Friday, July 16, 2021

REVIEW: 'Home Before Dark' - An Island Reveals a Grave Threat to the Entire Community of Erie Harbor in 'What's Out There'

AppleTV+'s Home Before Dark - Episode 2.06 "What's Out There"

When they venture to a remote island, Hilde and Matt make a troubling discovery in the surrounding lake.

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.

"What's Out There" was written by Molly Nussbaum and directed by Edward Ornelas

Hilde knows something is out there on the island. It also connects back to the Richie Fife case. As such, she loses sight of absolutely everything else. She ignores the value of her family bonds and friendships. She needs answers to this mystery that has plagued her life. She needs to know what happened to Richie. She has a new lead that seems significant. It's right there ready for her to explore. Whatever has plagued this community can be visible from a plane and has done significant damage for years. It's crucial that all of this is exposed now. She can't wait for it to be more convenient for her family. Matt and Bridget find a way to make it work. It's another example of Hilde's determination to journalism taking priority over everything else. That can be overwhelming at times. She isn't always guaranteed the answers she wants either. She finds no traces of Richie on this island at all. The one person seen roaming around is actually Frank Sr. That's a somewhat disappointing reveal because it allows for creepy visuals only to then make it immediately comfortable to the group once his face joins the party. It all has a rational explanation. He too is trying to atone for the past. He wants answers as to what caused Sam's father to crash his plane all those years ago. It no longer seems like an intentional action. He was searching for something to help Richie in his time of need. He was being of service to his community. And yet, the power players of this world are determined to keep all of their secrets hidden for as long as they can. All the evidence is out in the open though. It has been that way for decades. That's certainly convenient. It also shows just how blatant these interests are in polluting this environment. They do so in broad daylight. It's not necessary for them to cover up the truth and work hard to keep everyone compliant. No one has gone searching for what is truly going on. It's only been recently that people have started asking questions. Of course, these powerful people have the means to cover up everything going on. They can act quickly. That makes it difficult to expose them and the damage they have done to the community. Erie Harbor has to grapple with the consequences no matter what though. This isn't the first time the Lisko family has lost track of someone in their care. As such, it's a somewhat familiar plot device meant to increase the tension in all aspects of the narrative. It also highlights how Bridget and Izzy are often placed with unreasonable burdens in service of Matt and Hilde's work. That doesn't create a happy and cohesive family unit. It makes their agency seem secondary to the concerns of the journalists. Izzy is grappling with her identity. She is embarrassed by her family. She also loves her family. She gives her heart fiercely to people eventually. It's also hard for her to make friends. This internal turmoil is completely her own with no one seeming to notice. Bridget offers her a safe space to belong. That only comes at a time when Pop Pop is also in turmoil over the destruction of his world. It's a personal and devastating loss to him. His precious memories are being damaged. His family remains in the crosshairs. It may all be explained by the toxic exposure caused by this pollution. That would also be convenient. It's what Hilde is certainly hoping for. Matt goes to collect a sample so that the substance can be studied and understood. All of this is mostly in service to the overall plot and mystery. It's much more fascinating when Hilde's determination to find the truth comes at the expense of her friendships with Donny and Spoon. They don't necessarily believe the harsh things they say to her. They are still hurt by her manipulating them and putting their lives in danger just so she can uncover what mystery lurks on this island. That is an engaging moment. It's short-lived though. It's worthy of further examination. Hilde is imperfect and stubborn. She is a great journalist. She can't properly balance the various elements in her life. That must be a priority too otherwise she risks burning out at a young age as well. That too can be costly. All of this may ultimately happen in what's left of the season. It has to remember to delve into those personal dynamics. It can't focus too much on the big picture that the small, intimate details get lost as a result.