'Neither ever, nor never, goodbye' to a near-perfect show
Since the cliffhanger ending of season two Netflix’s time-traveling saga Dark has been perhaps the most sought after sci-fi series in recent times. So many questions were left unanswered before the third season premiere, it is only natural that one might think a cash grab this tempting will be milked for years. But showrunners Baran Bo Odar and Jantje Friese kept their word of ending it in the third season and they ended in style!
Although the streaming giant over time has produced a plethora of sci-fi series but arguably Dark was the most intriguing among them all, plotwise. This German production despite its sneaky arrival is now breaking the internet.
It must be acknowledged that the convoluted yet fascinating universe of Dark and the character developments have remained superb till the end.
The final season starts where ‘not his’ Martha (Lisa Vicari) from an alternate world takes the protagonist Jonas (Louis Hofmann) to her world where he does not exist. After a series of creepy encounters with Winden residents, he meets Eve (Barbara Nüsse), seemingly the adversary of Adam (Dietrich Hollinderbäumer) aka Jonas in old age. To nobody’s surprise, she is also Martha aged similar to Adam. Now apart from the necessary subplots, most of the whole final season we see two forces colliding to exploit the time-loops and the entangled universes for two different reasons. Adam seeking to put an end to the bootstrap paradox and the sufferings of the residents of Winden and Eve trying to maintain the loop for her own intriguing purpose.
Over the years, the series became a tough one to follow but those who did were paid in full after the bittersweet, philosophy-laden ending. What started as an investigation of missing children (did someone say Stranger Things?) developed its own universe full of lore and unsettling narratives.
Fan theories online only made the wait for the end more unbearable and when it finally arrived it outmatched everything that was predicted.
What sets Dark apart from other sci-fi or more specifically, ‘time travel’ related series? Attention to detail and its modest progression come to mind first. Almost every development, every bootstrap paradox, every attempt of Winden trying to change its fate have been shown without unnecessary exposition.
Spoonfeeding a complex plot to the audience is a temptation that Dark creators successfully overcame. Unlike most other series of the genre that dumb-down science bits in them, Dark gives the viewers a rare satisfaction of feeling intelligent.
Tight narrative, juggle with timelines, and doubling all of it down in the later parts made the ending more satisfactory than not.
The strong cast served their purpose with excellence. It is never easy to hire three often four actors to play the part of just one! Alongside the lead cast and central characters, strong performance from the younger artists took the show to another level.
Captivating camerawork and concise use of VFX were finely complemented with soundtracks that will keep humming in the ears of the listeners. The clever use of English and German songs served as the metaphors of what kept happening on the screen.
Dark has proven to be the rare breed of all-round packages adored by critics and audiences alike, that Netflix and other producers are desperately searching for. Baran Bo Odar and Jantje Friese will surely remain under the radar of Netflix for future partnerships.
Very few shows can claim that they had a perfect ending after a hyped run. After finishing the twisting tales set in the small German town of Winden, the audience can decide how close Dark came to that.
Dark is currently streaming on Netflix