TV Review: Bates Motel Season 1 Episode 4
So yeah, Deputy Hide-the-evidence is definitely evil.
TL;DR Deputy Shelby is obviously evil, Norman tells Dylan everything (and he is impressively supportive), Norman gets some vagina (not Vera’s. Thank fuck), and Vera is arrested.
Now that’s progress.
The plot this week shines a light on Shelby. Who is totes a nasty bastard. He is continuing his sex-for-protection arrangement with Vera, but Norman is still freaked out by him after finding his rape dungeon last episode. He tries to warn Vera, but not only does she not believe him, Shelby has cleaned up his basement. In desparation, Norman turns to Dylan and tells him everything about Keith and Vera. Dylan plays good big bro and seems genuinely concerned. He also encourages Norman to stick his dick in Bradley (whose father has been confirmed dead). Which he does. Aww. Meanwhile, Sheriff MomsenEyes finds Keith’s hand in a fishing net. He traces carpet fibres back to Vera and arrests her ass.
I’m really surprised with how much ground we cover this episode. I’m most impressed with how these characters are actually able to talk to each other. It’s rare.
If I had to grump about something, it’d be the backseating of Norman’s perversions, which were super exciting last episode. The only hint we get at them is when Norman is surprised to find real Vera didn’t tell him to go to Shelby’s. Apparently (according to Vera, so make of that what you will) he has had an ongoing problem with “trances” and believing things that aren’t true/didn’t happen.
Cool. More, please.
Why I hate this episode:
Norman totally ditches basement girl. Yeah, he had to get away, but it’s still pretty harsh. And now she’s probably dead. Good work, jerk.
Shelby’s transformation from “suspiciously helpful” to “literally Satan” was too quick. He makes very poorly veiled threats to Norman multiple times. You’d think he’d put a little more effort into staying incognito.
Vera’s disbelief of Norman was frustrating. I thought they were close. In her defence, she did investigate the basement, but she seems unfairly resistant to listenting to Norman.
She then follows this up with forcing Norman to go fishing alone with Shelby on a cliff. She’s a great mother.
Oh, and Sheriff Raccoon finds carpet fibres under Keith’s watch band. Maybe I need to go back and watch episode 1 again, but how? They wrapped him up in sheets. The only time he was even close to touching the carpet was when they laid him, still wrapped in the sheets, down for, like, a second. Then it was into the bathtub, then into the boot of the car, then into the lake. When did the carpet fibres have a chance to slip in under his watch band?
Reasons to watch:
Although, when Vera is arrested, Sheriff Just-woke-up doesn’t say the evidence he’s basing it on. So maybe it’s not that.
The juiciest detail in this episode is Vera’s claim about Norman’s mental instability. If he believed the apparition he saw last episode was real Vera, then what other times have there been scenes with just him and Vera and it hasn’t been legit? So any 1-on-1 scenes with them will be in question from now on. Neat.
Although she’s been way too easily attainable, Bradley continues to be a cool chick who knows what she wants and doesn’t act like a cunt. Teen girl characters take note.
Dylan is a pretty awesome big brother this episode. He witnessed Norman heading for Shelby’s house last week, so followed him there and distracted Shelby when he returned home, giving Norman time to escape. Later, he’s completely on Norman’s side when he finds out about everything.
His advice on getting the V is very sweet.
Norman is rightfully freaked out by witnessing Vera’s frenzied stabbing of Keith.
Speaking of, Vera gets best line this episode when Norman earlier tries to assert that it was self defence: “I didn’t defend myself! I killed the crap outta him!” Fuck yeah, you did.
She gets second best line when Norman tells her about the Sheriff finding the hand. She’s trying to reassure him (and herself): “It’s just a hand. It could be a million different hands.” Because in Norma Bates’ world, severed hands are nothing special.
And I couldn’t disagree with this description of Shelby when she’s banging him: “You’re awfully pretty.” Yep.
She plays things icy cool with the Sheriff when he brings her in for questioning following the hand discovery. He tells her about the fibres and asks her where she dumped the carpet. Realising that she could possibly track them down before he can, she acts dumb and is very obviously lying. But he can’t do nothin’. Boom.
Emma isn’t in this episode. Good. She’s a nosy, self-righteous pain.
Oh, and during their heated scuffle, Vera slaps Dylan in the face. To subdue her, her pins her against the wall in a suggestive position. Maybe it isn’t their first time?