Episode 1 of Stay Close begins by meeting our main characters of the series, including married couple Meg and Dave. They live in a nice, big house and have three kids, Kayleigh, Laura and Jordan. Meg and Dave are about to get married too… until Megan receives a letter that night.
With the word “Cassie” scribbled on the front, she shakily opens it to find a card with nothing inside. The camera on the porch brings images of a shadowy figure in a hood dropping it off, someone Meg seems to know.
It seems Megan is hiding a shadowy past, with an alias by the name of Cassie. When she notices a familiar woman at her daughter’s tennis match, Megan is spooked. However, she does eventually meets this woman called Lorraine later that day.
While this is going on, Detective Mike Broome is called out to handle a missing person case. Specifically that comes in the form of 20 year old Carlton Flynn. He never turns off his phone but he’s not picking up. He’s also in the last year of his exams and never takes off his necklace, which is undoubtedly going to be important going forward.
Mike is haunted by another missing persons case, a man by the name of Stewart Green. He too went missing but Mike was never able to solve that one.
If that wasn’t enough, Mike is actually working alongside his ex wife Erin too, although they’re pretty harmonious and keep things strictly professional. Together, they check Carlton’s route, uncovering a tip-off in the form of Vipers, a lively strip club where Carlton may well have attended on Friday.
During the meet with Lorraine, Meg is determined to see the back of her old life, claiming that Cassie is dead now. Something happened in the past, something that caused her to bolt from her life quickly, leaving all of her stuff behind – including a ring for her boyfriend. Lorraine suddenly reveals that Stewart Green is back, heading into the club that night and asking about the girls.
This spooks Megan, who finds herself concerned and investigating the Stewart Green case herself. And part of that involves heading over to Stewart’s house that day. His wife is putting their house up on the market. She’s been trying to keep things as they were but Stewart has been missing for 17 years. When Meg mentions this unprovoked, Stewart’s wife immediately suspects something is up, forcing our protagonist to leave.
When she does, Detective Broome arrives to check up on them. It’s a bit of a breakthrough, and it seems Mike is determined to solve this case. And Megan’s interjection here could well be the lead he needs.
Megan’s past seems to be one well-endowed with violence. She visits an old acquaintance called Harry Sutton but he’s completely out of it thanks to his drug taking. When his flat-mates try to rob her, Megan lashes out and manages to take them both out.
As the episode closes, we see that Lorraine actually works at the Viper club. If that wasn’t enough, Carlton’s necklace is around the neck of Kayleigh, Meg’s daughter. Is she involved somehow?
The Episode Review
The classic Harlan Coben mystery set-up is back, leaning into what made The Stranger so enticing when it dropped last year (or 2 years ago, depending on when you read this recap!)
Megan’s idyllic life is about to come crashing down, while the detectives investigating this case look to be entwined around this. I’d imagine they’ll start to cross over soon, while Megan’s individual investigation will drip-feed elements of her old life as Cassie, which is undoubtedly going to surface some pretty gnarly ghosts from her past. Who is Cassie? And what has she done?
So far everything is set up nicely, but quite how Megan has managed to keep her old life so separate to her new one is still to be explained. I’m sure we’ll find out over the coming chapters.