Dark season 3, episode 6, “Light and Shadow” is a fulfilling, complex and fruitful chapter as Eva and Adam’s plans trigger at the same time.
This recap and breakdown of Netflix series Dark season 3, episode 6, “Light and Shadow” contains significant spoilers.
Please note, for reference and the purpose of recapping Dark, descriptors like Child, Teen, Adult, Elderly, or a specific year will be used to determine the character in the plot at the beginning of paragraphs. For example:
- Jonas (teen)
- The Stranger (adult)
- Adam (elderly)
- Helge (child – 1953)
How does Dark season 3, episode 6, “Light and Shadow” open?
Episode 6 opens up in 1888 with Jonas (adult) having a bad dream about the apocalypse. When he wakes up, he reads a letter from Martha telling him to not give up hope and it ends with — “You and I are perfect for each other”. Meanwhile, Martha (teen — counterpart — the original world — 2020) is being held captive by Adam.
2019 — the other world — the day of the apocalypse
Martha (teen — counterpart — the other world — 2019) returns home and frantically washes her face and takes off her jacket, evidently shocked by the events she has just seen. Magnus (teen — counterpart) asks if she’s okay. Martha tells Magnus that Bartosz is right, the world is going to end today, and mentions the containers. Magnus dismisses her. Meanwhile, Martha (elderly — counterpart) tells Martha (teen — counterpart — the one that brought Jonas to the other world) that killing Jonas was the right thing to do. Dark season 3, episode 6, “Light and Shadow” sees the events coming to the surface, as the apocalypse looms just like it did in the original world.
2020 — the original world — held captive
Held captive, Martha (teen — counterpart — the original world — 2020) accuses Adam of lying to her. Adam states what he believes paradise is — “Unending darkness, in which nothing exists,” and that the apocalypse must happen. These are chilling words by Adam as his deceptions have led to this point.
2019 — the other world — 6 hours until the apocalypse
Aleksander (adult — counterpart) is fretting on the phone about the containers. He then tells Bartosz (teen — counterpart) that someone is blackmailing him from an event from a long time ago and gets out a newspaper excerpt that says, “Murder in Marburg still unsolved 33 years later”. He reveals he’s not called Aleksander, but Boris Niewald — he insists it was an accident and he isn’t a murderer. Bartosz is upset and angry and walks away.
Charlotte (adult — counterpart) heads over to Hannah’s house and asks for Ulrich. The tension is still there and Hannah (adult — counterpart) tells Charlotte that Ulrich belongs to her. Charlotte reveals to Ulrich (adult — counterpart) that the forensic examination results of the two pennies attached to the string necklaces have arrived. She states both pennies are identical and it’s “as if both pennies traveled through time”. Ulrich wants to see Helge before pre-trial.
Meanwhile, Martha (teen — counterpart — the other world — 2019) is still shocked by the events of what happened and starts frantically cutting her hair. She asks her mother Katharina (adult — counterpart) if she believes in fate. Katharina tells her that she can talk to her anytime despite things being different between her and her father moving forward. Dark season 3, episode 6, “Light and Shadow” brings this depressing inevitability, a destined fate for all these characters and the chapter does well to bring that gloom.
2020 — the original world — follow the signal
Claudia (adult) is looking at blueprints of Winden Power Plant which is marked with “Follow The Signal”. She heads inside the plant to see a glowing white sphere. Someone tells her to stop and when she turns around it is Jonas (teen).
2052 — the other world — quantum entanglement
Martha (teen — counterpart — the one that brought Jonas to the other world) wonders how Jonas is alive in his world after killing him. Eva reveals there is a switch point in the loop of time — “The moment that causes things to run in one direction or the other. You bring him to our world. Or you don’t. A line that starts at one point, then loops into itself once more // on one of the roads he dies, on the other, he doesn’t”. Eva calls it an endless loop, with one triggering the other — “Quantum entanglement” — and that Adam has been trying to sever it for 33 years to stop Martha from giving birth to the baby: “But it’s impossible”.
2020 — the original world — I can save everyone
Jonas (teen) tells Claudia (adult) that this (referring to the glowing orb) was left over after the disaster. Claudia refers to it as “The God particle”. Jonas explains the passage is gone but he knows how to get this particle to work so he can go back and save everyone — Jonas asks her if she still has the apparatus but it doesn’t work. Jonas tells her that Claudia’s older self knew that Martha would die and is not sure if she can be trusted. Claudia tells Jonas that she can save them all.
2019 — the other world — 3 hours until the apocalypse
Martha (counterpart — teen — 2019 — the other world) goes to see Bartosz (teen — counterpart) and explains everything she knows and that the apocalypse will be starting soon. Meanwhile, Ulrich (adult — counterpart) asks the forensic officer if the dead body could have been preserved for a long time. He then goes to see Helge (elderly — counterpart) and accuses him of killing Mads, not Mikkel — linking the two as both boys look similar. Helge says that he was told to send him into the future to fill in the gaps.
Bartosz is trying to work out Martha’s story. Martha tells Bartosz that his father cannot open the containers. Bartosz tries ringing his father but Aleksander (adult — counterpart) ignores. Aleksander rings Charlotte and tells her to head over. Dark season 3, episode 6, “Light and Shadow” shows that the events are almost identical, with Aleksander ready to show the containers to start the apocalypse.
2020 — the original world — held captive
Martha (teen — counterpart — the original world — 2020) is freed from her cage as Adam wants to talk to her. She is asked to get undressed. This scene is even more chilling, with Adam seemingly prepping Martha for an event, making her a pawn in his entire ideology.
2019 — the other world — 1 hour until the apocalypse
Franziska (teen — counterpart) and Magnus (teen — counterpart) discuss Martha’s strange story. Franziska states if they die today, they die together. Meanwhile, Bartosz (teen — counterpart) and Martha (teen — counterpart — the other world — 2019) rush over to the plant. Ulrich (adult — counterpart) follows Helge (elderly — counterpart) through the woods and then rings Charlotte with the theory that the dead kid in the bunker is his brother.
Franziska (adult) and Magnus (adult) arrive from the future into the other world and stop Bartosz and Martha from cycling to the plant. Future Magnus explains they are from the future but not from their world and that their older selves want the apocalypse to happen. Magnus states that they can change it all — Franziska tells them they must choose the original world and trust Jonas, and reveals he is alive and knows where the origin is — “But before that, you must save Jonas from the apocalypse in his world and bring him into your world”. Magnus offers Martha a time-traveling device. When Martha asks Bartosz to come with her Franziska states that Bartosz is, “Not one of us. He’s one of the others”. Martha apologizes to Bartosz and disappears with Franziska and Magnus.
2052 — the other world — we are destiny
Meanwhile, Eva states “It’s time. Adam has moved each of his tokens into position. It’s time we do the same. This knot has given us all life. And we are its keepers. In both worlds.”. Eva puts her hand on Martha’s (teen — counterpart — the one that brought Jonas to the other world) stomach and states that Adam will never be able to untie this knot and that he’s never understood how everything is connected — “We are destiny”. Eva tells Bartosz (adult — counterpart) that he must save himself, to save everyone’s lives; she tells Claudia (adult — counterpart) that she must guide her other self to be their eyes in the other world; she tells Egon (elderly — counterpart) to create his past to preserve the family tree; and finally, she tells both Noah’s (adult and teen — counterpart) to bring love, to make everything new. Eva activates the machine. Dark season 3, episode 6, “Light and Shadow” is bringing everything full circle, presenting an insightful scene of Eva putting her ultimate plan together.
2020 — the original world — absolute annihilation
Martha (teen — counterpart — the original world — 2020) is crying, telling Adam that he brought her into his world and promised her he could change it. She asks where she sent the others. Adam states they are fulfilling their destinies and explains his process:
“Magnus and Franziska. Charlotte and Elisabeth. Silja and Agnes. They’re sustaining the cycle’s life. So that you and I exist here, now.” Martha wonders what he means and Adam says, “This is the end we’ve reached. What’s growing inside you, the origin, must die. But it can’t be killed by normal means. It’s born of both worlds. And the energy of both worlds is necessary to destroy it. The apocalypse in my world, and the apocalypse in your world // A machine that crosses not only time but space as well. Which focuses the energy of both apocalypses, on this point, concentrated. Your son only exists because the matter exists. Now, through it, he will die, and all of us with him. None of this will exist anymore. Both worlds will erase one another. Absolute annihilation.” Dark season 3, episode 6, “Light and Shadow” presents Adam’s ultimate plans in one speech that seemingly counters Eva’s plans.
Martha tells Adam that he has gone insane. Adam tells Martha that they were wrong in both worlds. Martha shouts for Jonas repeatedly, begging him to stop as Adam leaves Martha tied up near the matter and heads to the control room. As Adam reaches for the control, you can sense a slight hesitation on his face with a pinch of sadness, showing emotion for the first time, but then he pulls the lever. That show of sadness spoke a thousand years, suggesting this is a heartbreaking sacrifice for him.
Eva narrates: “The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning”. The unknown elderly man and child now exist in one world while the unknown man exists in the other after all three time-traveled separately. Eva narrates further: “Every connection in one world must also be closed in the other world. Everything is interconnected. In light and in the shadow”.
In the next scenes, the following occurs:
- Future Noah (adult — counterpart) meets teen Elisabeth (teen — counterpart) and takes her to the bunker with younger Noah in 2019 in the other world.
- The future Claudia (adult — counterpart) meets Claudia in 2020 in the original world.
- The future Bartosz (adult — counterpart) meets Bartosz (teen counterpart) to save him.
- Martha (elderly — counterpart) arrives at the Tannhaus factory in 1888. Jonas (adult) is continuing to build his machine. Martha leaves a letter for Jonas and the stopwatch that has Charlotte’s name written inside.
- The unknown elderly man and child head to the volume control room in the nuclear plant in one world while the unknown man enters the volume control room in the other and they initiate some controls.
- Aleksander (adult — counterpart) shows Charlotte (adult — counterpart) the room with the containers and the dark matter rises.
- The future Egon (elderly — counterpart) visits Hannah (adult — counterpart) who is heavily pregnant and bleeding.
- Ulrich (adult — counterpart) finds the door in the cave.
How does Dark season 3, episode 6, “Light and Shadow” end?
Adam watches as the dark matter swirls around Martha and engulfs her as she screams, destroying her. In 2019, in the other world, the apocalypse happens. Dark season 3, episode 6, “Light and Shadow” is a fulfilling, complex and fruitful chapter as Eva and Adam’s plans trigger at the same time.
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