Saturday, April 4, 2020

REVIEW: 'Home Before Dark' - Hilde Discovers a Crucial Piece of Evidence and Then Loses It Right Away in 'The Green Bike'

AppleTV+'s Home Before Dark - Episode 1.05 "The Green Bike"

Convinced that the wrong person was convicted in the Richie Fife case 30 years ago, Hilde sets out to prove it.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of AppleTV+'s Home Before Dark.

"The Green Bike" was written by Joe Hortua and directed by Kat Candler

The season so far has built up the premise of Hilde Lisko as a strong and determined young reporter. She may annoy the adults around her because of how willing she is to go into dangerous places in pursuit of answers. However, her brilliant mind has put so many pieces together about crimes that have haunted Erie Harbor for decades. Her sheer presence has aspired to disrupt the notion that this small town is a safe place for families to live. No town exists without some crime. The people in charge here want to live in that precise fantasy though. They lash out against anyone who says otherwise. When something tragic does occur, it has to be dealt with quickly even if it's not right. It's a community that has to keep up its image of white excellence while forcing the few people of color to forever hold their heads in shame because of the immediate suspicion that something isn't right with them. The contempt for Sam was built entirely around him being a creep who gave beer to Matt, Frank and Richie. That was the crime that set off the chain of events that led to his arrest and conviction for murder. In Frank Sr.'s mind, that was all it took to paint Sam as a killer. If one person was willing to comprise their morals in that way, then even more pervasions are lying under the surface. And yes, giving alcohol to people underage is a significant crime. It doesn't immediately suggest that someone is capable of murder though. It was simply the only evidence Frank Sr. had of his neighbors acting strangely. He lives under the facade that this is a peaceful community where the population lives in perfect existence. That is hardly true though. Frank Sr. has actually forced his will onto this town for his own personal benefit. He wanted to be elected Sheriff. And so, he built his career on this case even at the expense of his own child. Sure, Frank's character arc has been erratic and messy so far. One moment, he is lashing out and fighting the Lisko family for the mere suggestion that his father did something wrong. And now, he is presented as the person whose doubts about the Richie Fife case led Matt's father to finally believing in his side of the story. It's weird and clearly building to that moment where Frank confronts his father by declaring his run for Sheriff. He positions himself as someone who won't cover up the truth because it would be convenient for himself. That's what Frank Sr. is doing. He is destroying evidence. Al gave Frank Sr. the tape depicting the abduction. The detective watched it and threw it away. It was salvaged. It has been perfectly preserved for all these years. And now, it has been unearthed to create more drama. The same applies to Sam's panel van. It's easy to believe that had been destroyed or lost a long time ago. Instead, it has been sitting in the junkyard all this time. It's only because of these new developments that Frank Sr. feels the urgency to destroy it. It's the one piece of evidence Hilde can point to that fully exonerates Sam. He couldn't have committed this crime because it wasn't his van in the video. She is devastated when that evidence is lost though. She doesn't feel intimidated when Frank Sr. flexes his power and influence. But it's extremely effective to watch her break down because the season has built her up as almost indestructible. It's easy for characters to have difficult conversations with her about the biggest tragedies in their lives. However, she is still a young girl just trying to fix her father and fearing that nothing will ever be good enough. He isn't doing anything to improve his life. He may come to a new understanding with his father. Even that could lead to more tragedy though. This family continues to develop cracks that could burst at any moment. As such, it's important to remember the legacies of those no longer alive to ensure they are honored in death. Sam had to get out to see his sister's memorial. That was his priority. He is grateful that people now believe in his innocence. However, it's still going to be an uphill battle to prove that he was railroaded by a corrupt police force. The main characters can see that plainly. The average citizen of Erie Harbor doesn't though because they have known Frank Sr. for a long time and trust his judgment no matter what. It's easier to believe the conspiracy theories that have no basis in reality whatsoever.