Bates Motel 1.06 Recap: “He Was a Real Prize”

A lot happens in the sixth episode of ‘Bates Motel’, as some storylines (seemingly) wrap up, answers are provided to others, and some are ignored completely. (More about that later.) Major spoilers follow, so read on if you dare….

In the last episode, Norma discovered that Norman was telling the truth about Deputy Shelby being part of a sex trafficking ring. Norman and his friend Emma (Olivia Cooke) rescued the girl that Shelby was keeping captive and hid her in one of the Bates Motel’s rooms, where the young Asian girl positively ID’d Shelby as the man who abused her. As Episode 6 gets underway, Norma is so upset that she runs to her car hoping to confront Shelby. However, Norman is able to stop her before she leaves and to talk her out of it.

Meanwhile, Norman’s half-brother Dylan (Max Thieriot) meets with his boss, Remo, and tells him about the shooting of his co-worker, whom we learn has died from his injuries. Dylan also confesses to finding and (accidentally) killing the man who shot his co-worker by running him down with his friend’s truck. Remo’s reaction is quite suspicious here, as if he had ordered the shooting. He instructs Dylan to burn the truck.

When Dylan returns to the motel, he hears the story about the Shelby and the girl. He realizes that if they go to the police about Shelby, the deputy will just produce the incriminating tool belt from the man Norma killed after she was raped in the series premiere. Dylan and Norman head off to the boat where Norman rescued the Asian girl in an attempt to find the belt. After an intensive search, they discover it and Dylan throws it into the harbor.

Back at the motel, Norma sees headlights, and assumes that Dylan and Norman have returned. However, it’s Deputy Shelby, looking for another tryst with Norma. She tries to reject his advances, but finally relents and agrees to go to one of the motel rooms. While in the room, Shelby becomes suspicious when he hears water running in one of the other rooms. Norma tries to convince him that it’s one of the painters she hired, but Shelby knows she’s lying. He finds the girl, who runs off into the woods as Shelby takes a shot and chases after her.

Dylan and Norman arrive back at the motel, where Dylan tells Norma that Norman has decided to move into his new place and will no longer stay with her. An argument begins, and Norma eventually relays the information about Shelby and the girl. Shelby has already come back, however, and takes Norma, Norman and Dylan back up to the Bates house as hostages. There, he holds a gun to Norman’s head and follows that up by hitting Norma a few times. Something snaps inside Norman’s mind, and he rushes Shelby, knocking the gun out of his hand but getting a head injury in the process. Dylan goes for his own gun, and a shootout beings in the house between Dylan and Shelby, as Norma tries to get a non-respondent Norman outside to the car, but not before she calls 911 first.

Norma and Norman finally get to the car, but she realizes that she left the keys inside. Gunshots go off in the house, and Norma sees one shadowy figure emerge… It’s Shelby! As he comes down the steps from the house to the motel, it looks as if he’s been shot through the eye. He collapses, and Dylan comes out of the house to make sure that Shelby is dead.

As they wait for the police, Norma reveals to Dylan what really happened to Norman’s father. In a flashback sequence, we find out that it was actually Norman who killed his father, and Norma covered it up!

Episode 6 has a lot of revelations, the most important being that Norman seems to have spells where he zones out, commits acts of violence, then snaps back to reality with no memory of what he has done. It also appears that the Shelby storyline is over, although we don’t know yet if he killed the Asian girl or if she was able to escape. Finally, Episode 6 makes no mention of Norman’s girlfriend Bradley (Nicola Peltz), about whom I suggested a theory in last week’s recap that Norman may have actually killed her. We now know that he has blackouts where he can’t remember things, and we know that he’s tried to call Bradley at least once with no reply. Did he really make love to her a few shows back, or did something more sinister happen? Stay tuned!

1 comment

  1. This episode is a real turning-point for the show. Although we’ve known from the beginning what Norman will become, the revelation that he’s already a killer, and that he killed his father, not Norma, upends so much of what we thought we knew about the both of them.

    Mrs. Z is a couple episodes behind in watching this series. I told her that if she has any interest in following it, she better catch up soon, because shit really goes down in this episode.

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