Netflix Dark Season 2 Episode 6 Recap: An Endless Cycle

Louis Hofmann as JONAS; Lisa Vicari as MARTHA in DARK

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, Adam sold Jonas on the idea that there might be a loophole that will allow him to save his father. 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.

Episode 6 An Endless Cycle

Jonas wakes up. The Nena song plays. He's wearing a blue shirt and his bed linens are blue. There is no neck scar to be seen. If you've been tracking color schemes, blue is the color of innocence and calm. We are looking at Jonas on the day his father killed himself. The day before things started going wrong in Jonas' eyes. It's a beautiful clear day, without a drop of rain in sight.

Jonas runs downstairs, smells the milk, and pours himself a bowl of cereal. He turns to see Michael Kahnwald in the flesh. He's smiling and teasing his son. Jonas plans to go to the lake with his friends. His father reminds him it may storm later. Hannah comes downstairs and gives her husband an affectionate squeeze from behind. They seem like a happy family.

Then Hannah reminds them both about the Nielsen anniversary party, and Michael gets a glazed look on his face. He decides to make coffee, but his hands are shaking so badly he can barely lift the scoop. Michael plans to stay home from the party. Jonas leaves to meet his friends and takes the yellow raincoat with him. Michael reacts with terror when he sees the raincoat and drops the coffee container on the floor. He looks as if he's seen a ghost – and perhaps he has. Michael says he's fine and just had a moment of deja vu. Hannah tentatively steps towards Michael and puts a hand on his back. She again tries to embrace him from behind and asks if he will reconsider going to the party. He just says he needs to finish his picture.

Michael's hesitation about attending the party is understandable. Does he remember they are his parents? Or does he still wonder if he dreamed he was a Nielsen. The date today is June 20, 2019 – the day before Michael's suicide.

Jonas, Magnus, Martha, and Bartosz ride bikes toward the lake. Martha rides in front of Jonas. She keeps turning around to smile at him. He smiles back. He looks happy and relaxed.

Church bells rings, and we see the Sic Mundus church. The door opens, and out walks our Jonas – the yellow rain jacket Jonas – the neck scar Jonas.

Mikkel (a young boy) holds out his fist for a fist bump
Daan Lennard Liebrenz as MIKKEL in DARK
Across town, Ulrich and Katharina wake up. Katharina turns down her husband's offer for sex because of her cycle. And also reasons. Is this where things went wrong for the couple? Ulrich doesn't care if Katharina hasn't shaved her legs in forever. The door to the bedroom opens, and Ulrich makes snappy remarks about knocking first. Mikkel feels sick, though. He has red spots all over.

At this time, Mikkel and Michael both exist in the time period. Do they "feel" each other's feelings like lost twins? Katharina realizes that Mikkel has rubella. She chides him for getting sick on today of all days.

Aleksander reads the paper and gazes at a story about an unsolved murder in Marburg that happened 33 years ago. The search for two fugitives is still on. Regina interrupts his reading and asks if he will come to the hotel today for lunch. She can tell he's distracted and asks if all is well.

At the Doppler house, Charlotte sits at home with her usual deadpan facial expression. Peter comes in and asks where the kids are. Charlotte says nothing. Peter tries to argue with her, but Charlotte still says nothing. He accuses her of being dead inside. Charlotte says she wants to go to the party alone.

Over at the lake, Bartosz talks about a lady who drowned at the lake. That the lady will drag you down when she's hungry. Martha has enough and gets out of the water to sit with Jonas. You can see why she's attracted to him because he's more mature than the other boys. Or at least comes across that way.

They make chitchat about the party that night, and the conversation is very low-key flirty and intimate. She admits that she wonders if her parents are happy together. She asks about his parents. Jonas isn't sure. He's playing with the sand, and his hands find an object that looks like a coin. Martha tells him it's Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers.

Elsewhere, the neck scar Jonas walks towards the power plant. He has his own plans today. Ulrich, Katharina, and Mikkel honk as they drive by. They ask why he's not at the lake with the others. He zips up his rain jacket to keep his neck from showing. In the back seat, Mikkel reaches out his hand for an ultimate fist bump. Jonas has no idea what to do. Katharina mentions he shouldn't touch Mikkel. They offer to give him a ride, but Jonas declines. They all tease him about Martha's feelings for him before driving off.

a boy and a girl on bikes stop to talk
Lisa Vicari as MARTHA, Paul Lux as BARTOSZ in DARK

At the lake, Magnus pees behind a tree. He gets worried when he sees a body floating face down in the water. He runs toward the body, and it's Franziska. She was just floating topless in the water. Magnus is very shaken by this encounter, and Franziska smiles. Maybe this is the birth of their attraction as well.

Martha is reading the play Ariadne – practicing for her performance. She catches Jonas watching her. She asks if he ever wishes he knew what happened next – if not way in the future at least in the next five minutes. She sometimes gets the feeling that something will happen. Magnus interrupts an almost kiss by running between them. The two separate, the tension broken. Jonas startles because he remembers he is supposed to help his grandmother learn how to use a tablet.

Against all sound time travel rules, neck scar Jonas steps out of the shadows to approach Martha after "idealistic Jonas" leaves. He says that he thought he had more time. She remarks that he seems different somehow. 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. This Jonas and Martha kiss passionately. Then he gets up to leave. Martha just stares after him in a daze.

A poignant scene transpires as Ulrich and Katharina stop by Hannah's to pick up some glasses for the party. Michael looks out the window as they pull up. Hannah wishes them a Happy Anniversary. Mikkel is with them, since he's sick, and he goes inside the house to use the bathroom. Michael sees him get out and begins to have a panic attack. Guess what? Michael and Mikkel meet face to face. We are breaking all of our good time travel rules today. Mikkel comes in the house and has a strange reaction to the surroundings. 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.

Michael comes downstairs and seems to hesitate outside the bathroom. He's trying to decide something. He puts his ear against the door as if trying to listen. As Mikkel comes out, he hides behind the door. Mikkel seems to be looking for someone. He then notices Michael. The two are terrified to see one another.

The rest of the lake crew decide to go home. After Magnus rides off, Bartosz apologizes to Martha that he can't come to the party. He then tells her that her hair looks good. He's got no game.

a boy in a yellow raincoat has tears in his eyes
Louis Hofmann as JONAS in DARK
Jonas and Hannah arrive at the Nielsen's party. Hannah is carrying a pan of tiramisu. It seems like everyone in town is there, including people we have never met. Hannah is wearing a red dress. Martha comes downstairs looking resplendent in white. I think this may be the only time we have seen her in white besides during the play. Jonas is also wearing a white shirt.

Katharina greets Hannah warmly. She's ready to dance and let her hair down. Jana and Tronte are talking to Magnus, expressing their pride. We wonder what they are proud of since Magnus never goes to class. I believe Magnus may be wearing the shirt that Franziska wore at the beginning of this season, too. Katharina also greets Charlotte and asks her to dance. Charlotte declines, of course. Hannah notices that Peter isn't with her. Charlotte, likewise, remarks on Michael's absence.

Ulrich opens a bottle of champagne and both he and Katharina drink straight from the bottle. Ulrich and Hannah share a moment, and Ulrich begins to dance with Katharina. We catch her glowering at the two of them. Hannah seems like a family friend, but she gives herself away here.

As Jonas walks towards his house, the stormy weather begins with gusts of wind. He walks inside and has tears in his eyes at the sight of his house – a place has hasn't been since he burned the letter. This is a worn torn Jonas who has seen some shit.

His Dad comes out to greet him, surprised that anyone has shown up. Jonas' face gives away a world of emotion. He comes forward to embrace his father tenderly. Michael is surprised at this greeting but hugs him back. He tells his dad that "he knows everything." Jonas goes to give him an ultimate fist bump, throwing Michael into a tailspin. He calls him by his name – Mikkel Nielsen – a name that Mikkel hasn't heard in 33 years. Heartbreakingly, his Dad asks for forgiveness.

Across town at the Nielsen's party, Ulrich regales everyone with a slideshow of pictures of Katharina when she was younger. Hannah is in some pictures, as well. Mikkel comes downstairs, looking for some comfort from his mother. Unfortunately, the accompaniment music is Rick Astley. Yep, Dark Rick-rolled us. Katharina carries Mikkel back to bed and agrees to stay for a little bit until he falls asleep.

Back at the Kahnwald house, Jonas asks his father not to kill himself. He believes that he's here to stop that from happening. Shockingly, he discovers his father has no plans to do such a thing. Jonas wants to know if he has already written a letter. He then produces the letter from his pocket. Jonas begs him not to do it. Michael/Mikkel has no idea what to say.

a boy and his father talk at a kitchen table
Sebastian Rudolph as MICHAEL, Louis Hofmann as JONAS in DARK
At the Nielsen house, Martha leads Jonas into her room. She gives him the St. Christopher's pendant that they found on the beach. She put it on a red cord for him. The red thread of fate. She gives him the patron saint of travelers. In this bizarre scene of classic misdirection, Jonas and Martha are having two different conversations – Jonas has no idea that his other self kissed Martha. This Jonas before her has never kissed Martha or spoke passionate words about being a perfect match. Martha is in love with the more daring and bold Jonas she met on the beach. She takes charge and kisses him.

At the Kahnwald house, Jonas asks how Michael found the passage. Michael says he was lead there by someone. That someone was Jonas. Michael shares that when they all were at the caves, there was a weird noise (the Sic Mundus tunnel door opening). The lights all flickered and everyone ran. Mikkel was with Jonas, and then they got separated. When he turned around again, Jonas was back, leading him a different way. Jonas lead him to the cave and the tunnel, and Mikkel believes him because he trusted Jonas. They spend all night there, but in the morning, Jonas was gone.

Jonas listens to all of this intently, not seeing how this is possible. Michael also shares how he saw his younger self today. And then he contemplates that maybe Jonas is there to show him what to do – not to stop him. Jonas tries to understand how he played a part in betraying Mikkel.

Like Stranger Jonas, Michael realizes that without the events of that night, his son who he loves will not be born. He speculates that he is just a small part of a much larger cancer. Mikkel says, "God doesn't err. He has a plan." In walks old Claudia.

She says they have met before. Jonas asks if she is with Adam. She says, "He is the darkness. I don't follow him, I follow the light." Interesting since that is what Noah says, as well. She tells him that Adam lied. He sent Jonas there to make the very thing he wants to stop happen. She tells him that only he can stop it by waging war on himself: "There are times in life when you must see that the decisions you make affect more than your own destiny." That they all must make sacrifices. It's unclear whether Michael can see Claudia or not.

At the Nielsen house, the storm continues to brew. Hannah sits outside on the swing set, smoking a cigarette. Ulrich joins her and the two share a moment like they used to at the bus stop. She passes him a cigarette pack, and he checks before taking one. I guess he promised Katharina that he would stop. He asks her if this is the apocalypse. Just like at the bus stop, he asks her what she would wish for. She says, "A world without Winden." She has spent a lifetime studying this man so they can be in alignment. Their affair begins with a storm and a stolen kiss.

a man and woman behind a shed kiss
Oliver Masucci as ULRICH, Maja Schone is HANNAH in DARK
The long musical interlude: Twisted Olive Branch by Asaf Avidan

As the rain begins in earnest, Ulrich runs toward shelter in the yard, pulling Hannah along. They kiss as Katharina holds Mikkel – the two women with each other's husbands. Across town, Peter runs to Benni's trailer. He notices the parked tractor trailer. Inside the shadows between the trucks is Franziska, following her father, just as Magnus followed her. Magnus is also looking at photos of Franziska on his phone.

The Tiedemann's enjoy some champagne. And Martha and Jonas have sex. As symbolized by their white clothes, it's their wedding night. Neck scar Jonas also embraces his father, following Claudia outside. He shares a last look with his father.

Michael carefully writes the letter that he is fated to write. As he does so, Jonas follows old Claudia into the caves. Michael says that "We make a lie into our truth in order to survive." Adam looks at the St. Christopher pendant, perhaps remembering a night he kissed a girl in a white dress.

Adam looks up as a man and woman come into the room. They tell him he could have told Jonas what his true task was – his true task. Adam just says that the last cycle will begin soon. The woman calls the man Magnus and comments that all of them have sacrifices to make. This must be Magnus and Franziska as old lovers. The two of them look at the unruly God particle.

Final Thoughts: This was quite an emotional episode. 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.

I personally feel annoyed at Claudia when she talks to Jonas and Michael about making sacrifices because she too has her own selfish motives. She wants Regina to be saved. Is she willing to make her own sacrifice or is Claudia exempt from that statement?

Burning Questions:
  • Does Michael realize Ulrich and Katharina are his parents? Why has he never tried to talk to them if so?
  • 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?
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.
Anonymous said…
You forgot the ending scene back in 1922 with the lady talking to older Magnus
Lindsey said…
No it's there in the one of the last paragraphs. But thanks for reading!
barnestown said…
Situation with the man being revealed as Magnus at the end- who was the woman next to him? I have a very solid guess, based on her hair color. That man who played older Magnus is an awesome match for the actors- same face! Just like with Ulrich and his older self, fantastic casting.