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"Crossroads" is the seventh episode of Season 1 of Dark. It premiered on December 1, 2017.


Summary[]

Ulrich questions a frail and frightened Helge in the nursing home. Jonas searches for Mikkel, but the stranger warns him about meddling with the past.

Plot[]

November 9, 2019[]

Helge recalls a moment from his childhood.

Helge Doppler has a dream, remembering when he was a child, waking up on the floor of the room decorated like a nursery, with bright blue cartoon wallpaper - the torture bunker. The left side of his face is bloodied and battered. He looks around the room and touches the chair. The old man wakes up and cries out, "I remember. I remember everything."

November 9, 1986[]

Egon Tiedemann looks in on Ulrich Nielsen, being held on the charge of raping Katharina Albers.

Mikkel Nielsen is at the hospital, staring at a framed photo of the Emerald Tablet, with the triquetra symbol.

November 9, 2019[]

After visiting his brother Mads's empty grave, Ulrich goes to see the pathologist Edda Heimann and asks her what will now happen to the dead boy found in the woods. Edda replies that if he can't be identified the body would be cremated and buried in an unmarked grave. Ulrich asks how long he has been dead. She tells him around ten hours. He then asks if the body might have been dead longer, as if it were preserved. She says no, she would have noticed traces in the tissue. She asks how long he is thinking about. He replies thirty-three years (wondering if the boy is Mads), but Edda says that is not possible.

November 9, 1986[]

Jonas asks Regina for the date.

Jonas Kahnwald (who has traveled from 2019 in the previous episode) awakens in an elevated watchtower. He goes down the steps and goes to Winden Comprehensive School. He notices that the students are dressed differently and there are flyers for the missing Mads. In the hallway, he encounters teenaged Regina Tiedemann, sitting by herself with headphones on. He asks her the date: "9th November," she replies. After Jonas prompts for the year, she tells him 1986. Regina asks him if he is looking for someone, and he responds: "Michael Kahnwald"—the son of nurse Ines Kahnwald. She tells him that Ines doesn't have any kids, but he might find her in the hospital. She walks away, as another student shoves her and calls her a four-eyed idiot.

At the police station, Egon draws a question mark on a photo of (teenage) Ulrich with Mads. Police Chief Martin Döhring enters and tells Egon to interview the Winden Nuclear Power Plant workers to determine their routes and times, in order to find clues for Mads's disappearance. Egon suggests that Ulrich might have something to do with the disappearance, but Martin says that this isn't the 1950s—investigations are now based on evidence, not hunches. Martin reminds him that he has three months left until he retires—then he can do whatever he wants, but for now, he must do what he is told.

November 9, 2019[]

Ulrich's circle of evidence

Ulrich is in Mikkel's room, looking at that same photo, along with more information related to his brother's disappearance.

At the police station, Torben Wöller shows Charlotte Doppler the search warrant for the nuclear plant that they've been after. She takes it and hurries to the plant, showing it to Aleksander. He agrees to open the gate, allowing the police cars to enter.

Charlotte uses a rope to lower herself into the plant's cave. She walks through with a torch and notices specks of dried yellow paint on a rock. She continues on and comes to an old door which appears to have been sealed.

November 9, 1986[]

Egon goes to the nuclear power plant and is greeted by Helge Doppler. He explains that Martin wants to document the routes and times of everyone working at the plant the night of Mads's disappearance. Helge appears uncomfortable and says he has to do his rounds soon. Egon offers to arrange a time to meet with him at the station. He tells him in two days. Helge nervously adds that everything was normal that night; he had finished his shift at 6:00 PM, then drove home via the state road. Egon questions why he wouldn't have taken the forest road, which would have been faster. Helge answers that he needed to pick something up for his father. Egon then asks him if he saw Ulrich that day, which he answers no. He writes in his calendar.

Egon gives Jonas a ride.

November 9, 2019[]

Ulrich is leafing through Egon's 1986 calendar. He finds the meeting with Helge scheduled for November 11 with the remark "Why not forest road?" He looks through notes related to nuclear plant employees. He looks for Helge's statement page but it is blank. He calls Charlotte and informs her of this. She tells him Helge, who is now seventy-five with dementia, could not be involved in any of the disappearances.

Charlotte ventures in the empty hollow.

November 9, 1986[]

Jonas is walking in the pouring rain when Egon in his police car sees him. He stops the car and asks him if he should be at school. Jonas claims that he hurt his arm and is heading for the hospital. Egon insists he gets in his car and he will drive him. Egon asks Jonas why his parents didn't drive him. He answers that his mother is working at the nuclear plant and his father is dead. Egon tells him the plant has changed Winden. They arrive at the hospital, Egon asks Jonas whether, among teenagers, Satanism is popular. Jonas answers that he doesn't think so. He tells Jonas he should call his mother to pick him up as it isn't safe to walk through the forest alone right now.

Jonas enters the hospital and asks a nurse where he could find Ines. She answers that she's outside with "the boy". He tells her he is visiting and might be a relative.

The Stranger in Jonas's face

He goes outside, he hides behind a truck and notices Ines sitting with Mikkel on a bench. Just then, the Stranger appears, saying how little we understand of the world. Jonas asks if this is real or is he hallucinating, but the Stranger assures him he is not crazy. He tells him it's hard to grasp things that go against what we are conditioned to believe. Jonas asks how could it be possible for Mikkel to have traveled to 1986 and become his father. The Stranger assures him that whether he believes it or not Mikkel is his father, Ulrich is his grandfather and Martha is his aunt. Jonas refuses to accept this and tells the Stranger he is taking Mikkel back to make things right. The Stranger grabs him and warns Jonas that if he takes Mikkel back this will alter the events, he won't meet his mother and he will never be born. He tells him his role is bigger than he thinks. Jonas again looks at Mikkel.

Later he observes Mikkel and Hannah (his parents) talking to each other. He remembers the Stranger's warnings, and decides to leave them to continue their conversation.

He returns to the caves, opens the heavy door marked "Sic Mundus Creatus Est", and crawls through. This initiates a series of flashing lights throughout Winden in 1986 and 2019.

November 9, 2019[]

Ulrich assaults Helge.

Ulrich goes to see the elderly Helge at the nursing home. He asks him whether he remembers Mads going missing in 1986 and what "forest road" means. Helge becomes terrified. He mutters: "It was him, I know you, I can change it. I can change the past. And the future." Ulrich yells where is his son Mikkel, as orderlies drag him away. Helge continues to mutter the same things, adding "Tick-tock."

Charlotte meets with Ulrich and tells him she will have to suspend him for that. She should have taken him from the case straight away. She assures him that Helge has dementia and could not be responsible for the disappearance of three children. Ulrich remains suspicious he had something to do with it. Charlotte tells him to go home.

November 9, 1986[]

At the police station, Katharina tells Egon that Ulrich didn't rape her; they both wanted it, he didn't force her. He asks about her black eye. She claims it was from a fall. He states that someone witnessed what happened but he's not able to reveal who it was. Katharina continues to assure him that Ulrich would never hurt her.

November 9, 2019[]

Ulrich and Katharina talk in the dim light.

Ulrich returns home and informs Katharina that he's been suspended. He asks where their kids are, but she has no idea. He apologizes and says he is here now, but she replies that he hasn't been here for a long time and has always wanted to leave Winden. She asks if he was ever happy but he assures her he has. She tells him that she knows about his affair with Hannah. She probably knew it all along but didn't want to believe it. Ulrich wants to explain, but she tells him not to. She then adds that his mother Jana called earlier, but only wanted to talk about Mads, despite Mikkel's disappearance. It seems her family was not the only one full of "assholes".


Ulrich goes to see his mother and asks whether she would want to know if Mads is dead. Jana responds that she wouldn't, and always held on to the idea that he was still alive and happy. Tronte had wanted the grave, hoping it would give her closure, though there was never a body. She tells Ulrich you can never give up on hope. Jana then tells him that one week before Mads disappeared she saw a priest arguing with a man outside their house and just this morning, she saw that same man, with a scarred ear who looked exactly the same as he did thirty-three years ago.

It was Helge 1986.

Wöller brings Charlotte a map of the cave system, showing that part of it extends under the forest road. Charlotte asks her husband Peter Doppler if he knew that Helge was supposed to be questioned by the police in 1986. He says no. She asks why he would keep the cabin after "all that happened to him there". Was he living in the cabin in 1986? Peter is unsure as he came to Winden in 1987, which was after Helge's accident on November 12, 1986 (3 days from now). He asks her to come home, since he and their kids have hardly seen her.

Ulrich remembers the "when" statement.

Charlotte goes to the bunker. She shines her flashlight around and is amazed to discover a torn piece of blue cartoon wallpaper on the floor.

Jonas burns the letter.

Jonas emerges from the cave and heads back home to a sleeping Hannah. She asks him where he was. Jonas asks if she believes in fate. She replies that her fate seems to be for men to leave her. He tells her that he thinks Dad loved her very much and they embrace each other. He goes to the attic and sets the suicide note on fire, tearfully watching it burn.

Ulrich is driving. He stops his car and picks up a yellow pawn. He remembers Mikkel's words about his magic trick: "the question isn't how, the question is when". He decides to turn his car to return to Helge's nursing home. But Helge's room is empty. Ulrich notices a wooden stick figure and the book A Journey Through Time with a pfennig coin on a red cord inside, serving as a book mark. He notices the window is open. He goes out and sees Helge walking through the forest. He follows him. He calls Charlotte. She is not answering but he leaves a message that the question isn't who abducted the children, but when. It was Helge—not now, but in 1986. Ulrich follows Helge into the caves.

November 9, 1953[]

[]

The two dates on the bunker wall

Helge exits the bunker. On the ground is a dead boy with charred eyes and a penny-on-a-red cord around his neck. He wraps the body up and fights back tears. Inside the bunker a shirtless and muscular man is scrubbing the floors, likely washing away blood. He has the Emerald Tablet tattooed across his entire back. He turns around—he is Noah. On the wall, the date "5.11.1953" is written in chalk. Underneath, Noah writes "9.11.1953".

Cast[]


Quotes[]

"I'm working on the case with his brother, a rape charge. I mean, we never did consider whether he may be involved in his brother's disappearance."
"Yes— Egon, this isn't the 1950s. We don't base investigations on hunches, but on evidence. You have three months until retirement. Then you can do whatever you want. Until then, you do what I want."
―Egon Tiedemann and Martin Döhring
"Is this real? Or am I crazy, just like my father? Do you even exist? Or are you the hallucination of a lunatic?"
"You're not crazy, neither was your father. Sometimes it's hard for us to grasp things that go against all we are conditioned to believe. How did people feel the first time they were told the Earth was round?"
"Yes, it is. It's totally insane."
"And if it's not?"
"How can that be? Is there a breach in time in the cave? So Mikkel hangs out here until he becomes my father?"
"Even if you don't want to believe it, that is your father."
"That means... that Ulrich is my grandfather and..."
"Martha is your aunt."
"That's bullshit. I'm taking him back and putting this right."
*pins Jonas to the truck* "Don't you get it? If you take Mikkel back, you'll be meddling in the course of events. Your father will never meet your mother, they won't fall in love or get married. And you won't be born! If you take him back now, you'll be erasing your own existence. The role you play in all of this is much bigger than you think. But every decision for something is a decision against something else. A life for a life. What will you decide?"
―Jonas and the Stranger converse in 1986
"Things are going on that make no sense. Maybe I'm going crazy. The dead boy—the boy we found in the forest. Helge has something to do with it all."
"I know you want to find Mikkel at all costs. But the end doesn't justify all means. I should have taken you off this on day one."
"Helge said he can change the past and the future. What's that mean? Why did he say that?"
"Helge has dementia. He can't even tie his own shoes anymore. He's surely not responsible for the disappearance of three children. He doesn't have the strength."
"Maybe he's not alone."
―Ulrich and Charlotte
"The only important thing is that you know that Ulrich can't harm you right now, and that he will be punished for what he did to you."
"Ulrich didn't do anything. If anything, I pressured him into it. I asked him to get condoms. But he'd never hurt me. He would never do that. Never."
―Egon and Katharina
"I know, Ulrich."
"What do you know?"
"About Hannah and you."
*sighs in defeat* "Did she tell you?"
"Does that matter?"
"Katharina."
"I think I've known it all along. I just didn't want to see it."
―Katharina and Ulrich
"Your mother called a while ago. Our son has disappeared and all she talks about is Mads. And I thought my family was the one full of assholes."
―Katharina
"You can never give up hope. There's as much light out there as there is darkness."
―Jana Nielsen
"You startled me. Where were you? What's wrong?"
"Do you believe in fate?"
"I... I don't know. Maybe it's my fate that men leave me."
―Hannah and Jonas
"Charlotte, the question isn't who abducted the children, but when. I was right, Helge Doppler. Not now, but in 1986."
―Ulrich cracks the case

Trivia[]

Mysteries[]

  • What is Helge remembering?
  • What's the significance of the Emerald Tablet?
  • What is the yellow paint under the power plant?
  • What kind of role will Jonas play?
  • How does Helge state that he knows Ulrich already?
  • What accident did Helge get into in November 12, 1986?
  • What does Helge want to do in the cave?
  • What is the significance of the two dates?

Answers[]

  • The cave with the yellow barrels was on the other side of the sealed metal door Ulrich found in "Lies".
  • Helge is the cloaked kidnapper working with Noah. He's likely time traveling through the caves.
  • The Doppler bunker was the torture room used by Noah and Helge.
  • Helge was intending to go into the caves during "Double Lives".

Themes and Motifs[]

Time[]

  • November 9, 2019, and November 9, 1986, are happening at the same time.
  • Ulrich thinks that Mads's body was preserved for thirty-three years.
  • Jonas asks Regina for the date.
  • Martin orders Egon to investigate the timings for each nuclear plant employee during the moment of Mads's disappearance.
  • Martin references the 1950s, which will appear (explicitly as a setting) for the first time next episode. (The actual first appearance of the 1950s setting was in "Lies", when the hooded Helge Doppler is seen dragging Erik's body through the woods.)
  • Egon is going to retire in three months.
  • On October 9, 1986, Helge finished his shift at 6:00 PM to go kidnap Mads.
  • Egon wanted to interrogate Helge on November 11, 1986, at 10:30 AM.
  • Ulrich searches through Egon's notes from 1986.
  • Jana remembers exactly what Helge looks like even after thirty-three years.
  • Noah and Helge are imprisoning their victims in a different time.
  • Ulrich wanted to tell Charlotte that the question isn't who kidnapped the kids, but when.
  • Noah writes on the bunker wall "5.11.1953" and "9.11.1953".

Time Travel[]

  • Helge has been traveling through time to kidnap both Erik and Yasin.
  • Jonas traveled back to November 9, 2019, using the caves.
  • Helge quotes a statement about changing the course of events.
  • Helge and Noah have to time travel to 1953 to collect Yasin's body.

Determinism[]

  • Egon's hatred for Ulrich leads him to the idea that teenagers perform Satanism.
  • Katharina's love for Ulrich prevents her from believing that he has been cheating on her.
  • The Stranger's warning motivates Jonas to change his mind about saving Mikkel.
  • Katharina's depression prevents her from looking after her other children, who she didn't know where they were during the evening.
  • Ulrich's hunch on Helge is leading him deeper into the mysteries.
  • Jana's grief prevents her from moving on.
  • Jonas and Hannah talk about the belief in fate.
  • Jonas seems to now accept that Mikkel must remain in 1986 or he will not be born.

Colors []

  • Helge wakes up in the torture room with bright blue carpeting and wallpaper.
  • Jonas still wears his yellow raincoat.
  • The students at the 1986 high school wear clothing that vary from different flashy colors.
  • Charlotte finds scrapes of yellow paint.
  • The sealed metal door belonging in the nuclear plant's cave is red.
  • The orderlies that dragged Ulrich away were wearing blue.
  • Jana still wears her long blue coat.
  • Ulrich found the yellow pawn used by Mikkel for his magic trick.
  • Ulrich finds the same pfennig coin on a red cord in Helge's room.

Historic Recurrences[]

  • Jana saw Helge in both 1986 and 2019.

Religion and Mythology[]

  • The Emerald Tablet (a piece of the Hermetica (Egyptian-Greek wisdom texts from the 2nd century AD), reputed to contain the secret of the prima materia – the essence of all matter) recurs throughout the episode

Observations[]

  • This episode reveals more around the mystery behind Helge.
  • Helge's secret has been hinted throughout the episode before the reveal. He was awfully nervous around Egon and had been munching on a Raider bar, a chocolate bar dropped by the kidnapper in 2019.
  • Katharina states that Ulrich would never hurt her, exactly thirty-three years before she has a weighty conversation with him about his affair.
  • Regina is a bully victim.
  • Katharina seems to have an abusive birth family, judging by the fact she referred to them as "assholes". It will later be confirmed that her original last name is "Albers", which means that she's the daughter of farmer Hermann Albers.
  • According to Egon's calendar notes, Jana's interrogation with him (as shown in "Sic Mundus Creatus Est") was on October 28 .
  • Sixteen of the employees interrogated in 1986 are: Otto Bosch, Johanna Teller, Andras Voigt, Sandra Fleischer, Joseph Brandt, Paul Dresen, Helge Doppler, Doreen Fuchs, Doris Ziesak, Christoph Dierks, Stephan Schubert, Johanna Voigt, Doris Fuchs, Joseph Günther, Alexandra Jasper, and Katharina Wrede.
  • Ulrich applies Mikkel's statement about the question being when for investigating Helge.
  • Is the reason why Aleksander refused the search warrant at first so that he could remove something?
  • Ulrich believed he is a failure but is the only one to solve the case
  • Charlotte is too close to Peter to pursue Helge.
  • Egon is desperate to have Ulrich sent to prison.
  • Jonas's visit to the 1986 high school is similar to Mikkel's in "Past and Present". They both also meet Egon.
  • Egon asks Jonas whether, among teenagers, is Satanism a thing, thinking of Ulrich.

Soundtrack[]

  • "Goodbye" by Apparat
    The opening song.
  • "I Ran (So Far Away)" by A Flock Of Seagulls
    Jonas enters the 1986 high school, as well as the song Regina was listening to.
  • "Gisela" by Detlev Lais
    The song Egon was listening on his radio.
  • "Cow Song" by Meredith Monk & Collin Walcott
    Helge finishes his shift, and Egon is trying to get a testimony from Katharina.

Gallery[]

→ See 58 images from Crossroads at Images from Crossroads.

Navigation[]

Dark Episodes
Season 1 "Secrets" · "Lies" · "Past and Present" · "Double Lives" · "Truths" · "Sic Mundus Creatus Est" · "Crossroads" · "As You Sow, so You Shall Reap" · "Everything Is Now" · "Alpha and Omega"
Season 2 "Beginnings and Endings" · "Dark Matter" · "Ghosts" · "The Travelers" · "Lost and Found" · "An Endless Cycle" · "The White Devil" · "Endings and Beginnings"
Season 3 "Deja-vu" · "The Survivors" · "Adam and Eva" · "The Origin" · "Life and Death" · "Light and Shadow" · "Between the Time" · "The Paradise"