“Bates Motel” Season 1, Episode 7 Review: “The Man in Number 9″
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Well, “Bates Motel” took almost no time in giving us a new villain. After last week’s awesome death of Detective Shelby, the show introduces us to our next villain, the man in number 9.
Let’s step back, though, for a second to the beginning of the episode. Deputy Shelby is dead. He was our first major villain in the series and I was expecting him to lead into something bigger. The start of this episode, which showed Sheriff Romero making up a story of how the murder went down, gave me the sense that he must be involved in the child sex slave ring. His willingness to just bury Shelby when before he had a clear disdain for Norma was a pretty clear indicator he had an idea of what Shelby was up to. This seems like sort of a quick fix solution, I guess the girl was shot in the woods, but the whole officer Shelby situation seems wrapped up a bit too neatly for now.
With the death of one bad guy, “Bates Motel” took almost no time in introducing us to the man in number 9, the first guest of the Bates Motel. How do we know he is the villain? Well the music and his overall demeanor are pretty damn good indicators. At least they tried to make Shelby seem like a nice guy, they aren’t even trying to hide this guy’s villainy. Hopefully, that means that his story won’t take to long to resolve, but I gotta call into question the choice to make such an obvious criminal. I mean, the whole situation is just so fishy that I would think Norma would know better at this point. Maybe she is just desperate but come on!
Despite Norma’s lapse in judgement, after last week’s revelation of Norman killing his father I really am starting to question what is true and what isn’t. Who is crazier: Norma or Norman or both? Norma has an interesting moment with Emma in this episode. Even though it was an obvious attempt to pry into Norman’s life, it seems like Norma has a legitimate amount of care for Emma. Maybe she feels for Emma because Emma has had rough luck with men.
The scene that really makes me question Norma’s sanity, is the “fantasy” she has about her son’s love life. It echoed the fantasy Norman had in class several episodes ago and really adds to the fact that I don’t know which of them is more screwed up.
Speaking of Norman’s fantasies, his story with Bradley took a step forward this week. I don’t know that I fully buy Bradley’s emotional response in not calling Norman, but at the same time I like that Bradley was able to explain herself. She made a good point, too, the two of them are young. Norman was a virgin we all assume, and Bradley probably wasn’t. I liked that Dylan picked up on Bradley’s vibe. He is nowhere near as naïve as Norman is and I do like that Dylan looks out for Norman always. I just hope those sexual vibes Emma was referring too aren’t transferred to Dylan.
Speaking of Dylan, I was hoping for a bit more advancement in his job this week but I guess after being shot he has earned some time off. Seeing Norma thank him was also a nice character moment for the two of them.
The last thing I was saving about this episode was the masterful side plot with Norman and the dog. I won’t go into full details but this was a really great element to the episode and to the show as a whole. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire episode and I really liked the way the episode and that particular plot line were resolved.
All in all “Bates Motel” stayed fairly neutral this week. It fell back into it’s rushed tendencies but also offered up some great character moments. Only three episodes left in this season! Can’t wait to see what happens!