Dark | Netflix Season 3 - How Did Claudia Know? | Ending Theory

Through the lens of the limited understanding of the theoretical physics of time travel and quantum mechanics, The are three questions to be asked about Claudia 1. How did she know about the origin world? 2. How was she able to set things in motion to change the outcome in Adam and Eva's worlds? And finally, how could Jonas and Martha stop the car crash in the origin world if that's what led to their existence in the first place? 

The answer to the first question, how did Claudia know about the origin world is something I feel pretty confident about, Claudia's motivation has been presented as wanting to save her daughter Regina who gets cancer in Adam and Eva's worlds, The oldest version of Claudia has been a mysterious character because prior to season 3 we didn't know what she was really trying to do, and what made her that way in the 33 years of traveling she did after surviving the apocalypse in the bunker, Season 3 provided those answers, she is in fact trying to save Regina, In those 33 years, she realizes that no one can really change anything inside the two worlds' closed-loop systems, Adam asks her the question directly in the finale -  how she knows about the origin world? She answers, "I spent 33 years looking for answers in your world and hers, I've tried to put together the pieces of the puzzle, to understand how everything can  be reborn from the same family tree over and over again until I realized that we're not all part of a knot." she then refers to Adam and Eva's worlds as cancer that must have grown from something else, The origin world, she put together that all of the characters from the Jonas and alt Martha's line wouldn't exist in the original world because they all were born due to time travel, from there she can eliminate characters from the family tree and look for possible candidates out of who's left when you look at it this way it's not hard to see how she landed on Tannhaus as the most likely source, was it her parents Doris and Egon Tiedemann? Was that Katharina's parents Herman and Helene Albers, Or, was it the guy who lost his family in a car accident that also seems uniquely capable of helping them develop the time-traveling machine? When she stripped away all of the characters that are direct descendants of Martha and Jonas I feel confident that she would be able to figure out that Tannhaus was connected to the origin, which leads directly to the next question. 

Now that she knows about the origin world, how did she manage to set things in motion to reverse what happened there and thus change the outcomes of things and Adam and Eva's worlds, this is a more difficult question to answer, but let's look at what the writers have been telling us, in the first season, we learned that time travel is possible and that the past and future are connected, everything is connected, everything affects everything else, we see how characters struggle with this and how human nature drives them to want to change things, in season two we learn more about causal determinism and we add the idea of the bootstrap paradox, the determinism angle tells us that nothing can be changed and that no one has free will, the bootstrap paradox explains how some things can exist in the world because of time travel and have no discernable origin point, they exist but we don't know how they came into existence besides the fact that they travelled through time, season three introduced the idea that Eva describes as quantum entanglement, the show defines this as a phenomenon that leads to overlapping realities, basically, during the apocalypse, there's a short period of time that the chain of cause and effect we learned about in the first two seasons breaks down, in that instant, there is the possibility for reality to go in two different directions and Eva illustrates this to her younger self by drawing the infinity symbol, at the center of that, you can see two realities can follow two paths in different directions and still end up back in the same place.

The other concept Season three gives us is the thought experiment of Schrodinger's cat, Origin world Tannhaus explains to us that the cat inside the box simultaneously exists in both of its possible states, alive and dead, until it's observed, from there he goes on to ask the question of whether it would be possible for multiple realities to exist side by side, as far as Dark is concerned the answer is absolutely yes, we see Adam and Eva's world existing side-by-side and Eva takes it further by exploiting the quantum entanglement, she forces two overlapping realities to exist simultaneously one where Adam kills Martha and her unborn child, and one where Jonas dies so that Martha can give birth to the Unknown, when you think about quantum entanglement and introducing it to the story it makes you wonder what all the determinism stuff was about in the first two seasons. well, I think that when Origin world Tannhaus created his time machine the end result was that he split time and created Adam and Eva's worlds, they are in fact deterministic systems where nothing can be changed. everything that happens has already been decided and I think this is backed up by the bootstraps artifacts and characters that we know couldn't possibly exist without time-travel, Claudia explains to Adam that this will always turn out this way, Jonas and Martha will always meet and she'll become pregnant, that will lead to the Unknown being born and he'll continue to make sure the apocalypses happen so that the material necessary for time travel will be created, he will always impregnate Agnes Nielsen in both worlds which will always lead all these characters to be born, Adam will always try to destroy that knot and Eva will always split the realities so that she can preserve it, what that says about Claudia's role is up for debate, when she visits Adam she believes it's the first time that happened, based on the quantum entanglement idea they introduced she uses Eva's exploit to split from the reality that takes her back in time to continue the loop and eventually get killed by Noah, simultaneously in the second reality, she goes to visit Adam and that sets off the chain of events that leads Jonas and Martha to stop the car crash. 

There's a strong argument that could be made that this always happens as well, the other concept they introduced, Schrodinger's cat is reliant on all possible outcomes existing until the cat is observed, and I think here is where I will diverge from calling it the origin world to calling it the origin reality, we could think of Tannhaus' origin reality as a place that can exist in two states. one where his family dies and one where they live, in the one where they die he builds a time machine that splits time to create Adam and Eva's deterministic worlds and things eventually loop around until they reach the point where they cross over,  based on how the story was written and how the information was presented to us we can think of the Jonas and Martha as the observer in the thought experiment that Tannhaus describes at the beginning of episode 7, when they observe Marek and Sonja turning around and thus surviving, that forces the origin reality into a definite state, they survive. Tannhaus never creates a time machine and that forces the origin reality into a definite state, for me that answers the last question on the list, how could Jonas and Martha stop the car crash in the origin world if that's what led to their existence in the first place? I think the story is telling us that Jonas and Martha are what I can only think to describe as quantum time travelers and their actions in the origin reality forced the linear timeline there where Tannhaus family lives, the only people that can exist in that reality are people who were never born from Jonas and Martha's line and I think this is all wrapped up pretty well whenever they showed the dinner scene and close out the series that way.

So Claudia's discovering the origin world figuring out how the knot was constructed and then utilizing Eva's exploit guarantees that this is how this reality will play out, again I think this all adds up to the storytellers telling us that this isn't part of a bigger loop because that state of the Tannhaus' family dying no longer exists, it is open to our interpretation though and there's a lot of different ways you can go, I like this one, I think it's a good idea for how you can take something that presents that deterministic system but also provides a way for things to change, without Claudia using the exploit essentially the only ending that exists is one where the cycle just repeats itself over and over again, the alternate ending that a lot of people thought they saw coming whenever Jonas and Martha entered the origin reality was that they are the ones who caused the  crash and thus the cycle was just bigger than what we could see or the loop I guess, but I think in the end this is more satisfying, it uses the concepts they introduced in season 3 to get around the grandfather paradox and even though the characters who were born of the knot no longer exist all of what they went through wasn't for nothing, the group of characters we have at that dinner table continued to exist and Tannhaus actually saves his family by creating time travel even though he has no memory of any of that happening.


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