Jennifer Connelly holding a drink at a party with people behind her in Dark Matter Episode 2 | Agents of Fandom

‘Dark Matter’ Episode 2 Recap & Review: Daniela Has a New Life and Career

What happens when Jason and Ryan’s roles in life are switched completely?

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Dark Matter Episode 2 “Trip of a Lifetime.”

Part two of the premiere of Apple TV+‘s latest sci-fi series is now streaming, and it takes the mayhem from Episode 1 and cranks it up to 11. Like the first installment, Dark Matter Episode 2 closely resembles Blake Crouch‘s novel, largely following the same story with only minor additions and deviations. The show is off to a brilliant start and can accomplish something special but is still packed with important details that are easy to miss — make sure you caught everything with our Dark Matter Episode 2 recap.

Jason Escapes to the Safety of a Hospital in ‘Dark Matter’ Episode 2

Joel Edgerton wearing a hospital gown holding his right arm over his face in Dark Matter Episode 2 | Agents of Fandom
Jason can’t reconcile being told his wife, child, and other crucial aspects of his life don’t exist as he remembers. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Dark Matter Episode 2 picks up after the previous installment, with Jason 1 (Joel Edgerton) running through the alley behind his and Amanda’s (Alice Braga) house. He gets to the end of the alley and hides behind a dumpster as a truck drives by. He walks into the Village Tap, the same local bar where he celebrated with Ryan (Jimmi Simpson), but his friend and bartender Matt (William Smillie) doesn’t recognize him.

After a short conversation, Matt kicks Jason out of the bar for repeatedly trying to convince him they know each other, and Jason goes to the hospital. He tells the doctor he thinks there is something wrong with his mind, and they give him an MRI. Meanwhile, Jason 2 (Edgerton) wakes up beside Daniela (Jennifer Connelly) and kisses her before getting dressed and checking on Charlie (Oakes Fegley).

He goes downstairs to make coffee but can’t find it. In the other world, Jason 1 rests in a hospital bed and a doctor comes to talk to him. She tells him they found a psychoactive compound in his toxicity screen that they’d never seen before. Jason asks them to find his family, but the doctor tells him no one named Daniela or Charlie Dessen lives in Chicago.

Leighton and Dawn Disagree With Amanda About How To Get Jason Back to Velocity Laboratories

Dayo Okeniyi as Leighton Vance wearing a turtleneck and blazer in Dark Matter Episode 2 | Agents of Fandom
As his former lover, Amanda wants to take a gentler approach to bringing Jason back to the lab than Leighton and Dawn. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Dark Matter Episode 2 continues as the doctor reads Jason details of his life that he isn’t familiar with. She hands him an iPad, and he searches for Daniela Vargas (his wife’s former name) and finds the address of her art show. At the house, Leighton (Dayo Okeniyi), Dawn (Marquita Brooks), and Amanda plan how to find him. Amanda recommends calling the police, but Leighton and Dawn don’t feel that’s a good idea.

Jason 2 goes to Lakemont College to give his first lecture in Jason 1’s place. He notices none of his students are paying attention — most are distracted on their phones and laptops, so he asks them if they’re comfortable not paying attention and never getting further than a middle management job that they hate. He says he doesn’t expect his students to know everything, but he does expect them to pay attention.

Back in the other world, Amanda calls around trying to find Jason. Leighton calls her and says they know Jason was at the hospital, but he left before they arrived. Jason goes to Daniela’s art show, and they won’t let him in until he gives them his name. They ask him to select a card, and he chooses door #2 and walks into the exhibit where he sees paintings of himself on the walls.

Jason (Sort of) Reunites With Daniela and Ryan in ‘Dark Matter’ Episode 2

Joel Edgerton as Jason staring at Daniela with a painting of himself behind him in Dark Matter Episode 2 | Agents of Fandom
The look on Jason’s face whenever he locks eyes with Daniela for the first since his abduction is full of both relief and panic. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Dark Matter Episode 2 continues as Jason finally sees Daniela, they lock eyes and embrace, and he asks her, “Where’s Charlie?” but she doesn’t know who Charlie is. Ryan speaks with Daniela and has an awkward conversation with Jason at the bar before Daniela invites them both to a party at her place after the event. Ryan asks Jason how his compound works, but Jason doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Daniela gives a toast about regret and admits to being curious about how her life could have turned out if she made different decisions. Back in the other world, Jason 2 asks Daniela about the exhibit in Los Angeles and says he’d like to see it with her and make a trip out of it. Charlie comes downstairs before dinner and asks if he can go to the skate park with Brooke, Drew, Adam, and Michelle.

Daniela says maybe tonight is the night he should tell Brooke he likes her, but Jason tells him to play it close to the vest. Alternating back, Jason 1 goes to the party at Daniela’s apartment; she offers him a joint, and he accepts. Daniela asks where he’s been all this time, and Jason asks them a hypothetical. His hypothetical question is his current predicament, and he accidentally reveals to Daniela and Ryan that he’s talking about himself.

Jason Has His First Accidental Slip Up in Front of Daniela

Joel Edgerton putting toothpaste on Jennifer Connelly's toothbrush as they stand in front of the mirror | Agents of Fandom
Each time Jason 2 makes a small mistake like using Daniela’s toothbrush, he inches closer to giving away his true identity. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Dark Matter Episode 2 continues when Jason asks Daniela how he inspired her show, and she tells him about the time he talked to her about choices and alternate worlds and that he told her he’d likely never see her again. Jason explains the details of his world, but Ryan and Daniela don’t believe him. Ryan has had enough and decides to leave, and asks Daniela if she wants Jason to leave too, but she says no.

In the other world, Jason 2 brushes his teeth and Daniela comes in and asks why he’s using her toothbrush. The other Daniela lays out a bed for Jason 1 and asks what they told him was wrong with him at the hospital. She asks if he’s sure being committed isn’t the right thing, but he says he doesn’t need psychiatric help, just answers. She goes upstairs and tells him to get some sleep, and Jason gets up and makes himself a makeshift wedding ring out of a small piece of twine.

Back in the other world, Daniela is about to go for a run and Jason 2 kisses her. He then gets in his car, calls Ryan, gives him a stern no to the job, and Ryan apologizes for overstepping and calling Daniela. Switching worlds again, Amanda is exercising when she gets a call from Jason who says he’s about to walk into a mental hospital, and she leaves to go find him.

Jason Visits What He Thinks Is His House With Daniela

Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Connelly walking into a house together | Agents of Fandom
It’s intensely unnerving watching Jason come to terms with not being able to recognize his home. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

As it turns out, Jason is lying and is parked outside the house with Daniela. They go inside together and Jason once again remarks about how he doesn’t know or recognize anything. Daniela begins to get frustrated as the two don’t agree on anything, and she asks if Jason is f—cking with her. They leave the house and Jason apologizes for scaring her and for what happened all those years ago and says he knows how it sounds, but he has a lifetime of memories with her.

Switching to the other world briefly, Jason 2 goes back to his storage unit and packs away his gun and ampoules. Back at Daniela’s house, Jason 1 looks through Jason 2’s old notes and realizes what’s happened. Jason 2 built a large version of the box and used it to travel the multiverse and steal his life. Jason 1 and 2 have effectively switched worlds. Downstairs, Daniela sits beside Jason in bed and asks him to tell her about their relationship in his world.

He tells Daniela the story of their relationship and how they got to this point. She asks if she’s happy, and he says yes, and then she asks about the sex and if it’s bad, to which he blushes and says no. She kisses him and apologizes, but he kisses back, and then they hear the doorbell ring. They go upstairs and Dawn breaks down the door and shoots Daniela right between the eyes, tases Jason, and the episode fades to black.

Tragedy Strikes Jason in ‘Dark Matter’ Episode 2 “Trip of a Lifetime”

Joel Edgerton on the floor with a piece of black duct tape over his mouth in Dark Matter Episode 2 | Agents of Fandom
Within seconds, Jason goes from feeling as close to normal as he has in several days, to immense, unthinkable grief. Image Credit: Apple TV+.

Like Episode 1, the second installment closely follows the events of the book, but there are a few deviations. In Crouch’s novel, Leighton Vance is a doctor, more involved with Jason’s medical care and less of an executive. Jason and Daniela also have sex in the book before she dies, but in the series, they don’t get to that point.

Aside from the few minor changes, Dark Matter Episode 2 feels like a faithful recreation of the novel, but still fresh enough to not be predictable. Edgerton continues to put on a stellar performance as Jason Dessen, and the rest of the cast is excelling in their roles as well. As far as sci-fi series in 2024 go, Dark Matter has a chance to stand out as one of the best.

Follow the Agents of Fandom socials for all the latest entertainment news and reviews, and stay tuned for weekly coverage of Dark Matter.

'Dark Matter' Episode 2 "Trip of a Lifetime" Review

'Dark Matter' Episode 2 "Trip of a Lifetime" Review
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Total Score

The Good

  • Joel Edgerton is excellent portraying two versions of Jason.
  • The story is full of twists, turns, and shocking revelations.
  • 'Dark Matter' is equally investing for book readers and new viewers.

The Bad

  • Jason and Daniela not reaching the same heights as their book versions is an interesting choice.
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