By Twinkle Ghosh
Can time be defeated? The answer to this question is the core of Dark’s tale. Season 3 is masterfully drawn to a close by the symbiotic liaison between endings and beginnings. The narrative reiterates yet again that there’s no victory without sacrifice, no light without darkness, and no love without loss. The themes are destiny, death and man’s tendency to mourn paths not taken.
To be fair, it’s not feasible for the average viewer to keep up with the parallel worlds of Dark, each of which introduces multiple versions of the many characters, travelling through time.
In the first two seasons, the townsfolk of Winden (a forgotten place in the shadow of a nuclear power station) seem to have yoked the potential of radioactive materials to travel through time. The downside of this? No matter how much they go back to the past to amend the present, they always end up annihilating themselves in an apparent atomic explosion.
What initially emerges as a tale bordering a community scarred by secrets, lies and the disappearance of a child, opens up to a whole new matrix of grief and intrigue as the narrative develops.
Cut to Season 3, there seems to be another alternate universe, also apparently accessible by the Winden folk. We are now introduced to “The Origin,” that goes on to reveal that the respective worlds of the protagonists Martha and Jonas are, in fact, nothing but a glitch in the matrix. The pair only exist as an accidental creation of a clockmaker in his bid to bring his son, daughter-in-law, and their child back to life after a tragic accident in a previous, unseen third realm.
The show is consistent in its juxtaposition of the past, present, and future across the seasons. Finally, Jonas and Martha are faced with the choice of whether or not to effectively eradicate themselves from the plot in order to safeguard their two worlds from the apocalypse.
Dark is too in love with chaos to offer anything profound. However, the storyline of this German sci-fi series hits singularity with its epic mix of philosophical arguments and heartbreaking vignettes about loss and betrayal. That, teamed with a gorgeous production design delivering ice-cool ideas and fantastical imageries, is what makes Dark a masterpiece. Overall, the series is quite the ride of a lifetime – drifting frictionlessly in space, altering at a million miles per hour – a ride you would not regret.