Dark Netflix series - Season 3 discussion (SPOILERS)

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Humanity

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For those that have never heard of it, DARK is a German Netlifx original show thats ostensibly a murder mystery in a small town where everyone knows everyone, but in reality is infinitely more complicated. If you haven't watched it and enjoyed LOST (at least the first few seasons) then I encourage you to check it out and give it a chance. It's a bit of a slow start but once things get going it's a really fascinating bit of fiction.

With that said I wanted to maybe talk a little about the final season FULL SPOILER discussion and all.

The show up until season 3 concerned itself with the intricate patchwork of relationships across the different time periods of our local Winden residents. The way they are able to weave these people through the timelines is really something else. So when Season 3 starts introducing multiple worlds in addition to the timelines it started to somewhat lose me a little. Not only in the literal sense of losing the thread of where the story is going, or in fact where/when anything is happening, but also the grand scheme of it all. So far the show had dictated a certain logic to the events at hand. Like any decent time travel flick you are introduced to the rules of the world and it's rewarding when you see those rules exercised within the script. Season 3 while still good, seems to have undermined a lot of that logic by introducing overly complicated subplot of doppelgangers and alternative dimensions. There is still a lot of genius at work here especially pertaining to the relationships of the all the characters such as Bartosz ending up being Noah father while the mother is actually Hannah's daughter from 1953..and so on and so forth. A movie like Inception works so well because they spend time setting up the rules of the games and although they bend them here and there, the film stuck to it from beginning to end.

So ultimately I was kind of disappointed that the final solution to all these insane machinations was to just go one step backwards and undo all of it from the start in a dimension conveniently created to not have any strings attached to anything else. All this careful planning and prophecy, years of work on the loop, just so we can pull a fast one over on the audience with a big ol' "oh oops none of this mattered"...This isn't all that shocking because most time travel stories with multiple realities will eventually settle on the classic ending of going backwards just far enough to sidestep all the nonsense, but after this crazy setup I was hoping for an equally satisfying montage of this-leading-to-that which would blow my mind. Still it's a fascinating and refreshingly original show - if only for all the clever side stories that weave in and out of the various timelines. Out of all the original Netflix programming definitely a highlight.

Anyone else watch this?

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north6

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#2  Edited By north6

Yeah, I love this show, it really is original, the overall storyboarding and bigger picture narrative is great. Didn't realize season 3 was out, but will need to check it out the next time I have time or money to spend on Netflix. Also, I really didn't read your post since it seems you are discussing spoilers, so just FYI.

My problem with it was the lack of humor the folks in the show all seemed to share. I mean it says it in it's name, "Dark", but everyone is this town is a total bummer all day, every day, so the dialogue sometimes felt a little disingenuous. I wonder if this is something to do with the translation.

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igorkmi

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@humanity: I've just finished the series and I felt the same way. The whole series seems to build towards something, just to conclude the way it did. I still don't know if I loved or hated it.

My biggest problem was how Claudia arrived at the solution and just got out of the loop. It wasn't really explained and it all felt like a deus ex machina just to conclude things.

Overall, I felt like they ignored a series of rules just to get to the finish line. Even the time travel method wasn't explained (and apparently broke the rules presented previously, so who knows). In a way, it made me happy that it ended now because another season could have made things even worse.

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Humanity

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@igorkmi: Yes, I thought Season 2 was great because it introduced the future and just enough complexity to be able to still follow along. Season 3 instead of simply building that out and systematically wrapping things up decided to spend half of the final season introducing even more obscure concepts and characters. Marthas child which was supposed to be the origin didn't really get explained all that well. Why would her son travel together with his two other timeline selves? I guess it's sort of neat that one of them is watching what he will have to do while the other is seeing what he has already done, but why? Just to add some more mystery. Claudia figuring out the loop also seems just convenient, not to mention that she has been conveniently fooling both the Adam and Eve camps for some 30 odd years about her identity. Maybe if I re-watched the first two seasons I might have an answer to this but currently I can't remember what the point of that chair from season 1 was? It seemed to have been the focal point of the first season and then it kind of doesn't get brought up again. Where did they get those little teleporter balls and how do they work? I'm not a fan of the ending but I guess sometimes it's the journey, not the destination.

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igorkmi

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@humanity: The chair was the time machine that Noah was inventing. It was still logical in the second season, but this season actually created a plot hole there, since Adam was working on one even bigger before this. Regarding the son, don't they die with the apocalypse? Wouldn't that create a different paradox?

That is the point: the first season felt so well written and, in comparison, this one felt loose in a way that I believe it created more plot holes than explained things satisfyingly. Sure, time travel and dimension-hopping is hard to write but they failed with the basics: character motivation. Some people acted in some ways because of the plot, not for a specific reason. For example, Eva slashes Martha face to "make her remember pain", but at that point, the only thing she felt is that Eva just ruined her life. Sure, this is a small thing but I felt like they did this just so she had a cool scar.

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Humanity

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@igorkmi: Hah I actually had the exact same thought when she slashed her face. Like .. yah I guess it makes sort of sense.. but I'm pretttty sure you just wanted a very big marker for the audience to follow. Same thing for Adams facial disfigurement. All of them seem to travel a whole lot but he appears to be the only one that suffers from what I assume are radiation burns. Unless that scene from Season 3 where his time machine in the 1880's zaps his arm is supposed to be a clue that he will get zapped a whole bunch more times before finally making it work?

As for the chair - I really don't understand the purpose at all since it's shown that he was working in tandem with Adam/Jonas for a very long time. Why bother making the chair?

It's tempting to just start watching from the very start again but ultimately it all leads to not a whole lot so I'm not sure if there is a point.

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igorkmi

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@humanity: The burned area looked a little bit like his face afterward, so I believe it is implied that is what happened (even though Bartosz said it was because of time travel).

Regarding the chair, it feels like they were going with Noah being the villain but they ditched it for Adam. Considering the 1910 storyline, that whole arc is pointless now.

Also, I watched the first season twice and I loved it. The second season is already weaker, so watching it all again will probably be tiring.

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plan6

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All and all, as time travel shows go it wrapped up reasonable well. I had already speculated that the time travel had be started by someone outside of the main characters and they were just the people wrapped up in its after effect. With Jonas saying he could change small things in an earlier season and the "I've seen a world without you," I had figured that people outside of the main family could exert more "free will". But the families were hopelessly trapped in the loop. The first season was of course the strongest because of the sense of discovery, but that can't be sustained forever. I was happy the show stuck to its guns and made the resolution undoing the origin. That they prevent the bad thing and then the loop closes in on itself.

Plus any show that can take the schrodinger's cat thought experiment and apply it 100% to a time travel story is just choice.

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nasher27

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#10  Edited By nasher27

I thought the ending was good and felt satisfying. I can kind of see the Claudia deus ex machina argument, but old Claudia was always built up as someone who knew way more about what’s going on than any other character. The real issue would be how she came back, but that’s explained fairly well.

I had basically no issues, other than S3 really faffing about for the first half. I felt like maybe the show had finally passed that point, where they’re just adding complexity for complexity’s sake and not explaining anything. But all of these doubts were pretty much slashed with the last 3 episodes, and I came away really positive by the end.

Great show, probably one of my favorites of all time, beating True Detective S1 and Westworld S1 and obviously any other show on Netflix.