‘Home Before Dark’ follows the young ace reporter Hilde Lisko as she uncovers the secrets of her hometown Erie Harbor. In season 2, Hilde takes on a mysterious corporation that seems to be covering a sinister, long-hidden secret. As she goes up against insurmountable odds to try and expose them, the powerful heads of the company fight back, even managing to briefly suspend her publication— the Magic Hour Chronicle. There are some big revelations in the season closer, and not one but two long-standing mysteries seem to have been solved. Let’s get into the details of the ‘Home Before Dark’ season 2 finale. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Home Before Dark Season 2 Finale Recap
In season 2, Hilde begins to notice the strange health problems that many of the town’s residents (including her grandfather and his late friends) suffer from. She soon connects it to the mass bird and fish deaths that have occurred in certain pockets of the town and realizes that Strata Tech, a large corporation and the town’s long-time benefactor, has also been poisoning its residents for decades. Intent on uncovering their crimes, the young reporter delves into their murky history of paying off employees in exchange for their silence. Her grandfather’s death only fuels her efforts further, and before long, she finds that the company has been dumping a poisonous chemical called Cadmium on a nearby island that has been seeping into the town’s water supply.
In the season 2 finale, whilst on the hunt for an eyewitness to prove Strata Tech’s wrongdoing in court, Hilde and her father Matt find Richie Fife, who was mysteriously kidnapped decades ago. Richie seems to know all about the company’s wrongdoing but fears that the authorities will arrest him and soon disappears. Matt and Hilde try to look for the elusive tape that might hold the incriminating proof they need but to no avail.
Meanwhile, Bridget and Izzy work on building a class action lawsuit against Strata Tech and try to get those that the company has hurt to come forward and attend a town hall meeting. However, it proves challenging to convince people since many of them work for the powerful corporation and are fearful of losing their jobs and the money that the company injects into the community. Turnout at the town hall is scant, but Grant, the head of Strata Tech, is present with his lawyer and henchman.
Home Before Dark Season 2 Ending: What Happened to Richie Fife?
As Hilde begins to talk about all the people that Strata Tech has hurt, its boss stands up and calls her claims baseless. He states that their case has no proof and will therefore not stand. Just as Hilde feels like all hope is lost, Sam Gillis walks into the meeting along with Richie, saying that they do, in fact, have proof against the company. Richie proceeds to play the sound recording that incriminates the company and its current head. Grant makes one final threat to Matt, which is recorded and streamed by Izzy. A commotion is heard outside, and it is revealed that Ethan has set up a projector and is displaying the proceedings for the whole town to watch.
The citizens cheer as Grant is arrested by Sherriff Trip, and her father, Junior Johnson, subsequently gets his family farm back. We then see Richie reunited after decades with his old friends Matt, Frank Junior, and Kim at a seaside picnic, where everyone comes together to celebrate their victory. Later, Donny and Spoon are seen working with a police scanner, on which they hear an announcement about a homicide. Along with Hilde, they rush to the site, and the season closes with Hilde noticing her diary lying on the ground, marked as a piece of evidence in the crime scene.
The season 2 finale not only exposes the villainous nature of Strata Tech and its bosses but also resolves the long-running season 1 mystery of Richie Fife’s kidnapping. Thought to have been kidnapped and held against his will all along, in the season finale, it is revealed that he was, in fact, living with his biological father Arthur Conway all these years. The sequence of events started with Richie unintentionally overhearing senior Strata Tech officials talking about their illegal use of poisonous substances whilst hiding inside one of their planes. This put him in danger and his father, Arthur, staged his kidnapping to get Richie away from Erie Harbor. Amidst the confusion, Richie ended up murdering his kidnapper and then spent his years living in Canada, where he got married and had a child.
Richie reveals that the threat of legal repercussions for what happened all those years ago has kept him away from Erie Harbor. However, after seeing Hilde’s reporting of his case and realizing that there are still people there who care for him and haven’t stopped looking, he returns to help with the case. His contribution is priceless as Richie finally plays the tape that his father Arthur had recorded, which incriminates the company and its current boss, Grant. The fact that we then see Richie at the picnic spending time with his old friends tells us that he will likely not face legal repercussions for the murder he committed (of his kidnapper) as it is understood that he did it in self-defense. With Strata Tech’s insidious nature revealed, it seems like all the crimes have been rightfully pinned on the company and its bosses.
What is on the Tape?
The tape that Richie plays at the town hall is a recording made by his father, Arthur Conway, in 1987. The recording has part of the testimony given by Arthur and Hank about how Strata Tech is using poisonous chemicals despite knowing their harmful nature. This part of the recording has already been made public and is not sufficient to incriminate the company. However, the last part of the recording features a senior Strata Tech official discussing with the former boss of the company that his son, Grant, has been heard talking about poisonous chemicals. This ties the company and its current head into the conspiracy and is all the proof that the Sherriff needs to arrest him. The fact that Grant is then caught on camera threatening to “bury” the evidence only makes his guilt that much clearer and the boss is left with no recourse.
Does Strata Tech Finally Get Caught?
In the end, with Richie’s tape and multiple townspeople coming forward with their own stories of how they suffer from chronic conditions due to Strata Tech’s years of pollution, the company and its current leader Grant are exposed. The exact repercussions of this are not elaborated, but we do get a glimpse of a news story saying that Grant’s bail is set at $5 million, meaning that his personal liability in the crimes is significant. There is also mention of more people joining Bridget’s lawsuit against the company and that Strata Tech is expected to settle by the end of the year. This means that the company will likely be forced to shell out hefty reparations to the families it has affected. Lastly, Junior is able to void his contract with the company and gets his family farm back clean and intact from the company that forced him off it.
Is Hilde Involved in a New Mystery?
At the end of season 2, Spoon, Donny, and Hilde seem raring to get to their next mystery and have somehow got their hands on a police scanner that allows them to monitor the local police’s radio calls. They hear about a homicide and rush to the site, only to be hurriedly shooed away by Frank Jr. Before she is sent away, however, Hilde catches a glimpse of her diary lying on the ground with an evidence marker next to it. It is briefly mentioned in a scene before the climactic town hall meeting that Hilde cannot find her diary.
No other details about the case are revealed, but we do know that it is a homicide, which is why the young investigators are hurriedly chased away from the crime scene. Despite that, it is almost certain that Hilde will delve into mystery as soon as she can. The adults are likely going to keep the morbid details of the crime hidden from her, but the fact that Hilde’s diary is a piece of potential evidence could work in her favor. Considering she has what seems like a photographic memory, she could very well retrace her steps and figure out who might have had her diary, allowing her to figure out details of the homicide that have not been released to the public. Knowing Hilde, she might even be able to give the police some new insights about the case, but that is a matter for future seasons of the show.
There is a slight possibility that someone from Strata Tech stole her diary to hinder her investigation and then got murdered in the aftermath of the company’s crimes being discovered. The show has a habit of keeping aspects of previous seasons’ mysteries alive in subsequent seasons, and this might not be the last time we hear of Strata Tech or Grant’s murderous looking henchman.
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