- 1 Summary
- 2 Plot
- 3 Cast
- 4 Quotes
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Navigation
Characters and events in 1986 and 2019 are shown in split-screen, demonstrating the parallels. Charlotte Doppler in 2019 and Egon Tiedemann in 1986 are both frustrated by the lack of progress on the disappearance of children. Hannah Krüger in 1986 keeps a scrapbook about her crush, Ulrich Nielsen; the adult Hannah calls him constantly. Ines Kahnwald looks in on Mikkel Nielsen at the hospital in 1986; her older counterpart pulls out the children's book called I Am Not Afraid. Ulrich meets up with Hannah at the bus stop in 1986; the older Ulrich mopes in his missing son's room, ignoring her calls.
In 2019, Martha Nielsen calls Jonas Kahnwald but he ignores her; Jonas seems more interested in the red knot that was left on his bicycle while he was in the Winden Caves. Bartosz Tiedemann calls Martha but she ignores him.
November 7, 2019
The radio announces the mysterious disappearance of yet another child: Yasin Friese. As Ulrich drives through the street, protesters are yelling. Charlotte informs Elisabeth Doppler about the disappearance of Yasin. She asks her daughter if she might have any information to share. Elisabeth starts crying but Charlotte ignores it. She shows the pocket watch and asks if she could describe Noah. Peter Doppler watches as Charlotte hardly shows remorse for their daughter's loss. Elisabeth signs that Noah was tall, had a hat on, and had blue eyes. Charlotte suspects that Noah is involved, so she asks Elisabeth to explain every little detail to the sketch artist that would arrive soon.
Peter scolds Charlotte for her tone, but she asks him again where he was the night of Mikkel's disappearance. He again claims he was in the office until 11 pm. At this, Charlotte pulls out her printout from the wildlife camera, showing his license plate, proving he was not where he said he was. She desperately wants him to promise her that he is not involved with the disappearances, but he calls her insane.
November 7, 1986
At the hospital, Ines 1986 hands Mikkel a present but he remains silent. Ines 1986 sits down next to him and calmly asks him to talk to her when he's ready or at least explain who his parents are. She promises to keep any private information a secret.
November 7, 2019
In the Tiedemann family home, Bartosz tries to call Martha one last time. He has one last attempt to access Erik's phone. Suddenly it starts ringing from an unknown caller. He answers the phone, and the caller says "Hello, Bartosz. My name is Noah."
In the rain, Hannah decides to go to the Nielsen family home, bringing food in a dish container. When Martha answers the door, Hannah claims that she brought food for Katharina, Just then, Katharina enters the scene and Hannah says that she did this out of kindness. Katharina invites her in and Hannah goes into the house, secretly nervous. Hannah asks the distressed Katharina how Magnus, Martha, and Ulrich are, but she replies that she doesn't know. Suddenly, a bruised Ulrich enters the living room and is shocked at the sight of Hannah. Katharina tells him that she came by to bring some food. Ulrich says that he needs to head towards the police station, and Hannah asks him if she could ride with him since she came by bike. Katharina reluctantly agrees. Ulrich goes to kiss Katharina's forehead. As the two are about to leave, Katharina rises up to hug her, thanking Hannah for her concerns. Katharina smells her perfume and stares deeply at Ulrich.
In his room, the Stranger is packing his mysterious device and placing items in a package. He goes downstairs to the nervous Regina Tiedemann, asking if she can have the package delivered by the end of today as he's going away for a while. Regina sees that the package is addressed to Jonas Kahnwald. Meanwhile, at the Tiedemann home, Jonas is smoking with Bartosz. He asks Jonas where he was throughout the morning and Jonas claims he was at therapy. Bartosz asks him if he's heard from Martha since she hasn't responded to him, but Jonas proposes that she will contact him one day. They begin to play a video game together and Bartosz asks him if he's trustworthy enough to keep a secret. When Jonas answers positively, Bartosz tells him that he is going to meet Erik's supposed dealer tonight. He wants Jonas to come with him and he agrees.
When arriving back home, Hannah and Ulrich remain in the car. Ulrich strictly instructs her not to call him again and declares that he wants to end the affair. Agitated, she responds that nobody can simply shut down an affair. Hannah tells him to look her in the eye and tell her that this relationship meant nothing. She falsely tells him that she'll always be there for him in any situation. Ulrich leans closer, as if to kiss her, but instead opens the door for her. He repeats his strict instructions and shouts at her to leave. She leaves, feeling devastated by his actions once more.
Hannah then casts her mind back to 1986 when the two of them were talking to each other in Winden Comprehensive School, but as soon as Ulrich saw Katharina, he left her in the dust. Ulrich was already going out with Katharina. This memory still aggravates her.
November 7, 1986
Mikkel sits in bed as he's visited by a priest from St. Christopher's Church called by Ines. He reveals himself to be Noah. He asks Mikkel whether he believes in God and creation, to which the latter shakes his head. Mikkel replies that the world came to be through the Big Bang and evolution. Noah asks what was before the Big Bang since nothing can come from nothing. Mikkel volunteers that his father told him religion was only brainwashing of the masses. Noah takes this in stride, saying—somewhat ominously—that God has a plan for every human being, including him.
Ulrich and Katharina are sitting outside the school, smoking. They are planning to have sex soon. He promises to use condoms, and the two passionately kiss. Meanwhile, at the hospital, Ines is discussing with a social worker named Selma Ahrens about having Mikkel in their custody at a children's home until they find his family. Ines is skeptical about sending the boy there, asking if he could stay in the hospital for a while. Ahrens assures her that they would attend to his needs well. Ahrens asks her if she had any children, but Ines denies, saying that she had a son that died when he was born. As they shake hands, Ines tells her that he was a peculiar boy. Even after Ahrens leaves, she is still considering the decision.
November 7, 2019
At the Winden Police Station, Ulrich talks to Charlotte about why he became a police officer. Back when Mads Nielsen vanished in 1986, the police force and their chief investigator (Egon Tiedemann) were incompetent and found nothing regarding his brother's disappearance. Ulrich vowed to become better than them, to make things right, but it didn't turn out the way he'd intended. Ulrich is cheating on his wife and he can't do anything about Mikkel. Charlotte asks him about the thirty-three-year cycle where every 33 years, everything is exactly the way it was. An example is the lunar-solar cycle. She says that her grandfather was obsessed with these kinds of discoveries. Charlotte nostalgically stares at the board, verbally lamenting about how she used to see something wrong with Winden when she was young. Now she feels the same thing and that everything is repeating.
Jonas goes to the graveyard and sits on a bench, staring at Michael Kahnwald's grave. Just then, the Stranger approaches him, saying that he looks like his father. He sits next to Jonas, who asks if they knew each other. The Stranger says no, but he knew his father, who saved his life. He tells Jonas that life is like a labyrinth, some people wander around their whole lives looking for a way out, but there are only paths that lead you deeper. He further says that you don't understand it until you reach the center. He concludes that death is incomprehensible, but you could make peace with it – until then, Jonas should ask himself if he's made the right decisions. The Stranger departs, leaving Jonas unsettled.
November 7, 1986
After school, Hannah and her father, Sebastian Krüger, arrive at the hospital in his dry cleaning delivery van. He tells her he'll be busy for half an hour, and asks her if she is alright. Hannah lies by saying she's fine. She starts feeling insecure about her appearance and notices Mikkel sitting on a bench. Mikkel is opening his present, which is the children's book I Am Not Afraid. Hannah walks over and asks him if he thinks she is pretty. He hesitates to answer and that tells her everything she needs to know. She tells him that she likes to pretend she can do magic, that if she wants something really badly, it happens, like moving a bottle cap on the ground. Mikkel asks if she has heard of Harry Houdini (she responds negatively), then picks up the bottle cap, saying there is no magic, only illusion. He closes his hand around it, taps his fists, then reveals it in his other hand. She asks where he learned to do the trick, and he replies that he is from the future, which amuses her. He tells her his name and she tells him hers.
At the high school, Ulrich and Katharina hide in a changing room where they begin their liaison. Sebastian's van arrives outside. Hannah overhears Katharina's laugh through an open window. She peers through it and witnesses their intimate moment. She is devastated at the sight and leaves in a rage.
November 7, 2019
It is already dusk and the Stranger enters the cave. Meanwhile, Jonas goes to school to watch the rehearsal of Ariadne, the play that Martha is a part of. Martha is reciting her monologue about the old world and the new world, that nothing changes but always repeats in a cycle, that one fate is tied to the next, that knots cannot be undone but they can be severed. Jonas enters the auditorium and watches her. He receives a call from Bartosz from his cracked phone but he declines. Bartosz is waiting in the street outside the Nuclear Power Plant, frustrated that Jonas didn't come. He decides to walk through the forest on his own.
Jonas visits Martha in the dressing room afterwards and says that the performance was great. He admits that he did not go to France as Bartosz had told everyone, but actually went for treatment for post-traumatic stress following his father's suicide. He had not told her as he didn't want her to think of him as a "freak." He asks her if what happened between them last summer meant something, and she tells him it did. He asks her why she had called him this morning instead of Bartosz. She approaches him and they kiss passionately, renewing their relationship.
Bartosz waits at a sidewalk until a black car stops in front, and there is a man in the backseat. It is Noah, who hasn't aged since 1986. Bartosz is surprised that he's dressed as a priest and is instructed to get inside. Noah is holding a mysterious leather notebook. The car drives off. Meanwhile, Charlotte puts up a perfect sketch of Noah's face on the board. At the Nielsen home, Ulrich is lying in Mikkel's bed with Katharina. She asks him if he's cheating on her and Ulrich proclaims that he would never do that. She is not convinced.
November 7, 1986
While driving home, Hannah asks Sebastian what she should do if she has seen something that was wrong. Hannah tells him she witnessed Ulrich molesting Katharina. He takes her to the police and she tells Egon Tiedemann that Ulrich brutally raped Katharina. Egon tells her she did right and is very brave to tell him. Egon and two other officers go to the Nielsen home to arrest Ulrich. Jana Nielsen tries to run after him but is pulled back by her husband Tronte. Egon watches with great satisfaction. At the hospital, Ines is reading I Am Not Afraid to Mikkel as a bedtime story until the boy falls asleep peacefully.
November 7, 2019
Noah drops Bartosz off at the same sidewalk sometime later. He ponders about whatever Noah told him. Meanwhile, Ines visits the graveyard and sorrowfully places the I Am Not Afraid book onto Michael's grave.
Jonas returns home and finds a package in his room, the one the Stranger sent to him. Inside, there is a futuristic orb light, a Geiger counter, and a worn letter marked "Do not open before November 4, 10:13 PM." He opens it, realizing it is his father's suicide letter. It explains a philosophy of how the truth is always difficult and finally explains his truth: He was Mikkel Nielsen, who time-traveled to the year 1986, and grew up in the past. (Split screens reveal Mikkel the boy and Michael the man). This revelation visibly shocks Jonas.
November 7, 1986
The Stranger emerges from the caves and heads to a clockmaker's shop where the elderly H.G. Tannhaus is working late. He wants to talk to the clockmaker about time.
- Karoline Eichhorn as Charlotte Doppler
- Christian Pätzold as Egon Tiedemann 1986
- Maja Schöne as Hannah Kahnwald
- Ella Lee as Hannah Kahnwald 1986
- Angela Winkler as Ines Kahnwald
- Anne Ratte-Polle as Ines Kahnwald 1986
- Daan Lennard Liebrenz as Mikkel Nielsen
- Oliver Masucci as Ulrich Nielsen
- Ludger Bökelmann as Ulrich Nielsen 1986
- Louis Hofmann as Jonas Kahnwald
- Lisa Vicari as Martha Nielsen
- Paul Lux as Bartosz Tiedemann
- Carlotta von Falkenhayn as Elisabeth Doppler
- Stephan Kampwirth as Peter Doppler
- Andreas Pietschmann as The Stranger
- Jördis Triebel as Katharina Nielsen
- Deborah Kaufmann as Regina Tiedemann
- Mark Waschke as Noah
- Nele Trebs as Katharina Nielsen 1986
- Anne Lebinsky as Jana Nielsen 1986
- Felix Kramer as Tronte Nielsen 1986
- Christian Steyer as H.G. Tannhaus 1986
- "My father says religion is the brainwashing of the masses."
"I'm sure your father knows a lot, but he doesn't know everything. It's good that he raised you to question things. But every now and then, it's good to question those who question things. God has a plan for every human being. Including you."
- ―Mikkel Nielsen and Noah[src]
"Have you ever heard of the 33-year cycle? Our calendars are wrong, a year isn't 365 days long. We're always a bit "out of sync" so to speak. But every 33 years everything is just like it was. The stars, the planets, the whole universe returns to the exact same position. The lunar-solar cycle. My grandpa was obsessed with such things, the Big Bang and the Big Crunch. Nietzsche's eternal recurrence. When I was little, I always felt that something was wrong with Winden. I have that same feeling again — that everything's repeating, that this has all happened before. Like a massive déjà vu."
- "Do we know each other?"
"No. But I knew your father. It was a long time ago, but I remember him well. He saved my life back then. But I only understood that much later. Life is a labyrinth. Some people wander around their whole lives looking for a way out, but there's only one path and it leads you even deeper. You don't understand it until you've reached the center. Death is incomprehensible, but you can make peace with it. Till then you should ask yourself each day if you've made the right decisions."
- ―Jonas Kahnwald and The Stranger[src]
- "My mother told me about the old world. Before the flood. She said it had been of a different kind. Foul. She would braid my hair and recount harrowing tales, of my father and of demons from the underworlds. She said all is forgiven but nothing forgotten. Then the darkness in her eyes was greater than usual. And her words flowed like waves. She said all was well now the way it was. That all occupied its own space, in the past as here and now. When she spoke of this manner, something would overcome her. She would pull my braids tightly as if to punish me for something that dwelled in a place deep within her. Something that tugged at her from the centre, like a hunger that could not be satisfied. She spoke of yesterday as though it were before her very eyes as if today was but a veil that shrouded in shadow all that was real to her. The old world came to haunt her, like a ghost that whispered to her in a dream how to erect the new world, stone by stone. From then on, I knew that nothing changes. that all things remain as before. The spinning wheel turns, round and round in a circle, one fate tied to the next."
- ―Martha Nielsen acting as Ariadne[src]
- "Dear Jonas, By the time you read this everything will have happened, irrecoverably. It can no longer be changed. I would have liked to explain things to you sooner, but I hope once you understand how everything is connected, you will understand my decision. The truth is a strange thing. You can try to suppress it, but it will always find its way back to the surface. We make a lie into our truth in order to survive. We try to forget. Until we can't anymore. We don't know even half of the mysteries of this world. We are wanderers in the darkness. This is my truth. On November 4, 2019 I traveled through time to the year 1986. The boy from the future stayed. And in time he became a man. Mikkel became Michael, who never knew where he belonged. By the time you read this I'll already be gone. Both as a boy and as a man. I hope you can forgive me. Everything is connected. –– Mikkel / Michael"
- ―Michael Kahnwald's suicide letter[src]
- What is Noah's goal? How does he know Bartosz Tiedemann and why didn't he kidnap him? What did he say?
- How did Michael Kahnwald/Mikkel Nielsen save The Stranger's life?
- What did The Stranger mean when life is a labyrinth, and that you can make peace with death?
- What's the significance of Martha Nielsen's monologue about everything being tied in a knot?
- What's the significance of that black leather book Noah had?
- In the montage of Ulrich Nielsen 1986 being arrested, Katharina 1986 is seen with a black eye and bruises on her face. Who did this to her?
- What is the purpose of the mysterious nightlight and Geiger counter The Stranger leaves for Jonas Kahnwald?
- Jonas appears to have finally received his father's suicide letter that Ines Kahnwald had. How did The Stranger obtain it?
- Noah is a time-traveling priest.
- Hannah Kahnwald is madly obsessed with Ulrich and has a vendetta against Katharina.
- Jonas lied to Martha about his 2-month absence because he's afraid of her reaction.
- Martha was truly in love with Jonas.
- Michael's secret is that he was Mikkel.
- The future really does influence the past. Mikkel traveled from 2019 to 1986, grew up during the thirty-three years, and fathered Jonas.
Themes and Motifs
- The dates featured in this episode are:
- November 7, 2019
- November 7, 1986
- Yasin Friese disappeared in the morning.
- Peter Doppler lies again, saying that during the night Mikkel vanished, he was at working until 11 PM.
- The Stranger needs his package delivered to Jonas by the end of today.
- Noah says that God is responsible for the beginning of the universe and time.
- Hannah reminisces memories from 1986.
- The Stranger wants to talk to H.G. Tannhaus about time.
- Mikkel tells Hannah that he's from the future, and she takes it as a joke.
- Noah travels from 1986 to 2019.
- The Stranger travels from 2019 to 1986.
- Mikkel grew up in the past.
- Noah tells Mikkel that God has a plan for everyone.
- Ulrich's depression discourages him from continuing his affair with Hannah.
- Hannah's obsession led to trouble.
- Martha's love for Jonas prompts her to ignore Bartosz.
- Bartosz wanted to meet Noah because the latter motivated him to do so.
- The Stranger sends Michael's suicide letter to Jonas, leading him to discovering the truth. This was the effect of the Stranger's action. The Stranger is the cause, and Jonas's shock is the effect.
- Hannah's sheets are blue.
- Ines's present to Mikkel is wrapped in yellow wrapping paper.
- Katharina was wearing dark red.
- In 1986, the school corridors had red and yellow linings, as well as sky blue walls.
- Jonas wears his yellow raincoat.
- Every change in the past has already been accounted for in the future.
- Michael Kahnwald is Mikkel, who was a child from 2019 that grew up in the past and fathered Jonas. This means that Jonas wasn't meant to be born (in a world without time travel).
- Mikkel is born five years after his son.
- Ulrich says everything is the same as it was thirty-three years ago.
- Charlotte Doppler describes her understanding of the thirty-three-year cycle and feels that everything is repeating.
- The scenes with split screens show the parallels between 1986 and 2019.
Religion and Mythology
- Noah is a priest. He has a conversation with Mikkel about the belief in God.
- Images of the Theseus and the Minotaur labyrinth can be seen on the Stranger's wall. Later, he tells Jonas life is a labyrinth, and the only way to understand it is to make it to the center.
- This episode marks the first appearance of:
- This is the first episode that alternates between 2019 and 1986, although the year is not displayed.
- The cutout of Ulrich that Hannah was pasting in her scrapbook in 1986 was from the photo of him and Mads Nielsen.
- Whenever we transition between different years, a loud ticking noise is played.
- Noah appears in both timelines but appears to be the same age (unlike everyone else). That shows he's a time traveler.
- This is the last episode where the Stranger and Regina Tiedemann see each other.
- This is the first episode to feature a major paradox.
- The address of the Kahnwald house is given as Feldweg 8 ("8 Field Road/Field Way"), 36777 Winden. The postal code is fictitious, but a code starting with 36 indicates Hesse or Thuringia in central Germany.
- Martha is portraying as Ariadne, a fictional princess who was reference in "Double Lives", the narrator searching for her thread, which would guide people along the "right path".
- In "Past and Present", farmer Hermann Albers mentioned a new priest at the church, whom he referred to as a good man. This could be a reference to Noah, as he is a priest.
- The book Ich fürchte mich nicht (I Am Not Afraid) and its author "Henni M. Lohnau" are fictitious.
- The text of the newspaper article about the disappearance of Mads Nielsen ("Windener Junge vermisst") has no relation to the title. Another headline mentions Winden becoming a sister city of Kiel, in northern Germany near the Danish border.
- Katharina and Ulrich promised to never have kids (They have three).
- Martha ignores Bartosz; Jonas ignores Martha (initially) and Bartosz.
- This is the first time Ulrich is arrested because of Egon Tiedemann.
- Jonas was with Mikkel when he vanished and travelled back in time, who we now know became his father.
- Hannah was evil enough to trouble a family that recently lost their youngest son.
- If Mikkel was eleven years old in 2019, and grew up from 1986, that means Michael was forty-four.
- Michael left instructions not to read his suicide note until after Mikkel's disappearance, presumably to ensure that no one intervened to prevent this from happening when it did.
- If Mikkel is Jonas's father, Martha is his aunt.
- The Surge: The video game that Bartosz and Jonas play together. The Surge is Playstation 4 sci-fi action RPG set in a dystopian future. Developed by Deck13 Interactive and released in 2017, it does not have a split screen dual player mode.
- The Breakfast Club: The movie that Hannah 1986 quotes to Ulrich 1986. The Breakfast Club is a 1985 American teen comedy-drama film which was released in West Germany in July 1985.
- Ariadne: Martha was casting as Ariadne in her titular play. Ariadne was a Cretan princess in Greek mythology. She was mostly associated with mazes and labyrinths because of her involvement in the myths of the Minotaur and Theseus.
- "Goodbye" by Apparat
The opening song.
- "Me and the Devil" by Soap & Skin
Ulrich 1986 is arrested.
- The time on Bartosz's phone shows 08:27, but just moments later, the time on Erik Obendorf's phone shows 09:26.
- When Bartosz and Jonas are playing the video game, the controllers do not appear to be powered on; the light facing the television should be illuminated.
- Hannah says she rode her bike to the Nielsen's even though she had a large dish.
- → See 45 images from Truths at Images from Truths.
|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"|