Home Before Dark Season 1, Episode 4 recap: Who is the mysterious Birdman?

Matt spends some quality time with Izzy while Hilde tracks down the mysterious Birdman for more answers on the tape in episode four of Home Before Dark.

Episode four of Home Before Dark focuses on the mysterious “Birdman” and the aftermath of Matt’s fight with Frank. It picks up shortly after the brawl with Matt and Bridget at a clinic so Matt can get treatment for his head wound. He is tended to by Lucy Fife, the sister of Richie Fife — who also happens to be the mother of one of the annoying Jessicas at Izzy and Hilde’s school.

At home, the girls are worried that their parents’ marriage might be in trouble. Hilde thinks the best way to fix things is to solve the disappearance of Richie Fife. To do that, she wants to know who filmed the videotape and why it remained hidden for so long. Izzie, on the other hand, thinks cleaning the house and cooking dinner will force their parents to focus on their problems head-on.

Who is the Birdman?

Hilde, Spoon, and Donnie get together to consider who is the likely person behind filming the videotape. To find that answer, they need to go to the source — Kim. Kim reluctantly lets them get a virtual copy of the abduction footage in case Frank ends up getting his hands on the original and smashing it the same way he did with Matt’s copy. He already came snooping around the Liske residence earlier in the episode while Matt and Bridget were at the doctor’s office.

While watching the original copy in Kim’s office, Hilde notices a few frames at the beginning that weren’t present in her copy of the tape. They show a close-up of a young boy adjusting the camera. Hilde recognizes him as Al Wergeles from the alumni tapestry.

Spoon and Donnie know who he is and refer to him as “the Birdman.” They also know where he works, “the creepiest place in town,” a.k.a. Happyland, a partially abandoned fairground. Initially, it seems like Al might be a real creep. He has had some trouble with the law over the years.

At Happyland, Hilde confronts Al. She asks him why he was filming and why he never gave the tape to the police. In a flashback, we learn that Al just really likes birdwatching, and that’s why he set up the video that day.

When he later discovered what was on the tape, a young Al tried to give it to Sheriff Frank Briggs Sr. The sheriff encouraged Al to keep the tape a secret, telling him it would be obstruction of justice if he revealed its contents to everyone. Then he gave him 40 dollars as a bribe.

Adult Al still feels guilty over his decision to take the money, but he was just a kid in way over his head.

Hilde interrupts a political Q&A

Armed with her new knowledge surrounding the tape and Sheriff Briggs’  involvement in its disappearance, Hilde crashes the communal clambake where Briggs is raking in the praise for his upcoming election where he is running unopposed, yet again.

During the Q&A segment of the evening, Hilde bravely approaches the microphone stand and asks Briggs why he hid the tape showing Richie’s abduction. She then accuses him of forcing his son to perjure himself on the stand.

Related Story: Home Before Dark S1E3 recap: Hilde solves Penny’s murder

The rest of the Lisko’s show up to support Hilde, including Matt. He encourages his daughter to ask the sheriff everything she wants to know. Enraged — and nervous — Frank Sr. tries to calm the swell of intrigue from the audience, many of whom have whipped out their smartphones to record the juicy drama.

It doesn’t take long for Matt and Hilde to get ushered out of the room, but Hilde has at least planted a seed of doubt and unease in everyone’s mind. She goes one step further when she gets home by uploading the footage of Richie’s abduction to The Magic Hour Chronicle, although not before talking to Matt about it. It seems like father and daughter are finally on the same page regarding this investigation.

Unfortunately, their brief victory comes to an unsavory end. Hilde is devastated to find that someone set Matt’s old bike on fire in their driveway. She collapses into tears in her father’s arms.

“Who would do this?” asks Hilde.

Hopefully, we’ll find that out soon, but Hilde has obviously angered a lot of dangerous people.

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Odds & Ends

  • Matt and Izzy get to spend some time together in this episode, which was a pleasant surprise.
  • Bridget visits Sam in prison and tells him she wants to help get him out. On her way out, she runs into Kim, who is there to fulfill Penny’s final wishes regarding her brother. We don’t learn what they are yet, but Bridget proposes that she and Kim help each other out.
  • I’m not sure if it will have more meaning later, but we do learn that Matt and Richie often bullied and teased Al as kids. It seems like they did it as a way to fit in, so they could express their gratitude at not being the targets for once. Matt apologizes to Al for how he acted when he was younger.

What did you think of Home Before Dark’s fourth episode? Who do you think set fire to Matt’s bike? What will happen as a result of Hilde releasing the video? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Home Before Dark Season 1 is now available to stream on Apple TV+.

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