Dark season 3 is beautiful and tenebrous in every sense of the word, and it’s difficult to imagine how any other series could match this complex yet complete achievement.
This review of Netflix series Dark season 3 contains no spoilers. The final ever season will be released on the platform on June 27, 2020.
As I write this review I’m wondering what to say. Sometimes a film or a TV series comes along and there are not enough words to describe the achievement. Netflix’s Dark is one of those series’ where it takes a significant amount of time to allow the viewers to absorb and appreciate the true nature of the story. I’m not on about season 3 on its own — the series as a whole has been exemplary.
Dark season 3 is a reflection of the hard work before it with disciplined storyboarding and a comprehensive effort to ensure that the ever-moving timelines fit. Season 3 also proves the point that sometimes too much of a good thing can be spoilt. Three seasons is enough to withstand the complexity of the story. Further seasons would have ruined the clear end goal of the creators.
The comparisons to bring to the table are Lost and Fringe. Both of these series’ arrived with so many themes and moving parts, but the stories ended up so convoluted in their own ideas that it thickened and confused the plot points. There was almost a sense that the fans appreciated the longevity and the long-awaited conclusions, but on the other hand, it felt like the writers could not wait to put the pen down. With Dark season 3, you do not get that sense — it feels complete in its own wonderful way, with no pressure to continue the multiplex narrative.
Dark season 3 puts the onus on “ending it all” but the series never intends to give the fans character parades. It stays real to the story to the very end, allowing a fruitful but thought-provoking conclusion. While previous seasons places a lot of emphasis on Jonas, this season puts the “time” and energy into Martha, making her equally important to the bigger picture, especially after the events of the thrilling and mindboggling season 2 finale. There’s a roadmap, enkindled with character desires, bitterness, and a real understanding of their younger version’s selves. Dark season 3 is the end of a “time” war, initiating the final movements.
Blessed with a breadth of scientific knowledge, as usual, the structure holding up the science is based on emotional engagement with the viewers. Each episode manages to satisfy the audience with constructive cinematography and a soundtrack that helps the jigsaw pieces come together. All this is coupled, as ever, by a perfectly performing cast who have outstandingly dedicated themselves to their roles. Dark season 3 continually wants to keep the viewers guessing, but it forms a trust with the viewer by providing the contractual understanding that elements will be explained, without patronization and with a real sense of quality behind the writing. Season 1 and 2 gains that trust and season 3 unduly delivers.
And like its predecessors, Dark season 3 enjoys the overarching theme of “love” that essentially connects all the dots — the entire reason these characters are sustained in a cycle of “time” is due to their human connections, not their aspirations to conquer science. This is why Dark works; it understands the importance of the need for reasons, rather than willingly throwing in subplots to enhance a story that is ebbing away. The only reason we aspire to venture to Mars is due to human survival, not because we enjoy a planet that lacks water. When a story finds the right balance of science and human relationships, you get the likes of Dark.
Netflix’s Dark season 3 deserves all the plaudits it gets but it is important to note that the entirety of the series is the reason for its unopposed success — without an outstanding season 1 & 2, season 3 could not have ended with such craft and patience. Dark season 3 is beautiful and tenebrous in every sense of the word and it’s difficult to imagine how any other series could match this complex yet complete achievement. The creators deserve every accolade coming their way.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.