- Black holes are considered to be the hellmouths of the universe. Those who fall inside disappear, forever. But whereto? What lies behind a black hole? Along with things, do space and time also vanish there? Or would space and time be tied together and be part of an endless cycle? What if everything that came from the past was influenced by the future?
Charlotte and Peter Doppler emerge from their separate bedrooms. Peter says he is going to visit his father Helge on his way to work, and Charlotte says she will take their (deaf 8 year old) daughter Elisabeth to school, as she shouldn't go alone because of Mikkel. Elisabeth signs that she doesn't like Mikkel, finding him a show-off, and doesn't care if he ever comes back. Franziska is also offered a lift but she says she is not a baby. She yells at Elisabeth "where is my lipstick?" Elisabeth denies taking it.
Jonas continues studying the Winden Cave map he found in his father's studio and puts it in his backpack. He goes downstairs, where Hannah is sitting smoking a cigarette. She suggests he skip school and they do something together, but he declines. He was not intending to go to school anyway, instead going to the caves, where he is observed by The Stranger, who checks the time. Jonas enters the cave and consults the map but cannot find the passage. He heads back, noticing a red string has been placed on his bike while he was gone.
Peter visits Helge at the nursing home, warning him that he mustn't walk off, but Helge mutters that he has to tell "him," that "it" has to stop.
Charlotte, driving Elisabeth to school, passes by a wildlife camera aimed at the road. She stops the car, breaks it open, and takes the memory card from it. Elisabeth asks if she has stolen something, and Charlotte defensively says she is "confiscating" it; Elisabeth, however, says it is the same thing. Charlotte drops Elisabeth off at her school, telling her that she will pick her up after school as well. Elisabeth keeps looking over at one of the boys, telling Charlotte that she and Yasin are dating. She kisses Charlotte goodbye, then runs over to join her "boyfriend."
Franziska is in class when Magnus walks in, though the teacher says to him that he is not supposed to be in this class. Franziska excuses herself to go to the bathroom. Magnus follows, seeing her leave the school grounds, heading for the railroad tracks. Magnus observes her from a distance. She stops below the railroad bridge and retrieves an envelope from a box buried there, stuffing it in her pants. When she returns to school, Magnus is still trailing behind. He watches her at dance practice. After practice ends, she returns to the changing room, looking for the envelope. Magnus has taken it and opens it, asking her why she has all this money? She says she needs it so she can leave Winden and all the lying, like her parents, who have slept in separate rooms for about a year since her mother discovered her father was homosexual, but yet still pretend that everything is normal. Magnus then starts kissing her and Franziska responds. They undress and have sexual intercourse on the locker room bench.
At the medical examiner's lab, Charlotte is sure the strange phenomenon of the dead birds dropping out of the sky and the recent disappearances of the young boys are a repeat of what happened 33 years ago (as seen in the preceding episode). Charlotte tells Torben Wöller to go through the missing persons data base again, this time going as far back as 15 years, as there are no missing persons matching the body. He also says the soil on the body does not match the area where it was found.
Charlotte loads the memory card she took from the wildlife observation camera and checks for files from around the time of Mikkel's disappearance, between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. She sees a car caught on camera and prints the screenshot as Torben walks in. He tries to look at it. She gets up and takes it from him, telling him to do what she asked him to do. The license plate of the car is her husband Peter's Volvo.
Peter notices there is red dirt on his floor mats, and tries to shake it off. Charlotte calls him then to ask where he was the night Mikkel disappeared. He responds that he had been at the office until ten in the evening writing reports, which is not consistent with where his vehicle was.
Charlotte visits Benni the transvestite prostitute's trailer, flashing her badge, asking if Peter had visited the previous Monday. Benni, matching up the names, is cagey, asking if this is a private or professional matter. He describes being intimate with Peter in the past but it is over a year since he last visited.
She then heads up to the Doppler family hunting cabin, where she finds tire tracks caked in red dirt. She gets a call from the medical examiner just then. The birds also had burst eardrums on both sides, but had likely died from crashing into the ground due to losing its bearings from electrical interference. She also mentions that the white spots on the feathers were genetic mutations first documented after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, but that the radiation levels were normal
School is over, and Elisabeth and Yasin are waiting together when Yasin's mother comes to pick him up. She offers to give Elisabeth a ride as well, but Elisabeth declines, saying her own mother would be there any minute. But Charlotte has to go to the power plant and asks Peter to pick Elisabeth up. Elisabeth waits for a while, putting on some of the lipstick she really did steal from Franziska, then decides to walk home in the rain. By the time Peter arrives at the school, the teacher tells him that Elisabeth is gone; school finished early that day, because the teacher was sick.
Charlotte is called to the power plant because Ulrich climbed over the fence. Charlotte scolds him, saying he is lucky Aleksander is not pressing charges. Ulrich is embittered, saying he receives sympathy but no one is doing anything. He demands Charlotte drop him off in the pouring rain, and she relents. She receives a call from a panicked Peter. Elisabeth is gone.
Charlotte, searching through the forest, finds Elisabeth's knit fox cap and returns home, fearing the worst. Peter has called her entire class list with no news. She shows him the cap and they hug. Police in the forest are searching for Elisabeth.
Peter and Charlotte are sitting waiting when they hear the door opening and it is Elisabeth, much to their relief. She says she walked home and met someone named Noah, who gave her a gold pocket watch he said used to belong to Charlotte. Franziska comes downstairs and gives her a hug, but seeing Elisabeth wearing her lipstick, slaps her. Charlotte opens the pocket watch and finds an engraving: "For Charlotte."
Later that night, The Stranger enters Jonas' room while he is asleep. He takes the maps out of a drawer and writes something on them, then places them back.
- We're searching for Ariadne's thread, the one meant to guide us along the right path—a beacon in the darkness. We'd love to know our fate, where we're headed. But the truth is that there is but one path through all times, predetermined by the beginning and by the end—which is also the beginning.
Helge has wandered off again, saying "he has to stop it." He continues to do so back at the nursing home, restrained in his bed. When the nurse asks who, he replies, "Noah."
The next morning, Yasin walks through the forest, alone on his way to school, and pauses to pick up a stick figure left in the path. A hooded man tells the young boy, "You must be Yasin. Noah sent me."
- Elisabeth: I don't like Mikkel. He's a show-off and a jerk. I don't really care if he ever comes back.
- Teacher: Symmetry is a special kind of doubling. The repetition is mirrored
along a central axis. So, the repetition begins at an imaginary center point and branches off in two opposing directions. There are several encrypted references to later events in the novel. Ottilie's starvation, for example, is referenced in the third chapter of part one, as her "excessive abstemiousness in eating and drinking." This reference is again repeated later.
- Franziska: You want the truth? Fine. My parents have slept in different beds for over a year. My mom found out that Dad's actually into dicks. Their marriage is over, but no one will say it. Instead, this big fat secret is always with us at the table. It eats our bread rolls, the butter and the homemade jam. It gets fatter and fatter, until there's no space left in the room, until you can't breathe.
- This episode largely focuses on the Doppler Family, who give the impression all is normal but in reality things are quite chaotic.
- Elisabeth doesn't care if Mikkel ever comes back.
- A radio report of the missing boys is similar to what we heard in the preceding episode in 1986.
- The bird has burst eardrums on both sides, just like the dead body and the sheep that died in 1986.
- Who is Noah? What is the pocket watch that apparently belonged to Charlotte? Why did he let Elisabeth go?
- Why is The Stranger following Jonas and what did he write on the map?
- The narrative near the end suggests one's path is predetermined
- Andreas Pietschmann as The Stranger
- Hermann Beyer as Helge Doppler
- Gina Stiebitz as Franziska Doppler
- Karoline Eichorn as Charlotte Doppler
- Stephan Kampwirth as Peter Doppler
- Louis Hofmann as Jonas Kahnwald
- Carlotta von Falkenhayn as Elisabeth Doppler
- Maja Schöne as Hannah Kahnwald
- Moritz Jahn as Magnus Nielsen
- Jördis Triebel as Katharina Nielsen
- Oliver Masucci as Ulrich Nielsen
- Peter Benedict as Aleksander Tiedemann 1986
- Walter Kreye as Tronte Nielsen
- Vico Mücke as Yasin Friese
- Nils Brunkhorst as the literature teacher
- Anna König as the medical examiner
- Leopold Hornung as Torben Wöller
- Anton Rubtsov as Benni
- Lena Dörrie as Nurse Clara Schrage
- Eva Maria Jost as Nurse Anne Reisch
- Helena Abay as Yasin's mother
- Nina Weniger as the School for the Deaf teacher