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"Double Lives" is the fourth episode of Season 1 of Dark. It premiered on December 1, 2017.


Bizarre occurrences give Charlotte a sense of déjà vu, and she suspects Peter is hiding something. Franziska snaps when Magnus confronts her.



An unseen man asks the question of what lies behind a black hole. He wonders if the things that travel through them don't exactly disappear forever but rather become part of an endless cycle that involves space and time. He's curious if the future influenced the things that happened in the past.

DARK 1x04 0006–Charlotte and her daughters

On November 6, 2019, at the Doppler family home, Charlotte and Peter Doppler emerge from their separate bedrooms. A furious Franziska accuses her snide eight-year-old deaf sister, Elisabeth, of stealing her lipstick. Elisabeth could only speak sign language, so other people should communicate with her in that type of speech. They have an intermittent relationship since, despite caring for each other, Elisabeth enjoys causing mischief toward Franziska. Unlike most people, Elisabeth views Mikkel Nielsen as a show-off, not bothered by his disappearance. Meanwhile, Jonas Kahnwald continues studying the Winden Cave map he found in his father's studio and puts it in his backpack. He heads out to the caves to see what Michael was searching for, unaware that The Stranger is spying on him.


Peter visits his father, Helge Doppler, who has dementia and lives in the Winden Rest Home. Helge keeps muttering that he has to tell "him" that "it" has to stop, much to Peter's confusion and dismay. He also tends to have a habit of chanting "tick-tock." Meanwhile, Charlotte is driving Elisabeth to the Winden School for the Deaf. Charlotte notices a wildlife camera on the roadside and takes the memory card from it, which Elisabeth considers stealing. Upon arriving at school, Elisabeth interacts with her "boyfriend," Yasin Friese.


Franziska is sitting through her German literature class until Magnus Nielsen storms in, even though it isn't his class. Franziska can tell he is following her, so she checks the time and claims she needs to go to the bathroom. Magnus immediately follows her when she leaves, stealthily pursuing her outside the Winden Comprehensive School. She goes through the forest, where she unburies a box from a railroad and obtains an envelope from inside. Meanwhile, at the Winden Police Station, Charlotte observes the autopsy of one of the dead birds from November 5, 2019. After the pathologist, Edda Heimann, explains to Charlotte the abnormal physical features of the birds that appeared when they died, Charlotte reveals that she has seen these features thirty-three years ago. She can tell this is a historical recurrence, and the current mysteries are connected, but she can't figure out how.


In her office, Charlotte loads the memory card she has taken from the wildlife observation camera and checks for files from around the time of Mikkel's disappearance between 9:30 PM and 10:30 PM. She sees Peter's Volvo caught on camera at 9:30 and prints the screenshot. Peter tries to wipe grains of red soil off his car mat, the same found on the dead boy from November 4, 2019. Charlotte calls him and questions him about what he wanted to say to her on the morning after Mikkel disappeared and where he was on that night, to which the nervous Peter responds with lies that Charlotte can perceive through. Charlotte later drives to a trailer, where Benni, a transgender prostitute, and Peter's known affair, resides. She denies that Peter had visited her on that night.


After a fruitless exploration of the caves, Jonas decides to leave and finds a red knot tied around the handle of his bike (presumably placed there by the Stranger). At the rest home, Helge chants, "The beginning is the end, and the end is the beginning," until he overhears gossip about the dead boy with charred eyes, prompting him to sneak out and wander the forest. At the comprehensive school, Franziska is confronted by Magnus. He cites that she's a drug dealer since her envelope is a cash packet, and Franziska bemoans about how she wants to leave Winden due to the number of liars and people with secrets, including her parents. As a matter of fact, Peter was discovered to be homosexual, straining his marriage with Charlotte, yet they refused to divorce. Ultimately, they kiss and have sexual intercourse in the locker room, starting a relationship.

DARK 1x04 0066–Charlotte goes to bunker

Charlotte then heads up to the Doppler family hunting cabin, where she finds tire tracks caked in red dirt. She gets a call from Edda, reporting that the birds also have burst eardrums and that the white spots on the feathers are genetic mutations first documented after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Charlotte enters the rotten bunker, where the underground room is murky with pipes and a bench sported by rusty lights. She receives a call from Aleksander Tiedemann, disclosing that Ulrich Nielsen jumped the Winden Nuclear Power Plant fences to investigate. Meanwhile, Elisabeth has finished her classes for the day and waits for her parents to pick her up. After practicing her sister's lipstick, she strolls off.


Charlotte picks up a scarred Ulrich from the power plant, and on the way, he complains that his son is gone and that he is being punished. He expresses hatred over the fact that he is receiving sympathy but no help for his search, and that's because Mikkel isn't their child. Ulrich defiantly demands Charlotte drop him off in the pouring rain, and she relents. She receives a call from a panicked Peter, who apprises that Elisabeth wasn't waiting at school and that her classes finished early. Through the forest road, she stops and finds Elisabeth's knit fox cap astray on the ground. She returns home and distresses with Peter, fearing for the worst, thus sending out the Winden Police in search of Elisabeth. After hours, Elisabeth returns home, much to the Doppler family's relief. Elisabeth signs that on the way home, she met a man named "Noah," who gave her a gold pocket watch that apparently used to belong to Charlotte. Charlotte opens the pocket watch and finds an engraving: "For Charlotte." Peter receives a call from Torben Wöller, who informs him that he found Helge in the woods.


At the next day's dawn, the Stranger sneaks into the Kahnwald family home. He goes into Jonas' bedroom while the teenager is asleep. He takes out the map and writes something on it before returning it. The unseen man's voice narrates how people want to know their fate, but the truth is that everything is predetermined. Meanwhile, Helge wakes up in the nursing home and sees Nurse Clara Schrage. He insists that he has to "stop" Noah. In the forest, Yasin walks to school alone and stumbles upon the cloaked kidnapper, who reveals that he's been sent by Noah.





"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?"
"I don't like Mikkel. He's a show-off and a jerk. I don't really care if he ever comes back."
Elisabeth Doppler to Charlotte Doppler[src]
"Symmetry is a special kind of doubling. The repetition is mirrored along a central axis. So, the repetition begins at an imaginary centre 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."
"Everything okay with you?"
"Yeah... No. I've seen spots like that on feathers before. Thirty-three years ago. As if all this has happened before. The children, the birds... Somehow it's all connected. I just don't know how."
―Pathologist Edda Heimann and Charlotte Doppler[src]
"Why do you have so much money? Are you dealing drugs? Is that why you were at the caves?"
"How I earn my money is none of your damn business."
"What are you going to do with it?"
"What am I going to do with it? I'm getting out of this phoney shithole. Behind everyone's friendly smile there's nothing but lies."
"You're no different. You pretend to be the straight-A student, but that's not you. Maybe you should start telling the truth."
"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."
Magnus Nielsen and Franziska Doppler[src]
"You made me a promise a year ago. If there's anything at all you want to tell me..."
"Hey, I really have to get going or else I'll be late."
Charlotte and Peter Doppler[src]
"I want to know who gave this to you."
"Who is Noah?"
"He said it used to belong to you."
Charlotte and Elisabeth Doppler[src]
"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."




  • The cloaked kidnapper is working for Noah, which makes the latter the true man behind the missing children (excluding Mikkel Nielsen).

Themes and Motifs[]


  • The dates featured in this episode are:
    • November 6, 2019
    • November 7, 2019
  • Helge chants "Tick-tock".
  • Charlotte and Peter have slept in different rooms for over a year.
  • By the time Franziska Doppler sneaks out of her German Literature class, the time on her phone says 09:01 AM.
  • Charlotte wonders where Peter was two days ago.
  • The Stranger checks the time when observing Jonas.
  • Elisabeth finished school at 2:00 PM due to Mrs. Clemens being ill.
  • Charlotte instructs Torben Wöller to look through the missing children's database from fifteen years ago. She's also aware that Mikkel went missing between 9:30 and 10:30 PM.
  • Benni claims Peter hasn't visited her in over a year.
  • Noah gave Elisabeth a pocket watch.

Time Travel[]

  • The narrator is talking about black holes. He wonders if something that goes through one were to become part of a time cycle. He also believes that events in the past were somehow influenced by the future.
  • The German literature teacher describes how in Elective Affinities, by Goethe, there are subtle references to future events, and the presence of a string of causality that connects the future to the past. This is a major theme throughout Dark.


  • The current situation is causing Charlotte and Peter to be anxious about their children.
  • Magnus Nielsen's fixation on Franziska is making him desperate to find out her plans and make up for her problems.
  • Ulrich Nielsen's grief is driving to him to extents of breaking the law.
  • The narrator's last speech is about people's action being predetermined.


  • The walls of the upstairs Doppler family home are blue.
  • Charlotte is wearing red in the morning.
  • Hannah Kahnwald was wearing red.
  • Elisabeth's fox cap is red.
  • Charlotte finds red soil outside the Doppler cabin.
  • Peter's Volvo is blue.
  • Franziska's dance uniform is light blue.
  • Jonas finds a red knot on his bike.

Historic Recurrences []

  • Charlotte is experiencing immense déjà-vu from what's happening since it reflects 1986.

Religion and Mythology []


  • Elisabeth wears a knit fox cap.


  • This episode marks the first appearance of:
  • This episode marks the only appearance of:
    • Nurse Anne Reisch
    • Yasin's Mother
    • School for the Deaf teacher
  • The prologue included shots of the decorative torture room, a metal door with the triquetra symbol, the Emerald Tablet, the dead boy, the "Where When is Mikkel" newspaper, someone's back covered in a tattoo of the Emerald Tablet, the Stranger, someone carving a sculpture from wood, old Helge Doppler muttering "tick-tock" to himself in his room at the nursing home, and the cloaked kidnapper standing at the Winden Caves entrance.
  • This episode largely focuses on the Doppler Family who give the impression all is normal, but in reality, things are quite chaotic.
  • Helge has dementia, which would explain his odd behaviour in "Secrets".
  • 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. 
  • Elisabeth is rather cheeky and snarky. 
  • Charlotte is rather conventional, since she has a stern demeanor towards Torben Wöller.
  • Edda, despite not being an ornithologist, can differentiate the dead birds' species from those that are alive. An ornithologist is a person who studies or is an expert on birds.
  • The license plate for Charlotte's car is "WIN AR 765". As for Peter's Volvo, it's "WIN PD 236".
  • The Dopplers and Nielsens are known to be friends. Elisabeth could've possibly met Mikkel during a family hangout, and with his cheeky personality, he would've started demonstrating his magic tricks to her
  • The scene where Charlotte is speaking with Wöller in the hallway of the police station is strikingly similar to the scene from "Lies" where Ulrich talks to Officer Jankowski, with the camera set further away from the two so that passing officers can be seen.
  • Charlotte and Peter's marriage is strained, but they still live together. This shows how complicated their relationship is. 
  • Charlotte is very observant.  
  • Despite being irritated by Elisabeth's mischief, Franziska showed remorse over her potential disappearance. When she embraced her little sister upon return, there is a tear streak along her face.
  • Franziska berates the fact that residents in Winden have secrets too deep. The amount of affairs that occurred can be considered examples.
  • Helge happens to have a lot of information. 
  • Even though Franziska acts discomforted by Magnus, she gave in to her own feelings for him. 
  • Although Tronte Nielsen is credited, he didn't physically appear in this episode. He's possibly the hooded plump man going into the Doppler cabin late at night. 
  • In the wood, Yasin founds a wood sculpture which it seems correlated to the ones under preparation in the prologue. At the end of the prologue there is the cloaked kidnapper exiting from Cave who is present at the end of the episode in front of Yasin. It is quite clear that he has done a time travel through the cave


  • "Goodbye" by Apparat
    The opening song.
  • "Keep the Streets Empty For Me" by Fever Ray
    The Dopplers are worried about Elisabeth.


→ See 44 images from Double Lives at Images from Double Lives.


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"