TV Review: Bates Motel Season 1 Episode 8
Aww, so sorry about leaving you out of my Top 5 TV Shows list, Bates Motel.
But you’re still young. Maybe next year.
At least you’ve managed to move past the stagnation of last week. Good for you.
TL;DR Norman moves closer to Emma’s clutches, Dylan picks up a bunch of hippies for the pot harvest, Vera takes a stand against Creepy Guy that escalates to him leaving a dead body in her bed.
See picture above.
So we’ve got a nice plot split between the 3 Bates family members this week. Norman arrives at school to find that Emma has let loose the fact that he and Bradley banged. Bradley is embarrassed and takes it out on Norman, who proceeds to be ragey and emo. He is forced to go to a psychologist, but Vera dominates the session. He also learns taxidermy from Emma’s dad (they do up that dog from last episode). Nope, nothing creepy about that. And in Bradley’s absence, Emma moves in. Meanwhile, Dylan is sent by his employers to pick up some hippies who will be helping with the crop. Dylan fights/bonds with his new, older partner. Meanwhile, Vera faces conflict from Norman’s school, the psychologist, and the Sheriff, who she attempts to use to get a position on a planning board with the intent of mucking up that proposed bypass. She also finds Creepy Guy a bit too creepy and tells him to fuck off. It doesn’t go well.
See picture above.
Look, I’m just glad that something’s happening this week.
Yeah, the Dylan and Norman stuff is mostly more relationship building. But Vera is all over the place putting out fires and stalking Creepy Guys and getting challenged by psychologists.
She keeps us on track. Because she’s a professional, dammit.
Why I hate this episode:
Emma is such a stalker. She plays off her spilling of the sex beans as her defending Norman, which it could be, but I don’t believe for a second that her motives were pure. She wants that D, and if publicly embarrassing Bradley will get her there, she’ll do it. As a Bradley/Norman OTP shipper, this is wildly unacceptable.
Dylan’s plot is the least valuable of the 3. All we really get from it is that his employers don’t let you quit, which I thought was pretty much par for the course with drug jobs anyway. He has a pointless fight with his partner because of their age disparity (Partner be feeling inferior, yo). That’s about it.
Vera seems genuinely intimidated when Creepy Guy tries to use his knowledge of her affair with Shelby as leverage against her. They weren’t exactly discreet about it, though. At the very least, I think the Sheriff knows (unless, as I presumed, Vera didn’t really tell him the whole truth). So why is Vera so frightened by it?
Shouldn’t Dylan’s employers be worried that a bunch of hippies are supposed to be doing the harvest and processing of the marijuana crop. Hippies and marijuana have a relationship that you’d think would be detrimental to a not-pilfered crop harvest.
Vera’s attempt at schmoozing the Sheriff is pretty piss-poor. She doesn’t even break out any cleavage. You can do better.
Oh, and Dylan ejects one of the hippies from the van simply because his partner doesn’t like him. Yeah, I’m sure that’ll play real well with your murderous bosses.
Reasons to watch:
Vera taking on Creepy Guy is the most relevant component of this episode. I mean, anything leading to a body in your bed has gotta be worthwhile, right? And hey, she actually listened to me: I told her last week to get rid of the guy. And that’s what she did. Well, is trying to do.
Yeah, Creepy Guy is not keen on leaving. He tells Vera that he is much higher ranking in the whole sex slave operation thing than Keith and Shelby were, and is determined to keep the arrangement at the motel. He also seems to think Vera has something. Is that the belt? Or The Book? Or something else? Intrigue.
Vera does what you would expect of Norman Bates’ mother and ruins the therapy session by answering Norman’s questions for him. The therapist suggests solo sessions for Norman. Vera disagrees. Then he suggests solo sessions for her, and she flips her shit. You keep ’em in line, V. Ain’t nobody need to tell you how to raise your psychopath.
Despite my preferred ship, I gotta give Emma points on playing a very effective game on Norman. Through spilling just one thing to a few bitchy girls, she has Norman essentially running into her arms. She’s a mustache twirl away from being truly inspirational.
Norman learns taxidermy from Emma’s dad. Say hello to your future, Vera.
I’m glad the relationship between Vera and the Sheriff is still tense. I got worried when he went all White Knight last episode, but he still doesn’t trust her one bit. Nice.
Dylan and Vera have a nice moment near the end. He brings the hippies to stay at the motel, which is great because she has exactly zero customers at that point (having just evicted ol’ Creeps). She’s so happy that he brought in business (though she doesn’t know they’re there for drugs) that she gets excited and offers to take him out for dinner. Sho shweet. It’s a shame their plans are ruined by Shelby’s rotting corpse.
Vera gets best line of the episode after the meeting with Norman’s teacher and the school principal. She has some parental advice for Norman: “You can’t go around being so emotional.” Her delivery is so matter of fact. And as a frigid hipster, I would agree.
Vera puts her Charlie’s Angels impression to use again when she tails Creepy Guy. She gets caught, but whatever. Points for effort.
When she kicks him out, she literally throws his money in his face. Boom.
Oh, and Emma manages to hold her own against a posse of gossipy skanks. For a loner nerd, that’s pretty impressive.