Spoilers ahead for Dark season one.
Netflix’s German sci-fi Dark takes a while to make sense — and then as soon as you start thinking you have it down, the show throws out even more questions to befuddle you yet again.
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While some of these questions were answered throughout the course of Dark‘s first season, others were left hanging in the air, with some throwaway lines offering more suspense than entire seasons of Desperate Housewives (okay, that’s an exaggeration).
So while we wait for word on a second season, here are some of the questions Dark has left unanswered.
Who is Noah?
This is a big one. Almost every character in Dark has been linked to another, but Noah, perhaps the most pivotal character in the show, remains a floating entity, somehow separate from the rest of Winden’s residents.
All we know about the creepy man is that he dresses like a priest, and that Noah isn’t his real name.
So could he be Bartosz, the 2019 character he’s currently grooming? One of the random missing kids who survived whatever the hell that eye-melting machine is meant to be (hey, there’s another question)?
Or is he someone from a completely different time than the main three? Perhaps he is one of the teenagers’ sons, back from the ghastly future to end the grievous loop?
All I know for certain is that he is linked somehow, by blood, to these events.
Why did Mikkel kill himself?
Here’s what we know of Mikkel: As a boy, he travels to 1986, where he eventually lives out his life. He falls in love with Hannah, and they have a son, Jonas. Then, a few years before the young Mikkel goes missing (maybe?), he kills himself. All he leaves behind is a note for Jonas, explaining the time situation.
So why did Mikkel kill himself? Was he avoiding the date he went missing? Was he not ready for the emotional toll, or was it something more sinister?
Perhaps Mikkel didn’t kill himself; perhaps he was murdered and, knowing his time was coming, left the note for Jonas. Did he even leave the note for Jonas? We’ve seen no proof of handwriting and I am running down a rabbit hole now, so let’s move on.
What is Claudia up to?
Claudia 2019 showed up late into the second half of the season as a greying old woman who left her lavish life behind for an over-sized pair of cargo pants. But why? What does she know?
We know she’s important — Noah implies she’s the shadow to his light — but her motives are elusive. She’s working hard, like the rest of us, to keep up with who is who (her wall of linked images), and she actively moves Mads’ body out to the woods where it can be found.
She also employs Jonas to ostensibly help her destroy the loop. In a world of obscure motives, Claudia’s is yet another. But hers lead (as Noah reveals in the finale) to the creation of the loop itself. And that’s pretty damning.
Who (and when) is the woman who finds Jonas?
First I had to check IMDb to make sure I hadn’t forgotten the face of one of the very many characters in the show. But when I saw an actress listed as “Girl from the future”, I knew I wasn’t being forgetful and she was entirely new. And then I allowed myself the room to speculate.
Assuming the woman is from the same unknown time as future Jonas (another question ding ding ding), she can’t be that much younger than Jonas in 2019. But that’s assuming that Jonas goes back and grows up in his proper time, so scratch that, that seems implausible.
Is she another potential child of one of the teenagers? She looks a lot like young Hannah, which could be coincidence, or (with this show’s impeccable casting) it could be a hint at her being Jonas’ child.
This isn’t a question that can be properly answered until we know when she is, but hey, this article is all about loosely-evidenced speculation.
Who is Agnes Nielsen’s grandmother?
I only care about this question, because of the haphazard way the question was thrown into the mix and then forgotten.
In episode eight, Egon Teidemann 1953 asks Agnes who her grandmother, a former Winden resident, was. But as he does, Claudia runs into the room upset about her missing dog, and the question is left open.
There are two possibilities here: either this is an important point, or the writers know how much mystery shrouds the show and are purposely baiting viewers with a red herring.
I like to think that Agnes’s grandmother is a teenager from 2019 — Martha, perhaps? — because it creates the symmetry that Dark loves so much. And it would be really, really twisted.
Was Hannah lying about the rape?
Dark is obsessed with moral ambiguity — and nowhere is that clearer than in Ulrich. The character is set up just like any other protagonist, but as the season progresses the cop makes some terrifying decisions (like affairs and, you know, killing children).
But while we know he’s awful, what we don’t know is if he is a rapist or not.
In the fifth episode, Hannah 1986 accuses him of rape, but the viewer is led to believe she’s lying to split up him and Katharina. That is, until the closing montage shows Katharina lying on a bed with a bloodied face.
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There are a few pointers as to the story being a lie: Katharina denies it. She says her mom hit her. She ends up marrying him. Hannah doesn’t let the alleged rape stop her from pursuing Ulrich. She never asks Katharina why she lied.
But all of these arguments are flimsy at best. Katharina has been abused her whole life (using her mom as the excuse for her black eye and there’s her comment about her family being “assholes”), and it’s not uncommon for abused women to stick with their abusers — or to lie to protect themselves from future violence.
As for Hannah pursuing Ulrich: her character has proven that she has no standard human motives. She keeps stolen objects for decades in case she’ll need them for blackmail. She tries to make out with Ulrich the day his son goes missing. She shows up at his house when he ignores her. She plots to destroy him when he rejects her.
Hannah is not normal, and nothing she does makes sense. Is pursuing a rapist outside of her comfort zone? It seems unlikely.
This plot point is important because it affects not our view of Ulrich (we already know he’s awful), but our view of his and Katharina’s relationship — and subsequently their relationships with their children.
Personally, I’d like to see Dark tackle the subject of sexual abuse head-on, rather than present it as a case of a woman lying for her own gain. It would make its characters and their relations that much more interesting.
Do no Germans use hoods in the rain?
This is probably the most important question I need answered: Why do these people stand in the rain, wearing perfectly good rain jackets, and refuse to put up their hoods?
No wonder Katharina says the whole town is sick. It is. With the flu. Because no one in Winden knows how to seek shelter from the rain.
Come on guys. You know what Winden’s climate is like by now. And you’ve got enough to worry about without having to deal with a running nose and a wet cough. Get it together.
Let me know which questions you’re dying to have resolved — and if I missed the actual answer to any of the ones above. It’s not impossible; this show is dense.