Netflix Dark Season 3 Episode 3 Recap: Adam and Eva

Alt-Martha gives Jonas "her only way home"

"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, Katharina finally reaches old Ulrich and commits to seeing him freed. Alt-Martha tells Bartosz that Jonas is Adam, deepening the wedge between Bartosz and Jonas. Elisabeth and Peter look for their loved ones and try to avoid Noah. And Tronte tries to balance his relationships with Jana, Regina, and Claudia.

Episode 3.3 Adam and Eva

The episode opens with a thunderstorm. One lone carriage drives determinedly through the rain.

A voice speaks, "From then on, I knew that nothing changes. That all things remain. The spinning wheel turns, round and round in a circle. One fate tied to the next. A thread, red like blood, that connects all our deeds."

Inside the carriage, a man reads out loud from the play Ariadne. He's wearing a signet ring with the Sic Mundus symbol on it, and he's holding the cane with those same letters engraved on the handle. The man is Heinrich Tannhaus, and he's talking to his son, young Gustav – the one whom we meet in 1888. He tells Gustav that Ariadne was his mother's favorite play. Her name was Charlotte. He holds the pocket watch that reads "For Charlotte." Gustav asks why people die. Heinrich replies that the dead are never truly dead. That everyone who once lived still lives on in the eternity of time.

We now flash forward, old Gustav now rides in the carriage alone. It's September 23, 1888. He's holding the watch and the copy of Ariadne. Suddenly the carriage stops due to someone standing in the road. The driver is killed, and the murderer boards -- The Unknown. Gustav does his best not to appear afraid.

He says, "He who has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. Because if his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips. Betrayal oozes out of him at every pore." The adult Unknown quotes the words that would one day be sent in a letter to Inspector Clausen.

Gustav says he doesn't understand, but the Unknown predicts that he's going into town to write a telegram telling the world about the travelers. Gustav recognizes him as a traveler and rejoices that his father was right. Perhaps he thinks the Unknown is like Stranger Jonas. But the Unknown pulls out the strangling wire, and we can see blood spatters on his face from his already violent actions this evening.

The Unknown says, "What we know is a drop. What we don't know is an ocean." It's implied that the Unknown will kill Gustav just as he kills the others, even though we don't see any signs of the other two versions. It seems like the Unknown was sent to maintain the secrets of Sic Mundus and time travel. And now we must wonder if Clausen was being controlled by the Unknown in 2020.

The Unknown stares at EVA inscrutably
And at this young age, Gustav has to deal with the reality that his mother died before her time. Perhaps his grief for his mother's death kick started this whole operation. But where is the true origin? Also, the lines in Ariadne mirror the story of Jonas and Martha, maintaining a timeline that damns everyone to suffering. 

In the Erit Lux lair (we discover the name by the end of the episode), old Eva continues talking to teen Jonas. She tells him that it's a mistake for people to think of themselves as independent entities when everyone is a fraction of a whole. Jonas asks if this is a copy of his world. Eva reminds him of the night he told her that she was feeling a glitch in the matrix. To assume world 2 is a copy is to assume world 2 came from world 1. She quickly shows him the fault in his assumption. He then asks why he's "here." He's here to save both worlds. Eva has a giant long scar on her left cheek.

We cut to the police station in world 2. Ulrich gives a report on the body the teens found in the bunker. Pictures of the evidence appear: a pair of Air Jordans, a walkman, a yellow sweatshirt that reads "Atomenergie? Nein Danke", and the ID card. We see disturbing photos of Mads' burnt eyes and ruptured eardrums. Ulrich can barely keep from sobbing as he gives the report. The police choose not to identify the body as being Mads, despite the ID card.

Charlotte stops him and pulls him into the storage closet. She tells him that he doesn't have to lead this case. Ulrich says that someone must have kept Mads' clothes and put it on another body as a cruel act of sadism. Charlotte then wonders aloud if the murders of Erik, Mads, and the boy in the bunker are all connected. Both Charlotte and Ulrich in world 2 seem more in touch with their emotions. Ulrich in world 1 reeked of cynicism and sarcasm, while this Ulrich has never gotten over losing Mads.

Ulrich 2 tells Charlotte 2 that he became a policeman because of how badly the police handled his brother's case. He feels ashamed that he has ruined his marriage and is now cheating on Hannah. He tells Charlotte that the affair is over. Unlike Hannah, Charlotte understands.

We warp into world 1. At the Tannhaus factory, Bartosz and alt-Martha walk in together. Stranger Jonas gets all suspicious. He wonders what alt-Martha told Bartosz. Bartosz gets equally angry that they have been stuck there for weeks with no progress. Stranger Jonas just repeats that alt-Martha isn't the real Martha. That their Martha is dead. Magnus thinks that alt-Martha can help. Bartosz goes full out prosecutor and wants Stranger Jonas to admit who killed Martha. Stranger Jonas just walks out. Bartosz follows him.

It's hard to fathom alt-Martha's emotions at this point. Is she purposefully trying to stir up trouble? Bartosz loathes that Stranger Jonas keeps getting to control his life. And just like outside the high school, Bartosz begins to fight Jonas in the rain. He demands Stranger Jonas tell the truth. Magnus finally steps in and pulls Bartosz off. Bartosz just screams that the Stranger is Adam. Martha doesn't try to stop the fight. She's an agent of chaos. 

EVA persuades Jonas to keep going in order to save Martha

We warp back to world 2. Eva asks Jonas why he could never let go. The two of them have an unbreakable bond. Adam tried to sever it but could not. She pulls out the St. Christopher medallion to prove how close they are in either world. She tells him that they are forever bound. Jonas raises his voice again. He wants to know why he's here. She says that if he wants to save Martha, he must choose the side of light and make her into what she is today. Jonas gets mad that he keeps being told what to do. She tells him that no matter what he claims, his desire to save Martha will determine what he does. His desire will lead.

In world 2 at the Kahnwald house, Martha lies in bed thinking. She has a yellow pillow. The doorbell rings. Martha answers the doors to find Ulrich. He demands to know what really happened in the bunker. He scoffs at her story of seeing a light and a body dropping from the sky. Perhaps she was on drugs. Magnus then joins them downstairs. Magnus wears a skeleton shirt. He sneers at his father. Fueled by their father's abandonment of the family, the two of them now realize he doesn't believe them. Ulrich tries to touch his son on the face, but Magnus steps back.

Hannah walks into the police station, carrying a container of baked goods. She is met by Woller and Charlotte. Hannah asks to see Ulrich, but Charlotte reports that he left work a while ago. Hannah stares at Charlotte with interest. Charlotte looks different -- perhaps she got a haircut? Hannah steps forward to hug her and takes a big whiff. Ah, Hannah knows what's what. Charlotte looks nervous. In Ulrich's office, Hannah catches her breath, obviously putting the pieces together.

Alt-Martha confides in Alt-Magnus
Back at the Kahnwald house, Martha goes to talk to Magnus in his room. She's wearing the yellow raincoat. He tells her to go away, but she sits down anyway. She asks him if he saw anything in the forest last night. She then wonders if she's losing her mind. Maybe Dad is right. She then leaves the house outside Magnus' window. That seems to be the sneaking out window.

We go back to Eva. "Everything repeats itself because none of us is prepared to let go." It took her a long time to accept that he would always choose her – meaning OG Martha. She clung to her past just like him. Jonas must show her how it's all connected. She has to see her future. She hands him a new kind of flashlight and touches his hand. He walks out of the room holding the flashlight. Despite all his words, he can't resist the sway of Martha in any world.

We warp to world 1. Alt-Martha with a small cut on the left cheek sits in her room in 1888. She examines a St. Christopher medallion. Stranger Jonas enters after knocking the door, and alt-Martha stands, very deferential-like, and hides the coin. He asks why he can't remember coming to her world, and she tells him she doesn't know. She also shares that she didn't write the letter he asked about. She asks about Sic Mundus. He tells her that old Tannhaus' father tried to raise someone from the dead. He thought that time travel could save the world and erase every bad thing that ever happened. But so far, Jonas hasn't seen any salvation — only damnation.

The beginning and the end, according to EVA
Martha tears up as he talks. She tells him adamantly that she wants to save the people in her world if she can. Jonas remains passive. Alt-Martha grabs his arm and tells him that he can trust her. She wants to prove it and chooses to show him the device she traveled with – the golden globe. She switches out of her blue dress and puts on a gray uniform before going out in the rain. It's her only way to get home, and she will give it to the Stranger to prove her good intentions, along with a black ball that powers it up, full of god particle. 

Alt-Martha wants Stranger Jonas to trust her, so she chooses to reveal one of her secrets – hoping he might open up to her. However, it's still unclear if alt-Martha is trying to help or manipulate things into going her way. Her indecipherable facial expressions seem too guarded.

We warp back to world 2. Eva sits in her impressive desk chair. The Unknown enters the room, bringing the power plant plans, the Charlotte pocket watch, and the script of Ariadne. The Unknown says, "You could have told him which path you're sending him down. How it will end." Eva dismisses this by saying that he will never stop trying to break the cycle. He must preserve the knot by letting Martha die. The Unknown seems to disapprove of Eva's actions. She opens the plans to the power plant. Inside are the keys they stole from Bernd Doppler after killing him. The plans read "Kernkraftwerk Winden Volumenkontrollsystem," which means the Winden Power Plan Volume Control System. This document gives specific instructions on how to keep the levels steady at the power plant – a system that will need to be disrupted to cause the apocalypse.

Charlotte looks around the bunker in world 2
Teen Jonas exits the caves, which must house Eva's lair, Erit Lux. He's holding the flashlight.

Across town, Charlotte 2 crosses the police tape blocking off the bunker. She calls Ulrich to check on him, but he doesn't answer. She steps into the bunker and finds a one pfennig coin on a red string underneath the bench.

At the same time, Helge 2 holds his own coin. He repeats Tick Tock. He gets up out of his chair.

Martha 2 shows up at the Obendorf's trailer to see Kilian. She was worried he didn't show up today. He snaps back that he got kicked out after Ulrich accused him of slipping them drugs. He's tired of being the one blamed for things. People think of him as trailer park trash. He accuses her of just being with him to upset her parents. She doesn't deny what he says. The break up is official. Jonas watches their conversation from a distance. 

At the Winden power plant, Hannah meets with Aleksander. She tells him how sorry she is about Regina. She asks after his health and family. She proposes a deal. She wants to return his items to him. She pulls out the plastic bag without its contents (presumably a gun and passport). He assumes she wants money. Hannah just wants Charlotte destroyed. In this world, she's after Charlotte – not Ulrich.

Charlotte enters St. Christopher's church. She sees her husband talking to a man we recognize as being Bernadette/Benni from world 1. Peter quickly stands when he notices Charlotte. Benni leaves, thanking Peter for his help. As he exits, Benni keeps looking back at Peter, smiling happily. Charlotte grumbles to Peter that he didn't answer the phone when she called and that he isn't home with Franziska. She then asks about Helge's whereabouts last night. It's a soft-sell interrogation. She continues, asking if he lived in the cabin in 1987. What about 1986?

Peter demands to know what Charlotte wants. She pulls out the coin she found in the bunker. She recognizes it as Helge's. Peter knows Helge was with him last night. Peter receives a call from the police station about Helge. He has confessed.

Peter and Charlotte listen to Helge's confession in world 2
We cut to the police station. Peter, Charlotte, and Woller all listen to Helge's story. Peter tells them that Helge was at home all evening. Helge insists that he killed the boy. Charlotte follows up about the clothes and Walkman. They belonged to Mads. Helge says he killed him. Just then, Ulrich arrives with Justyna. He grabs Helge and begins to shake him up, demanding answers.

Helge stares at Ulrich like a ghost. "It was you," he says to Ulrich. He holds up the coin on the string, staring straight at Ulrich. Charlotte finds the duplicate coin in her pocket. Helge's coin reads Federal Republic of Germany, 1986. 

Alt-Martha walks in the woods with her yellow rain jacket. Jonas steps in her way. She accuses him of following her. She wants to know how they know each other. He says they have always known each other. He begins to share stories about her. Magnus knocked her tooth out in Kindergarten. Mikkel put spiders in her shoes. Katharina had to pick up Martha early from a field trip when she got homesick. "Where I come from, you and I have the same past." She tries to step around him, but he grabs her arm. He knows that she saw herself last night in the forest. Her future self told him.Jonas wants to show her how it's connected so she will believe him, just as alt-Martha does to Stranger Jonas.

We warp to world 1. Jonas puts the black ball Martha gave him in a stone basin. Magnus, Franziska, and Bartosz stand by to see if anything happens. Jonas powers up the machine. Electric volts hit the black ball, turning it into liquid. It formulates into a black god particle but quickly dissolves again. They turn around to find alt-Martha gone.

Alt-Martha arrives in her room breathlessly. She holds the golden ball and a lamp. From inside her apron, she pulls out a triggering capsule. So she lied about that being the only one. She loads it into the sphere and disappears from the room. Stranger Jonas looks at Franziska, Magnus, and Bartosz – most pointedly at Bartosz.

So what was that all about? What did alt-Martha accomplish by giving Jonas that capsule? I can only assume that using the triggering capsule somehow sets them back. At any rate, they know she lied to Stranger Jonas and could have helped them escape. Instead, she left them stranded. The evolution of Stranger Jonas to Adam creeps ever closer, and it's written all over his face. 

Alt-Martha and Jonas come to the Erit Lux door

We warp to world 2. Jonas and alt-Martha walk towards the caves. She looks nervous to be there. He powers up the flashlight. She follows him.

Montage song: Inside (ft. Red Rosamond) by Chris Avantgarde. The lyrics act as a warning to someone: "If I was you, I'd run. If I was you I'd hide." Both Martha and Jonas choose to follow their counterpart into the darkness, hoping for someone they can believe in. 

During the montage, we see Helge, looking at his shaking hands. Jonas leads alt-Martha through the caves. Charlotte and Peter walk past Ulrich, sitting in his office chair. Hannah comes home to an empty bed. Jonas and Martha come to the door in the cave. This time it reads "Erit Lux," let there be light. We cut to old Eva, in the Erit Lux lair. She looks at a St. Christopher's pendant. Erit Lux has the symbol of the caduceus -- the staff of Hermes. It's a symbol of health, resurrection, and bringing the dead to life. 

Cut to September 23, 2053. It's snowing ashes over the destroyed power plant. Alt-Martha walks through the ruins. She comes to the door of the old reactor pool. She walks into a room with switches and beeping noises. Adam speaks to her asking if she gave it to "him." He calls his younger self gullible. Okay, Adam did send her. Adam tells her she did the right thing. The two of them watch the pulsing god particle. This must be world 1. Even though we didn't warp. This is Adam's world.

Jonas takes Alt-Martha to the future in world 2
In world 2, Jonas and Martha step out of the caves. It's a wasteland – not a shrubbery or tree in sight. He says that "she" told him to bring her there. A figure walks towards them, wrapped from head to toe. The woman unwraps her head covering. She says, "Welcome to the future." It's adult Martha, 33 years older than alt-Martha.

And that's the end! I love the parallelism of Martha and Jonas learning to trust - not trust one another in both worlds. 

Lingering questions:

  • The Unknown seems to speak only in quotes. Is this a signal that he's just another puppet?
  • The Unknown quotes from the letter sent to Clausen. Is Clausen an agent of Erit Lux?
  • Why does Eva insist that her side is the light when they seem to enjoy killing everyone?
  • Why does alt-Martha give Stranger Jonas a fake ball? So he could trust him for a moment?
  • Did Jonas expect to see this version of Martha or the older one?
  • How did Henrich Tannhaus try to bring someone back from the dead? How literal should we take that statement?
  • We know alt-Martha is lying to Stranger Jonas. Is teen Jonas lying to alt-Martha in the yellow raincoat? Is he concealing a truth from her? 

Sic Mundus Creatus Est