Monsterland Season 1, Episode 6 explained: ‘Palacios, Texas’

Monsterland Episode 6 follows a lone fisherman who finds an incredible catch while dealing with the aftermath of Titan’s monstrous oil spill.

Remember that 400,000-gallon oil spill from Episode 4? Monsterland Episode 6 focuses on the repercussions of the damage to the Gulf Stream and the small fishing village of Palacios, Texas where their central income is based on agriculture and fishing.

As one might imagine, 400,000-gallons of oil has severely damaged the local economy and put a lot of fishermen out of work. Many of them spend their time trying to mitigate the spill by wading out in the boats to try and clean it.

Trieu Tran plays our lead character, Sharko, a boater who fell off his boat while cleaning and got a face full of chemicals. Now he walks around with an oxygen tank attachment. He’s a regular at a local dive bar where several of the other fishermen hang out. Sharko has a reputation for being an excellent fisherman, the type who can hook a fish as fast and mean as a great white shark — hence the nickname.

One of the guys, Breezy, starts telling what sounds like a crazy tall tale about being out in the water when he found himself surrounded by a vicious school of mermaids. He even has a plethora of scars decorating his abdomen as proof. Most of the guys are planning to go out probing the water to see what’s still out there, including one guy who plans to take his son out to train as a deckhand.

Sharko, who has been relatively quiet up until this point, suddenly pipes up to ask why they’re all still lying to themselves. There is no catch, the water is still coming up black. Sharko thinks Senator Dorsey is lying, that he’s “balls deep” in Titan, and has no plans to honestly help them or the situation.

Breezy catches Sharko sitting in his truck outside the pub and asks if he can borrow his boat since he’s not using it. The last time Sharko got entangled with Breezy, he ended up waiting around for hours because Breezy got himself thrown in jail. He’s not keen on repeating that mistake.

Sharko misses being out on the water though. When he returns to his rather glum home he turns on the radio so he can listen to the guys out on the water. They think it’s a beautiful day at sea. Frustrated, he shuts it off and walks along the shore, spotting a fish caked in oil and tossing it in the back of his truck. Then he starts hearing strange screeching sounds from farther down and discovers a mermaid washed up on the beach. She soon joins the fish in his pick-up.

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Wrapping her in tarp like a makeshift body bag, Sharko makes her an ice bath and dumps her in it while listening to the radio frequency again. The way they describe the ocean is like a field of aliens, with many of the fish popping up still heavily infected by the oil and chemicals.

He might not have technically “caught” the mermaid, but Sharko is pretty dang joyous about reeling in something as monumental and legendary as a literal mermaid. He starts dancing around his apartment, celebrating his good fortune. His dance party is interrupted by a call from a lawyer who wants to offer him a potential class-action lawsuit for suffering an injury from the Titan oil spill. He slams the phone into the receiver without letting them finish their spiel.

Monsterland Episode 6

Monsterland Episode 6 — “Palacios, TX” — Episode 106 — Mermaid/Dana (Adria Arjona), shown. (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Hulu)

Monsterland Episode 6 recap: Sharko adapts to his mermaid captive.

That night, Sharko’s mermaid catch wakes up. Guess she’s not as dead as he thought and she’s pissed. She starts screeching and freaking out, trying to attack Sharko and eventually sinking her fangs into his arm. Sharko manages to wrap her up in a fishing net and tie her down in the tub.

Now that he has a pet mermaid situated in his tub, Sharko does his best to keep her placated so she won’t like.. kill him. He does some grocery shopping for various foods a mermaid might like. With her restrained, he carefully runs a q-tip with her gills and it comes back soaked in oil, no wonder she’s struggling to breathe. Next, he feeds her some raw steak. Yeah, this definitely isn’t your average Ariel mermaid.

Sharko has a special fondness for American television because his father used it to learn English. He brings it into the bathroom so his mermaid catch can watch it with him, perhaps hoping she’ll pick up the language, too. As Sharko falls asleep, the mermaid starts hissing and trying to escape. Sharko jolts awake suddenly when he hears a clatter coming from the other room.

It’s Breezy, who’s still mad that Sharko didn’t let him borrow his boat. He starts to threaten Sharko which results in him discovering the mermaid in his bathtub. Sharko says he plans to throw her back in the water as soon as it’s clear.

“You know you can’t keep no mermaid in your tub.”

Surprisingly, Breezy ends up sticking around to help Sharko, at least for now. They build a giant glass tank. But Sharko and Breezy have a complicated relationship. Sharko has to play it carefully because he doesn’t want Breezy blabbing about their mermaid to the world, everyone will want her.

He tells Breezy that when they used to work together, he acted harshly because he was treating him the same way his father treated him. They seem to find some middle ground and get the mermaid situated in her tank.

The more time Sharko spends around his mermaid, the more complicated things get. It’s clear he’s a lonely man and is taking comfort in having this mermaid in his house. He can’t help but talk to her, tell her about his life, try to create a sense of intimacy between them. The mermaid appears to have some powers of her own though, she can enchant Sharko to see things she wants him to see.

A vision of them having sex flashes across the scene — real or imagined, if imagined, by which one? Suddenly, a mysterious woman shows up at his doorway and it looks like its the mermaid in people form, somehow outside of the tank.

She starts stroking Sharko’s ego, thanking him for rescuing her from the sea, calling him “one of us,” and calling him the only good man out of the whole lot.

“You’ve got saltwater in your blood.”

She removes his oxygen and tells him to breathe and then she magically fixes his face and his ailments.

“I know they say that you fell off your boat, but I think you were just looking for me.”

Monsterland Episode 6

Monsterland Episode 6 — “Palacios, TX” — Episode 106 — Sharko (Trieu Tran) and Mermaid/Dana (Adria Arjona), shown. (Photo by: Barbara Nitke/Hulu)

With the Mermaid (Dana, according to Hulu’s press site), becoming an active participant in Sharko’s life as an actual woman and not just a mythic creature trapped in a tank, Sharko’s life starts to improve. Dana agrees with Sharko about Dorsey and his sham “clean-up.” She’s seen the way everything has suffered from the oil spill. But together, they find something special, it would appear.

They goof around in his living around, have sex, tell each other stories, and Sharko admits that every day after the boating accident, he wished he’d drowned — until now.

The problem is, Breezy tells the other guys in town about the mermaid. When they realize Sharko was right all along about there being no catch left in the ocean due to the oil spill, they come to collect what they deem a cash cow. But Sharko isn’t willing to give up his mermaid without a fight and scares them off with his rifle.

Once he’s back inside, he tells Dana they should enjoy a day at the beach and the fantasy begins again. Except for this time, we can see the other half of it. All of it is happening in Sharko’s head, the vision of him and Dana running to the beach, instead he falls into the tank and she eats him alive.

Monsterland Episode 6

Monsterland Episode 6 — “Palacios, TX” — Episode 106 — A disgruntled fisherman makes the catch of a lifetime. Mermaid/Dana (Adria Arjona) and Sharko (Trieu Tran), shown, shown. (Photo by: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu)

What does the ending of Monsterland Episode 6 mean?

There are multiple ways to interpret the ending the Monsterland Episode 6. Dana the mermaid might have bewitched Sharko into having all of those visions of them together to entice him into eventually feeding her. She could be acting on her primal instincts alone. That would suggest, however, that she’s intelligent and if she was intelligent then why would she kill her only way of getting back to the ocean?

On the other hand, all of those hallucinations might have been in Sharko’s head. This seems more likely because when he leaves the house to confront his hostile neighbors, his face goes back to normal. When Sharko is with Dana, he tries to see himself as handsome and powerful, “the king of the ocean.” He’s fooled himself into believing they have a relationship when in reality she’s just an ocean predator trying to survive after being plucked off the beach by a random man.

Another possibility is that Dana the mermaid granted Sharko’s wish. In some mythology, mermaids are known to do that in exchange for their freedom. He told her he used to “wish” he had drowned every day after the boating accident. Well, in the end, he does get mauled by a mermaid and likely drowned as a result.

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What did you think about Monsterland Episode 6? What did you make of the ending? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

All eight episodes of Monsterland Season 1 are now available to stream on Hulu.