‘Harlan Coben’s Shelter’ Episode 6 Recap & Ending Explained: Did Mickey Escape The Traffickers?


There were a few secrets that were revealed in the fifth episode of Harlan Coben’s Shelter that made the entire ordeal even more convoluted. Mickey had seen the blue butterfly tattoo on Ema’s back, and he told Spoon that he was going to verify if they were right in believing that Ema was innocent or if she had something to do with Ashley’s disappearance. Mickey and Spoon followed Ema to her home, and that is when they came to know that she was Angelica White’s daughter. Ema, for all these years, had hidden the fact that she was the daughter of such a big star because she knew everybody would want to be friends with her, even if they despised her. She didn’t want any kind of special treatment, and she was happy living a low-key life away from the limelight.

Ema, after talking to Spoon and Mickey, got a bit confident, and she realized that she should not lie to her good friends about herself, mainly because they had the right to know about her. So, Ema told Whitney about it and both girls shared an intimate moment. But at the end of the 5th episode came a twist, where we saw Angelica telling her brother, Buck, about Ema’s mother, and we knew that now that bully was going to use the information to embarrass her at some point in time. Also, Ashley was still missing, and Mickey hadn’t come to know where she had run from Rachel’s house. So, let’s find out what all happens in Episode 6.

Spoiler Alert

Was Dylan Shakes Still Alive?

Mickey gave the full report on what had happened when he followed the Octoface with Rachel. Mickey and Rachel were standing in front of the club when the security personnel saw them and  they eventually made an escape from there. Now that Mickey didn’t have any sort of evidence, Ema and him decided to go to the Dylan Shakes memorial in the hope that maybe the kidnapper would turn up there. They had this theory where they believed the kidnapper of Dylan Shakes and Ashley to be the same person, and they speculated that maybe he would come and look at the grieving people and get a lot of sadistic pleasure out of it.

Meanwhile, Buck announced in school that Ema was Angelica’s daughter, and Spoon couldn’t stop himself and went and slapped Buck so that he would remember it the next time he tried bullying anybody. Ema’s trust was broken, and she didn’t want to talk to Whitney anymore. Whitney told her that Buck had blackmailed her to give some dirt on Ema. Whitney had bought some followers back in the day, and Buck threatened her that he would make this information public. Whitney felt scared because she knew that she would lose out on all the sponsorships and collaborations if people got to know that she had bought her followers. But Ema was in no mood to forgive Whitney, and she stomped out of the school, asking her to never talk to her again in life.

Mickey found Mr. Lawrence Kent, who was kidnapped in the last episode, at the memorial service, and he immediately went after him to have a word. Lawrence Kent told Mickey that Dylan’s father, back in the day, had burned one of his eyes with a cigarette. After that day, Dylan went missing, and nobody knew where he went. Billy, Dylan’s father, had come to the service, and Mrs. Friedman got agitated when she saw him sitting there. Mrs. Freidman told him that he had ruined the life of a sweet and innocent boy and that she would never forgive him for that. Dylan told Mrs. Friedman that, though he might have abused his son, he wasn’t the one who had killed him. It was hard to believe Billy, but he did speak with a sort of earnestness, and later, it turned out that he was speaking the truth.

In Harlan Coben’s Shelter episode 6, Mickey had figured out that Dylan Shakes was still alive. After meeting Lawrence Kent, he had a theory in mind, and he knew that his intuitions were not lying to him. Mickey met the same guy with black shades who used to work for the Bat Lady, and he told him upfront that he knew that he was Dylan Shakes. And Mickey was right. For all these years, Dylan had been staying in the same town and working for the Bat Lady. 

Was Mickey Able To Find Ashley?

We came to know that Brad, Mickey’s father, used to rescue kids like Dylan who needed help and had nowhere to go. The bat lady, aka Lizzy Sobek, Brad, and Dylan Shakes—all of them were a part of this rescue group, and they had been doing it for a very long time. At the time Brad disappeared, he was trying to save Ashley, and that is why Bat Lady and Dylan Shakes were trying to find out where she was being kept by the traffickers. Mickey wanted to exhume his father’s body because something inside him told him that his body was not buried there. He also asked Dylan what he would find if he exhumed the body, and Shakes, in a very cryptic manner, said that he would get to know the truth. It was an indication that Brad was still alive, though we don’t know where he was or why he wasn’t contacting his son and letting him know about it. Mickey went to the same club where he had seen Octoface go the other day, and this time, he used a fake ID to enter.

Mickey met a girl named Candy, who told him that Ashley was there in the club and being held in a place they referred to as the dungeon. Ashley went down, only to be caught by a trafficker named Buddy and his men. They were about to kill him when a woman named Kyle came there and told them that she would take it from there and teach the boy a lesson. As soon as Buddy and his men left, the woman uncuffed Mickey and told him that she was Abeona, her father’s friend, and she was going to help him escape from there. The woman asked Mickey if his father was still alive, and for some reason, Mickey told her that as much as he would have wanted him to be alive, he was not. That woman was deceiving Mickey, and we believe that by pretending to be someone who was friends with her father, she only wanted to know if he was alive or not. We believe Mickey dodged a bullet there, as if he had told her anything about the suspicion he had and how he was getting his father’s body exhumed, she would have definitely searched for Brad and not stopped until she found and killed him. Mickey was in the club where Ashley was being kept in confinement, but he was never able to meet her because the traffickers kidnapped him and took him from there.

Was Mickey Able To Escape The Traffickers?

During Harlan Coben’s Shelter Episode 6’s ending, Buddy and his men took Mickey to the beach to kill him, but before they could do that, he somehow managed to push them, and he jumped into the sea while they stood at the shore firing at him. Though Mickey escaped the traffickers, it would be a very tough task for him to make it ashore, considering he would have been injured in the altercation. But the incident would have made him realize the kind of danger he was in and what these people were capable of doing. For a teenager, the fact that there were certain people out there who wanted to kill him was a traumatizing thing, and assuming that he would make it out of there alive, we believe that Mickey would inform Shira about the findings he had been able to make up until then.

As of now, even Ema and Spoon have no idea where he has gone, and in the next episode, we will see them searching for their friend. If Candy and that woman who pretended to be Abeona were speaking the truth, then Ashley was still in captivity and in grave danger. Mickey and his friends would have to act fast as the odds were not in their favor, and these traffickers were dangerous people who were capable of going to any extent to get what they wanted.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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