Synopsis of “Harlan Coben’s Shelter,” Season 2, Episode 2: “Catch Me If You Can”

4 minutes, 11 seconds Read

The loss of Mickey’s buddy of a few hours, Ashley, who vanished overnight is more mysterious to him than the Hobart Avenue house or the secrets from his father’s background, though they become more pressing as they are revealed.

With no further leads, Mickey, Spoon, and Ema return to the hospital where Dr. Kent is being treated for his injuries in “Catch Me If U Can” (Harlan Coben’s Shelter Episode 2). Mrs. Kent is hesitant to talk to them at first, but in exchange for their pledge to stay away, she reveals that the man who attacked her husband had an octopus tattoo on his face (which Spoon dubs “OctoFace”). As Mickey reflects back on his time spent getting to know Ashley, he is startled by the expression on Ashley’s face in a photo they took together, which makes him sit up straight.

Luckily, in the backdrop of the photo, they spot a fellow student snapping her own selfie for the brand-new social platform uDOu (which Ema accurately describes as “like Instagram but dumber”). They visit her profile, discover the photo in question, and, upon zooming in, see OctoFace peering back at them through the school’s doors. This will undoubtedly serve as a story point later on.

Ema brings the gang to a tattoo parlor in an effort to learn more about OctoFace by locating the tattoo artist who inked him. Agent, a tattoo artist friend of hers, says he has never seen the man before, but as soon as they walk out the door, he pulls out the picture and burns it. Shady! And it gets even shadier when he tells Ema that he used “longer-lasting ink” to tattoo the butterfly on her than she was able to scrape off with soap and water, and that he chose the butterfly pattern in particular because it signifies the goddess of safeguarding children. Agent didn’t pick the Abeona Tisiphone butterfly at random, and he seems to be implying that Ema is the protector rather than the defender.

Mickey’s teacher, Mrs. Freedman, also seems to know more than she’s letting on; abeona is brought up again when she tries to get into the computer of Mr. V (the teacher slain at the conclusion of the pilot) when he resigns. After failing to crack the password, she begins searching his desk for more hints and comes across a hidden stash of polaroids depicting an imprisoned Ashley. While Bat Lady observes from behind closed curtains, Mrs. Freedman arrives at her house and cries, “is this where you buried him?”

While Mickey is still on the hunt for Ashley, his mother is finally released from the institution where she has been staying, and the two are able to spend the day together. His mother was a tennis prodigy who suffers from depression, which he tells Ema about in further detail the night before, but their talk is cut short when they see the uniformed man is following them. Mickey gives chase and then hops on top of the man’s car to get him to talk. Bat Lady shouldn’t have mentioned that his dad is alive, he says, and he threatens to murder Ema if he reveals their conversation.

We encounter the uniformed man again when he breaks into Mickey’s house while no one is there to prevent him from downloading files from Mickey’s computer. He is nearly discovered when Spoon unexpectedly drops by with a pie, but he is able to hide in the closet long enough to get away with whatever it is he has stolen off the computer.When Mickey’s mom is finally freed, the family makes plans to resume some semblance of normalcy, but Kitty also seems to want some time to herself to “run errands” (which is strange, given how long she’s been without seeing her son). Mickey grants her desire, but she disappears before he can make the dinner they had planned. Shira and the GPS equipment aid in locating her close to Paterson Falls. Kitty is discovered sobbing on the ground, prompting the first assumption that she had leapt. The family realizes she is not better and readmits her to the hospital, where she will receive little attention while she recovers.While Mickey was busy with his mother, Shira had time to reflect on the past. It’s confirmed that she and Ken dated, and that his wife, Hannah, was her best friend. Ken has been spending a lot of time on Shira’s Facebook page, so knowing the past helps comprehend the tension between the three. Even Troy noticed this, and he confirmed it for himself by looking through his dad’s browsing history. Mickey is more troubled by the revelation that Dylan Shakes, the missing boy, was a close friend of Brad’s and a Little League teammate because his father never mentioned it to him than by any possible connection it might have to the strange events in Kasselton, which Shira begins to reveal.

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