‘Dark Matter’ Episode 4 Recap & Ending Explained: Is Leighton Lost In The Corridor?


In the third episode of Apple TV+’s Dark Matter, Jason1 finally figured out that he was abducted by Jason2 and sent into a part of the multiverse where Jason2 was a Pavia-winning genius, while Jason1’s place was taken by Jason2. When Leighton learned about this, he turned violent and tortured Jason1 in the hopes that he’d reveal how the box worked. Of course, Jason1 didn’t know anything, so he was of no help to Leighton. Ryan2, who had worked with Jason2 to create the psychoactive drug to travel through the multiverse, also couldn’t provide any solutions because Jason2 didn’t reveal what that drug was being used for or how that affected multiversal travel. When Ryan2 was killed by Velocity, Amanda felt that Jason1’s number was next. So, she took him into the box and found themselves in a corridor filled with doors leading to various universes in the multiverse. Episode 4 of Dark Matter is entirely dedicated to figuring out how the box works. So, let’s look into Jason1 and Amanda’s inference about the reality-traveling device.

Spoiler Alert

Amanda And Jason1 Are Trapped In The Multiverse

Dark Matter, episode 4, opens with Leighton entering the box because he thinks that there’s nothing left for him in his own world, and he doesn’t want another version of Jason Dessen to get away after causing so much chaos. Amanda and Jason1 are seen traveling through the corridor filled with doors leading to various worlds in the multiverse. Jason1 wonders if Leighton can catch up to them, and Amanda thinks that he will. Now, here’s the thing. The drug (created by Ryan2) and the box work in tandem to open a multiverse that’s unique to the person in question. Since Amanda and Jason1 have entered the box together, it’s probably processing the data from both of their brains to create pathways to various aspects of the multiverse. Leighton has entered the box on his own. So, even though he is in the corridor, he isn’t in the same corridor that Amanda and Jason1 are in. Therefore, Leighton won’t come across Amanda and Jason1 in the corridor. The only way he can catch up with Amanda and Jason1 is if he somehow manages to enter the same world that they are in (which is seemingly impossible because the multiverse is unique to each user). 

Jason1 describes the corridor as a manifestation of the mind as it tries to visually explain something that the human brain can’t comprehend because it’s not that evolved yet. In order to test this theory, Jason1 opens one of the doors and enters a world that is covered in ash. As the buildings in this version of Chicago begin to crumble, Jason1 and Amanda are forced to seek refuge in the box again. Jason1 checks that they’ve 48 more vials of the psychoactive drug, which means that they have a total of 24 chances to get to the world that Jason1 lives in. Jason1 finds a GPS tracker in his bag, which is connected to the box. Amanda says that the coordinates of the box remain the same across the multiverse. That means, even though it was built in a world in the multiverse (the one where Jason2 existed in, to be specific), as soon as it was accessed, a version of the box showed up at the same spot on a different world. As for the drug, its effect lasts around 3 minutes, and with each round of injection, the body gets more and more used to it, thereby making the process of traversing the corridor and the multiverse easier and easier. 

We briefly see Leighton in the corridor, and in Jason1’s world, Jason2 quits his job as a physics teacher, and then the focus returns to Jason1 and Amanda opening the doors to different worlds to find a place that’s at least habitable and failing. The multiverse-traversing dynamic duo do find a universe that’s similar to the one Jason2 is from, but in there, they see a version of Amanda getting killed by Dawn and a version of Jason getting tased. The version of Leighton in that world notices Jason1 and Amanda, so they have no option but to cut and run into the multiverse again. They start opening doors again, and all they get are worlds that’ll kill them in a matter of seconds.

Amanda And Jason1 Return To The Box

Amanda freaks out and enters a world that is engulfed in a snowstorm. Jason1 goes after her, and they lose track of the location of the box. Since neither of them is dressed to face a literal blizzard, the cold starts to get to them. Jason1 finds an abandoned house and starts building a fire to prevent Amanda and himself from freezing and dying. Meanwhile, Jason2 goes and meets Leighton1 (I’ll be referring to the version of Leighton that’s lost in the multiverse as Leighton2 from now on). This version of Leighton is an uber-privileged and unambitious man who has inherited his family’s money to waste his life on sex and drugs. He knows nothing about Velocity (the version that exists in Jason1’s world) and has an estranged relationship with his father. That said, Leighton1 does sense the fact that Jason2 has come there with a business proposal because, three months ago, Ryan1 had done the same. So, he tells Jason2 that he isn’t interested in investing in any more business ventures and he just wants to “live, laugh, and love.” Jason2 realizes that it won’t be easy to convince Leighton1 to hand over his money. He needs to give him a hands-on experience. So, Jason2 takes Leighton1 to the box, gets him to drink the psychoactive drug, and then takes him on a trip through the multiverse. 

Jason1 finds a photo of the family that used to live in the house he and Amanda are currently squatting in, and as Dark Matter cuts to Daniela going through a box filled with a kid’s stuff, it becomes evident that the couple has lost a child, named Max, in the past. With the box buried in snow, Amanda and Jason1 take some time off to recover and Amanda starts reminiscing about the past, her work as a reality-traversing pilot trainer, and dealing with snow storms as a child in Argentina. Now, based on the conversation between Jason1 and Amanda, and the one between Leighton1 and Jason2, we get some idea of how one can traverse the multiverse after entering the corridor. The worlds in the multiverse are an extension of the thoughts in the mind of the reality traveler. The last thing that’s on the mind of the reality traveler is what creates the foundation of the world that they are about to enter. 

In the case of Jason1 and Amanda, the one who opens the door is the one who affects the world both of them are walking into. Which means that the world which is in ashes, the one with the flood, the one with no atmosphere, and the one where alternate versions of Jason and Amanda didn’t make it to the box are a result of Jason1’s thoughts. Jason1 and Amanda are in a blizzard world because she was thinking about the snow storms in Argentina before she opened the door. Jason2 gets Leighton1 to think about his dead grandfather, I guess. Therefore, Leighton1 enters a world where his grandfather is alive and well. The box has no controls inside it because the mind of the people who are using it is the controlling unit. It’s still unclear how the drug, the box, and the physical displacement from one reality to another works, but the process isn’t as vague as it was in the first episode. We’re making progress. Anyway, coming back to the plot, Amanda and Jason1 manage to use a compass, after the GPS tracker malfunctions, to dig through all the snow and return to the box. 

Is Leighton Lost In The Corridor?

Charlie and Daniela sit in front of the tree in their backyard that has been planted in Max’s memory, and Daniela tells Charlie about Max. This is beautifully stitched together, with Jason1 telling the same story to Amanda. It’s a very by-the-numbers sob story, but the performances from Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Connelly, Oakes Fegley, and Alice Braga are so engaging that I can’t stop the tears from flowing out of my eyes. The contrast between Jason1 and Jason2 becomes all the apparent because, even though Jason1 is living his wildest dreams, he regrets not being there for Charlie and Max’s birthday. Meanwhile, Jason2 is out there selling an alternate reality to Leighton1. Jason2 clearly wants to be a family man. He wants to use his invention (or discovery) to indulge Charlie and push Daniela to revive her painting career. However, the issue is that Jason2 doesn’t know that families consult. If you’re making decisions for the entire family without having a discussion, and if you’re absent during ceremonies that mean something to the whole family, then that’s bound to backfire at some point, even if the intent behind said decisions are noble. 

To be honest, I don’t think Jason2’s intention is noble. He is just showboating, and I have a feeling that as soon as he realizes that he has messed up Jason1’s reality, he is going to abandon it. On some level, Jason1 knows that that’s going to happen. He sees that Jason2 has given him a world on a platter where he can be the successful genius that he wanted to be before he prioritized his family over his ambitions. But the thought of Daniela and Charlie getting enticed and then discarded by Jason2 sends shivers down his spine. And that makes Jason1 a very interesting protagonist and Jason2 a very interesting antagonist. Leighton2 has the potential to be a good villain, but he is clearly out of his depth as we see him, at the end of Dark Matter episode 4, wandering through the corridor of the multiverse, with a broken leg and blood spilling from everywhere. He clearly doesn’t know how the reality-traveling box works; and with his injuries affecting his thoughts, he is bound to lose himself in the multiverse (which is a mild way of saying that Leighton1 is going to die in some corner of the multiverse). In the subsequent episodes, I guess we’re going to see Jason1 finally figure out how to go back to his home. I’m sure Jason2 is going to create some hurdles to stop Jason1 from re-entering his own life, and I’ll be rooting for Jason1 to succeed. Who are you supporting in this multiversal war, though? Jason1 or Jason2? Let us know in the comments.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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