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Netflix Dark Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: Ghosts

Noah puts Helge into the time machine

Dark is one of the best Netflix original series to date. To see a description of the show and all of my episode recaps, go here.

In the last episode, young Jonas disappeared into the God particle, hoping to find a way back to his time at last. Meanwhile Stranger Jonas leads Hannah through the cave for the first time and shows her that Mikkel is, in fact, her husband. Claudia is lead to a time machine by a map drawn by her older self. In this episode, Claudia and Egon are on still on the hunt for information, while Helge and Ulrich continue to be pawns in the game. And Noah, who we suspected was the true villain may also be a pawn against his will in a much larger game.  

Episode 3 Ghosts

The episode opens with young Helge and Noah in the blue bedroom. Helge looks quite terrified. His face is scratched and bruised from the mauling he received from Ulrich. Noah seems to be trying to assure him as he straps him into a wooden chair. It's an older module than the one Erik Obendorf had to endure. Noah reminds Helge that he was chosen by God and that no harm will come to him. Helge clutches the pfennig coin in one tiny hand. Noah says, "Time is always with you. Wherever you go. You carry it within you. And it carries you. It sees and hears everything that you do and say." Helge is then closed inside the machine.

Cut to Dark title credits and theme music.

Cut to: 1954, Doris Tiedemann and Agnes Nielsen are in the bedroom. Doris is lying on her back, and we realize Agnes is pleasuring her. Doris is wearing blue; Agnes is in yellow. The two are enjoying the moment, but their rendezvous is interrupted by young Claudia coming in for the milk money. She seems very surprised to find the two women this way. Agnes gives her the money plus extra for candy. After Claudia leaves, Doris feels very bad. Agnes tells her all families have secrets and leaves on an errand of her own. Before she leaves, she says, "You're beautiful." 

Cut to: the Doppler residence. The dates is June 23, 1954, and it's four days until the Apocalypse. Young Helge returns home, and Greta hugs him almost affectionately. She notices all the scratches on his face and hands. Helge says nothing. He seems unmoved by his mother's emotion. 

Cut to: the Winden Police station. The 1954 Egon is talking with Daniel Kahnwald, chief of police. They are musing on Ulrich's identity. It's been 7 months and he hasn't shared his name with them. Also, no one has come looking for him. Daniel notices that Egon seems distracted and asks him what's going on. After a moment's hesitation, Egon asks Daniel if he and his wife still have sex. Daniel is amused by the question and tells Egon he should go and blow off steam with another woman. As the conversation ends, another policeman enters the room and tells them both that the Doppler boy has returned. 

Cut to: young Claudia and Tronte Nielsen walk together in the woods. They talk about their families. Tronte shares that he was in an orphanage before but his mother doesn't like to talk about it. Also, she has a brother (we know it's Noah) but they don't speak to each other. Claudia interrupts the talk to ask Tronte to "show it to me." He pulls down his pants so she can look upon him. After being exposed to her mother and Agnes, Claudia is naturally curious about sex and feels that Tronte is a good person to talk to about it. This clarifies why the two of them have a connection later on as adults. Secrets cause connection like nothing else. 

Cut to: 1987, Claudia is at her house and is talking to Regina as she leaves for school. Claudia was looking at the time machine in the suitcase but quickly hides it when she hears Regina's voice. Regina is looking for her book, called The Ghosts (a play by Henrik Ibsen). Claudia remarks how grown up she looks and that she likes the way she is wearing her hair. She throw out the idea of them spending the day together, but Regina declines and leaves for school, saying she has no time. Claudia muses on the word time and goes to her bookshelf. There she finds the book Journey Through Time by H.G. Tannhaus and remembers that Helge gave her the book a year ago. 

Agnes and Doris share an intimate moment

Cut to: Egon listens to Kreator's "Pleasure to Kill." Somehow, he has put two and two together and remembered the lyrics to the song. He seems quite satisfied to remember this clue and figures that Ulrich's song quote back in 1953 was an admission of guilt. 

Cut to: 1954, young Egon is at the home of Greta and Bernd Doppler. He wants to question young Helge as to where he has been the last few days. Helge hasn't spoken since he returned. Egon goes into Helge's room and asks him questions. Greta begins to reprimand Helge that he isn't speaking. 

Cut to: 1987, Claudia asks Helge about the book he gave her. She wants to know why he gave her the book. He shares that Claudia is the only one who can understand him. He quotes the words Noah said to him: "Time is always with you. Wherever you go. You carry it within you. And it carries you. It sees and hears everything that you do and say." Claudia isn't sure this means. Helge says that Noah told him it was a battle between good and evil. She asks who Noah is, and Helge gets scared and tells her not to trust him. 

Cut to: Noah comes out of the Sic Mundus building. We then see Agnes, wearing her stunning yellow dress and walking towards the hatch. She comes down to meet someone. It turns out to be Old Claudia. They talk about Noah and the fact that Agnes is related to him. It is now four days until the new cycle and Claudia gives her a newspaper clipping. She is supposed to give "her" this. Agnes looks surprised but folds up the paper and takes it with her. Claudia looks at her fondly and tells Agnes that her mother (Doris) loves Agnes. She also thanks Agnes for her work towards the cause. They hug.

Cut to: an unknown time, Claudia walks into the shop of H.G. Tannhaus and wants to know if he wrote the book Journey Through Time. He notices her heterochromia. He tells her he knows who she is. He has been waiting for her to show up. 

Cut to: 1954. Young Egon and Daniel discuss that Helge wouldn't talk. They also realize that Ulrich has been in prison. So how could he have been involved? They believe maybe Ulrich had an accomplice. Daniel tells him to go visit Ulrich again. 

Cut to: 1987, old Egon interviews Old Ulrich at the psychiatric ward. Egon asks Ulrich about the song lyrics and what they mean. He points out that Ulrich quoted the lyrics back in 1953 but the song came out on vinyl just a few years ago. He also wonders how Ulrich knew about him having cancer? Ulrich stays quiet for the most part. Egon then realizes Ulrich's hair and uniform is white and wonders if he is the White Devil. Lastly he asks why the madman never gave his name. Ulrich says, "I'm Ulrich Nielsen."

Cut to: 1987?, Tannhaus speaks to Claudia about the bootstrap paradox. If an object from the future is sent to the past, then the object has no origin. He tells Claudia that the book was given to him, and he doesn't remember writing it. 

Ulrich reacts when Egon shows him Mikkel's photo

Cut to: 1954, Egon goes to visit Ulrich at the station. He stands outside Ulrich's cell, afraid to go in. He stands outside and asks to know his name. Ulrich isn't saying anything, of course (just like Helge). Why should he help this guy? Also they have done nothing but beat on him. So probably whatever he says will be used against him. He tries to speak, but after Egon closes the door, he says, "I'm Ulrich Nielsen."

Cut to: 1987, Egon looks through his files and sees the record of the strange boy that showed up, claiming his father was Ulrich Nielsen (Mikkel). 

Cut back to: 1987, Tannhaus asks why Claudia is here. Claudia looks at suitcase. Tannhaus guesses she wants to know how it works. Claudia seems surprised but Tannhaus says that her future self told him that her younger self would come one day. 

Cut to: 1954, the Doppler house. Noah arrives at the house to see how Helge is getting on. Greta is beside herself with worry. But when Helge comes down, he runs to Noah and hugs him tightly. Greta looks on at Noah in wonder and amazement as Helge even speaks when prompted by Noah. Noah says, "He is a miracle. Don't forget that." Perhaps Greta will treat him better now. 

Cut to: 1987, Egon goes to see Ines. He wants to talk to Mikkel but, of course, Ines isn't having it. Egon wonders if Mikkel ever mentioned his parents, and Ines denies everything. Egon also notices the sleeping pills. Ines coolly tells him they are for herself. Egon asks for a photo of the boy. 

Cut to: 1954, the Sic Mundus house. Noah enters to find Agnes inside the chapel. Agnes wants back into the fold and is willing to give Noah the missing pages of the diary as payment. She tells him she will betray Claudia to be admitted again by Adam. 

Cut to: 1954, Egon contemplates Ulrich's photo. In walks Old Claudia come to visit him. Egon wonders what she wants. He notices she has heterochromia, just like his daughter. Claudia begins apologizing for the way things turned out. She tells Egon that he is a good man and that the world doesn't deserve him. He doesn't know what to think of this statement and feels downright suspicious of Claudia. Maybe she seems a likely accomplice for Ulrich with her white hair and tattered clothing. Claudia leaves just as quickly as she came. 

Cut to: 1987, Claudia returns to work, suitcase in hand. She tells her secretary to cancel all the appointments. The secretary tells her that her father is waiting in her office. Claudia comes into the office impatient for Egon to leave so she can think about the time machine some more. Egon finally reveals that he has cancer and decided his daughter should know. She call him Papa and hugs him. 

Claudia looks on from the woods at her daughter

Cut to: 1954, young Egon comes home and finds young Claudia at the kitchen table. He has a bouquet of flowers and greets his daughter with affection. Claudia notices that he looks sad. He tells her he thinks he saw a witch today. Claudia teases her father that witches don't apologize. She then notices the flowers and tells him the world doesn't deserve him, just like her older self. This is quite the parallelism. Egon feels uneasy that the conversations were so similar. 

Cut to: 1987, old Egon goes to visit Ulrich again. This time he shows Ulrich the photo. Ulrich ends up in a rage and almost chokes Egon. It's unclear what Egon's plan was. Perhaps he thought that by showing him this picture, it might raise Ulrich's sympathies enough to get him to confess. Or maybe he was calling his bluff or just seeing what happened. This was an amazing scene. Egon almost seems to be bonding with Ulrich and having a true heart to heart with him. Only Ulrich flies into a rage, upset that his boy is still alive. While it would be nice to think Egon would sympathize with him, remember that Egon has only seemed to view Ulrich -- no matter what age -- as an animal. 

Cut to: 1954, young Tannhaus is visited by Old Claudia. The time machine isn't ready for her yet. He wants to know what it's for. In fact, he doesn't even know it's a time machine. He just knows she has left blueprints that he is following. 

Cut to: Musical interlude: Melody X by Bonaparte

Helge prays with the St. Christopher's pendant. Egon looks at the Kreator record. Ulrich looks out a window, holding Mikkel's photo. Greta watches Helge praying. Egon comes downstairs to find Doris and Agnes having drinks. Middle-aged Claudia loads some cesium into the machine. 

Cut to: Old Claudia walks towards a shack. She is confronted by Noah, who is holding a shotgun pointed at her chest. He taunts Claudia that Agnes betrayed her. He says Claudia took everything from him. Claudia appears unphased. She knows she is going to die and taunts Noah back. He thinks he is in control, but he's actually following the plan she put in place. And he's a pawn of Adam. Noah hesitates for a moment but shoots her anyway. He moves towards the body to find the missing pages. As he reads the pages, he is devastated by what he reads -- something about Charlotte. 

Cut to: 1954, Agnes sits beside the bed of Tronte. She pulls newspaper clipping out to read it again. It turns out that it's an article about the death of Claudia. Claudia knew about her death all along and used Agnes to make sure it happened as planned. 

Cut to: 2020, Claudia stands outside the home of older Regina. Her cancer has gotten worse and has taken a toll. Regina is wearing a headscarf. Claudia's face crumples into tears as she looks at her daughter, her mind filled with regrets and thoughts of wasted time. 

Cut to: 1921? Noah goes to speak to Adam. Adam asks if Claudia had the pages, and Noah tells him no. So Noah chooses to lie to Adam, perhaps realizing that Adam may not be his ally after all. 

The coils are getting quite tight in this episode with many threads tying together. The inner workings of the Tiedemann family is the main topic of this episode. Both Egon and Claudia hope to do right for their children and make attempts to reach out. Each attempt is thwarted by barriers that were put in place long ago. Claudia always comes across so cold. In this episode, we see that she would like to be closer with her daughter but perhaps lacks the skills. The scene where she walks in on her mother and Agnes must have been quite a shock and forever impacted her ideas on love, intimacy, and conflict. Perhaps she didn't feel as if she could talk to either of her parents. Therefore, she never knew how to discuss difficult things with her daughter. Egon also spent most of his life obsessing over the cases he couldn't solve and the marriage he couldn't save. He may have neglected his daughter for a time, which made Claudia unable to form meaningful relationships. 

Is it her daughter's welfare that motivates Claudia most? The older Claudia appears to be one of the mechanics making sure everything runs as expected. This Claudia is one that is just getting her feet wet.

Burning questions: 

  • Why does Noah care so much about Charlotte? 
  • Noah also seems overly attentive to Greta? Is he preying up on her to be able to spend time with Helge? 
  • How will seeing Mikkel's picture impact Ulrich? Will he confess to Egon his truth? 
  • Why did Claudia not try to avoid her death? 
  • What happens between Tronte and Claudia, and why do they end up marrying different people later on?

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