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Netflix Dark Season 1 Episode 6 Recap: Sic Mundus Creatus Est

Ulrich examines the 1986 evidence from Mads case. Photo:Netflix.

"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 1.6 Sic Mundus Creatus Est

This episode opens from inside the cave looking out. It's dark outside, and we see a figure tied to a tree. It's Regina Tiedemann in 1986. She looks scared and calls out "Katharina! Ulrich! It's not funny anymore." Strange noises emit from the cave, and she screams. Back in 2019, older Regina wakes up in bed, screaming. Aleksander sits next to her and comforts her. It's sad to think of the isolated Regina having this prank pulled on her, and it now makes sense why she feels bitter towards Katharina and  Ulrlich. 

After the credits, we open on an overhead shot of the town. Charlotte gives the staff at the police station new orders. There is now one boy dead and three missing. The search will be widened to include cases from the last 50 years. As her voice continues speaking, the camera pans to a class picture on the walls of the school. It's labeled 1987, and clear as day, Mikkel is one of the students in the photo. But no one has noticed that piece of evidence yet. Just like in the family photo, every person is smiling except Mikkel. 

We remember in the last episode, Jonas read the letter from his father confessing that he (Michael Kahnwald) was actually Mikkel grown up. Jonas and Hannah sit at the kitchen table. Hannah is still wearing her red sweater. Jonas asks his mom about Michael -- where they met -- and what he was like. She tells him they met at the hospital and that he was strange. She was 14 when they met. Jonas takes this all in. More than likely, Mikkel/Michael's distress about his double live caused him to be emotionally unavailable.

At the police station, Ulrich finds the evidence box from 1986 and locates the file marked Mads Nielsen. He listens to a cassette tape recording of an interview Egon did with his mother, Jana. As he listens, he hears Jana say that Tronte was at home with the family that night. Ulrich's face registers surprise. Side note: Jana mentions that Mads went to fencing class on Thursdays. Regina also attended a fencing class, which Claudia references when she's driving Regina to school back in 1986. 

We soon learn why. Ulrich drives to his parent's house to confront his father, Tronte. He remembers that Tronte was not home the night that Mikkel went missing. He also reveals that the dead body was dressed like the 1980s and that he suspects the same perpetrator kidnapped both groups of boys. He wants to know where his Dad was both the night Mads disappeared and the night Mikkel disappeared. Tronte seems taken aback and Ulrich grabs him by the face. Jana wakes up in time to stop them, and tells Ulrich that Tronte was at home the night Mikkel disappeared. But is she lying? We know he had the sweater with the bloody sleeve. It's also interesting to note that Tronte puts down Egon and calls him an idiot. Perhaps Ulrich's judgment towards Egon is not all self-perpetuated. 

Next we see her and Ulrich talking, just to the two of them. They look through a box of Mads' things, perhaps that Jana has kept. She starts reminiscing about the way the boys would fight about the toy figurines. One time, their fighting got so intense that Mads fell through a glass table. Despite all the bleeding, it was just a cut on his chin.  

Ulrich listens to all of this patiently but returns to his most pressing topic: why did you lie about Dad being here? She tells Ulrich that she wanted to leave Tronte at one point. That the night Mads went missing, Tronte was with another woman and that she knew he was having an affair with. The woman was Claudia, and the last person who saw Mads that night was Regina Tiedemann. While it's an interesting piece of information, I don't see how Jana could know this for sure. I suppose it's the last known person that saw Mads. This confession seems to shake Ulrich. Perhaps he is thinking that the night Mikkel disappeared, he was hooking up with Hannah. 

Ulrich listens to his mother remember a fight the boys had about the figurines. Photo:Netflix.

At the Nielsen house, Katharina sits in the family room as Magnus and Martha come downstairs, dressed for going out. Where are they going? They tell here they are going to school, and she tries to stop them. It's only been 4 days since Mikkel went missing. Martha tells her that she has a commitment to the school play. The two fight. Martha thinks Katharina isn't accepting that Mikkel is dead, which gets a slap from Katharina. Martha feels also like she has her own life she needs to keep living and has been kept at home long enough now. For her part, Katharina thinks her other two children are being selfish. While Martha is angry, Magnus gives his mother a hug. He's the mediator perhaps of the family. 

At the house, Regina opens a letter, which turns out to be results from a mammography screening. We don't see the results, but she seems very upset by whatever is in the letter. She calls Aleksander, but when she gets his voicemail, she hangs up, unable to share what she wanted to tell him. I am suspecting it's bad news. Regina's shirt has a series of feathers on it. 

Back at the Kahnwald residence, Jonas holds the letter from his father. He gets up and takes something out of his desk drawer. It's the map. A new marking in red marker has mysteriously appeared (from the stranger). It reads, "Follow the signal." This must be what the detector is for, for picking up the signal indicated by the map. Jonas puts the map, the globe, and the letter into his backpack and sets off once again. 

Magnus stops by the railroad tracks to look at the metal box Franziska visits regularly. He looks inside to find an empty box. Continuing further down, he finds a blanket and discarded sofa. On the ground he finds opened condom wrappers and the necklace Franziska always wears (a bird pendant). His face hardens, and we can see he's thinking the worst about her. 

At school, Martha is in the dressing room, standing in front of the mirror to make sure her costume looks alright. She's wearing the red cord and red lipstick. Bartosz walks in and immediately kisses her. He wants to know why she hasn't returned his calls, and she tries to put him off. He wants to know if she's mad at him because of Mikkel going missing, since it was his idea to explore the caves. And when she says nothing, he goes in the for a kiss again. Read the room, dude. Martha says she needs to get ready, hinting that he should leave. As he departs, he asks if she's seen Jonas. Guiltily, she asks why, and he says that Jonas stood him up the other night. 

Jonas now enters the caves, ready to go exploring. 

Katharina comes back into the house. She's been out all day hanging up signs again. On the top are random papers, one of them is the phone bill. She notices a particular phone number listed multiple times. She decides to call the number, and wouldn't you know it, it's Hannah who answers. To make it worse, she says, "Hello? Ulrich?" Katharina hangs up without saying anything. 

Ulrich now enters the Winden Hotel. Regina is not happy to see him. He wants to know what she remembers from the night Mads disappeared. She says that was over 30 years ago. He asks if she knew that their parents were having an affair, and Regina nods, clearly disgusted by the idea herself. Regina then says that she always wondered why it was Mads who disappeared, when he was so nice. The reason he walked her home that night was that after what Ulrich and Katharina "did to her" -- I suppose tying her to the tree -- she was scared to walk home, and Mads kindly walked her home. Ulrich snaps that she should just get over it. Regina points out he never apologized. Ulrich doesn't know how she can expect an apology when it was her who lied about him to Egon about the rape. Regina takes the opportunity to tell him that wasn't her. But Hannah saw her? You can see all the wheels click into place as Ulrich realizes it was Hannah all along. Regina makes fun of him a little about Hannah's obsession with him, and Ulrich leaves the hotel, onto his next mission. He's not good at being still or taking a moment, is he? 

Jonas reaches out to touch the Sic Mundus symbol on the door in the cave. Photo:Netflix.

Katharina sits in the car, listening to the news. The police have finally revealed that a dead body was found, but it was not identified as one of the three boys who are known to be missing. If anyone has information they should call. Katharina calls and says that the people of the town need to wake up. There's a sickness in Winden. People need to realize there's a murderer among them. 

Katharina's message: "I want people to finally understand what is going on here. We're all so blind. There's a murderer among us. No one actually dares to say it. But it's the truth. We cling to the hope that it won't happen here. We all know each other. We think we know everything about each other. But do we really? We live next door to people we know almost nothing about. And behind one of those doors is my son. It could be anyone's door. The man behind the cash register. Someone we invited for cake on a Sunday, who plays with our children. I don't want to look away anymore. And you shouldn't either. This city is sick. Winden is like a festering wound, and we're all part of it.

During this call, Aleksander arrives home and finds a letter about Regina's test. We also see shots of Ulrich looking in the evidence room and finding confirmation that Hannah was the eyewitness in the case against him. In another part of town, Tronte and Peter are inside the hatch room, waiting for something to happen. 

Aleksander calls the number on the letter and says that they are still waiting on the results. The operator tells him that the results are in and were mailed a few days ago. The cancer has been confirmed, and Regina should make an appointment right away. 

Inside the cave, Jonas begins to breathe heavily. He finds a red cord that he begins to follow. The red cord looks similar to the one found on his bike. At one point, he gets stuck, but he remembers the clue to "follow the signal" and pulls out the Geiger counter. 

Ulrich arrives at Hannah's house, pounding on the door. Hannah tries to be coy, but he's onto her now and pins her against the wall with his hands around her throat. He knows she was the one who reported him back in 1986. "What do you want from me?" "You," she says simply. He makes a mean remark about Michael being driven to suicide by Hannah's poison and earns a slap. 

Aleksander calls Regina, and she tells him that she's at school picking up Bartosz from the play. He tells her that he loves her and that he's here for her. Compared to so many of the toxic relationships we've observed in Winden, their marriage seems very sweet. 

Back at the bunker, Tronte and Peter talk about the fact that they waiting for something to happen at 9:17 p.m. 

We now have one of those interesting scenes where two things are happening at the same time, cut together. Jonas continues following the red cord, deeper and deeper into the cave. He's now crawling on all fours, and it's getting hard to breathe. At the same time, the school play is in full swing, and Martha's character Ariadne is planning with Theseus of how he will kill her brother, the Minotaur. 

Fun fact: Martha is playing the character of Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos. She's also the half-sister of the Minotaur, who keeps killing sons and daughters of Athens on the orders of his father. Theseus has been sent to kill the Minotaur, and because she falls in love with him, Ariadne helps Theseus: "Is he not your brother?" One of the tools she gives him is a ball of red thread, so that when he goes into the Minotaur's maze, he will be able to find his way out. You can see how this parallels nicely with Jonas' journey into the cave, following the cord. 

As Martha continues with a monologue, Jonas comes to a door inside the cave. It's carved with the strange familiar symbols and reads "Sic Mundus Creatus Est" = And thus, the world began. After opening the door, he goes inside and closes it, beginning to crawl. 

On the stage, Martha has broken down, crying. It's Katharina who runs to her aid and helps her stand. The speech has a lot of parallels to what's really going on: she has no brother, no father, and she's alone. The lights begin blinking off and on, as they did when Mikkel went missing. We see Tronte and Peter again, looking at a book that reads 9:17 p.m. 

Martha and Katharina walk together to leave the school, passing Regina who makes nasty comments to Katharina about her speech on the radio. Katharina ends up beating the crap out of Regina. Martha's just standing there, watching it all play out, until Magnus comes in breaks up the fight. Regina says, "That's what your mother is really like."

Jonas crawls on, coming to a fork, and comes to another door that looks identical to the first one. How is this possible? He makes his way out of the cave and holds up the globe light astonished. The forest outside the cave looks different. There are more trees, and the land seems to be flourishing. While in 2019, the area was more barren. Jonas' face has that sooty look like the stranger has. 

The globe light was given to Jonas in a mysterious box. Photo:Netflix.

Back in 2019, Ulrich looks through a photo book. He finds a picture of Mads. Mads is wearing the sweatshirt we saw in episode 1 that the dead boy was wearing. Ulrich's face is alert and we know he is beginning to understand the connection between his brother and the dead body. 

Regina arrives home and lets Aleksander hug her. The interlude music is "Enter One" by Sol Seppy.

Martha asks Magnus if they can talk. The two lie next to each other in bed and talk about what the heck happened that night between their mom and Regina. Martha begins to talk about how you can never really know you parents and what they were like as young people. Magnus decides she can stay there for the night but asks her to keep her cold feet to herself. It's nice to see these two being kind to one another. As Magnus turns on his side, we can see he's looking at the necklace he found earlier that day and thinking about Franziska. 

Jonas arrives at the bus stop we've seen before. It's raining, and the missing posters now sport the face of Mads Nielsen. The dry cleaning van pulls up. Inside, we see young Hannah and her father driving home. They want to give him a ride. Jonas refuses to get in once he hears the name Hannah. What the what? Has Jonas ended up in 1986? 

Okay, moment of truth. Ulrich goes to the forensic lab and pulls out the dead boy's body. He holds the photo of Mads up to compare and notices a small mark on the boy's chin. He thinks of the story his mother told him about Mads falling through the glass table. Dum dum dah!

Burning questions:
  • Will Jonas find Mikkel and be able to bring him back to his family?
  • Is Franziska having some crazy sex relationship with someone?
  • Did Regina's cancer start the night that she was tied to the tree?
  • Will Ulrich finally admit that the dead body is Mads?
  • What were Peter and Tronte waiting to happen at 9:17 p.m. and did it happen?
  • Now that Katharina knows about the affair, what will she do?
  • Why didn't the stranger just give Jonas the stuff himself? 
This episode really ended on a doozy, with Ulrich finally realizing that his missing brother has finally been found, only in much better condition than he should be, given it's been 33 years. Knowing that Jonas is now in 1986 adds a new element of mystery. Mikkel ended up in the past by accident and had no idea how to get back, while Jonas has been given tools that allow him access to the secret. What will Jonas do in this new time period? Will he find Mikkel, and what will he do if he does? Regina is also proving to be a more interesting character than we thought. Clearly, something happened the night she was tied to the tree, but we don't know what. If Ulrich wasn't such a jerk to her, maybe she would have told him. But since she's dealing with her own trauma and has been diagnosed with cancer, she doesn't have energy to help anyone else. Ready to learn more.

Sic Mundus Creatus Est

Comments

Unknown said…
I just started watching this series. Your recaps are wonderful!!!! With a series like this, Indeed "great" recaps. Oh, I just finished episode 6 of season 1. Thank you!
maxolga said…
hey Shirley,

another great episode and a gripping and dripping recap.
this show is really catching steam and we're on the locomotive

if we have any more questions we'll let you know
but then until then we're gonna sit down and enjoy the show

good night

Max and Olga
Lindsey said…
Is this where I say don't call me Shirley? It's Lindsey in the captain's seat on this ship. But I welcome your comments. Grateful to be part of your watch along!
Anonymous said…
You’re recaps are the best I’m now watching the show and if I miss or don’t understand something I come here and it’s all so correct and easy to follow thanks �� this has been very helpful and I appreciate you ��
Carlos said…
Hey! I started to watch this show and your recaps are great. It's been hard sometimes to catch up and understand what happened in the episode and reading it after helps a lot to have a more clear idea.
jeff grandon said…
Jeff grandon i agree with anonymous. I watched this a couple years ago now watching it again to better understand it all and your explanations make it very clear it gets confusing like the movie looper but at least your hear thanks a lot
jeff grandon said…
Jeff grandon i agree with anonymous. I watched this a couple years ago now watching it again to better understand it all and your explanations make it very clear it gets confusing like the movie looper but at least your hear thanks a lot
Tania said…
Thanks so much for putting these together! I'm not normally one to get confused watching a show, but this one is brain bending, lol. Thanks to your recaps, I'm able to keep up. (I actually have it open, and I'm following along as I'm watching each episode.)❤️❤️❤️