Friday, June 11, 2021

REVIEW: 'Home Before Dark' - Hilde Pursues a New Mystery That May Reveal More of Erie Harbor's History in 'Not Giving Up'

AppleTV+'s Home Before Dark - Episode 2.01 "Not Giving Up"

Hilde struggles to let the mystery of Richie Fife go, even as a mysterious explosion leads her to new secrets buried in Erie Harbor's past.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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 season premiere of AppleTV+'s Home Before Dark.

"Not Giving Up" was written by Dana Fox & Dara Resnik and directed by Kat Candler

Erie Harbor has been haunted by its past for a long time. The people currently in positions of power and authority rose to those positions due to their association with Richie Fife's disappearance. That tragedy was a turning point for this community. People rose in status because of the narratives they created and fed to the town. Others suffered because they were targeted due to blatant discrimination. But now, the new generation is coming along to topple all of these long held beliefs. No one was looking to unearth new details about the Fife case. Most of the people believed there was nothing left to discover even though his body was never found. Hilde was determined to get to the truth. Her dogged nature as a reporter was endearing to some and annoying to others. She still uncovered that someone in this town has known what really happened that fateful night all those years ago. She exposed the narrative riddled with lies and deceptions. She got close to the truth. And then, the mystery unraveled again. Richie's body wasn't found in the van after it was pulled from the lake. Hilde's investigation still forced a reckoning on Erie Harbor. People were punished for facilitating these crimes and indicting others falsely. Now, the community has changed. That is startling. It hits Hilde hard. She can't give up on the Richie Fife case. She needs to know what happened. And yet, she has hit a dead end. No new leads have emerged in the months following the climatic discovery at the lake. Her story has gained national attention. That should have been enough for Richie to return home if he was still out there and wanted to be found. More to this story will likely be learned as this season develops. However, this premiere opens with Hilde feeling a sense of lose. She responds in ways that her parents have never experienced before. They worry about her and the things she has seen. She is determined as a reporter. The work is important to her. It provides clarity and guidance when the rest of her life is in turmoil. She has to stumble upon a new mystery to feel invigorated again. Before that, all of her connections were seemingly falling apart. Her parents were telling her to let the Fife case go. Trip told her she could no longer serve as her source in the police department. The headquarters for the Magic Hour Chronicle flooded. Hilde still tries to provide comfort and guidance to others. Izzy benefits from that while Kim doesn't want to engage in that extension of empathy quite yet. Kim would much rather have Hilde focus on her schoolwork with her grades slipping because of her almost complete devotion to being a reporter. This young girl has changed the world. And now, she learns that Erie Harbor may have been haunted by its past long before Richie Fife disappeared. Again, she stumbles on this new case because she hears a loud explosion in the middle of the night. It comes when she is suffering from a nightmare and feeling as if Richie looms over her everywhere she goes in town. She theorizes that Richie could even still be in town. This community was shaped by him. But now, it's also suggested that a mysterious entity also wishes to transform this community. Trip's father is being targeted for his land. He rejects an offer well above what it's worth. This entity is now trying to intimidate him into selling. That's not right. Hilde has the resources to offer help. Bridget is the lawyer taking on the case to save this piece of land that means so much for this family. It serves as a connection to the past as well as the significance of a Black family owning land for decades. Of course, the show only offers slight teases here. This is only the first episode after all. It's ominous when it comes to all of the dead birds sprayed out across the community. That's startling and terrifying to everyone not just Hilde when she's all alone in a dark basement. She examines this mansion looking for clues as to who owes it. It seemingly connects back to Wott Management. That organization doesn't really exist. No information can be readily found. It's simply the new giant that Hilde and her allies must confront and expose. The system was seemingly too big and ingrained in its ways for her to bring about change last season. She did just that though. And now, even more is thrown on top of her that reveals these issues extend far further than Richie Fife. Revealing new information in that case isn't enough to dramatically change the world. She must continue to persist. She does just that. She is haunted by all of this in a way her family has never experienced before either though. Everyone should be aware of that. They should proceed with caution while never trying to silence her journalistic pursuits.