Characters and events in 1986 and 2019 are shown in split-screen, demonstrating the parallels. The teen Hannah Kahnwald keeps a scrapbook about her crush, Ulrich Nielsen; the adult Hannah calls him constantly. The teenage Ulrich rides up to Hannah, but the older Ulrich mopes in his missing son's room, ignoring her calls. Charlotte Doppler in 2019 and Egon Tiedemann in 1986, are both frustrated by the lack of progress on the disappearance of children. The 1986 Ines looks in on Mikkel at the hospital; her older counterpart pulls out the children's book I Am Not Afraid (Ich fürchte mich nicht).
Martha Nielsen calls Jonas Kahnwald, but he ignores her; Jonas seems more interested in the red string that was left on his bicycle while he was in the Winden Caves. Bartosz Tiedemann calls Martha but she ignores him. He has all but given up trying to access Erik Obendorf's phone but is startled when it rings and even more surprised when the unknown caller addresses him by name and says his name is Noah.
The radio announces the mysterious disappearance of yet another child: Yasin- assumed to be connected to Mikkel Nielsen and Erik Obendorf. Charlotte tells Elisabeth about the disappearance of her "boyfriend," asking if she might have any information to share. Charlotte asks her to describes Noah. Charlotte says she will send a sketch artist.
Peter Doppler dislikes Charlotte's tone. Charlotte 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 wants him to promise her that he is not involved with the disappearances, but he tells her she is insane.
Ines visits Mikkel, bringing him a present and tries to get him to open up to her. His parents must be worried. He remains silent, however.
Hannah brings food over to the Nielsen family house. Katharina thanks her and Hannah waits for her to ask her to come in. Ulrich enters and asks Hannah what she is doing there. He says he is leaving for the police station. Hannah asks him for a ride, as it is raining heavily. He hesitates but Katharina says he will take her and thanks and hugs her, smelling her perfume.
In the car, Ulrich tells Hannah to stop calling him and that he can't continue with their affair. Hannah says she can't just switch it off. She says she is there for him. He says what he needs is for her to leave him and his family alone and get out of his car (despite the heavy rain). She warns him that she will not simply let him go.
Hannah then casts her mind back to 1986 when the two of them were talking to each other in school but as soon as Ulrich saw Katharina he left her to be with Katharina. This still angers her.
At the hotel, Regina Tiedemann has to handle a cancellation. To her disappointment, The Stranger approaches with his bag. He says he has to go away for a few days but would like to keep his room (which is a great relief to her). He asks her to deliver an urgent package by that evening. It is addressed to Jonas Kahnwald.
Jonas comes over to the Tiedemann family house to visit Bartosz, who is frustrated that he has not been able to reach either Jonas or Martha. They begin to play a video game together, and Bartosz confides that he has spoken to who he thinks is Erik's dealer (Noah) and that they plan to meet that night. He wants Jonas to come along, and Jonas agrees.
At the hospital Mikkel is visited by a priest at St. Christopher's Church- whose name is Noah, saying Ines had asked him to visit. He asks Mikkel whether he believes in God and creation and 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.
Katharina thinks back to when she and Ulrich first decided to have sex. He asks if she is sure and she says she would rather do it with him than some other guy. She makes him promise to get condoms, however, because she doesn't want AIDS and she doesn't want kids—she never wants to have kids. He promises, "no kids." They kiss passionately.
Selma Ahrens, a social worker, tells Ines that child protective services will place Mikkel in a children's home until his family can be found, which is sure to happen. She asks Ines if she has children, and Ines replies no; she once had a son, but he died shortly after birth. Ines tells her that Mikkel is a peculiar boy, very sensitive.
Ulrich tells Charlotte that he became a police officer after seeing the police make every mistake in the book when his brother Mads disappeared. The lead detective then was a "drunken idiot." He had vowed to do things right and never become an incompetent asshole like he was—but that was 33 years ago, and now he himself was a joke. He cheats on his wife, his own son has disappeared, and everything was the same, except now he was the incompetent asshole.
Charlotte asks him if he knows about the 33-year cycle. The 365-day calendar is slightly off, but every 33 years, things would be just like they were in the previous cycle. Her grandfather had been obsessed with such things. As a child, she always felt there was something wrong about Winden, and now that feeling had returned, that everything was repeating, that it had all happened before. (We see Egon contemplating Mads' disappearance in 1986).
Jonas visits his father's grave. The Stranger approaches him, telling him he looks like his father. Jonas is confused and asks if they know each other. The Stranger says no, but that Jonas's father had saved his life a long time ago, which he only understood much later.
Hannah and her father Sebastian Krüger arrive at the hospital in his dry cleaning delivery van. He tells her he will be busy for half an hour, and while she is gone, she notices Mikkel sitting on a bench, finally opening the gift that Ines had brought to him earlier. It is the children's book Ich fürchte mich nicht—I Am Not Afraid—by Henni M. Lohnau. Hannah walks over and asks him if he thinks she is pretty. He hesitates to answer. 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, 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.
The next stop for the dry cleaning van is the high school, where Ulrich and Katharina have begun their liaison in the changing room. Hannah hears Katharina's laugh and walks to the window, where she sees them together.
Later her father picks her up. Hannah asks her father 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 that Ulrich violently choked and raped her. Egon tells her she did right and is very brave to tell him. Ulrich is taken away by the police in handcuffs, as Egon looks on with great satisfaction.
As The Stranger returns to the cave and Jonas returns to the school, Martha rehearses her monologue from Ariadne on stage, 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, who is waiting for him to meet Noah. Jonas, however, declines the call, to Bartosz's frustration.
Jonas visits Martha in the dressing room afterwards and says he has to tell her 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? She tells him it did. He asks him why she had called him that morning instead of Bartosz. She approaches him and they kiss passionately.
Meanwhile, Bartosz is waiting to meet Noah, who he thinks is Erik's dealer. He is surprised that he is dressed as a priest. He asks him if he wants to get in the car, and they drive off.
Charlotte, meanwhile, looks at the sketch of Noah made from Elisabeth's description.
Ulrich comes home to find Katharina asleep on Mikkel's bed. He lies next to her. She asks him if he is cheating on her? Ulrich asks where she got that idea from? She asks him again. He answers he would never do such a thing.
Jonas returns home and finds the package that The Stranger had asked Regina to deliver. He opens it to find an orb light, a Geiger counter and a worn letter, marked "Do not open before November 4, 10.13 pm." He opens it. It is addressed to him. "By the time you receive this everything will have happened irrevocably and can no longer be changed. I hope that once you understand how everything is connected, you will understand my decision. No matter how much we try to suppress the truth, it always makes its way back to the surface. And his truth is that on November 4, 2019, he travelled through time to the year 1986 and remained there, and in time, Mikkel became Michael, who never knew where he belonged. He hopes Jonas will forgive him. It is signed, "Mikkel/Michael." (Split screens are shown of Mikkel the boy and Michael the man).
- Ulrich: Do you know why I became a policeman? When my brother vanished back then, they made every mistake in the book. The chief investigator was a drunken moron. And I... I swore I'd do everything differently. That I'd do things right. That I wouldn't become an incompetent asshole pig like him. That was 33 years ago. And now look at me. I'm a joke. I cheat on my wife. My son has vanished. I can't do anything. Thirty-three years. Everything is the same. Just that now I'm the incompetent asshole.
- Charlotte: 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.
- Mikkel (performing his magic trick): There is no such thing as magic, just illusion. Things only change when we change them. But you have to do it skillfully, in secret. Then it seems like magic.
- Martha (as Ariadne): 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.
- Michael/Mikkel's suicide note: By the time you read this everything will have happened, irrevocably. It can no longer be changed.
- 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
- Tara Fischer as Girl in School
- Barbara Philipp as Caseworker Selma Ahrens
- Denis Schmidt as Sebastian Krüger
- "Fairy's Fountain" by Koji Kondo
Hannah meets Mikkel
- "Me and the Devil" by Soap & Skin
Teenage Ulrich is arrested
- The time on Bartosz's phone shows 08:27, but just moments later, the time on Eric'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 Neilsen's even though she had a large dish.
- Theseus and the Minotaur — Images of the labyrinth from the Stranger's wall are seen. Later, he tells Jonas life is a labyrinth, and the only way to understand it is to make it to the center.
- The Playstation 4 game which Bartosz and Jonas play is The Surge, a 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 movie the teenage Hannah quotes to Ulrich is The Breakfast Club, which was released in West Germany in July 1985.
- The teenage Ulrich wears a "No Future" punk jacket
Themes and motifsEdit
- Charlotte knows Peter is not telling the truth about where he was when Mikkel disappeared.
- Ulrich tells Hannah he is not interested in her or continuing their affair. He has always preferred Katharina, something Hannah refuses to accept.
- Ulrich realizes his life is a failure
- Mikkel tells Hannah he is from the future, but she doesn't believe him
- Hannah lies about Ulrich raping Katharina
- Jonas tells Martha the truth about his recent absence, that he went for treatment of his PTSD
- Martha realizes she is still in love with Jonas
- Katharina smells Hannah and appears to have realized Ulrich is having an affair with her. She asks Ulrich if he is cheating. He won't tell her the truth.
- Mikkel travelled to 1986, grew up and became Michael Kahnwald, Jonas' father.
- The noose made of cord left on Jonas's bike is red
- Ines's present to Mikkel is wrapped in yellow wrapping paper
- Noah tells Mikkel that God has a plan for everyone
- Ulrich says everything is the same as it was 33 years ago
- Charlotte describes her understanding of the 33-year cycle and feels that everything is repeating
- The opening split screens show the parallels between 1986 and 2019
- This is the first episode that alternates between 2019 and 1986, although the year is not displayed.
- Noah appears in both timelines but appears to be the same age (unlike everyone else).
- This is the last episode where The Stranger and Regina see each other.
- The address of the Kahnwald house is given as Felding 8 ("8th Lane"), 36777 Winden. The postal code is fictitious, but a code starting with 36 indicates Hesse or Thuringia in central Germany.
- 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 had 3).
- Martha ignores Bartosz, Jonas ignores Martha (initially) and Bartosz.
- Jonas was with Mikkel when he vanished and travelled back in time, who we now know became his father.
- 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' father, Martha is his aunt.
- When did Ines have her son, and why did he die? Who was the father?
- How did Michael Kahnwald save the Stranger's life?
- In the montage, Katharina is seen with a black eye and bruises on her face. Who did this to her?
- What is the purpose of the mysterious light and Geiger counter the Stranger leaves for Jonas?
- Jonas appears to have finally received his father's suicide note that Ines had. How did the Stranger obtain it?
- Why does Michael have maps of the Winden caves? We saw him return to the caves in episode 3 to try to travel back to 2019. Did he continue to do this?