1899 Episode 8 Recap: The Key

Episode 6 An Immutable Endless Cycle in Netflix Dark Season 2

Image by DWilliams from Pixabay

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.

Episode 6 An Endless Cycle

Hot take: Every Dark viewer has wanted for Jonas to get to wake up and start over fresh. Now that he has knowledge of what is possible, it's his chance to try and make things right. After being lead by Adam to enter the dark matter and return to the present-day world, he returns to the time before the series started, right before his dad's suicide. He believes if he can stop the suicide, he can set everything right again. This episode is unique in that the entire thing takes place in one time period, the year when the show began.

In 2019 - As we show begins, we see Jonas, but it's a Jonas without the neck scar. Michael/Mikkel are both still alive and co-existing in the same time period, and it's a beautiful day full of possibilities. However, we can see that life is weighing heavily on Michael. He doesn't really want to go to the Nielsen's anniversary party that night. It's unclear whether he remembers they are his parents, or due to the all the drugging he endured as a child, perhaps he just has a general unease. I also notice his clothes are unkempt. Is this due to creating the picture he references? He reacts to the yellow raincoat hanging on the coat rack.

Across the town, Ulrich and Katharina wake up, and Katharina turns down her husband's offer for sex because of her cycle. Is this where things went wrong for the couple? Mikkel doesn't feel well. It's crazy because Mikkel and Michael are existing in the same time period. It makes you wonder if they are aware of each other at all, or if they "feel" each other's feelings. Like a long-lost twin, when Mikkel feels sick, does Michael also feel off? 

The teens decide to take advantage of the beautiful day and go swimming at the lake. Jonas and Martha have a moment, and their chemistry is palpable, although neither makes a move. This is the moment where Jonas finds the pendant. Martha tells him it's Saint Christopher, the saint of travelers. Martha is also reading her script for the play Ariadne, in which we saw her perform in season 1. 

Then we see another Jonas in the raincoat with the neck scar. Ah, okay, this is the Jonas we have been following and the no-scar Jonas is Jonas as he was before the suicide. Jonas goes to the lake to see his friends. On the way, he encounters the Nielsen clan and Mikkel offers him an "ultimate fist bump." Ah, it hurts the heart every time I see that kid. Against all sound time travel rules, our Jonas decides to approach Martha after "ideal Jonas" leaves to help his grandma do some things. He tells Martha, "I think we're a perfect match. Never believe anything else." Yes, it's the line we've heard over and over again. But who invented the line? It's a chicken/egg situation. And there's no way to track the genesis correctly. 

A poignant scene transpires as Ulrich and Katharina stop by Hannah's for an errand. Mikkel is with them, since he's sick, and he goes inside the house to use the bathroom. Guess what? Michael and Mikkel meet face to face. We are breaking all of our good time travel rules today. But it's creating some tremendous tension. Right before he enters the house, Hannah, too, seems to have a deja vu moment, where she stares at Mikkel as if trying to remember something about him. 

At the party, a lot transpires. Between Martha and innocent Jonas and between Ulrich and Hannah. Also between Katharina and Mikkel. And finally, between Jonas and Mikkel. Jonas finally gets to talk to his dad heart to heart and confess to him that he knows who he is. We hope that this confession will bring lightness, hope, and renewal. Instead, as the title implies, things are only getting set in motion, bringing tremendous pain as Jonas realizes he is helpless to make change in the past as he hoped.

Burning Questions: 
  • Does Michael realize Ulrich and Katharina are his parents? Why has he never tried to talk to them if so?
  • Does Michael paint for a living? 
  • We find out why Mikkel went into the caves. Why did the guide do what they did? 
  • Does Michael see Claudia when she appears? He seems to be looking only at Jonas. 
  • We see the genesis of Hannah and Ulrich's affair. Of course, she's always been sweet on him, but why does he go for it? 
Pop culture crossovers:
One has to wonder, do Germans really listen to 1980s music exclusively at their parties? 

The long musical interlude: Twisted Olive Branch by Asaf Avidan
Sic Mundus Creatus Est


Zorasmom said…
Love your recaps. This one was my favorite so far with the commentary on the music; I wondered the same!
WestcoastTony said…
I've been going back and revisiting the entire series, and something particularly struck me about this episode: in the time frame before everything goes nuts, all the characters seem happier, more open to each other, and even younger and more vibrant. It's as if the coming events will turn them damaged and bitter, drain them of all their best traits. It's all conveyed terrifically.
Lindsey said…
Yes I totally agree. It's meant to represent a happier time in Winden. No one has gone missing in 32 years.