"Lies" is the second episode of Season 1 of Dark. It premiered on December 1, 2017.


When a grim discovery leaves the police baffled, Ulrich seeks a search warrant for the power plant. A mysterious stranger checks into the hotel.


9 Hours since Mikkel's disappearance (November 5, 2019) Edit


The Stranger arrives.

A stranger with a briefcase stands atop a hill, observing the police force search the field. He notices a dead bird lying by his feet.

Jonas Kahnwald appears to have woken up from a nightmare. Feeling something in his ear, he goes to the wardrobe mirror, and sees that his ear is leaking a black substance. He then hears his father's voice again, so he closes the door to see a vision of Michael on the mirror. He wakes up by sprouting his body upward, panting and realizing it was a nightmare within a nightmare.

The coroner informs Charlotte Doppler that the dead boy's eyes were burned and his ears were disfigured by some sort of extreme pressure. This pressure had both destroyed his awareness and orientation. She believes the boy had been dead only 16 hours, even though he was dressed in clothes from the 1980s.

Ulrich Nielsen navigates the Winden Caves using a flashlight, calling out for Mikkel. He struggles his way up a rugged slope and finds a metal door: which is sealed shut. A nuclear symbol stands prominent on it, giving Ulrich the idea that the Nuclear Power Plant is involved.

DARK Still 102 - Franziska and Magnus in forest

Magnus questions Franziska.

Franziska Doppler walks through the forest, finding Magnus Nielsen, who was leaning by a tree. When trying to pass him, he pins her to another tree and defiantly asks her what she was doing in the caves last night. She says that she heard him and his friends talking at school about Erik's drugs. She is sorry about Mikkel. Magnus walks away with a look of misery. Meanwhile, Peter Doppler was parked by a shack, tearfully listening to the radio about Mikkel's disappearance.

At an apartment complex, Jana Nielsen was calling Ulrich about the current tragedy. She asks if there's anything she can do to help him and the rest of the Nielsens, but he declines. Her husband Tronte was dealing with the laundry, struggling to wipe blood off the hem gusset of his sweater. Jana arrives in the room, saying that she couldn't get a hold of Ulrich. She insists that they should go visit them, but Tronte declines, intending to go somewhere. Jana asks where he was last night, since she woke up at midnight and he wasn't in bed. He claims that he couldn't sleep and went to the garden to get the bushes ready for winter. She notes that the car was gone too, so Tronte excuses that he went to the gas station to buy some cord. Jana asserts that this situation is too similar to Mads Nielsen's disappearance.

Katharina Nielsen tells her daughter Martha, who was lying on her lap, the story of when Ulrich's brother vanished at the age of 12. Ulrich was 15 at the time, and Mads was never found, which further disturbs Martha. Martha tells Katharina that when she and her friends talked about Erik in the forest, Mikkel thought that the worst part about a missing person is when that someone isn't found. Her mom assures her that he will be found. In his rich home, Bartosz Tiedemann is trying to call Martha, but she refuses to answer.


Ulrich informs Charlotte about the door.

Charlotte informs her officers the status of the dead boy. She says that he was dressed in clothes from the 80s, had a Walkman (a device from the 80s) in his pocket, and had been covered in red soil. A pfennig coin from 1986 was tied around his neck with a red cord. She instructs one-eyed Torben Wöller to coordinate the search for the two missing boys, but keep information about the dead boy classified. Ulrich storms in, saying that he found a door in the caves. He privately informs Charlotte of the door leading to the power plant, and his theory that Mikkel had somehow accessed the grounds. He wants a search warrant. Charlotte dismisses his idea of his son getting inside the plant, but Ulrich explains that all 3 cases are connected. He says that she's possibly right about this situation mirroring what happened in 1986, as Mads also disappeared near the plant. Charlotte agrees to request a search warrant.

In the power plant, Director Aleksander Tiedemann informs Jürgen Obendorf that the police will be arriving soon. They would have to get rid of "them" tonight. Jürgen suggests that someone else should "do it". Aleksander grow stern, asking if he were blackmailing him. He then questions Jürgen if he knew the difference between successful and unsuccessful people. Jürgen was silent, and accepts his instructions. Meanwhile, The Stranger with the briefcase arrives at Waldhotel Winden, asking the nervous Regina Tiedemann for a room.

Jonas goes upstairs to the gloomy attic, where Michael hung himself. He shines his flashlight around the room, highlighting the grubby paintings plastered on the walls and floor, as well as the art tools that were disorganized. He then sits down and stares at one large canvas, adorned with scribbles of black paint.

DARK Still 102 - Jana at Mads' grave

Jana visits Mads' grave.

Tronte was with a crowd of police officers and kind citizens, mobilizing the grounds in an attempt to find the missing boy(s). An old woman assures him that they will find Mikkel, but he was visibly skeptical. Meanwhile, Jana was looking through old action figures that Mads played with. She goes to the church and graveyard, where she replaces an action figure on Mads' empty grave with the one she brought. At the cave's entrance, the cloaked kidnapper who has Erik emerges from the shadows.

In room #8 at the hotel, The Stranger has plastered an unsettling amount of pictures, drawings, notes, and diagrams at every wall of the room. He also owns a book called A Journey Through Time by H.G. Tannhaus. He opens his briefcase and takes out a complex brass device.


Magnus punches the wall.

As it was raining, Charlotte sends Ulrich a voice call that Aleksander has rejected the warrant. Hannah tries to call Ulrich but he declines, too upset to handle anything else. Katharina was standing outside her house, staring into space. Martha has been ignoring Bartosz whenever he tried to call her. Magnus was in his room, overwhelmed with grief. He was persistently punching holes in his wall with emotional frustration, to the point where his knuckles were bleeding.

Jonas woke up on the floor below where Michael's noose was. Suddenly, he finds a loose wooden board in the ceiling. He opens it and takes out an intricate map of the caves. He surveys it in his room, and finds a note saying "Where is the crossing?".

Elsewhere Edit

In the decorative torture room, the cloaked kidnapper is restraining Erik onto the electric chair. On the old-fashioned television, H.G. Tannhaus 1986 was asking the possibilities of ever seeing what lies behind a black hole, and how far would scientists go.

November 5, 2019 Edit


Ulrich begs Aleksander to open the gate.

Ulrich was standing in the cold rain outside the guarded gate of the power plant, unprotected. When Aleksander arrives, Ulrich begs him to open the gate so that he could find his son. Aleksander grimly tells him that the area that connects the cave to the Plant is heavily patrolled, and that they would already know if Mikkel came inside. Ulrich cries out to Aleksander, calling him an "asshole" who doesn't want to help. He threatens that he's coming back with a search warrant. Aleksander says he's sorry, while Ulrich continues to beg.

At night, Bartosz opens up the stash of drugs. He finds a cellphone saying "Enter Code - 3 attempts remaining". He tried another time, before tossing it on the table. Meanwhile, Hannah sees Ulrich at the police station. They enter a storage area, and she says sorry for his current circumstances. She attempts to kiss him, but he was in no frame of mind to continue the affair, so he leaves her be.

Ulrich searches through the evidence and found out that Jürgen Obendorf was driving his van near the power plant at the night of Erik's disappearance. He asks Officer Jankowski about the fact that Jürgen is a part-time driver who also works for the plant. He wants to know if he was working last night. Jürgen wasn't questioned yet.

Ulrich arrives at the junkyard where the Obendorfs live in. He stealthily searches the windows and van, until reaching a shed door welded by a chain. He uses a long crowbar to break it open. Jürgen notices Ulrich's car, so he takes out a shotgun. Ulrich lifts a hatch open, and pulls the chain to reveal a sack. Jürgen aims his gun towards him, and Ulrich opens the sack, which happened to be a drug stash. Jürgen confesses that he and Erik were selling them at school. Ulrich dismisses the confession and asks if he were at the Plant yesterday, to which he denies. Ulrich questions the jar of coins, which Jürgen says that whenever people bring their junk, they happen to still have coins. Erik was saving up for a scooter. They share silence at how they're both missing their sons.

Elsewhere Edit

The cloaked kidnapper was dragging something through the forest. It was Erik's corpse, with charred eyes just like the dead boy.

November 5, 2019 Edit


Jonas and Hannah on the counter.

Jonas and Hannah were sitting on the kitchen counters, lit with candles. He asks her if she thinks Mikkel would be found, and she responds with hope. Jonas asks her if she thinks Michael has been keeping secrets from them, but she replies with "why do you think that?". When asked if she misses him, Hannah admits that she thinks she misses a notion of him, since he never revealed his true self. She concludes by saying how nobody could know what a person is really like. At the moment he asks if she loved Michael, the lights loomed around the house, so she ignores the question. Meanwhile, Tronte sneaks out of his bed, believing that Jana was asleep. When he left the room, Jana opens her eyes, growing suspicious of her husband.

Ulrich and Katharina sit in Mikkel's room. She tells him to promise that, whatever the situation, he should always tell her the truth. They embrace each other with watery eyes.


"Where When is Mikkel?"

Aleksander's men are transferring unknown large items into a truck. He hears a roar from the caves. Lights flicker everywhere in Winden; in the school, in Waldhotel, in the Nielsen family home, and the police station. Charlotte goes outside the station and catches a glimpse of a swarm of dead birds lying around the car park. They appear to be connected to the flickering lights. The Stranger pastes the newspaper saying "Where is Mikkel?". He then crosses out the "Where" and writes "When".

Elsewhen Edit


Mikkel meets Ulrich 1986.

A scarred and filthy Mikkel limps out of the cave and notices a slightly different atmosphere outside, so he runs. He arrives back "home" and stares at the different scenery. He tries to open the door, but it was answered by a teenage Ulrich Nielsen. Mikkel was confused as Ulrich 1986 accuses him of being a fool for thinking it was his house. He witnesses Ulrich ride on a motorcycle with teenage Katharina 1986. Mikkel then notices a newspaper with the lead story about Chernobyl. He looks at the date- 5 November 1986.

Cast Edit

Quotes Edit

  • Martha: [Anxious] We talked about Erik. In the forest. Mikkel thought that was the worst. When someone isn't found.
    Katharina: [Reassuring] Mikkel's coming back. Definitely.
  • Tannhaus 1986: [On TV episode] Will we ever be able to travel through a black hole to see what lies beyond? And what price will we pay? How far would scientists go?
  • [Ulrich stands at the guarded gate of the power plant, unprotected from the rain. Aleksander arrives on the other side]
    Ulrich: Aleksander, please open the gate. Let me in. There's a door in the caves. Maybe he got through it.
    [A brief silence for consideration]
    Ulrich: Let me search the slope. [Demanding] Let me search your section of the caves! Please.
    Aleksander: [Assertive] I can't just let anyone in there. It's a high security area. My employees patrol it every day. If Mikkel were here, we'd know it.
    Ulrich: [Shouting] You fucking asshole! Why are you doing this? Are you trying to ruin me? We're talking about my son! I'm coming back with a search warrant! And then you'll open this goddamn gate! You asshole! Open up!
    Aleksander: [Taking his leave] I'm sorry, Ulrich. Honestly.
    Ulrich: Open up, man!
  • Jürgen: When people bring their junk here, you always find something. Erik was saving up for a scooter... Where's my boy?
  • Jonas: Do you think he had a secret?
    Hannah: Mikkel?
    Jonas: No, Dad. Do you think he was keeping something from us?
    Hannah: Why do you say that?
    Jonas: Do you miss him?
    Hannah: I think I miss a notion of him. I don't know who he really was. Maybe we never known that. What a person is really like.
    Jonas: Did you love him?
    [The lights go back on. Hannah chuckles and ignores Jonas' question]

Trivia Edit

Mysteries Edit

  • Who is The Stranger? What is that machine he has? What does he know about Mikkel?
  • Why does the boy appear to be from the 80s?
  • What is Tronte's secret?
  • Are the disappearances of Erik, Mikkel and Mads connected?
  • Why is there a door connecting the power plant to the caves? Why is it sealed?
  • What are the secret items that Aleksander is trying to hide?
  • Why does Michael have a map of the caves? What was his secret?
  • What is the reason behind the cloaked kidnapper? Who is he?
  • Why were there flickering lights and dead animals?
  • How did Mikkel travel 33 years into the past?

Answers Edit

  • The dead boy was killed by the same machine Erik was strapped to, since the latter had the same fate.
  • Mads, Ulrich's brother, disappeared in 1986.
  • Mikkel disappeared into a different time, not a different place.

Themes and Motifs Edit

Time Edit

  • The dates featured in this episode are:
    • November 5, 2019.
    • November 5, 1986.
  • The dead boy was dressed with clothes from the 80s.
  • By the morning, the unknown boy has been dead for 16 hours.
  • The pfennig coin is labelled 1986.
  • Mads, Ulrich's brother, disappeared in 1986.
  • In November 4, Tronte left the apartment at midnight.

Time Travel Edit

  • The Stranger pasted pictures of black holes.
  • H.G. Tannhaus wrote a book called A Journey Through Time.
  • The Stranger crosses the "Where" in "Where is Mikkel", and wrote "When".
  • Mikkel traveled from 2019 to 1986.

Determinism Edit

  • Tronte's absence rises suspicion in Jana.
  • The fact that Mads was never found drove fear into Martha.
  • Due to both his brother and son vanishing, Ulrich is determined to find Mikkel.

Colors Edit

  • Peter's car is dark blue.
  • Jana is still wearing a blue coat.
  • The coin was attached to a red cord.
  • The dead boy wore a yellow Nien Danke t-shirt.
  • The wallpaper in room #8 is blue.
  • Martha is wearing blue.
  • Magnus is wearing a red flannel shirt.
  • The nursery-like torture room has blue wallpaper and carpet.
  • The doors and trim of the high school is yellow.
  • Mikkel is wearing a red jacket.

Historic Recurrences Edit

  • Mikkel's disappearance reflects Mads', which happened 33 years ago.

Religion and Mythology Edit

  • The Stranger pasted pictures related to mythology.
  • Church bells were ringing when Jana visited Mads' grave.

Foxes Edit

  • Mikkel has a stuffed fox in his bedroom.

Observations Edit

  • The Stranger seems to know the answers to the current situation.
  • Jonas' mind is centred around Michael, even spending a whole day in his father's attic.
  • Michael knew something about the caves.
  • Tronte has a secret agenda of sorts.
  • The mass depression of the Nielsens of 2019 begins.
  • Ulrich is dedicated to finding his son.
  • When Ulrich refuses to continue his affair with Hannah, she seemed disappointed. Hannah might not care much about Mikkel.
  • The cloaked kidnapper also killed the unknown dead boy, since he did the same with Erik.
  • This is the first episode to show scenes from 1986.
  • As teenagers, the way Katharina hits the back of Ulrich's head is similar to how Magnus does it with Mikkel.

Soundtrack Edit

  • "Goodbye" by Apparat
    The opening song.
  • "Irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann" by Nena
    Music video playing on the dead boy's walkman.
  • "Industry" by Mire Kay
    The Nielsen family is depressed.
  • "Anthracite Fields: IV. Flowers" by Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Bang on a Can All-Stars & Julian Wachner
    The lights flicker in Winden and Charlotte sees the dead birds.


→ See 40 images from Lies at Images from Lies.
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