In 1954, a missing Helge returns, but he'll only speak to Noah. In 1987, Claudia brings the time machine to Tannhaus, and Egon questions Ulrich again.
Noah straps Helge Doppler down in the time travel chair in the bunker, telling him that he has seen Helge's future, that God has chosen Helge, and that he is being watched over. He places a vial in the back of the chair, then pulls a lever which encloses the chair in a metal clamshell.
At the Nielsen house, Doris is lying on the bed—with Agnes under her skirt, apparently performing cunnilingus. They giggle, but Claudia opens the door suddenly—having forgotten her milk money—and is startled. Agnes gives her some extra money and tells her to buy a treat. After she leaves, Agnes tells Doris not to worry, because every family has its secrets. She kisses Doris goodbye.
On June 23, 1954, four days until the apocalypse, a scarred Helge, wearing the same clothes as the day he disappeared, walks into the front door of the Doppler home. Greta kneels before him, touching him to be sure he is real, and whispering a quote from the Bible that God returns all things. Helge does not speak to her, however, or react in any other way.
Daniel and Egon, meanwhile, are at the police station. Daniel wonders why Ulrich has not even given his name, and why no one has come looking for him. Egon, however, changes the subject to married life, asking if Daniel and his wife still have sex. He laughs and says once a couple has kids, the wife is preoccupied with them, and the husband should look elsewhere for "young buds" to pluck. They are interrupted by another officer, who enters to announce that Helge has been found.
Claudia complains to Tronte as they walk through the forest that her mother thinks she doesn't understand anything. She asks him about his home life, and he replies that his mother was sad all the time, and that she has a brother, but they seemed to hate each other. She asks him if life in Winden agrees with her, but he shrugs.
Claudia stops them, and asks Tronte if she can see "it" now. He pulls down his pants. She looks, but does not react.
Mindful that her time with her is limited, Claudia suggests that Regina skip school that day so that they can spend the day together. Regina, however, says she has an exam and other plans, before leaving for school. Claudia is reminded of the book Helge gave her—A Journey Through Time—and retrieves it from her bookcase.
Egon has discovered the song with the lyrics "My only aim is to take many lives / the more the better I feel," which Ulrich has quoted to him before. It is from Kreator's Pleasure to Kill album, released in 1986.
Greta allows Egon to question Helge about his re-emergence, but Helge is silent. Greta explains that he has not spoken since he returned. She scolds Helge to reply to the inspector, but Helge remains silent.
Helge, who is institutionalized and seemingly medicated, has a visitor. It is Claudia, who asks him why he gave her the Tannhaus book. He replies that he thought she might understand him, saying "time is always with you." Claudia does not understand, however. Helge says further that the travelers can help undo things, but this only confuses her more. Helge begs her never to trust Noah.
In the bunker, Agnes and the older Claudia meet. Claudia tells her Helge and Noah returned to 1954 that day. Agnes replies that she is not afraid of Noah any more. Claudia reminds her they are bound by blood, but Agnes says that freedom is gained by denying one's family. Claudia then reports that Sic Mundus is preparing for the next cycle, which will begin in four days. Agnes gives her a crumpled paper. Claudia thanks her profusely, and tells her Doris loves her.
The adult Claudia visits H.G. Tannhaus at his shop. He recognizes her by her heterochromia, and tells her they are caught in an endless cycle.
Egon returns to the police station and reports to Daniel that Helge had provided no new information. He wonders if Helge's disappearance and the discovery of the two dead boys was connected, considering Ulrich had been locked up for the last seven months, and couldn't have been taking care of Helge. Daniel concludes that there must have been an accomplice, and sends Egon to question Ulrich again.
Egon, album in hand, visits Ulrich again at the institution, asking him how he knew the lyrics of a song decades before it was written. Ulrich does not respond. Egon asks him why he had killed the boys, since he said he had a son himself; Ulrich replies that he did not kill the two boys, but had been trying to save them.
This mystifies Egon, as well as how Ulrich knew he had cancer, and who the White Devil is. He asks for his name, and at last gets an answer: "Ulrich Nielsen, and I come from the future."
Tannhaus explains the concept of a "bootstrap paradox" to Claudia. When an object or information from the future is sent to the past, creates a cycle in which it exists without ever having been created. The book is such an object, but he says the world is full of them.
Egon comes to the asylum where Ulrich is being held, in solitary confinement and tied into a straitjacket. Egon tells him Helge has returned home, and asks where Ulrich took him. Ulrich, heavily medicated, does not respond. Egon departs, and Ulrich only says his name after he has left.
The older Egon, going through his old police files, comes across Mikkel's file. When Mikkel appeared in 1986, he had said his father's name was Ulrich Nielsen.
H.G. Tannhaus tells Claudia that he knows she is there to learn about the time machine; the older Claudia had told him to expect her. As it happens, he would not have been able to tell her until the previous year, when another traveler had explained it to him. It seems the older Claudia understood this would happen,
Greta complains about Helge to Noah, saying he is merely a husk, and frightens her. Bernd is gone, and she does not know how to handle the situation; she wonders if Helge is possessed by the devil. She calls Helge downstairs, and when Helge sees Noah, he embraces him. Noah tells him that "time is always with you… it sees and hears everything you do and say."
Noah stands and suggests Helge read from the Bible; he reads Psalm 119 aloud, to Greta's amazement. Noah tells her to give him time; he is surely choosing his words with great care. Noah tells Helge to keep the Bible, and tells Greta that his return is a miracle.
Egon visits Ines Kahnwald to ask about Mikkel; she tells him Michael wants to forget the past, and is anyway sleeping. She lies and says he never speaks about his past life. Egon asks if Michael has ever mentioned a white devil. Ines denies it, but agrees to let Egon speak with Michael the next day. Egon gets up to leave and sees a box of sleeping pills on the counter; Ines snatches them back and claims they are hers. Egon asks her for a photo of Michael for his file, and Ines provides him one.
Agnes tells him she knows where the final pages of the book are, and that he is looking for them. She says Claudia has them with her, handing him the newspaper clipping. In exchange for this information, she wants to return to Sic Mundus before the next cycle begins. Noah is surprised by the offer; Agnes calls it a peace offering.
The older Claudia visits Egon at the police station, telling him he is too good a person. She asks for his forgiveness, saying he will understand some day. He is unsettled by her remarks and orders her out.
As Claudia returns to her office at the nuclear plant, her assistant lists all her rescheduled appointments, then tells her Egon is waiting in her office. Claudia is irritated that Egon has shown up unannounced, but he bursts out that he has cancer, and she has been too busy to listen to him. He gets up to leave, and she hugs him.
Egon arrives with flowers for Doris, but she is not home. The child Claudia is there, however, and he greets her affectionately. She tells him he is too good a person, and the world does not deserve him—like the older Claudia had told him earlier in the day. He tells her he is having déjà vu.
Egon visits Ulrich again at the mental asylum, telling him he used to think the worst thing was for a parent to lose their child, but now he understands that they are fated to lose each other, their lives only intersecting for a brief time. He shows Ulrich the photo of Mikkel that Ines gave him; Ulrich, distraught, accuses Egon of hiding this information and attacks him.
The younger Tannhaus is visited by the older Claudia, who reassures him that she was not expecting the time machine to be ready yet. He says he does not understand the blueprints, and she hands him her copy of A Journey Through Time, saying she will be dead soon, and no longer needs it. He recognizes it as the book Jonas showed him the year before.
Claudia says they will meet again after she dies, which perplexes him. She then says that when he next sees her, he will have to show her how to use the time machine—and that someone else will teach him. Tannhaus is confused and has more questions to ask, but she departs.
Egon comes downstairs in the morning to find Agnes and Doris sharing a moment. He does not interrupt.
Claudia takes the time machine into the chamber containing the radioactive waste from the 1986 incident and activates it.
The older Claudia encounters Noah at the bunker, who brandishes a shotgun. He says Agnes has betrayed her, that she took it all from him, and that she will die. Claudia responds that she knows she is going to die and meeting him is part of the game he still doesn't understand how to play. He says he is not one of her pawns anymore. Claudia says that Noah is himself being manipulated by Adam and the paradise promised is a lie. He shoots her.
Meanwhile, Agnes back at the Tiedemann house flinches at the sound of a gunshot as she looks over a sleeping Tronte. She pulls out the news paper article she previously showed Noah to reveal a drawing of an old woman resembling old Claudia and the caption "Unidentified woman's body found in the woods". Looking closely at the article it indicates "Next to the hunting lodge of the Doppler family, an unknown old woman was found dead on the night of 23 June, 1954 with bullet holes".
Noah searches the older Claudia's pockets and finds the missing pages he has been seeking. Looking through them, however, he is deeply disturbed, rather than triumphant. He insists that "that isn't true". He mentions Charlotte, then says "that can't be right."
Claudia has traveled to 2020, where she hides outside the Tiedemann house. She sees Regina emerge onto the deck and remove her scarf, causing Claudia to burst into tears.
Adam asks Noah if he has found the missing pages. Noah shakes his head. Adam assumes Noah is upset because he has killed Claudia, and tells Noah that she got exactly what she deserved.
- Noah: I've seen you grow up, become a man, the whole cycle of your life. Time chose you. God chose you. Don't forget that we are your home now, too. No harm will come to you. We're watching over you. Time is always with you, wherever you go. You carry it in you, and it carries you. It sees and hears everything that you do and say.
- Egon: Who you are?
Ulrich: Ulrich. Ulrich Nielsen. And I come from the future.
- Claudia: I think I saw a witch today.
Egon: There are no witches.
Claudia: There are! This one was very real.
Egon: How did she look?
Claudia: Long white hair. Like in books.
Egon: And what did she say?
Claudia: That she was sorry.
Egon: That doesn't sound like a witch.
Claudia: How would you know? You've never seen one.
- Tannhaus: The blueprint: I don't really understand what it is.
Claudia: I've seen this before. All our lives we wonder what our journey will be.
Tannhaus: This is yours.
Claudia: Keep it. I don't need it anymore.
Tannhaus: Why are you giving it to me?
Claudia: I'll be dead soon.
Tannhaus: I don't understand.
Claudia: You will— one day. And then we'll meet again.
Tannhaus: Before you die.
Claudia: No. After that.
Tannhaus: How… How can that be possible?
Claudia: Time is just an illusion. Then you'll have to explain the device to me.
Tannhaus: But I don't know what it's for. Why don't you tell me what it's for?
Claudia: Because you told me someone else explained it to you. Things take their course, as they always have.
Tannhaus: No, I didn't tell you anything. No one explained anything to me.
Claudia: Not now, but in the future. All this will come to an end soon. But until then everything must remain as it always has been.
- Noah: You're going to die! And everything you stand for will die with you!
Claudia: I know that I am going to die. But am I going to lose this match? Or is this here, our meeting, you and your gun, only part of a game you still don't know how to play?
Noah: You think you can manipulate me with your words. I'm no longer one of your pawns.
Claudia: But you're still one of Adam's.
- Tom Philipp as Helge Doppler (1953)
- Mark Waschke as Noah
- Luise Heyer as Doris Tiedemann
- Antje Traue as Agnes Nielsen
- Gwendolyn Göbel as Claudia Tiedemann (1953)
- Cordelia Wege as Greta Doppler (1953)
- Florian Panzner as Daniel Kahnwald
- Sebastian Hülk as Egon Tiedemann (1953)
- Joshio Marlon as Tronte Nielsen (1953)
- Julika Jenkins as Claudia Tiedemann (1986)
- Lydia Makrides as Regina Tiedemann (1986)
- Christian Pätzold as Egon Tiedemann (1986)
- Peter Schneider as Helge Doppler (1986)
- Lisa Kreuzer as Claudia Tiedemann
- Christian Steyer as H.G. Tannhaus (1986)
- Winfried Glatzeder as Ulrich Nielsen (old, 1987)
- Oliver Masucci as Ulrich Nielsen
- Anne Ratte-Polle as Ines Kahnwald (1986)
- Arnd Klawitter as H.G. Tannhaus (1953)
- Deborah Kaufmann as Regina Tiedemann
- Dietrich Hollinderbaumer as Adam
- Lea Willkowsky as Jasmin Trewen
- → See 61 images from Ghosts at Images from Ghosts.