WE HAVE TIME TRAVEL PEOPLE! The second episode of Dark, Netflix’s time-bending German thriller, made the leap that we all knew it was going to. Ulrich’s youngest son, Mikkel, who disappeared near the caves at the end of episode one surfaces in 1986 at the end of episode two, but it’s what happens before that, which makes episode two so intriguing. Most of this episode is a slow burn, we start out immediately being shown the power plant in all its moody glory and are then given our best look at the man in the hood, whose face we did not get a glimpse of the last episode. He is carrying a briefcase and is watching a group of police and volunteers comb a field for any sign of the newly missing Mikkel and the longer missing Erik. At the end of episode one Ulrich and the Winden police discovered a boy around Mikkel’s age, who turned out to not be Mikkel, and in episode two we find out that the boy who was found is from—the 80’s—walkman and all! My personal theory on this is that this is Ulrich’s long lost brother, who disappeared under very similar circumstances 33 years ago. Ulrich’s lack of response when seeing this person though may dispel that somewhat. Still, who the hell is going to expect to see their 13-year-old brother who disappeared 33 years ago with half his face half burnt off and at the same age as he was when he vanished?!
The first big revelation from episode two is Ulrich finding a door at the end of the cave where Mikkel disappeared. The door is emblazoned with the Ionizing Radiation symbol—the Trefoil—TV code for, there be nuclear stuff behind this here door. He is unable to get in, but this only adds more intrigue to what the nuclear power plant has to do with the goings on of Winden and the disappearances of the town’s adolescent boys. Later on in the episode, Jonas, reconnects with his deceased father by hanging out in his art studio. While checking out what his father left behind he discovers a map of the Winden caves hidden behind a loose piece of wood in the ceiling of the art studio…it’s all starting to come together!
Next, we head to back to the room of unknown time where we saw Erik in the last episode. The hooded person here locks Erik into the chair/possible time-travel contraption/face burner and turns on the juice. Several scenes later on in the episode we see a body with orange hair being dragged through the forest, presumably Erik, and with the same facial burns as our Walkman carrying victim that was found at the end of episode one. All of this leads to us returning to the cave at the end of the episode. We are with Mikkel (he lives!) as he is crawling out of the Winden Caves. He comes out of the cave having seemingly gone through quite an ordeal. He is bloodied and looking rather worse for wear. He heads to his house and is welcomed by none other than the 1986 version of his father, Ulrich. He then seemingly sees the 1986 version of his mom, who clearly feels a cross-time maternal pull to him, based on the overly long eye contact they share. Young mom and dad zoom away on their awesome 80’s scooter and the understandably perplexed Mikkel turns to look at the doorway and scans down to the paper on the front step. The headline reads, 6 Months After Chernobyl, and the date is 5th November 1986! Dun Dun Duuuun! Episode two was a bit slower paced than the first but led to a very exciting finish that paid off with our first tangible example of time travel. I am definitely excited to keep watching and give this episode an…