'Dark' season 2: The Doppler family tree is born out of a paradox and is the most perplexing revelation of this thriller
When we say that Netflix's 'Dark' is a complex, complicated show that surpasses genres and themes fusing science, age-old secret societies and time-travel together with characters arcs that will simply blow your mind, we aren't just hyping it for nothing.
A family saga at the heart of it, the first impressions of 'Dark' are that the show has roots in supernatural elements. But that is only the beginning and there is a lot more happening beneath the surface.
(BE PREPARED for spoilers for the second season of Netflix's 'Dark' ahead)
Set in the German town in the present day where the disappearance of two young children exposes the double lives and fractured relationships among four families. In the second season, according to the official synopsis, Jonas (played by Louis Hofmann) finds himself trapped in the future and desperately tries to return to 2020. Meanwhile, his friends Martha, Magnus, and Franziska are trying to uncover how Bartosz is involved in the mysterious incidents occurring in their small hometown of Winden. More and more people are drawn into the events orchestrated by an obscure figure who seemingly controls everything that is connected throughout different time zones.
The second season also has more and more characters adding to the complex storylines with even more complicated character arcs on the show. And the most mind-boggling of all is that of Charlotte Doppler's (played by Karoline Eichhorn).
Charlotte is raised by her guardian, the clock-maker H.G. Tannhaus (played by Christian Steyer). For the better part of the series, her origins were kept a secret until the second season when we come to know that Noah (played by Mark Waschke) is her father.
When Noah visits Charlotte at the clockmaker's, he reveals his identity and informs her, without divulging any further information that her mother is alive – just that. As he leaves her utterly confused and shattered, and the audience trying to grasp what just happened, there is only one question on everyone's mind. Who is the mother?
When we know that Elisabeth, Charlotte's daughter in 2019 (played by Carlotta von Falkenhayn), actually gave birth to Charlotte, it is a little unbelievable. But the real world rules do not apply to the universe of 'Dark'. So here is us trying to dig deeper. How is it possible for Elisabeth to birth her daughter with Noah (Charlotte), who later births her own mother (Elisabeth)?
According to Reddit user 'john_segundus', the answer lies in the bootstrap paradox.
The Bootstrap Paradox is a theoretical paradox of time travel that occurs when an object or piece of information sent back in time becomes trapped within an infinite cause-effect loop in which the item no longer has a discernible point of origin, and is said to be “uncaused” or “self-created”.
Therefore, according to the Bootstrap paradox that runs a lot of 'Dark', "Elisabeth is the daughter of Charlotte and Peter, and at some point, Noah and Elisabeth will have a daughter they name Charlotte," begins 'john_segundus'.
This daughter somehow ends up in the 1970s as an infant – we don't fully know why and how Charlotte ends up in the past and is raised by H.G. Tannhaus. "When Charlotte is an adult, she marries Peter and has two daughters - Franziska and Elisabeth. And so on. This is only possible because they have time travel and are stuck in a loop. Everything always stays the same - the genes Charlotte gets from Elisabeth and Noah, and the genes she and Peter give to Elisabeth," the user explains. '
This is more "WTF" than confusing. Well, frankly, all of 'Dark' is.
But this phenomenon is the same as the Bootstrap Paradox of Tannhaus' book and the time machine. Both the machine and the book wouldn't have existed had someone not gone back in time to give the finished products to him in the very first place.
Like they say in 'Dark', everything is connected and has happened before. How they get out of the loop is what we have to watch out for in the second season.
Both seasons are currently streaming on Netflix.