Bates Motel Season 1 Episode 9 Review and Recap
This week opens up with the authorities carrying out Deputy Zack’s body out of Norma’s room (the unnamed creepy guy left it as a little present for Norma last week).
Norma, Norman and Sheriff Romero are in Norma’s room discussing the body left in her room. Norma says that she is positive that the creepy man left it in her room. Sheriff Romero asks for the information that the creepy guy left while staying at the motel.
Norman and Dylan are throwing out the mattress that Deputy Zack’s body was left on. Dylan begins to tell Norman that Norma will “make a meal of it for a year.” Norma hears Dylan and scolds him for making light of the situation. Norma then smells marijuana being smoked in front of the motel. She goes and lays down the law to the trimmers (the hippies that are staying in her motel). The trimmers try to explain that it’s not a big deal in the town. There is a great moment of dark comedy when she asks one of the trimmers his name (Rauf?). Norma then freaks out and goes on a rant about the town and what a nightmare it is living there. She manages to get through to the trimmers and they put out the marijuana. Norma then asks Dylan what kind of people he has brought to her motel. Dylan says they’re workers and won’t admit exactly what kind (but it wouldn’t take a genius to figure that one out). Norma begins to come unhinged about everything and exclaims, “We’re moving!”
In the next scene, Norman has a dream that he drowns Bradley (can you blame the guy after how cruel she was to him). Could this be a preview of what’s to come from a young semi-sociopathic Norman Bates?
Norma instructs Emma to gather the motel deed and some paperwork and to trash anything else in the office. Norma then tells Emma that if she catches the trimmers smoking on the motel property, she is to “bust it up.” When Emma doubts her ability to carry out that task, Norma tells her that she just needs to use an authoritative voice (Poor Emma. She’s no Norma). Norma then walks outside and receives a delivery of flowers with a card saying, “See you soon.” It is no doubt from the nameless antagonist. Norma gets paranoid and calls the Sheriff’s office. Her complaint sounds ridiculous (“Someone sent FLOWERS to me.”)
From there, Dylan runs into Bradley and they both act very flirtatious around each other. She asks him if she can go to her recently deceased father’s old office to grab some of his stuff. Dylan naturally says yes (Don’t do it Dylan! You and your brother! Come on!).
Later on, Norma confronts her realtor and coerces him into putting the motel property on the market.
At school, Norman’s overly attractive English teacher approaches him and praises his good grades and a short story he authored. She suggests that the story be submitted for publication. She then invites him to join her after school to work on the editing (wow, I had my suspicions in the first review, but they are actually going to go there. It’s a little bit of social commentary because of the prevalence of cases that have popped up across the country: The ones where older teachers seduce young high school students. South Park even did a fantastically hilarious episode with that being the central plot). Anyways, it looks as if Norman’s psyche will be even further damaged by women after his English teacher is through with him.
Norman enters his home with a new stuffed pooch (the one that was hit outside the motel a few episodes ago). Norman informs Norma of his good grades and tells his mother that he really likes the school (and the town).
Dylan walks by Norman’s room and stops dead in his tracks. He can’t help but notice Norman’s stuffed pooch. He then discovers that Norman is researching dream interpretations regarding drowning people (with his new stuffed pooch sitting creepily next to him on the bed). Immediately, Dylan recognizes the disturbing nature of the whole situation, “That’s just weird, dude.” Norman tells Dylan about his dream after Dylan drags it out of him. A look of genuine worry comes across Dylan’s face as he realizes that Norman is actually capable of murder (he knows he killed his father and he also took a swing at him with a meat hammer; both of which he doesn’t remember at all). Norman reassures his brother that it was just a dream and Dylan awkwardly tells his brother good night.
In the next scene, Dylan is commanding the marijuana-trimming job when he runs into his boss, Gill. He asks him about Jerry’s offce (Bradley’s deceased father). Gill gets annoyed by Dylan’s mere bringing up of Jerry. He tells Dylan that he can have his old office as long as he throws everything in it away.
Back at the motel, Emma finds a trimmer/hippie smoking marijuana in front of his room. She confronts him and requests that he puts it out. He complies after she relates with him on a personal level. He then offers her some edible cannabis cupcakes to which she politely turns down.
In the English classroom, Norman is working one-on-one with his teacher. She is way to into his short story (a man who’s on fire on the inside: A complete symbolism-serving embodiment of Norman’s life). His teacher is nearly moved to tears (and she is way into Norman. I still can’t believe they are going there. Poor Norman is in for a psychological beat-down).
Later on, the trimmers/hippies are hanging out and one of them is playing a terrible nineties song on his acoustic guitar. Sheriff Romero rolls up while they are in the midst of smoking marijuana. In a surprise turn of events, he makes light of everything in front of him. The audience realizes at this point that the White Pine Bay marijuana trade goes all the way up to him. He asks them why they aren’t working, and they blame it on the rain. In typical hippie fashion, they offer the sheriff some “veggies.” He politely turns them down (I thought that was a shocker. This badass sheriff being civil with a bunch of stoned hippies). The sheriff enters Norma’s office to return her phone call about the flower delivery earlier. He informs Norman that the name that the creepy motel guy gave was phony. He tells her the best he can do is to put a patrol around the motel. In a moment that marks the quality of dark comedy in this show, the sheriff tells Norma to call him if anything else happens. Norma screams at Sheriff Romero, “Oh! Like what! Like he digs up a couple more dead people and puts them in my bed!” The sheriff calmly replies, “Yeah. Like that. Good night Norma.”
Dylan meets Bradley at a restaurant to tell her that he should simply pack up her father’s things himself because of how Gill reacted to the mention of her father. Bradley manages to soften Dylan up after talking about her father and he agrees to get her into the office.
Back at the motel, in what I’m thinking is the show’s homage to Cheech and Chong — someone calls the motel asking for “Dave.” (“Dave’s not here, man”), and Emma hangs up the phone and chows down on a marijuana cupcake. She scarfs down the whole thing (as Charlie Day would put it — “you’re making a classic mistake, bro").
Inside the house, Norma tries selling her son on the idea of moving to a safer place. Norman turns down Hawaii (he must really love that little fictitious Oregon town. Hawaii is paradise. I guess he’s too hot for teacher to think about that). Norman eventually flips out (Freddie Highmore doing his thing again) and calls his mother crazy. Emma interrupts the fight and displays her extreme inebriation — to put it bluntly, she is as high as a kite (and it’s quite hilarious). Norma’s maternal nature kicks in and she immediately forgets about her fight with Norman and orders her son to get orange juice and toast for a very stoned Emma.
In the next scene, Dylan tries to sneak Bradley into her father’s old office and gets shot at for his troubles (no good deed goes unpunished, right?). When he identifies himself (his last name is revealed: Masser), it comes to be that it is none other than his business associate, Remo. Remo grills Dylan about his stupidity, but still allows them to go into Bradley’s father’s office.
In the office, Bradley finds out her father was having an affair from letters she finds in his desk. She is devastated and Dylan runs out to console her (don’t do it, Dylan! Your little brother, man!).
The Oedipal overtones continue as Norma goes to sleep with Norman in his bed because of the fear of the creepy unnamed man (and possible sex slave prostitution ring leader).
In a nice contrast, the next scene involves Norman and his English teacher (his other Oedipus Complex). He tells his teacher that he doesn’t want his story published because he knows his mother wouldn’t approve. In an obvious display of innuendo, the teacher gets real close to Norman and tells him that his mother will never know. (How ironic is that this teacher obviously has several issues, yet was the catalyst in putting Norman into therapy when he had his flip-out session last episode).
Later on, Norma goes to confront her realtor who tries to run from her like a bat out hell. He tells her that the house is unsellable (obviously after being intimidated into it). Norma threatens to sue him and in true realtor fashion, he tells her he is $30,000 in debt, lives with his girlfriend and has no true assets to seize. Norma, feeling defeated and overwhelmed, begins to beat the realtor over the head with her purse (yet another great moment of dark comedy in “Bates Motel”).
Thereafter, Norma storms to her car. When she gets in, she finds a gun pointed at her face courtesy of the creepy nameless antagonist. The episode ends on another cliffhanger.
I have to say, the show is still keeping me watching until the finale. How will it end up? With the season finale coming up, there are many loose ends that need tying. Will “Bates Motel’s” first season end with a bang? I will be watching like the many faithful that have kept this different kind of show going.