Do not try to change the past. Every single time travel show tells you exactly that. Nothing good comes out of it and you end up making things even worse. That is the lesson Pacino learns this week, the hard way.
If you are a fan of Dark, you may remember when Jonas (SPOILER) travels to the day his father committed suicide to try and prevent his suicide, and he actually ends up causing his father’s suicide (END OF SPOILER). That is pretty much the theme of this week’s episode.
To be fair, I would strongly recommend rewatching the previous episode before this one, because they come together as one. We revisit most of the scenes and the changes play a crucial part.
We begin with the ministry on fire. Pacino and Carolina see Angustias, the sole survivor and the look on their faces says something we don’t know yet. A recording of Pacino warns us: do not try to change the past.
Three days before Pacino films that, Salvador gives the team the task to help José de San Martín, but he orders Pacino to stay behind and just go home. Pacino is still distraught after the events of the previous week, where Lola was abducted by Díaz Bueno. Irene, always cautious, asks Carolina to follow Pacino everywhere, to make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid (she doesn’t say those words, but we know that’s what she means).
Albeit, she is right! Pacino, after eleven days have gone by since Lola was taken, decides to film himself explaining that he is going to travel back in time to change the past. He makes the video in case he forgets some things, and as proof in case things go south. Cue to…
Two Weeks Earlier
Present Pacino (I will refer to people like this, for the sake of clarity) enters the ministry on the day the team got the mission to find Las Meninas. By the coffee machine, he has a conversation with Carolina, except he doesn’t know she is Present Carolina, on his tail. Present Pacino gives Two Weeks Earlier Lola coffee with laxatives, so that she will get sick and won’t be able to join Julián in 1937 Madrid. That means that a convalescent Alonso is forced to come back and join his pal. Present Pacino, dressed as a penitent, watches as all his colleagues (and TWE himself) travel through the doors. Cue to…
Alonso and Julián’s funeral. Yes. As we see in a flashback, Present Carolina rushes to 1937, but when she gets there, the anacronópete is flying away and Julián and Alonso have been shot dead. At the funeral, Present Carolina talks to New Present Irene (bear with me, please) about how she failed in her mission, but NP Irene obviously doesn’t remember a thing (never forget when Lombardi changed the past).
Carolina then tries to do whatever she can. Alas, the first door she goes through takes her to the Tomatina. But when she finds the right door, she travels to…
A Few Days Earlier
Here, A Few Days Earlier Carolina arrives home and hears noise coming from her shower. She grabs a knife, ready to attack, and then she finds… Present Carolina, who needed to wash all the tomato off. Present Carolina reveals to AFDE Carolina that she trusts no one, so her only idea was to talk to herself. It’s a beautiful scene that talks about how we can be our own worst enemy, but we can also be the only person who can save us.
As AFDE Carolina reminds her present self, Ernesto taught them about how, if we change the past but we are travelling through time, we are the only ones who will remember the present as it was, but the others won’t, as it happened at the end of series 3. Present Carolina leaves her past self the questions to an upcoming test, and we return to…
The Changed Present #1
CP#1 Lola is visibly upset because Alonso and Julián died in a mission she was supposed to be part of. She feels guilty, because Alonso had a family who is mourning him. She should have been the one to die. Pacino also feels guilty, so he makes a second recording, because off he goes to try to change the past a second time, so…
Two Weeks Earlier Again
Again, Present Pacino brings coffee sweetened with laxatives to Lola. Again we see the team taking the elevator and cracking up with Velázquez’s hilarious stories about his mother’s diarrhoea. The only thing Pacino changes this time is not visiting TWEA Lola when she is sick in bed.
Present Pacino travels to Madrid 1937, ignoring that Present Carolina is following him. When the final showdown with the anacronópete and Díaz Bueno happens again, Present Carolina gets shot –but she is wearing a bulletproof vest! Present Pacino tries to go after Alonso and Julián, but these two are taken hostage. Present Pacino and Present Carolina have a heart-to-heart after their failure, and so they return to…
The Changed Present #2
In a hilarious turn of events, Present Pacino meets TCP#2 Everyone at Salvador’s office, where he finds… two kids. Who are they, you may ask? Well, these are Baby Alonso and Baby Julián. As they explain, Díaz Bueno and his men drank something that looked like horchata and gave the two of them none of it. Then, their machine travelled from 1937 to 1907, prompting out the two men to de-age 30 years! Díaz Bueno told them that the drink, the García fluid, allowed anyone to time travel without getting older or younger. Bueno makes them drink so that he can return them to the ministry as harmless kids. But Bueno miscalculated how badass these two are, even as minors. They attacked them and killed them. Then, because they are kids after all, they crashed the ship in 2020. And here they are now.
After a couple of hysterical scenes of the kids playing football and Baby Alonso reuniting with his wife, Present Pacino decides that what he needs to do is catch Díaz Bueno before he gets to use the anacronópete, so he and Present Carolina travel to…
One Month Earlier
We are in the mental institution where Díaz Bueno was sent to after his previous shenanigans. OME Bueno threatens the doctor supervising him: either he discharges him or his daughter will be killed by one of Bueno’s henchmen. But as OME Bueno is leaving, he is intercepted by Present Pacino and Carolina, who put him in a car and take him to the ministry. As they wait for their OME selves to leave the building, OME Bueno reveals something: he put a bomb inside the coffee machine, and unless they let him leave, the bomb will go off, the same way Moriarty threatened Sherlock in the series 2 finale of that show. Except here, the bomb goes off anyway, like we saw at the beginning of the episode. An infuriated Pacino shoots Bueno dead and off they rush, to find out that everyone is dead, except Lola, who is at home because she was feeling sick, because… she is pregnant. Plot twist!
Present Pacino is desperate. Now, he wants to travel even further back in time, to stop Bueno from ever putting the bomb in the ministry, but Present Carolina stops him. No matter how many times he travels back, he can’t change what happened, and every time he tries to fix the past, he ends up making it worse. You can’t change time, and that’s it. Time is what it is.
Pacino knows what to do. He goes back to ensure things remain as they were. He checks on Lola, but doesn’t give her the coffee with the surprise. Instead, he gives her no coffee at all. We discover that, despite the events from previous episodes, they were still together, but keeping it on the down low.
He puts on the penitent costume, and watches as everyone (himself included) travels through the doors to the mission to 1937, so that he can see Lola up until the very end, convinced that Bueno must have killed her. Present Carolina meets him at the hallway, and together, they go back to the present. Pacino decides not to delete the video he made, and instead, he makes a new one, the one we saw at the very beginning of the episode, where we warns to viewer not to change the past. And he’s right.
And then we are back at the end of last week’s episode, inside the anacronópete. Lola faces Díaz Bueno, who claims they know each other. He offers her to drink to García fluid, so she can travel with him and be together like they used to, but Lola refuses. To prove her wrong, he takes the ship to 1945, making Lola age eight years. Alas, 1945 is not a great year to be in the sky, and they come under attack right away. Everyone but Lola is shot dead, and as the ship collapses, she can do nothing but drink the fluid and wish for the best as the anacronópete travels to… 2065!
In the words of a very wise man: it will happen again!
“This is witchcraft” “No, this is a bummer”
-I know I am not the only one who thought they were going to age Lola until she turned into Natalia Millán. Am I right?
-Quick question that needs solving: if Lola was pregnant and ages eight years, what happens to the foetus? Does it also age?
-The bits with Baby Alonso and Baby Julián were the best. I love that they keep their adult personalities but, because they are kids, they do kid stuff, like playing ball or touching things they are not supposed to.
-Fashion police: we need to talk about the marvellous camel coat Pacino has been wearing this season. We also need to talk about Julián’s turtleneck sweater from his funeral portrait.
-Bonus points to eMdT for showing Irene dressing up to fight as a soldier in the 19th century.
-I also want to give bonus points for Julián’s face hair and hairstyle in that scene.
-And Julián’s dry sense of humour returns: “I can’t walk with these boots; I’m going to get killed again.”
-I also want to highlight the pairing of Pacino and Carolina. I found them a perfect fit, both being from the 1980s. It felt like a buddy comedy and I thought they had great chemistry.
-For the first time, we hear about agent training in the ministry. Ernesto gives talks about time paradoxes when one is travelling and changes the past, and Pacino gives one about interrogation techniques. Granted, Carolina is testing him, talking about how you cannot trust someone who won’t look you in the eye.
-“I needed to talk to someone and I only trust myself.” “Then think out loud!” “I know, but when I think out loud I get flustered.” “That’s true.”
-“But… you are heroes.” “Yes, but we are shitty pilots.”
-Another priceless moment: Pacino smacking Baby Julián in the back of the neck when Julián claims that Alonso’s wife “is bloody hot.” Also, every time Baby Alonso puts his arm on her shoulder and she looks astounded and disgusted at the same time.
-“Alonso, please, go back to playing ball.” “I want to go home.” “I said gobacktoplayingballpleasethankyou!”
-It seems like we are preparing for a reunion between Ernesto and his son.
-Not happy with a poster of Serpico at home, Pacino also has it as his wallpaper.