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"The Survivors" is the second episode of Season 3 of Dark. It premiered on June 27, 2020, and is the 20th episode overall.

Summary[]

Martha travels to 1888 to warn her friends about the 2020 disaster. Winden residents past and present search for their missing loved ones.

Plot[]

September 22, 1888[]

Jonas was having a hard time believing anything alternate reality Martha was saying.

Martha Nielsen (of the alternate world, the version with a scar under her eye) wakes up distressed, after a dream in which she has sex with Jonas Kahnwald and, in what appears to be another memory, her hands are covered in blood. The Stranger is observing her, holding the envelope marked ''Jonas", apparently from Martha, that he received from the young Noah in 2020 ("Endings and Beginnings"). He tells her to get dressed and leaves. Clothes are neatly folded on a chair.

At the Tannhaus machine factory, Martha enters and encounters the teenaged Bartosz Tiedemann, Franziska Doppler, and Magnus Nielsen gathered around the machinery. They are surprised to see that she is alive. Magnus hugs her, but the Stranger tells them that that is not Martha. Martha confirms that she is not the Martha they knew and that she is trying to fix everything so that none of them dies.

September 22, 1987[]

At the Kahnwald home, Katharina Nielsen wakes up in Mikkel's bedroom and looks at a picture of her long-missing son and his adoptive mother, Ines Kahnwald. As she comes downstairs, the phone rings. It is the postal service, threatening to disconnect the phone if Ines doesn't pay the bill, which is three months overdue. Katharina picks up flyers which mention that Mikkel has been missing for three months. She puts them into a bag and leaves the house.

At the cemetery, a grave is placed for Mads Nielsen, even though the coffin is empty. Back at the Nielsen home, Hermann Albers tells Jana Nielsen that she did the right thing, as it will help them get closure. Jana makes a mock toast to this idea, then says loudly for her husband Tronte to tell everyone where he was when Mads vanished: sleeping with Claudia Tiedemann. If only he had dedicated as much energy into finding their son as he is to his mistress, Mads might not have gone missing. Tronte responds he is not sure what she is saying. Jana gets up and empties her bag, which contains newspaper clippings that Claudia is missing, since the day her father was found dead.

September 22, 2020[]

Claudia took care of the very weak Regina.

Middle-aged Claudia Tiedemann removes a wooden stick blocking the entrance to the ruins of the police station, as a radio mentions scientists are looking for an explanation for the catastrophe that took place on June 27, 2020, when scientists believe the world stood still for a fraction of a nanosecond. She goes to an ailing Regina, asking how she is. She tells her she will return before the sun goes down.

Elisabeth Doppler leaves a trailer with her father Peter. Someone follows them. They come to a section guarded by the military. They tell Peter that this area will be closed off in five days but will let them enter.

September 22, 1888[]

The group of travelers was confused as to what Martha really wanted.

Bartosz, Franziska, and Magnus express their disbelief to Martha at the idea that she comes from a parallel world. The Stranger asks her how she found them. Martha tells him that Jonas told her, which Franziska is quick to question because she said there was no Jonas in her world. Martha explains that Jonas traveled from their world to hers, but the Stranger tells Martha that she is lying because he never went to her world. He grabs her and asks what she really wants, how she travelled there and if Adam sent her.

An old man enters and remarks that the machines aren't running yet. He observes they have a visitor. Blindly he reaches out and touches Martha's face. He tells her she has no reason to fear him: He can see more than those who have the gift of sight, while the Stranger storms out.

September 22, 1987[]

Katharina handed out posters asking people to look for Mikkel.

Katharina goes to the school and hands out flyers of Mikkel, asking if they know him. She recognizes her husband Ulrich, as a teenager, but he does not know her. She asks him if he knows where Mikkel is. Ulrich says that maybe that lunatic got him. Katharina asks, "What lunatic?" The teenaged Katharina arrives with Hannah Krüger and goes over to Ulrich. They kiss, which her older self watches and recalls experiencing thirty-three years ago, The teenaged Katharina sees her staring and says, "What's her deal?" Ulrich says she is probably crazy. Hannah tells the older Katharina that somebody escaped from the asylum last summer, grabbed "Michael", and took him to the cave ("Lost and Found"). Katharina grabs the teenaged Hannah and tells her to stay away from Mikkel and Ulrich.

In hopes of finding Claudia, Tronte spoke to her assistant.

At the power plant, Tronte meets Claudia's secretary Jasmin Trewen and asks her if there was anything unusual about Claudia the week before she vanished. She tells him that she was not taking as much care of her appearance as usual and forgot appointments. She thought that it had something to do with that dog and the old woman who showed up, claiming the dog was hers but never leaving with it ("Dark Matter"), that after that she seemed to change.

September 22, 2020[]

Peter hugged Elisabeth when they found out that Franziska and Charlotte's bodies were not found.

Claudia looks at the photos of Tronte as a boy, a man, and an old man and of Regina as a teenager and an adult on the wall of the bunker. She has begun constructing the string wall that will be complete by 2052, as first seen "Secrets".

Peter looks at pictures on a different wall of people who died in the apocalypse, such as Investigator Clausen and Torben Wöller. Peter asks a soldier if a blonde, middle-aged woman or a red-headed, teenaged girl have been found. She tells him that if their pictures are not on the wall, then their bodies have not been found. Peter tells Elisabeth that is a good thing if they are not there. Elisabeth adds, "Maybe they traveled." He hugs her.

September 22, 1987[]

At the police station, posters call for witnesses of Egon Tiedemann's suspicious death and the missing Claudia. Katharina enters, demanding to know why she was not told about the man from the psychiatric ward, which she remembers hearing about. Chief of Police Martin Döhring says she won't be getting any information on the whereabouts of Michael Kahnwald, because Katharina cannot be identified and has no proof she is his mother. Katharina says that Mikkel has not been to school, is not at home, and has not been seen in three months. The police officer tells her that Child Protective Services know where Mikkel and Ines are, so she does not need to worry. After the kidnapping, they decided the boy needed time off, and the lunatic was returned to the ward where he has been for thirty-four years. Katharina asks for his name, but Martin tells her that if she comes there again, she will be put under protective custody.

Tronte was sure to let Regina know he was there for her when he offered her a ride.

Tronte drives past the bus stop where Regina is sitting with a poodle. Tronte asks if that is her dog, but Regina says it was her mother's. Tronte offers her a ride. He tells her the dog looks just like Gretchen, the dog he once met in his youth. She asks if her mother's and Mads's disappearances could be connected. Tronte asks if Claudia ever mentioned an old lady before she vanished or if she said anything about him, but she shakes her head. Regina then asks Tronte to let her out and walk the rest of the way. Tronte tells her that he will do anything that she needs.

September 22, 2020[]

Claudia begins a recording, mentioning she is one of the only survivors of the apocalypse that occurred three months ago. It is unclear what exactly had triggered the events, but she mentions that if the God Particle can be stabilized, then maybe everybody could be saved.

Elisabeth was approached by a young Noah, who was looking for food.

Elisabeth walks with Peter to the Kahnwald home. Peter goes upstairs. The young Noah walks in, telling Elisabeth he is looking for food. He asks Elisabeth if she is doing the same, and she writes that she is looking for her mom and sister. She asks Noah where he sleeps, and he writes down that he sleeps in a cave. Peter comes down, startled and asks if Noah had been following them, reiterating that he wants nothing to do with him. Noah gets that he wants to protect Elisabeth, but says he wants to do that too, and will—after Peter is killed.

September 22, 1888[]

Bartosz tried to comfort Martha and explained their current situation.

Martha receives a knock on the door of her chamber from Bartosz, who says he is sorry about Jonas, who has changed since they got there. Martha asks how they got there, and Bartosz says they traveled, just as everything was destroyed. It was not by choice but now, after they have traveled to 1888, nuclear energy is going to be hard to come by. Martha asks about the workshop and whether the blind man knew where they were from. Bartosz asks her to come with him so he can show her something.

The old Tannhaus asks Jonas if Martha is a traveler like him, who he believed to be a sign of a miracle. He reminds Jonas that whatever Martha meant to him, it is important that they would be creating paradise, where every calamity and all suffering can be destroyed before it even exists: a perfect world. "Sic mundus creatus est," he says.

September 22, 1987[]

Katharina goes to the psychiatric hospital. She enters and asks the nurse behind the front desk if she can visit someone who has been there for thirty-four years. Seeing the nurse's name tag, "Helene Albers", Katharina realizes that the nurse is her own mother.

"The Inspector?" asks the nurse. "Are you related to him?" Katharina tells her he is her husband. The nurse thinks Katharina looks familiar. She notices the nurse is wearing a St. Christopher medal, the patron saint of travelers, something her mother also had. She tells her she traveled a very long way to see him. The nurse reluctantly agrees to let her see him.

Katharina was sure to pay Ulrich a visit at the psych ward when she heard someone had been there during 34 years.

The elderly Ulrich is playing chess by himself. Katharina sits down in front of him; at first, he is unaware of her. She calls him by name, he looks at her and realizes it is Katharina. He becomes emotional, his hands tremble Katharina steadies his hands and promises to get him out of there.

At the power plant, Jasmin is on her way out but notices light and movement in the director's office. She enters to find a man shining a flashlight down on some documents behind the desk. She tells them she will call security, but the man, who has a cleft lip, tells her she will not. An old man and a young boy with the same scarred lip close the door behind her. The middle-aged man draws a garrote and pronounces that hell is empty and all the devils are here. He proceeds to strangle her to death.

Tronte returns home and sits next to Jana. She tells him he will have to decide what he really wants. Tronte mentions he saw Regina, who is now all grown up. Jana says she has always wondered who Regina's father is. Tronte says that Jana is right that he has to decide, as he takes her hand.

September 22, 2020[]

Having been told it was the only way, Tronte asphyxiated Regina.

Regina is startled awake by a loud noise. Someone is approaching her. She calls out "Mom?" Tronte removes his hood. Regina asks what brings him there. Tronte apologizes for what has to happen. Regina is confused, as Tronte takes Regina's pillow and tells her, "She said this is the only way to save you", and then smothers Regina to death with the pillow.

Peter is cooking dinner for Elisabeth and himself. Elisabeth asks him what Noah told him. He tells her to forget it. Elisabeth tells him she is not a little kid anymore. She picks up the triquetra book and asks him why he carries it around everywhere he goes, and where Charlotte and Franziska are. She pushes Peter and starts to cry. Peter tells her they will find them.

September 22, 2053[]

Charlotte Doppler looks at a picture of her mother, Noah, and herself as a baby. The adult Elisabeth sits next to her, but Charlotte gets up. Elisabeth tells her everything will be okay and they hug.

September 22, 1987[]

Teenaged Katharina is studying at the kitchen table when her mother walks in and slaps her on the back of the head, unprovoked, and tells her to clear the table. Katharina looks at her with terror. Her mother asks her why she always has to repeat herself, as Katharina begins to clear the table.

September 22, 2020[]

Claudia returns to the police station and discovers Regina's motionless body. She bursts into tears.

September 22, 1888[]

Wanting to find out more about what was going on, Bartosz took Martha to Adam's study.

Bartosz takes Martha into a building with the words "Sic mundus creatus est" and into a decorated room that Bartosz tells her is the headquarters of a secret society, of which the old Tannhaus is the last one left. Tannhaus's father was convinced he could supersede the rules of time and space and dedicated his life to that, which his son followed. Bartosz tells Martha that Jonas is trying to rebuild a time machine the way he saw one in the future ("Lost and Found"). He asks Martha: Who is Adam? Martha tells him that Jonas is Adam.

November 5, 2019 (alternate world)[]

The teenaged Jonas and the older Martha that he met the night before are in a grand room. "We don't know our end, but our end knows us," she tells him. We cannot escape our ultimate destiny. The choices made in each world may be different, but they converge on the same moment, even if they do not occur in the same way or at the same time. But they always happen and everyone will die, whether Jonas is in that world or not. The apocalypse will occur in both worlds—in her world in three days. She shows him the family tree.

Cast[]

Deaths[]

Trivia[]

Mysteries[]

  • Why does the Stranger not remember traveling to Martha's world? How could he not have?
  • Is Tronte the father of Regina?
  • How does Peter die?
  • The St. Christopher medal that Helene Albers wears: Is it the same one that will end up in the hands of Jonas and Martha by 2019?
  • Why does Tronte kill Regina? Who is the "she" that told him to do it? If it is Claudia, it must be an older version that somehow has the ability to travel outside of the thirty-three-year cycle (since she died in June of "this year", and would not be able to travel to September using the portable time machine, unless she instructed him to do this prior to her death).

Answers[]

  • The Stranger was so shocked to see Martha at the end of "Deja-vu" because he never traveled to her world and thus never met her after his Martha died. How this is possible, however, remains a mystery.
  • Katharina traveled to 1987 after entering the passage at the end of "Endings and Beginnings".
  • The Nielsens have their mock burial and funeral for Mads this episode. Jana first told Ulrich that it was Tronte who said they should place a grave for Mads, to get closure, in "Sic Mundus Creatus Est".
  • Katharina's maiden name is revealed to be Albers. It is also revealed that the nurse behind the desk at the psychiatric hospital, first seen when Egon went there in "Dark Matter", is Katharina's mother, Helene Albers. All this also suggests a relationship to Hermann Albers, who was first named in the credits of "Past and Present".
  • Clausen and Bernadette Wöller are confirmed to be dead as a result of the apocalypse. We also see photographs of Aleksander Tiedemann and Torben Wöller, who we knew died on that day as well from the gravestones seen in "Beginnings and Endings".
  • After the incident between Ulrich and Mikkel in "Lost and Found", Mikkel was removed from his home, alongside Ines, and placed under protective custody. This is why he has been "missing" for three months.
  • The cassette tapes recorded by Claudia and first heard when Jonas listens to them in "Beginnings and Endings" were recorded on this day, September 22, 2020. This is why she says that it has been "nearly three months" since the catastrophe.
  • Charlotte survived the apocalypse by traveling to 2053 when she and Elisabeth touched fingers through the wormhole at the end of "Endings and Beginnings".
  • The young Katharina suffers abuse at the hands of her mother. The suggestion of her family being "assholes" was first heard in "Crossroads", and the teenaged Katharina later confirms in "Everything Is Now" that her mother gave her the black eye for sleeping with Ulrich (in "Truths"). This is the first time that we see such abuse happening, however.
  • Sic Mundus as an organization existed prior to Jonas's leadership of it. It was formed by the father of the old Tannhaus first met here, who sought to control time so that he could put an end to all suffering. His son, the blind man, continued his work. Between 1888 and 1921, Jonas will evidently continue that work in his own pursuit of "paradise".
  • The apocalypse will happen in Eva's world as it happened in Adam's world. However, it will happen very soon—in November of 2019—as opposed to the following June, as in Adam's world.

Themes and Motifs[]

Time[]

  • The dates featured in this episode are: September 22, 1888; September 22, 1987; September 22, 2020; September 22, 2053; and (briefly) November 5, 2019, in Eva's world.
  • Mikkel has been "missing" for three months.
  • Claudia states on her recording that almost three months have passed since the apocalypse.
  • The apocalypse will occur in Eva's world in three days—November 8, 2019.

Observations[]

  • Most of this episode takes place in the original world.
  • The dream of Martha and Jonas having sex is again seen, this time by alternate world Martha (suggesting Jonas and alternate world Martha had sex at some stage).
  • Martha wakes up to the Stranger watching her and then telling her to get dressed, with the camera cutting to neatly folded clothes—similar to Jonas and Adam in "Lost and Found".
  • The teenaged Ulrich tells Katharina that maybe "that lunatic" got Mikkel—"that lunatic" being his older self (having lived to 2019, traveled back to 1953, and then spent thirty-three years in an asylum). He wears a jacket that says "No Future", which he in fact does not have.
  • The painting on the wall while Eva is talking to Jonas is Lucas Cranach the Elder's Adam and Eve (1510/20).
  • There's a scene in which Katharina is listening to "Is This Love" by Survivor. The choice of a song from this band, in this episode specifically, may be an Easter egg related to the episode's title.
  • The episode's title, "The Survivors", is similar to "The Travelers" from Season 2, both being of the structure "The (Die, nominative plural in German) + agentive noun". The words for "Survivors" and "Travelers" in German are both of the structure present participle + -er (reisend + -er = Reisender (plural Reisenden if following die); überlebend + -er = Überlebender (plural Überlebenden if following die)
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