‘Home Before Dark’ follows the 9-year old ace reporter Hilde (Brooklynn Prince) as she digs into the decades-old mystery that everybody else in her lakeside town seems to want to forget. Following a cold case about a young boy that went missing, the dogged young investigative journalist soon captures the town’s attention as she unravels its long-hidden secrets. The mystery endures in the show’s follow-up season, albeit with a new angle. Additionally, Hilde’s curiosity is now piqued by the mysterious phenomena that seem to be happening in a particular part of town.
Her growing fame (or notoriety, depending on who you ask) as a reporter also seems to have become a double-edged sword for Hilde as she attempts to unravel an even more expansive mystery than before. Let’s take a closer look at ‘Home Before Dark’ season 2 episode 1, aptly titled ‘Not Giving Up,’ and see where this intriguing season is headed. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Home Before Dark Season 2 Episode 1 Recap
Season 2 opens with Hilde dreaming about Richie. The dream turns into a nightmare, and she wakes up afraid, having noticed an explosion outside. It has been a year since she cleared Sam’s name of murdering Richie by discovering that the Mayor’s son is still alive. However, despite her parents wanting Hilde to move on from the case, she is unable to stop looking for Richie and, for the first time, appears disturbed. Other developments since the season 1 finale include Hilde’s grandfather moving in permanently with the family and her friend in the town police force, Deputy Mackenzie “Trip” Johnson, being successfully elected as the town’s Sheriff.
Hilde soon discovers that the explosion she saw was caused by a transformer blowing up on officer Johnson’s family home, where her father lives. Upon further investigation, she finds that Johnson’s father is being harassed by a shadowy corporation to give up their family property. When Hilde’s sister Izzy gets invited to the mansion flanking the Johnson property, the young journalist uses the opportunity to snoop around the house with her trusty sidekicks Donny and Spoon.
Home Before Dark Season 2 Episode 1 Ending: What is the Meaning of the Dead Birds?
As the high school party thumps louder and louder, Hilde climbs down into the mansion’s dark basement alone. Spoon and Donny, too scared to follow her, wait upstairs. Down in the basement, she notices one of the electrical circuit breakers intentionally broken. Suddenly, the sound of breaking glass startles her, and she runs upstairs to her waiting friends.
In the breathless closing scenes of season 2 episode 1, Hilde explains to her friends that Richie’s mystery extends outside the town of Erie Harbor. Concurrently, we see her grandpa access a hidden air vent in his room where he has a diary containing photographs and newspaper articles. Finally, Johnson’s father notices a dead bird on his property. Soon enough, Hilde and her friends step out of the mansion to see the streets littered with dead birds.
Unlike Richie’s disappearance, which everyone in the small town of Erie Harbor has swept under the rug, the falling of dead birds from the sky is going to be difficult to ignore. It looks as if the season 2 mystery is going to be a lot less subtle, with the townspeople having to come to terms quickly about the presence of someone ominous in their midst. The dead birds are most likely connected to Johnson’s father’s shadowy tormentors, who he mentions killed some of his cattle as well.
It is so far not known whether the dead birds are falling all across town or only in the vicinity of the Johnson property. In either case, considering the first dead bird is seen by Trip’s father, the phenomenon is most likely connected to his property, where the transformer also recently blew up. The dead birds also tie in the strange sounds and explosions that Hilde has been claiming to hear since they are all pointing towards something ominous in the town’s environment.
What is Hilde’s Grandfather Hiding?
Since season 1, Hilde’s grandfather has been a treasure trove of clues and secrets. He holds deep knowledge about the town’s history and, unlike most of its residents, is not afraid to investigate the town’s secrets. In the closing scenes, we see him pull out a diary from a vent behind his bed that contains a newspaper article about a pilot dying in a plane crash, which refers to Sam’s father from season 1. On top of that, he places a picture of a group of men.
Hilde’s grandfather was very fond of Richie and is, therefore, most likely holding on to more clues about the missing boy’s childhood. The picture he puts into his diary shows a group of men that most likely include Hilde’s grandfather. This could be a clue about Richie’s as-yet-unknown kidnapper, who planned the kidnapping from Portland. For now, we know for sure that the photograph is connected to Richie’s disappearance because it is clipped onto the newspaper article about Sam’s father, who also came up in connection with the case.
Is the New Mystery Connected to Richie’s Disappearance?
The overarching mystery of Richie’s disappearance perseveres because even though it was proved that the boy was not killed and his alleged killer Sam was released from prison, Richie’s whereabouts remain unknown. Hilde is, therefore, unable to let go of Richie’s case despite almost everyone else in town, including her parents, telling her to move on. The only thing that gets Hilde’s mind off Richie is the emerging new mystery regarding the Johnsons and the shadowy corporation tormenting them for their property.
This mystery seems to be wider, as it has repercussions that reach outside Hilde’s small lakeside town. With the person responsible for Richie’s kidnapping being tracked to Portland, the show’s original mystery has also transcended the small town where it originated. The fact that Hilde is investigating both mysteries at the same time and that they both involve the townspeople and mysterious entities from outside Erie Harbor shows that both cases have a lot of parallels. Though its significance is unknown, Hilde also notices a symbol on the mansion’s basement door that she connects to Richie’s family. It will, therefore, not be surprising if we learn that Richie’s disappearance is somehow connected to the Johnson property.
Read More: Home Before Dark Season 1 Ending, Explained