Well, that resolves that.
No, it really does.
See, the whole thing was borne of the idea that Adam and Eva, on two different parallel worlds, were forever trying to prevent the apocalypse that ruined their own timnelines. However, as seen over and over throughout the show, specifically when Old Claudia shows up and sees Adam, everything the two do to prevent the end of their respective worlds ultimately causes those ends to happen. And, quite frankly, neither Martha nor Jonas should even exist. Jonas’s father is Martha’s kid brother, transported to the past, and Martha is her own great-grandmother or thereabouts. The only way to really prevent the apocalypse is not to save one world or the other but to go back to the origin point, the real origin point, and prevent the heartbroken H.G. Tannhaus from inventing time travel in the first place.
And to do that, all teenage Martha and Jonas have to do is make sure Tannhaus’s son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter don’t drive off a washed out bridge in a bad rainstorm.
And…they more or less do that. Without Tannhaus inventing time travel, both Martha and Jonas cease to exist…as do a whole lot of other characters. So, after watching three seasons worth of time travel misery amongst various people, I hope I didn’t get too attached to most of them because they don’t exist anymore. Who does still exist? We see a handful of adults. Claudia got what she wanted as Regina lived. Katharina and Hannah are actually friends because there’s no Ulrich. We have three more minor characters still alive, and…that’s it from the looks of things. Maybe some of the kids are out there, but none of them are at this private party for grown-ups serving cake.
At the least, Hannah is pregnant, and she does say she always liked the name “Jonas” when asked, but really, this was something that, despite my half-intentional jokes, wasn’t all that rough to follow. The biggest problem was remembering which actor was which character since there were way more actors than characters. In the end, Adam and Eva had to more or less resolve to do things differently in a form of self-sacrifice, and that wasn’t even done by them so much as it was by their much younger selves. There was some metaphysical stuff, the sort that maybe shouldn’t be happening, like how each Jonas and Martha faded into bits of light like they just decided they had enough of the Good Place, where I would think that it would have only happened once to the youngest pair.
Then again, that would have meant skipping seeing Adam and Eva holding hands and reconciling as their respective timelines ended. That may have made more sense in a quantum mechanics type of world, but it doesn’t work as well for a drama.
What, then, was Dark? I frequently told people it was basically German Stranger Things, emphasis on the “German”. That still holds. German programming is more known for its seriousness and dour endings than its comedy or lightheartedness. That’s probably just an inaccurate stereotype, but it does seem to hold a bit with what kind of show Dark is. When the “happy ending” for the paradise means most of the characters don’t exist anymore, even if it means Tannhaus got his family back (and Tannhaus wasn’t ever presented as more than a side character and we never met his family before the finale), then that can only be so happy considering which characters we were following for most of this show.
Besides, I like to say how fictional time travel works one of two ways: either you can change things or you can’t. In the former, you do something and things turn out differently. In the latter, your efforts to change things either don’t work or end up causing the very thing you were tying to prevent in the first place. Dark, for the most part, took the idea that you can’t change anything and ran with it…until the end, where it turned out you can, but only if you change the right thing and it may not be the thing you yourself want to change, but a whole lot of people will be better off if you do.
If nothing else, that’s a hell of a moral quandary. Let’s say 9 out of 10 barrels of God Particle material. The large cast confused me, and the dubbed voices often didn’t sound right, but those are minor quibbles all told.
But now, I need something else for my Thursdays, and since Thursdays are for more of my longer form shows, let’s go with one I have heard a bit about but have yet to get around to see. With that in mind, I’m gonna go check out Ozark.
I mean, I may be late to that bandwagon, but better late than never,