Harlan Coben’s Shelter: Pilot sets up several different questions for theories

Harlan Coben’s Shelter arrives on Amazon Prime video this week, and the mystery thriller base on the novel throws a lot of information at us in the pilot. Let’s not waste anymore time.

We start with a flashback of a group of kids hiding in a basement, while someone approaches. There is an older kid named Brad seemingly trying to navigate them to safety but we move on before we discover what happens.

Next we’re in Santa Monica, California with Mickey Bolitar (Jaden Michael), and his parents, a grown up Brad (Kristofferr Polaha) and Kitty (Narci Regina). On the way home from a day at the beach, while singing “Shelter” by 34 and Out, they get in a car accident. A dazed Mickey watches what appears to be EMTs taking his dad away.

Four months later we catch up to Mickey in Kasselton, New Jersey, where he’s living with his Aunt Shira, who is secretive when talking about his mother’s recovery. He attempts to get used to his new school where he meets Arthur Spindler aka Spoon (Adrian Greensmith), and Ashley, who also just arrived in Kasselton. While walking through the neighborhood he sees the scary house on Hobart avenue where the Bat Lady lives, and is a local urban legend who supposingly steals children.

While at school Ashley and Mickey get closer as they both discover both of their dads are seemingly dead. We see a man taking pictures of Ashley during cheerleader practice before she discovers a gun in a backpack. Her strange behavior continues at a locker where she discovers a butterfly painted on the door before she covers it with a hippo sticker. She sets a date with Mickey at a diner but she never shows up.

Afterwards Mickey walks past the house again and Bat Lady tells him that his father isn’t dead. He bangs on the door demanding answers when he meets Ema (Abby Corigan). When he arrives at home he gets in a fight with Shira, blaming her for the death of his father. He returns to the scary house demanding answers from the Bat Lady but is stopped by the a cop, who also happens to be the father of the school jock Mickey has made enemies with.

Shira picks up Mickey from the police station and tells him about the Bat Lady. We then see a flashback of her outside of the house calling for Brad in a prank gone bad.

We see the creepy guy who was taking pictures of Ashley on the phone near the city. The voice on the other end says that if they don’t get her they’re all dead.

Next, Mickey, Spoon, and Ema tries to sneak into the Bat Lady’s house. While Mickey is inside, a man in a suit and sunglasses spots Spoon and Ema and they kiss in an attempt to fool him before being told to leave. When Mickey catches up with them he tells them that he spotted Ashely’s hippo sticker and decides to visit her house with Spoon while Ema decides to go home.

When Mickey and Spoon get to the residence the police are there and a body is being taken out of the house. Mickey asks the woman of the house about Ashley and she tells them she doesn’t have a daughter. We get a montage of Ema with a butterfly tattoo on her back, and cheerleader Rachel with the gun from earlier. Our last scene involves the Bat Lady’s guard killing the man who was supposed to find Rachel.

Yeah. That’s a lot. It probably should have been two episodes.

Good to see Constance Zimmer playing Shira. She wears a “Hole” shirt in the kitchen from “Live Through This” in her first scene.

We also get a new cut of “Who Will Save Your Soul” by Jewel during the final minutes. Her first big hit of many that came out around the same time.

What did you see? There was a lot going on. Let me know in the comments below.

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