who is beating his next door neighbour and single parent, Claudia. Her son, Paco, spends more time reading in the hallway outside the door than inside the house, which is why Joe and Paco share a special relationship held together by their love of books and staying out of Claudia and Ron’s relationship.

The one person Joe will never hurt, Paco

A delight to see in the later episodes of the series is John Stamos who plays the scruffy and rugged-looking therapist who Beck, then Joe goes to to get help. He has way more significance than Beck’s dad. He deserves more screentime. Yup.

Maybe I should go to therapy too

Therapist Dr Nicky tells Joe that there are two parts to him. One who believes true love exists, and the other who is so fearful to have it only to lose it later. I believe this is true for most of us as well. We want to love and be loved, but we are so afraid to find it because then there is the possibility of us losing it.

Not with Joe. Joe doesn’t lose things. Joe will put you in a cage and break your legs if you try to run. Then he will spew misguided nonsense about what love is and the sacrifices one has to make for love. True love. Joe has a glass cage for his books, but he isn’t above using it for keeping people in. Which he does.

YOU is an absolutely terrifying story about what one man would do for love and whether the woman he is obsessed with can love him back. So far a second season has been confirmed.

Personal thoughts: I should get the books.

HDIM Reviews: Alias Grace (2017)

My favourite accent has always been the Irish accent, but I never knew that there were sub-accents(?) that differ depending on which part of Ireland you are from (now that I’ve said that, it kinda makes perfect sense although my ear would probably not be able to tell the difference).

Apparently the accent that Canadian actress, Sarah Gadon has in her role as is-she-isnt-she-a-murderess, Grace Marks, is a Northern Ireland accent. And she nailed that role so hard, your head is left spinning after watching the conclusion.

Sarah Gadon stuns in Alias Grace

Spoilers ahead!

The 6-part series, Alias Grace explores the story about a maid named Grace Marks, who at the start of the show, had been serving time for her part in two gruesome murders. A doctor is asked to come talk to her, to garner any sense of real guilt or innocence in her, and hopefully, secure a release for her after 15 years of imprisonment.

The show is based on a 1996 book by Margaret Atwood, who also wrote The Handmaid’s Tale. And Atwood fictionalised it from an 1843 true story where a maid of the same name was convicted of two gruesome murders many were not entirely convinced she had a hand in.

Over the six episodes, Grace would tell the doctor about how she had been treated during her incarceration in the asylum and in prison, how her mother had died during the journey over, and had left her and her siblings under the care of an abusive drunkard father.

Grace speaks to the good doctor while tending to her chores

She told him about how she became employed as a maid, where she would find solace and a friend in Mary Whitney, a crucial character in her story.

Spoilers ahead!

Mary would become pregnant with a child that belonged to the master of the house and of course we all know how that will turn out. She tries to have the baby aborted but succumbs to the procedure, bleeding to death that same night in the bed she sleeps in.

Grief-stricken, Grace leaves the household for a job with higher pay and moves to the home where the murders would eventually occur. We then get to see who the victims and the co-conspirators were to Grace, and what led up to the murders.

Well, at least up until the murders, after which, Grace would have no memory of. How convenient.

Throughout the series, the doctor is shown to develop an attraction (fuelled by pity, perhaps) to Grace (it’s that accent, I tell ya), and every time someone tells him that Grace is capable of lies and deceit, that seems to make him want to help her more. In the final episode, he eventually allows a Dr DuPont to conduct hypnotism on Grace to restore some of her memories of the event.

The seance scene

The finale is an episode you do not want to miss.

Verdict: Watch it if murder mysteries do not make you squeamish and you are up for slow-burn storytelling. Runtime is 45 mins x 6 episodes.