Home Before Dark Season 2 Episode 8 Review: The Bad Guy

The Lisko family have been outcasts since they first moved to Erie Harbor, and for the most part, that hasn’t changed. 

But as Home Before Dark Season 2 Episode 8 showed us, they’ve managed to find themselves an entire team of outcasts.

Because it’s no longer just Hilde and Donny and Spoon, now Izzy has Ethan and Emma, Matt has Frank, Bridget has Kim, and Trip and Junior are a part of this gang too. 

And the Lisko’s are going to need all of their help to thwart Strata Tech. 

Matt: It turns out your company was using those chemicals for what? Two decades?

Bridget: Was it even longer than that?

Grant: They didn’t know they were dangerous back then. It was just the way things were done. That’s no reason to scare people away from Erie Harbor now, is it? Tank real estate prices. Cut jobs. I don’t think the town would thank you for that.

Matt: I’m sorry, is that supposed to be some kind of a threat?

Grant: It doesn’t have to be. It could be a choice. You’re her parents. You need to get control of your daughter.

When Grant Williams first showed up, I liked how he didn’t treat Hilde like a child, how he treated her with respect. He even donated $20K to the local animal shelter because of one of Hilde’s articles. I really wanted him to be one of the good guys. 

Was it all an act? Was he just trying to get a better read on Hilde so he could figure out how to waylay her investigation? Or is there more to Grant Williams than it seems?

Grant would have been a child when the cadmium was used at Strata Tech, so he didn’t cause the problem, but he does appear to be trying to cover it up. Is that to protect his family, since Strata Tech is the family business, or is it to protect his bottom line?

The Johnson farm was the latest loss to Strata Tech, but it was difficult to blame Junior for selling out. He couldn’t afford to clean up the water supply. He couldn’t keep his animals safe. From Junior’s point of view, he was about to lose everything. 

Is there anything Trip can do to fight the sale? 

It was a little surprising that she caved so readily to firing Frank, so it was a relief to see her recover her backbone and hire him back, no matter the consequences from Agent Rutherford.

Trip needs someone she can trust to investigate this mess with Strata Tech, and unfortunately, there aren’t many officers in her own department that she can trust. 

On a side note, it was gratifying to get another glimpse into Frank and Kim’s relationship. Even though he had lost his job, she didn’t coddle him while they played pool. She beat him handily, and Frank would have likely felt worse if she hadn’t. 

But Matt and Bridget have their hands full, trying to protect their family and care for Sylvester, all while trying to uncover the truth about Strata Tech and bring it to light. 

Because even if they do find proof that Strata Tech knowingly poisoned their employees and is contaminating Erie Harbor’s drinking water, there’s little doubt that the company will do everything possible to crush the story.

And with Strata Tech responsible for donating everything from school books to infrastructure, most of Erie Harbor may feel the company is too big to turn against them.  

But they have to get the proof first.

Izzy, Ethan, and Emma teaming up with Hilde, Donny, and Spoon was a fantastic development, even if it did end up venturing into Scooby-Doo-type territory. 

Grant getting a security alert because his own assistant’s computer was accessing files in her home didn’t make much sense. I mean, isn’t that the reason people bring laptops home from work to do actual work? So why would that send Grant rushing to her home?  

Despite that, I was oddly relieved that the kids got caught. Not that downloading files is difficult, but having them pull this off would have felt too easy.

Will there be more consequences for Donny and Spoon? Their parents can’t be happy with all of the trouble they’ve been getting into with Hilde, not to mention Donny’s father losing his promotion.

As much as I’m thrilled that the incredible threesome is working together once again, I’m a little surprised that at least one of their parents hasn’t put their foot down about spending time with Hilde.

Hilde: No story is worth losing you guys as friends. I want to find some way to make it right.

Donny: You will. We will.

Spoon: Together. Come on, this calls for a group hug.

As for Izzy, it’s wonderful that she can now hang out with Ethan and Emma together. This is high school, and there’s no reason why the three of them can’t be friends.

Also, as someone who never had any school spirit, I loved that they ditched the pep rally and then ended up with Hilde, Donny, and Spoon. 

Things rarely feel as good as when outcasts unite. 

As much fun as it was to witness the kids banding together, on the flip side was the scene between Sylvester and Hilde, which was heartbreaking. 

I’m just an old man from a small town who sold bikes, lived at the same address for 40 years. I thought my life was small. I thought, except for you guys, my family, maybe I didn’t matter all that much. But you showed me there’s no such thing as a small life because if my story can help someone else, well, then it matters. So keep going, Hilde. Keep telling your story.


It sounds as though Sylvester has felt lonely for a very long time. It must have only gotten worse since his wife died, and Matt moved away and didn’t see much of his father for years. 

Sylvester always appears the most cognizant when he’s with Hilde, and it’s clear they have a special bond, which makes these scenes all the more poignant. 

Now that they suspect that Sylvester’s mental decline was caused by cadmium, is there anything that can be done to slow down the progression of his mental decline?

Is Grant Williams truly the bad guy? It certainly felt like it in this installment, which was quite the turnaround from when he was introduced. As much as we need a villain, I’m strangely disappointed.

And how does all of this circle back around to Richie Fife running from Erie Harbor and never looking back?

Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below to tell us your theories, and then check back in for our review of Home Before Dark Season 2 Episode 9.  

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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