Monday, April 6, 2020

REVIEW: 'Home Before Dark' - A New Suspect is Revealed Which Takes Matt and Hilde on a Road Trip in 'Superhero Monster Slayer'

AppleTV+'s Home Before Dark - Episode 1.09 "Superhero Monster Slayer"

A break in the Richie Fife case results in a surprise arrest. Matt and Hilde take a road trip to learn more about the suspect.

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.

"Superhero Monster Slayer" was written by Dara Resnik & Dana Fox and directed by Kate Woods

The success of this season didn't have to come down on how effective the grand reveal in the Richie Fife case was. It is certainly a component because this is a mystery show at the end of the day. However, there is plenty of satisfying character moments that could be compelling to watch as well. It's effective to watch as Hilde and Matt actually operate as part of a team. They are colleagues chasing the story knowing that it can make a difference in people's lives. They are determined to get to the truth. They have a new suspect whose past needs to be examined. Kim's mother, Carol, actually changed her name when she moved to Erie Harbor. Before then, she was known as Margaret Miller and served time for stealing cars. She proclaims that she left that life behind her. She needed to change her identity to better escape the past and the regrets she has. However, things are lining up to present a damning case against her. Even her daughter is seemingly convinced of Carol's guilt by the end of this hour. The show still has the burden of explaining how all of this occurred. It was teased that the blood on Richie's jacket belonged to a woman. That didn't line up with a man's voice being the one to tell Matt and Frank to run. As such, it's clear that there was more than one kidnapper in this case. The show just uses that to explain how a character exists who is guilty despite not being important to this season whatsoever. There is always the fear of the unknown in cases like this. In television though, there is some understanding that the audience can play along at home to solve the mystery alongside the main characters. The viewer should never be ahead of the investigators. If that's the case, then it becomes too obvious and the protagonists don't come across as smart as they need to be. Hilde certainly has some valuable insights. She sees things that others cannot. She notices the "sinner" tattoo in a diner picture. She knows that Zeke was the man seen around town that fateful night. It's clear he was reckless too because he was the man who drove Hilde's science teacher off the road which left him in a wheelchair. That backstory didn't necessarily need to be included. It just adds to the overall sense of tragedy that has long taken place in this town. Everyone wants to view things as Richie Fife's disappearance being the worst thing to happen here. That is a false narrative. Plenty of bad things have happened. People just want to live in the fantasy. That can be so dangerous and costly though. It has removed Sam from society for three decades. Carol got to see her daughter grow up. However, her past is catching up to her and Kim is realizing the doubts she has always had really were as sinister as she feared. Carol was seen as crucial to the investigation because she found Richie's jacket in the woods. That allowed herself to be positioned in such a way where no one would be suspicious of her. That narrative is falling apart. It is no longer sustainable. Hilde has to write that story even though it will cause a lot of pain for Kim. She doesn't want to hurt her friend and principal. It has to be done for the integrity of the story and the investigation though. Everyone is dealing with hardships now too. Pop Pop is in the hospital after suffering a mild stroke. Matt has to be there for him. He feels the burden to do so because he left for such a long time and refused to come back. He has to acknowledge the anguish that choice caused while atoning for it in the present to ensure it never happens again. Bridget is starting to imagine a future in Erie Harbor. That seemed unlikely at the start of the series. It may still be difficult because the community alienates the Lisko family. And yet, their efforts are being rewarded because the truth is starting to come out in a way that will certainly improve this world and the people within it. It's just lackluster for the audience because it's a grand reveal being explained to the viewer without a whole lot of complexities on display that came from a season of buildup and tension in this particular case.