‘Harlan Coben’s Shelter’ Episode 4 Recap & Ending, Explained: Is Ashley Dead Or Alive?


Mickey Bolitar had met the bat lady, aka Lizzy Sobek, at the end of Harlan Coben’s Shelter Episode 3, and instead of getting to know about what was happening in the town, he had gotten even more confused by the kind of things she had told him. The bat lady had shown Mickey the picture of a man who had a big scar on his face and said that he was the butcher of Lodz, the nazi killer, who was responsible for the death of the bat lady’s father and was also present, posing as a paramedic, when Mickey and his family had met with an accident. It didn’t make any sense at all because the man hadn’t aged a bit, and Mickey didn’t know what to make of that information. Ashley was still missing, though, and even the bat lady had no clue where she was. Mickey knew that the octopus man, the blue butterfly, Ashley’s disappearance, and Dylan Shakes’ death were all related, but he was not able to understand how. 

Meanwhile, away from all this clutter and chaos, Shira and Hannah were rekindling old bonds, and in the previous episode, they shared an intimate moment. It was very clear that Hannah wanted to have something more than just friendship, but Shira, obviously knowing that her friend was married, had to decide whether her conscience would allow her to be selfish and go ahead with it or whether it would weigh heavy on her and burden her with guilt. So, let’s find out what happened in Shelter Episode 4, whether Ema, Arthur and Mickey are able to find out what happened to Ashley, and what it is that the Bat Lady wants to achieve.

Spoiler Alert

What Did Mickey Come To Know About The Butcher Of Lodz?

As much as Ema and Arthur wanted to believe what Mickey told them about the man in the photo, they knew that it was not possible for any man to not age over the years and be at two scenes almost half a century apart. Mickey felt as if his friends were accusing him of being delusional, and that was the last thing he wanted. Ema and Arthur had shown Mickey that Rachel Caldwell had also gone to take something out of Ashley’s locker in the middle of the night. Mickey confronted Rachel about the same, and when she denied doing any such thing, he showed her the CCTV camera footage. Rachel knew that she was caught, and now there was no point pretending to be ignorant. She told Mickey to come by her place later that day, and she promised to tell him everything she knew about Ashley.

Mickey once again went to Mrs. Friedman, showed her the photo of the butcher that Lizzy Sobek had given him, and asked her if she knew anything about him. Mrs. Friedman immediately recognized the man, but she withheld her emotions and told Mickey in a very calm manner that this was not who he believed him to be. She showed him the real photo of the butcher of Lodz in one of the history books, and that’s when Mickey realized that he had been duped by Lizzy Sobek. He didn’t understand what her intention could be behind giving him the wrong information. Ema had also done her background research after Mickey had left, and she had also come to the conclusion that the man in the picture was the butcher.

Ema came to Mickey’s home and decided to go through the list of paramedics and see if that man was employed by some ambulance service provider. Mickey remembered the logo that he saw on the ambulance in which his father was taken after they had met with an accident, and through it, they were able to ascertain the name of the ambulance service. Mickey called them, and he got to know that their paramedic team hadn’t responded to any emergency calls that day, and secondly, one of their ambulances had been stolen the night before. It became very clear to Mickey that his father was not taken by paramedics but by someone else who probably wanted him dead. Mickey remembered that the look his father had on his face made it look like he knew the man from before. In the previous episode of Harlan Coben’s Shelter, we learned that Brad had made a call to Shira, asking her to be there for his family as if he knew that something was going to happen to him. It could be possible that Brad knew that this man, whom Mickey believed to be the butcher, was after his life.

Is Ashley Dead Or Alive?

Ken Taylor, in Harlan Coben’s Shelter Episode 4, received an anonymous call and was told that a dead body was buried in Lizzy Sobek’s garden. Ken went to interrogate Lizzy Sobek, and she told him that it was not a human but a deer that had come inside their premises. Ken dug the grave, and when he saw the hoof of the deer, he realized that the information was wrong. Probably, the bat lady would have removed Barry Vollmer’s body from there, as she would have anticipated that somebody would inform the police about it. Lizzy Sobek knew that it was her old friend, Mrs. Friedman, who had snitched, and she realized that she would have to meet her and keep her in check. We came to know that Mrs. Friedman knew everything, from the kind of relationship Lizzy shared with Mickey’s father to the real identity of the guy whose photo Lizzy had given Mickey. Lizzy made a startling revelation when she told Mrs. Friedman that she had done no wrong by killing Barry because he was involved in child trafficking. She also told him that Ashley was sold to some unknown people by Barry, and that’s when Mrs. Friedman remembered that she had seen pictures of Ashley in Barry’s drawer, too.

It all started to make sense, but the fact was that Ashley was still missing, and nobody had any clue as to where she was. Mickey met Rachel during Shelter Episode 4’s ending, and that’s where he got to know that for all this time, Ashley had been putting up at Rachel’s residence. Mickey was relieved that Ashley was alive and safe. Rachel told Mickey that she had felt very guilty when their colleagues mocked Ashley, and she wanted to make up for it. Rachel had gone running behind Ashley to apologize to her when she saw that a couple of unknown men were trying to push her inside their car.

Rachel came at the right moment, and both of them together, were able to fight off the kidnappers. Rachel had asked Ashley to stay at her place till they figured out a solution to this problem. Mickey was about to go and meet Ashley and tell her how much he had missed her when someone trespassed inside Rachel’s compound, and the teenagers knew that he had come for Rachel. Shelter Episode 4 ended on a cliffhanger, and we don’t know if the man is able to get to Ashley or if Mickey and Rachel are able to get the better of him and save their friend. There is still a lot of ambiguity regarding the intentions of the bat lady and how she is related to everything that is happening there. In the upcoming episodes, Mickey will want to know why the bat lady gave him the photo of that man and who these child traffickers were who were after Ashley’s life.

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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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