Episode 6 of Harlan Coben’s Shelter Season 1 can be summed up as one that is full of confessions and coming clean. Everyone gets a piece of their truth revealed to them, and while it is not all good for some of them, things are shaping towards a finale that will solve a few mysteries and set up some more, too. The episode takes up a flawed approach to its narrative, not being able to nail the introduction of a key character, but it’s early to really comment on that. 

*spoilers ahead*

Harlan Coben’s Shelter (Season 1), Episode 6 “Candy’s Room” Recap: 

Episode 6 of Shelter, Season 1 opens with Mickey and Rachel still staking at the underground club that Octoface went into, only to be forced to flee when a fight breaks out and the bouncers throw someone out. 

When Mickey returns home the next morning, Shira sneaks Hannah out of the house since they just spent the night together, and no one knows about it. At breakfast, Shira asks Mickey to join her for the Dylan Shakes memorial service, while Mickey requests her to allow him to exhume his father’s body. Shira enquires the reason, and Mickey tells her that he has a feeling that there’s something going on. 

The trio meets in the boiler room after hitting another dead end. Spoon brings back the suspicion to Dr. Kent after all the possible threads don’t make sense anymore. The three of them decide to meet at Dylan Shakes memorial, assuming that the culprit might show up. 

At school, Buck, who now knows about Ema’s mother, gets to the school announcements and reveals it to everyone in the school, hurting Ema immensely. It also leads to Spoon punching him in the face. 

Sira asks Hannah to ask her cousin Rob to help with exhuming her brother (Mickey’s father) Brad’s body so that it gives them some peace. 

Why did Whitney tell Brad about Ema’s mother?

Ema gets secluded because of the truth coming out. Whitney realizes that what she has done has really hurt Ema, so she comes clean to her by saying that Buck blackmailed her to get some dirt off Ema. He said if Whitney doesn’t find things about Ema, he will let everyone know that Whitney bought her first 50,000 followers on uDOu. Since a million followers respect and look up to her, she does not want to lose that. This further hurts Ema, who had thought Whitney to be real and not some fake person like all the others at school. 

Talking about coming clean, Shira finally lets Mickey know that when she said that some bullies made his father go into Bat Lady’s house, she skipped a key point. She tells him that it was she who bullied Brad into going into the haunted house. She tells him that after she came back to get him, she was not able to. When she did it again by bringing their parents to the house, she saw Brad on the front porch of Bat Lady’s house, and something big made him change after that incident that she could never understand. 

A still from Harlan Coben's Shelter Season 1, Episode 6.
A still from Harlan Coben’s Shelter Season 1, Episode 6.

Who is the sunglass man? 

At the memorial, a couple of interesting developments take place. Firstly, Troy and Rachel seem to have made up after Troy has realized that he needs to be a better person and not be like his father. Secondly, Chief Taylor requests Shira to talk to Hannah about not divorcing him, but she refuses. Thirdly, Mickey realizes that Dr. Kent has come to the memorial and runs after him to get some sense of truth. And finally, Billy Shakes also happens to be at the memorial, where he finally tells Mrs. Friedman the truth about the day of Dylan’s disappearance. 

Mickey then notices a swaying figure of the paramedic near the ceremony and pursues him, only to land at a chapel all alone with the sunglass man. This is where we get to know that the sunglasses man is actually Dylan Shakes. We understand that the Bat Lady gave him Shelter after things got out of hand and his father burnt his eyes with his cigarette. The brief discussion ends with Dylan sort of conforming that Brad is dead and Mickey requesting Dylan to give Mrs. Friedman some kind of closure about his disappearance because she deserves that. 

Meanwhile, Ema finally picks up Spoon’s call and shares how Whitney’s behavior made her sad. But Spoon reassures her that trusting her was not her fault but a risk that a person like her needed to take, and he is proud of her for that. On the other hand, Hannah finally makes her feelings for Shira clear. But Shira, who, after 25 years, is still afraid to accept her feelings for her, does not answer. 

Harlan Coben’s Shelter (Season 1), Episode 6 “Candy’s Room” Ending Explained:

What does Mickey learn about Ashley at the club? 

After the little talk with Dylan, we see Mickey casually walk into the underground club that he and Rachel were staking earlier. He uses a fake ID, but the bouncers soon realize that he is underage and go after him. Just then, one of the dancers, who later claims to be Ashley’s friend, Candy, helps him find a safe place to hide.

She tells him that both she, Ashley, and a lot of other young girls working in the club have no families, so they are trafficked when the right suitor buys them. She tells him that Ashley has been bought by a wealthy man, and that’s why she has been kept in a dungeon that can only be unlocked by Buddy (the person who handles selling these girls). 

Candy confesses that it was she who brought Ashley back into the strange world of sex trafficking after she had escaped from it. She tells him that after Abeona (a secret organization that saves children that both of Mickey’s parents were a part of) saved Ashley, Buddy cloned her phone and trapped Ashley back into the entire mess. She also takes him to the dungeon, but before he can get in, Buddy and his men intervene. 

That is. before, a woman who seems like the head of the trafficking operation takes over. She later claims to be Abeona and makes Mickey believe that she is just trying to help him and free Ashley from this mess. All of this happens so fast that the episode sort of lags into an odd structure where within frames, we also see this woman who claimed to know Mickey’ dad closely, also leaves him to Buddy’s men, double-crossing Mickey. She tells him that she lied because she needed to confirm that Brad is dead. The betrayal of this trust is so inconsequential and rushed that it feels like a proper flaw in the script. 

A brief sequence also shows us how Shira looks closely at Brad’s Little League baseball cap, only to realize that it belongs to Dylan, instead. 

The ending of Harlan Coben’s Shelter episode 6 shows us that Mrs. Friedman is summoned to the Bat Lady’s house, who finally tells her that she gave Dylan shelter back when Friedman wanted to adopt him. She knew it was the right thing to do because his father would have never accepted the adopting formalities, and he would have suffered more after his eyes were burnt.

This is one of the more poignant moments of the show where Dylan (the sunglasses man) thanks Mrs. Friedman for all the care she had for him back then and still carries in her heart. She hugs her, providing her some closure on his disappearance. 

The final moments of the episode leave us with a few questions. We see the paramedic outside Bat Lady’s house, so the alluding figure at the memorial might have been him. We know that Bat Lady knows of him but we are unsure if he is a good guy or a bad one. Since he is often referred to as the butcher, we might lean towards the latter, but more on that in the upcoming episodes. 

Finally, the episode ends with Buddy and his men taking Mickey to the beach and pointing a gun at him. However, before they shoot him dead, Mickey manages to run into the ocean, ending the episode. Will Mickey escape the child traffickers? That and more in episode 7 of Harlan Coben’s Shelter. 

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Harlan Coben’s Shelter (Season 1), Episode 6 Links: IMDbRotten Tomatoes
Harlan Coben’s Shelter (Season 1), Episode 6 Cast: Jaden Michael, Constance Zimmer, Adrian Greensmith, Abby Corrigan, Sage Linder,
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