It's November 5, 2019, the morning after the disappearance of Mikkel Nielsen. A Stranger with a briefcase arrives in Winden, observing the Winden Police force search the field. He notices a dead bird lying by his feet. At the Kahnwald family home, Jonas Kahnwald has a nightmare where his ear was leaking a black substance and Michael Kahnwald's spirit appears.
After the dead boy – dressed in 1980s clothing – with charred eyes was discovered, the body was sent to the Winden Police Station to be inspected by the pathologist Edda Heimann. During this, Ulrich Nielsen navigates the Winden Caves to continue his search for Mikkel, until he finds a sealed metal door constructed by the Winden Nuclear Power Plant. After Charlotte Doppler presents the the evidence found on the unidentified dead boy to her officers, Ulrich privately explains his discovery to her and theorizes that Mikkel had somehow accessed the grounds. Although Charlotte was doubtful, Ulrich convinces her to request a search warrant, and adding that all three missing person case that occurred in Winden are connected.
The rest of the Nielsen family grieves over Mikkel in their own manner. Magnus is suspicious of Franziska Doppler's reasons for appearing last night, Katharina hopes for the best and Martha fears that Mikkel would never be found – akin to Mads Nielsen's fate. At Jana Nielsen's apartment, her husband Tronte – who is skeptical about Mikkel being found – returns and struggles wipe the blood off the hem gusset of his sweater before Jana enters, unaware. Jana quizzes Tronte about his whereabouts from last night, and he claims that had gone to the gas station. Before he could join a search party, Jana concludes that Mikkel's disappearance has parallels with Mads'.
At the power plant, Director Aleksander Tiedemann informs Jürgen Obendorf of the search warrant and orders him to remove "them" tonight. Meanwhile, the Stranger with the briefcase arrives at the Waldhotel Winden, asking the nervous Regina Tiedemann for a room. He settles himself by plastering 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.
Charlotte sends Ulrich a voice message that Aleksander has rejected the warrant. Hannah Kahnwald tries to call Ulrich but he declines, too upset to handle anything else. Katharina is standing outside her house, staring into space. Martha has been ignoring Bartosz Tiedemann whenever he tried to call her. Magnus is in his room, overwhelmed with grief. He punches holes in his wall with emotional frustration, to the point where his knuckles bleed. Meanwhile, Jana visits Mads' grave near the Winden St. Christopher's Church, placing one of his old toys on his tomb. In the Kahnwald home, Jonas has comes across a hidden intricate map of the caves in Michael's attic, which has a note saying "Where is the crossing?".
Ulrich and Aleksander argue from opposite sides of the power plant's gate. Aleksander denies that Mikkel would enter their heavily patrolled section of the caves, provoking an emotionally driven Ulrich to berate Aleksander and threaten that he'll return with a search warrant. He is approached by Hannah upon arriving at the station, and when they started kissing in the storage room, Ulrich turns her down due to current circumstances. He searches through evidence and finds out that Jürgen had driven his van near the power plant at the night of Erik Obendorf's disappearance.
Ulrich trespasses into the Obendorf Junkyard, where he finds a hidden sack of drugs. Jürgen, who is armed, confesses that he and Erik were selling them at the Winden Comprehensive School. Ulrich dismisses the confession and asks him if he was at the power plant yesterday, which he denies. They share a moment together for the fact that they're missing their sons until Ulrich exits. Showing up at home to mourn with Katharina, who makes him promise to tell the truth.
In the decorative torture room, the cloaked kidnapper is restraining Erik onto the electric chair. On the old-fashioned television, H.G. Tannhaus is asking the possibilities of ever seeing what lies behind a black hole, and how far would scientists go. Later, an incident costs Erik his own life, burning his eyes in a similar fashion to the dead boy. The cloaked kidnapper drags his corpse through the forest at night.
While the Kahnwald house is still blacked out, Jonas asks Hannah if she thinks Michael was keeping secrets from them. When asked if she misses him, Hannah admits that she does but 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 loom around the house, so she ignores the question. At her apartment, Jana witnesses Tronte sneaking out of the house late at night. Meanwhile, Aleksander's men are transferring unknown large items into a truck. He hears a roar from the caves. Lights flicker everywhere in Winden, and throughout this, 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?" on his wall. He then crosses out the "Where" and writes "When".
Meanwhile, in a different time, a scarred and filthy Mikkel limps out of the Winden Caves and notices a slightly different atmosphere outside. He arrives back "home" and stares at the different scenery. He tries to open the door, but it is answered by a teenaged rebellious Ulrich Nielsen, who calls him a fool. He witnesses Ulrich ride on a motorcycle with teenaged Katharina. Mikkel then notices a newspaper with the lead story about the Chernobyl disaster. He looks at the date – 5 November 1986.
- Andreas Pietschmann as The Stranger
- Louis Hofmann as Jonas Kahnwald
- Karoline Eichorn as Charlotte Doppler
- Oliver Masucci as Ulrich Nielsen
- Gina Alice Stiebitz as Franziska Doppler
- Moritz Jahn as Magnus Nielsen
- Stephan Kampwirth as Peter Doppler
- Walter Kreye as Tronte Nielsen
- Tatja Seibt as Jana Nielsen
- Lisa Vicari as Martha Nielsen
- Jördis Triebel as Katharina Nielsen
- Paul Lux as Bartosz Tiedemann
- Peter Benedict as Aleksander Tiedemann
- Deborah Kaufmann as Regina Tiedemann
- Christian Steyer as H.G. Tannhaus 1986
- Maja Schöne as Hannah Kahnwald
- Daan Lennard Liebrenz as Mikkel Nielsen
- Ludger Bökelmann as Ulrich Nielsen 1986
- Nele Trebs as Katharina Nielsen 1986
- "Aleksander, please open the gate. Let me in. There's a door in the caves. Maybe he got through it. Let me search the slope. Let me search your section of the caves! Please."
"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."
"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!"
"I'm sorry, Ulrich. Honestly."
"Open up, man!"
- ―Ulrich Nielsen and Aleksander Tiedemann[src]
- "Do you think he had a secret?"
"No, Dad. Do you think he was keeping something from us?"
"Why do you say that?"
"Do you miss him?"
"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."
"Did you love him?"
- ―Jonas and Hannah Kahnwald[src]
- Who is The Stranger? What is that machine he has? What does he know about Mikkel Nielsen?
- Why does the boy appear to be from the 80s?
- What is Tronte Nielsen's secret?
- Are the disappearances of Erik Obendorf, Mikkel and Mads Nielsen connected?
- Why is there a door connecting the Winden Nuclear Power Plant to the caves? Why is it sealed?
- What are the secret items that Aleksander Tiedemann is trying to hide?
- Why does Michael Kahnwald 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?
- The dead boy was killed by the same machine Erik was strapped to, since the latter had the same fate.
- Mads, Ulrich Nielsen's brother, disappeared in 1986.
- Mikkel disappeared into a different time, not a different place.
Themes and Motifs
- 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 at the age of twelve, while Ulrich was fifteen.
- In November 4, Tronte left the apartment at midnight.
- 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.
- Tronte's absence rises suspicion in Jana Nielsen.
- The fact that Mads was never found drove fear into Martha Nielsen.
- Due to both his brother and son vanishing, Ulrich is determined to find Mikkel.
- Peter Doppler'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 t-shirt.
- The wallpaper in room #8 is blue.
- Martha is wearing blue.
- Magnus Nielsen is wearing a red flannel shirt.
- The nursery-like torture room has blue wallpaper and carpet.
- The doors and trim for the high school is yellow.
- Mikkel is wearing a red jacket.
- Mikkel's disappearance reflects Mads', which happened 33 years ago.
Religion and Mythology
- The Stranger pasted pictures related to mythology.
- Church bells were ringing when Jana visited Mads' grave.
- Mikkel has a stuffed fox in his bedroom.
- This episode marks the first appearance of:
- This episode marks the only appearance of the unnamed Search Party Woman.
- 2019 is a monsoon season for Winden.
- This is the second episode that features the song "Irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann" by Nena.
- The Stranger seems to know the answers to the current situation.
- Jonas Kahnwald' mind is centred around Michael, even spending a whole day in his father's attic.
- The way Jonas wakes up from his nightmare is rather similar to the way he did in "Secrets". This marks the second time that the "wake-up" transition is used in the series.
- Michael knew something about the caves.
- The dead boy is wearing a T-shirt that says "Atomenergie? Nein Danke (Atomic Energy? No Thanks)", which is probably referencing how the general public was skeptical about Nuclear Power Plants ever since the Chernobyl disaster.
- Tronte has a secret agenda of sorts.
- In "Secrets", there are two shots of Martha and Katharina Nielsen being upset in the morning of November 5. These shots were taken from the scene in this episode where Martha is talking to Katharina about Mads' disappearance,
- 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.
- As teenagers, the way Katharina hits the back of Ulrich's head is similar to how Magnus does it with Mikkel.
- "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 Doppler sees the dead birds.
- → See 40 images from Lies at Images from Lies.
|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"|