Harlan Coben’s Shelter quickly becomes formulaic in episode two, following the same structure as the first. The investigation into the disappearance of Ashley Kent is well handled, though, and the trio of teen actors make for compelling leads. But the many absurd mystery subplots feel like nothing but trashy, inconsequential plot twists so far.
We recap the 2023 Prime Video series Harlan Coben’s Shelter Season 1 Episode 2, “Catch Me If U Can,” which contains spoilers.
The second installment of Harlan Coben’s Shelter, “Catch Me If U Can,” continues the investigation into the disappearance of student Ashley Kent (Samantha Bugliaro). Mickey (Jaden Michael) and his new friends, Ema (Abby Corrigan) and Spoon, follow the scant clues that they have.
Meanwhile, Mickey visits his mom, who is being treated for depression in the hospital.
Harlan Coben’s Shelter Season 1 Episode 2 Recap
Following on from the previous episode, we find Mickey and Spoon in a prison cell together. They have been informed that the man who was stretchered out of Kent’s home was attacked and is now in hospital.
Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Kent are related to Ashley Kent, though. Spoon wonders if the fact that they share the same last name is anything more than just a coincidence.
Who are Troy’s parents?
Shira bails Mickey out of prison, and Spoon’s father is there for his son too. While leaving, Shira bumps into her old high school friend Hannah (Missi Pyle), who is now married to the police officer Ken. Their son is the basketball captain Troy. Clearly, Shira and Ken have a history together. It’s an awkward interaction, to say the least.
Elsewhere, Ema tries to wipe off the mysterious butterfly tattoo that she has on her shoulder. And Rachel is acting suspiciously herself, having kept Ashley’s gun.
She frantically paces her own home nervously as if she is being watched.
The trio discusses the incident that occurred at the Kent’s house. They believe that there is a connection between Ashley’s disappearance and the attack on Lawrence Kent. It would seem that the attacker thought they were Ashley’s parents, but they were clearly wrong.
Who did Bat Lady have killed?
The next day, Mickey is informed that Ashley has withdrawn from school. Mrs. Friedman is then sent a resignation email from teacher Barry Vollmer (Mr V), who happens to be the bald man from the previous episode. He was somehow caught up in this crime, and Bat Lady had him shot and killed. The email is obviously written by Bat Lady or her associate, Sunglasses Man.
Following the few clues that they have, the trio finds Mrs. Kent at the hospital. She tells them that she didn’t know Ashley and her husband’s attacker had an octopus tattoo on his face, which is quite a distinguishing feature, to say the least.
That night, Ema and Mickey are followed by Sunglasses Man. Mickey chases after him and jumps onto his moving vehicle.
The mystery man speaks briefly with Mickey but refuses to answer any of his questions, only adding to the ambiguity.
The following day, Mickey finally gets to spend some quality time with his mother, Kitty. She asks to spend some time alone immediately, though, to perform a few errands.
Mickey meets with his friends at the local tattoo parlor in the meantime.
Who is Octoface?
They ask the local tattoo artist if they remember this tattooed man, who Spoon refers to as Octoface, you know, because of the octopus tattoo on his face. It’s also the same person who was seen stalking Ashley at the high school. The tattoo artist doesn’t appear to remember Octoface, though. I mean, how can you forget him?
Ema then speaks in private with the tattoo artist, asking about her non-permanent tattoo. She is freaked out by the resemblance of the butterfly to the image on the LP that Mickey had shown her.
The artist says that it will disappear over time. It is an Abeona butterfly, which is also the name of the goddess of protecting children.
Mickey heads home, but his mother is nowhere to be seen. He panics and calls Shira. They search for Kitty, tracking her car. This takes them to the nearby falls.
Mickey eventually finds his mother crying alone there. She was clearly not ready to be let out of the hospital. Mickey consoles her.
Harlan Coben’s Shelter Season 1 Episode 2 Ending Explained
The episode ends as the first did, with a montage of strange activities from our cast of characters. The tattoo artist burns a photograph of Octoface, he was clearly lying after all. Sunglasses man copies Mickey’s laptop hard drive. Bat Lady watches Mrs. Friedman from the CCTV cameras. The teacher rightly suspects Bat Lady of killing Mr. Vollmer.
Then in the very last scene, Rachel heads to the train station, where she accesses Ashley’s locker. The locker contains a bag full of money and many fake passports. Octoface then appears, saying that those items don’t belong to her.
She has been caught by this mysterious villain and is in serious danger.
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