As the assembly disperses, Freder and Maria gaze toward each other, each clasping their left breast above their heart. She approaches him.
Maria: Oh mediator, have you finally come?
Freder (affirming his commitment): You called me, . . . here I am!
And they kiss for the first time.
Maria: Until tomorrow, in the cathedral!
And they kiss a second time as he departs.
After discovering the workers' clandestine meeting, Freder's controlling, glacial father conspires with mad scientist Rotwang to create an evil, robotic Maria look-alike duplicate, in order to manipulate his workers and preach riot and rebellion. Fredersen could then use force against his rebellious workers that would be interpreted as justified, causing their self-destruction and elimination.
Ultimately, robots would be capable of replacing the human worker, but for the time being, the robot would first put a stop to their revolutionary activities led by the good Maria.
Fredersen: Rotwang, give the Machine-Man the likeness of that girl. I shall sow discord between them and her! I shall destroy their belief in this woman!
After Joh Fredersen leaves to return above ground, Rotwang predicts doom for Joh's son, knowing that he will be the workers' mediator against his own father.
Rotwang: You fool! Now you will lose the one remaining thing you have from Hel - your son!
Rotwang comes out of hiding, and confronts Maria, who is now alone deep in the catacombs (with open graves and skeletal remains surrounding her). He pursues her, in the expressionistic scene, he chases her with the beam of light from his bright flashlight, then corners her, and captures her when she cannot escape at a dead-end.
END OF PRELUDE - INTERMEZZO
The next day, Freder vainly searches for Maria in the cathedral. He listens as a monk in the pulpit preaches.
Monk: Verily I say unto you, the days spoken of in the Apocalypse are nigh! And I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten thorns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, having a golden cup in her hand. And upon her forehead was a name written, mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of abominations of the earth.
Freder then addresses a life-sized statue of the Grim Reaper in a display of seven statues representing the Seven Deadly Sins
Freder: If you had come earlier, you wouldn't have scared me. But now I beg you: Stay away from me and my beloved!
Disappointed that Maria doesn't show, he goes to Josaphat's home, hoping to find Worker 11811. But after his night in Yoshiwara, Worker 11811 has been caught by the Thin Man and sent back to his machine.
Freder: I must go. I must look on my own for the person to whom 11811 was supposed to lead me.
Soon after Freder leaves, the Thin Man forced his way into Josaphat's apartment and tried to get him to leave Metropolis. He tried bribes and threats, but Josaphat couldn't stop thinking of the man who trusted him - Freder. However, Josaphat was overpowered by the Thin Man when a fight broke out.
In Rotwang's laboratory, the Machine-Man sits, looking like an Egyptian deity. Light streams from above. Rotwang takes its hands and speaks to it, revealing his ultimate diabolical plan to displace Fredersen as Master and to take power himself
Rotwang: You will destroy Joh Fredersen - him and his city and his son.
Then Rotwang threatens the kidnapped Maria, stalking her and announcing his intentions
Rotwang: Come! It is time to give the Machine-Man your face!
As he bends her over a table, she screams out - and her cries for help through a grating in the ceiling are heard by Freder, who happens to be walking by in the street.
Freder attempts to save her (and enters Rotwang's residence, but is trapped inside by doors that open and close on their own), but her pleas are muffled by Rotwang, and she is taken deeper into his laboratory. He calls out for Maria, knowing she is there after finding her scarf, but he cannot locate her.
The mad scientist has attached Maria (lying horizontally in a cylindrical clear chamber/capsule) by wired connections and a helmet to the Machine-Man.
His laboratory is filled with bubbling beakers of liquid, dials, switches, flashing electrical circuits and arcs, and other contraptions.
When he turns a switch, lightning sparks of energy descend from a round ball in the ceiling to the head and foot of the cylinder.
Luminous, glowing rings surround and move vertically atop the robot, as its circulatory system is energized with Maria's life force, and Maria's face dissolves onto the face of the android.
The real Maria loses consciousness as the robot likeness becomes flesh and blood.
After his experiment is a success, Rotwang releases the trapped Freder
Freder: Where is Maria?
Rotwang: She is with your father.
In the next scene, the evil, lusty Maria android, portrayed with her left eye drooping slightly shut, is in the office of Master Fredersen - he orders her to initiate his plan.
Fredersen: I want you to visit those in the depths, in order to destroy the work of the woman in whose image you were created!
Freder rushes in, completely disoriented to find Maria in the arms of his father, and he collapses, falling dangerously ill.
On his sick bed, the feverish, delirious Freder notices an invitation given to his father from Rotwang - who "requests the pleasure of your company at dinner and to see a new Erotic Dancer."
A group of wealthy, tuxedoed men, including Joh Fredersen and Rotwang, watch as the false Maria rises on a stage platform in the depraved nightclub, and begins her sexy, tempting performance of an almost-nude (with pasties on her breasts), hip-swiveling Salome-style dance.