*Spoiler alert for the Netflix show Dark*
The unofficial title of the Netflix series Dark should be ‘The Reunion Series’. As the series progresses, it leans heavily into the reunion of its multiple copies of characters until it becomes a cliche. By season three I was rolling my eyes as the older characters manipulated their younger selves into acting.
There are about 7 to 8 characters, all of whom have highly intertwined lives. Their village is an amalgamation of childhood crushes, infidelity, deadly secrets and betrayal to create a place filled with intertwined manipulative characters. This creates a perfect breeding ground for dramatic reveals and complex situations. Add to this mix, three separate timelines and the story gets even more complicated.
Dark is a show mostly about time travel so the people from these 3 different times get to interact with each other. So now you have 8 characters in each of the 3 different times, all of whom can be re-united with each other, in the course of the story. These characters have varying degrees of knowledge of the other character’s clandestine activities so the reunions can be even more juicy. It is not just an older version of a character meeting with his younger self but also with his mother or aunt or former lover that can prove to be a thrilling encounter.
At a certain point in the show I feel as though each episode had 3 to 4 reunions and each reunion had its own set of revelations. The younger characters were mostly baited to ensure that the chain of events did not diverge from the expected chain of events. Some of the other characters got stuck in other timelines and sometimes they got reunited with their close ones, years after getting separated.
In the third season the show introduces a parallel universe and all of a sudden, the possible reunions are doubled. The show had a lot of potential since it had an opportunity to develop each of its characters into their future selves. It also had an opportunity to simplify its story and concepts but instead it complicated the story and concepts until it started to feel a bit absurd. The number of reunions and revelations overshadowed the characters and their struggles. A bit slower pacing and more attention to detail would have served the show much better. On the bright side, we can at-least admit that the show runners put in effort to end the show well, unlike ‘Game of Thrones’ which would have been better left unfinished.