The mystery of what happened to Richie Fife after his botched abduction as a child was finally revealed on Home Before Dark Season 2 Episode 10.

Although it was satisfying on some level to ultimately get the full story about why Richie was kidnapped and never returned to Erie Harbor, how it all connected to Strata Tech left me cold. 

The latest mystery lacked the twists, turns, and emotional connection of Richie Fife's original disappearance and Sam Gillis being accused of his murder.

Overall, this season finale ran short of the drama and anticipation of Home Before Dark Season 1, but that didn't make it unenjoyable. Instead, it simply didn't live up to the high standards of its predecessor. 

When Matt and Hilde found Richie alive and well and living in Vancouver, it should have been more of a shock. Perhaps the concept of Richie was more alluring than the actual character because we never really knew him. 

Matt and Richie's awe at seeing one another again came off a little stilted, and when Richie said he had no desire to come back to Erie Harbor, I wasn't terribly disappointed.

I expected Matt to fight more, but he was too shell-shocked to argue and just left.  

So, Matt and Hilde returned home with answers but even more questions. 

Izzy: Wait, so Richie knew that Sam was in prison and didn’t tell anyone they had the wrong guy?
Matt: You don’t know that. He was in a different country, and it was a local story.
Bridget: Yeah, things were different before the internet. News was harder to spread.

Bridget is right. It's difficult for those born during the 1990s and after to understand that news and information weren't at everyone's fingertips. For decades, people had to wait for their daily newspaper or the nightly news to find out what was happening in the world, or even in their own town. 

Still, I found it odd that Richie never looked back. He was a pre-teen when he went on the run. I find it hard to believe that not once in all of those years did he attempt to find out what was happening with his former family and friends in Erie Harbor. 

Was he that afraid of being found that the fear stamped out all sense of normal curiosity?

When Frank went to confront Richie, I knew he'd find the house empty. I'd bet that Richie started packing up the moment Matt and Hilde left. 

Back home, Bridget and Izzy were trying to pull together a class action suit against Strata Tech, who wasn't making it easy. When most of an entire region relies on one industry for its livelihood, it makes it far too simple to manipulate and intimidate people. 

Strata Tech had the power to help the residents of Erie Harbor or destroy them.

Bridget: What we need more than anything is plaintiffs, a lot more. Class actions only work when hundreds of people accuse a company of wrongdoing.
Izzy: What, so hundreds of people have to get hurt before anyone believes them? That’s so messed up.

Izzy had one of the most enjoyable story arcs of the season. Along with juggling her boyfriend and new best friend as well as dealing with Emma's attraction to her, Izzy was also coming into her own while working with Bridget. 

Where Hilde tends to act like the proverbial bull in a china shop when she fights injustice, Izzy is a little more cerebral.

Izzy has not only been influenced by her younger sister but by Bridget's legal practice as well. It's making her a more nuanced and intriguing character with each episode. 

One of the downfalls of this season was the complete turnaround of Grant Williams. 

When he first interacted with Hilde, he was charming, interested, and invested in her point of view. I'm not saying all of that couldn't have been an act to get a read on how much trouble this young reporter could make for him, but if that was the case, his real intent could have used a little more transition time. 

With only ten installments in a season, allowing time to show character development adequately can be a challenge. Still, Grant's change over from nice guy to villain was so jarring that it bothered me through the end of the finale.  

Also, the town hall meeting lacked the drama that we saw when Hilde stood up to Sheriff Briggs during a town hall Q & A during season one. 

Richie Fife entering in the nick of time and Izzy streaming everything didn't pack the emotional punch I was hoping to see. 

As much as Strata Tech deserved their comeuppance, I wanted to see more push back for the Lisko's from the people in town who would likely lose everything if the company went under. 

I also wanted a happy ending, which I got, but it felt a little too easy to come by.

But that's the conundrum of a ten-episode season, especially when you have so many compelling characters. 

I wanted more time with Izzy and her friends, more time with Bridget and her law practice. 

I could get on board with an entire spin-off series that just followed Sheriff Trip Johnson. And I'd love to see more of Frank and Kim's relationship and, hopefully, their upcoming wedding. 

Heck, Donny and Spoon each deserved their own episode too. 

But leaving me craving more time with secondary characters isn't a bad thing. 

For Hilde, this finale felt like a good way to end her story, even with the dangling thread of who stole her notebook and how it ended up next to a dead body on the pier. 

But that doesn't mean I would turn down a Home Before Dark Season 3. On the contrary, I'd welcome it if they crafted a new mystery that was as irresistible as season 1 and give me the extended stories of the characters I've grown to love. 

What did you think, Home Before Dark fans? Did this season finale live up to your expectations? Are you hoping that Apple TV renews the series for season 3? 

Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below to share your thoughts on Home Before Dark Season 2.



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