Friday, June 18, 2021

REVIEW: 'Home Before Dark' - A Citywide Blackout Forces Hilde to Slow Down and Care for an Injured Bird in 'I Believe You'

AppleTV+'s Home Before Dark - Episode 2.02 "I Believe You"

A blackout complicates Hilde's investigation. Matt and Bridget discover that Wott Management is not what it seems.

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 next episode of AppleTV+'s Home Before Dark.

"I Believe You" was written by Russel Friend & Hillary Cunin and directed by Howard Deutch

Eery things are happening at the moment in Erie Harbor. That's to be expected at this point in the season. It's still simply establishing the new mysteries that are taking root in this community. The Lisko family unearths new details. They are mostly confused by what they could possibly mean. Some things are happening in the open. The town is aware that a group of determined parents are trying to get Kim removed as principal of the local school. They are holding her responsible for her mother's actions. This drive for signatures can't be ignored either. It's grown to the point where everyone has to take it seriously. As such, lines are being drawn as to who is supportive of Kim in this role and who isn't. This town faces a reckoning. The police department is in the midst of an audit. That has removed so much power that Trip was hoping to wield for good in her role as sheriff. Instead, she has to appease an inspector from the Attorney General's office. She is hoping for complete compliance and a willingness to implement an agenda to better provide for this community. Erie Harbor has historical roots for so many. They care about this community. They are working for its success. They can be oblivious to things going on too. People were in the dark for decades about the Richie Fife disappearance. Hilde unraveling the truth has thrown the town into turmoil. It's transformative in some ways. In other ways, everything is operating as normal. Izzy gets invited to a sleepover with other high school girls. It turns into a night of drinking with no parental supervision. That results in Izzy getting busted by her parents when she returns home the next morning not wanting to go to school. That feels like a very typical plot for a rebellious teenager in a television show. Hilde nurturing an injured bird back to life follows the same impulse. And yet, that story is also connected to the mysterious events that are effecting the entire local ecosystem. Hilde and her friends were the only people to see the flock of dead birds the previous night. The rest of the partygoers were conveniently directed elsewhere. Meanwhile, the town soon becomes more concerned with a storm that knocks out all the power. Some citizens are lucky to have backup generators. The school isn't a place that can still operate though. Moreover, Hilde cannot do any research on her computer as she is without an internet connection. And so, she tends to Walter. She sticks to a rigid schedule of what his care requires. She is determined to succeed in this mission. She also asks the right questions and respects those who do the same with her unique and inquisitive mind. She is treated as a respectable journalist even though she is also continually being told to do her school work and forget about the cases she just can't let go. Hilde feels as if someone is watching her. She looks over her shoulder and sees something there. No one else seems to have that foreboding sense in their lives. Matt understands though. He too feels Richie's presence in this town even though the family has hit a dead end in looking for him. It's not something they can focus on any longer. They have to move on. It's frustrating because they don't have all the answers. As such, they need something more enticing to pull their attention elsewhere. Dead birds and fish are a quick and effective way to do that. Matt and Bridget track down a physical location for Wott Management only to discover it's an abandoned building with nothing but dust inside. Again, the Lisko family is still just uncovering the new mysteries that lurk in this town. They may be connected to Richie Fife still looming over them. But other plots seem to be taking place as well. Plots that occur in the shadows. They make their influence known just to unsettle the people threatening whatever plans for development are being concocted for Erie Harbor. Sooner or later though, the show has to personify this conflict. That will likely come. Right now, it mostly amounts to visceral images meant to provoke while some more traditional plotting occurs to offer some substance in the proceedings. All of this is still effective. The show has built a world where the character relationships resonate. They develop in ways that are perhaps a bit too blunt and forced. It's still stiff at times. And yet, it's also easy to see the appeal of Hilde appreciating having parents who never try to dampen her spirit. That appreciation remains centered in a way that's crucial to the overall development of the show and its stories each season.