TV Review: Bates Motel Season 1 Episode 7
Well, it was inevitable:
The boring, relationship drama-heavy soap opera episode has finally come.
Still, 7 episodes in is a pretty good record.
Now don’t fucking do it again.
TL;DR Lots of angst about Norman and Bradley’s relationship, Vera is jealous (duh), and some creepy guy has a suspicious business proposal for Vera now that the motel is almost (finally) open.
The show is called Bates MOTEL, right?
So the plot this week is a definite lull following last episode’s excellent shitstorm. Sheriff Maybelline shows up after it all went down. Vera apparently tells him everything (supposedly including what happened to Keith and the sex slaves, but it’s off-screen, so who knows?) and he decides it’s best for everyone if they kinda cover that shit up. He’ll pretend that Shelby killed Keith, then he killed Shelby because he was a murderous, rape dungeon-owning psycho. Clean. The Bates family then goes on with their lives. For Norman, this means trying to get Bradley’s attention (because they banged that one time), but she’s being distant and weird. She eventually admits she doesn’t like him that way, which triggers a quick trance wherein he assimilates all the terrible things Vera has been saying about her. Oh yeah, Vera, who is jealous of Bradley being a hot bitch, tries to use Emma to get between them. And Dylan and Vera encounter a creepy guy who had a standing arrangement with Keith where he’d rent the whole motel for a week every 2 months. Desperate for business, Vera allows it to continue.
He’s probably part of the rape dungeon gang. Just sayin’, V.
This episode is a real disappointment, given the excellent example the rest of the season has uniformly set so far. I get that it’s hard to follow-up on last episode, but this week it’s literally just soap opera filler.
However, at least the drama between Bradley and Norman is believable. Not overwritten, contrived teen drama bullshit. Their interaction feels real.
Why I hate this episode:
But damn, Bradley. You come on all hot and heavy, then as soon as you get your parts wet, you’ve lost interest? What are you, a man?
Dylan doesn’t do anything valuable this episode. He just rolls around and has awkward moments with a couple of characters. Go run down some more junkies.
Sheriff RuPaul didn’t take much convincing to totally abandon his police integrity and cover everything the fuck up. I can only assume that Vera either omitted the fact that she killed the crap out of Keith (her own words), or she plain lied about it. Because he was definitely keen on her as a suspect, and now he’s letting her off the hook. I got a distinct “by-the-book” vibe from him, and suddenly he’s corrupt as fuck. I just don’t get it. Please help me out if you know.
Given everything that went on with Keith, Shelby and the sex slaves, you’d think Vera would be more worried about Creepy Guy’s arrangement. I know she’s desperate for business, but come on.
Vera seems surprised when Emma confirms that Norman and Bradley had sex. Didn’t she already know about that?
Oh, and for reals, this episode was boring and dull. The only valuable part of the Norman/Bradley drama is when he goes into his rage trance. The rest is just fluff.
Reasons to watch:
But hey, at least it’s reasonable fluff. Bradley may be a fuck-them-then-fuck-them-off kinda girl, but I gotta commend her for being honest and rational. I can’t stay mad at you.
Also, watching Norman go into that trance and repeat Vera’s admonishments verbatim was scary as hell. It’s happening, people.
The motel is finally opening. It only took over half the season.
Dylan is still insisting on moving out. Vera is still pissed about it.
Vera being pissed is actually one of the more enjoyable aspects of this episode. She uses Emma to get info about Bradley. When they track Bradley down during a yoga class, Vera has flashes of Bradley and Norman having sexy sex and can barely contain herself. Could she be any more jealous?
Vera finds out that the town is wary of her and the motel because of the multiple deaths and the sex slave ring that have happened around there. No shit. Vera is told this by a local restaurant owner while trying to hand out pamphlets. Vera looking crushed made me sad. And anything that is able to elicit emotion from me deserves points.
Bradley is wary of Dylan because of his job (with good cause). But Dylan also seems wary of her. Intrigue.
There’s a stray dog that Norman becomes attached to. It gets hit by a car in front of him. It really wasn’t a good night for him.
Best line goes to Emma, when describing Bradley to Vera: “She’s like a locomotive of sexual energy.” Meow.
Norman seems to be getting closer to the Psycho (ah ha!) we know.
Oh, and Vera does this adorable spy-lean thing when she and Emma are watching Bradley at yoga. She is exquisite.