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Life and Death -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Light and Shadow -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Between the Time -| Review Score – 5/5
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German Netflix Original Dark is unlike any other show on TV. With an intricate knot of timelines, family trees and layered timelines, Dark’s first season sneaked its way onto the streaming platform back in 2017 and has only grown in strength over time.
Last year’s second season served up an almost-perfect effort and the intensity for some of those episodes, combined with the extra couple of timelines, gave Dark a much more complex feel and ended things on an almighty cliffhanger.
With that cliffhanger comes this third and final season that not only wraps everything up in a satisfying way, it does so with enough finesse and thought provoking drama to make for one of – if not the best – TV series of 2020. There’s a lot of symbolism, depth and discussion points to dissect but suffice to say, Dark makes sure it ends on a triumphant roar to deliver a phenomenal achievement on the small screen.
We won’t go into story spoilers within this review but suffice to say the narrative is all the more complicated this year with the inclusion of another world. These dual realities run parallel to one another for much of the season, and as the story progresses so too does the level of tension and high stakes that bleed through both worlds.
The impending apocalypse is still here too and all of this boils down to Jonas and Martha doing their best to try and save their respective worlds no matter what.
All the characters we’ve come to know and love over the previous seasons are still here too, with one new nameless character introduced with a cleft lip and a serious chip on his shoulder. This mans plays a pretty crucial part in the overall narrative too and the show does an excellent job keeping those layers of mystery going through the series.
Toward the end of the season, when the drama and tension reaches fever pitch, Dark begins to answer some of the bigger questions that have hung over the series over all these years and the answers we receive are very much worth the wait.
There’s some absolutely shocking twists within these episodes – more so than what we’ve witnessed before in the past – and all of this rounds things out to a sublime and pitch-perfect ending.
Without going too much into specifics, Dark has a wonderful way of dealing with heavy themes and religious symbology in a way that feels like a natural fit to the show. While this has been teased in the past – Adam and Noah as two prime examples – this season really brings that into the foreground of everything that’s going on and weaves a story with a lot of connotations that gives this so much more meaning.
The result is something that feels both instantly familiar and wholly original as the show rounds out 3 years of excellent television with a non-stop rollercoaster ride of emotion. The alternate world offers up some creative choices for a lot of the characters we’ve come to know over the season, and Martha in particular plays a far bigger role this year.
All of this combines to make for a season of drama, mystery and shocking home truths. Dark’s third season manages to deliver one of the most comprehensive, complicated and utterly engrossing dramas seen in some time and for a lot of fans, this will be a difficult hole to fill when the final credits roll.
Without doubt, Dark is the television show to beat this year and absolutely deserves top marks for what it’s managed to achieve on the small screen.
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Verdict - 10/10
1 thought on “Dark – Full Season 3 Review”
Well – 10/10 is a bit too much of a good thing. I would go with 8/10. As I see it, seasons 1 and 2 (and 2 in particular) have been a lot better. There is no doubt that the showrunners managed to find a graceful exit from a very complex narrative that is heading for doom, and as we know, that is very difficult and hasn’t gone well with many famous serial products in the not so far past (to mention Game of Thrones, or Harry Potter). Many of the notorious pitfalls have been avoided, and the showrunners deserve to be lauded for that achievement. However, I have some issues with S3. The idea has clearly been to demonstrate the pain of an ever and ever repeating history. That comes across quite well, to the effect that some scenes feel repetitive to some degree, and since they are also visually very similar, they are difficult to tell apart at times. The protagonists largely react to what their older incarnations tell them to do, and mostly they just do as they are told. Ms Vicari is a talented actress for her age, but the script does her no favor; the limitations of her acting skills become a bit obvious when she is not able to pull yet another variation of a painfully crying expression. Some big philosophical phrases are sometimes blown in the air, but they remain hanging there like fog, without significant effect or implication. Yes, it is well executed to the end, but as far as I am concerned, I have expected something different after the entirely brilliant S2 than a Dr Mabuse setting revolving around itself and its mirror image.