Things are beginning to get very real for Hilde as she finds herself summoned to the police precinct on charges of trespassing on private property. Meanwhile, her grandfather reveals things from his past that leave everyone shocked. Season 2 episode 7, titled ‘Just a Bird,’ is a blur of big moves and begins to set the tone for the fast-approaching season finale. In between, it also finds time to explore blossoming friendships and the bonds that possibly need fixing. Let’s unpack all that happens in ‘Home Before Dark’ season 2 episode 7. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Home Before Dark Season 2 Episode 7 Recap
The episode opens with Matt and Bridget having a secret meeting, away from their children. Matt feels guilty for helping Hilde get embroiled in the matter of the toxic barrels and admits that he didn’t realize just how dangerous the situation was. He also mentions sending the water samples he collected from the island for testing. Soon enough, Matt’s worst fears are confirmed as he and Hilde are summoned to the police station on charges of trespassing on private property. A reluctant Sheriff Tripp informs them that the land is owned by Wott Management.
Donny and Spoon are also pulled in for questioning and blame Hilde for the trouble they’re in, saying that they want no part in the investigation anymore. However, the young reporter refuses to stay silent and begins to spread the message that the town’s water is potentially contaminated. Hilde faces another shock back at home when she realizes her bird, Walter, is dead after being sick for many days.
However, she is soon distracted by the possibility of her grandfather regaining some of his memories when Matt recalls an experimental therapy he had written about. The family recreates Sylvester’s favorite old restaurant, and, as expected, he briefly regains his memory and talks about his time working at Strata Tech. What he reveals is explosive and potentially incriminates the company but cannot be used as proof.
Home Before Dark Season 2 Episode 7 Ending: Who is Hilde Angry At?
Soon after Hilde’s grandfather’s revelation, the results from the water samples Matt collected from the island come back. They prove that the water contains cadmium, which is a dangerous heavy metal. Hilde, unable to contain her frustration at the town’s citizens ignoring the truth, pens an article about the water being potentially poisoned by cadmium and blames Strata Tech for it. In between, we see Sheriff Trip also test the water in her father’s house, which turns out to be, much to her horror, contaminated.
The episode ends with Hilde seething with anger and, for once, not going after the story but the actual perpetrators behind it. The people she wants to see pay for their crimes are the ones at Strata Tech Industries who, she finds out, are responsible for her grandfather’s mental incontinence. After the initial revelation of the role of the large corporation, she is further frustrated when Matt tells her that her grandfather is most likely incurable as the effects of cadmium poisoning are irreversible, making her vow to get revenge on the corporation. This is quite possibly the angriest we’ve seen the young ace reporter so far.
What Did Strata Tech Industries Allegedly Do?
Throughout episode 7, Strata Tech Industries’ many crimes over the years are slowly pieced together. In the episode’s climax, we find out that the giant corporation has been using and dumping cadmium despite having announced in the 1970s that they are no longer using it. As Matt says, this reeks of a massive, decades-long cover-up that the company has employed at the cost of the health of many of Erie Harbor’s residents.
What is possibly most insidious about the conspiracy is that the heavy metal being dumped into the water has begun to seep into the town’s water supply, which Sheriff Trip realizes to her horror after initially brushing off Hilde’s claims. The ill-effects of the contaminated water have already been demonstrated by the untimely deaths of Sylvester’s friends, as well as his own dementia, which Matt ascribes to the cadmium in the water. All the dead birds and fish, as well as Hilde’s pet Walter’s sickness, is most likely the result of the poisoned water.
What Does Hilde’s Grandfather Sylvester Remember About His Past?
Matt’s idea of recreating the environment of Sylvester’s younger days works very effectively and soon has Hilde’s grandfather reminiscing about romantic dinners with his wife, Jane. Later, he begins to talk about his time as an employee at Strata Tech and how he and his friends were let go by the company but didn’t mind because they got hefty severance packages. In fact, all of Sylvester’s friends (who we see in the old photograph in episode 4) worked there, with the notable exception of Junior Johnson, which is most likely why he’s still alive while the rest of them are dead.
The bombshell revelation comes when Hilde’s grandfather mentions that he and the others, as part of their job, were made to spray a chemical sealant that gave him headaches and a severe cough. The Strata Tech doctor at the time told him that the symptoms were most likely caused by unrelated allergies. However, it is clear to Matt and Hilde that the company was, in fact, poisoning its employees, which is most likely why it gave them generous severance packages and eventually shut down their entire division.
Read More: Is Home Before Dark Based on a True Story?