TV Recap: Bates Motel Season 1 - Episode 7 - ‘The Man in Number 9′

By Caleb Woods

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Before each episode airs, I think, “How will they top last week’s episode?” Each episode in this show keeps getting better and better. This series is starting off to a great start. Every week there are mysteries, action, and drama. Bates Motel is one of my favorite shows this year.

Even though the episode started out a little slow, it quickly picked up the pace and ended with a strong finish. I was surprised at how quickly and effectively the murder of Keith Summers and officer Zach Shelby were handled. Officer Romero letting Norma and Norman off the hook was unexpected, but somehow nice. It was great to have such a huge plotline covered so fast. It was a nice breath of fresh air. This episode gave us a great glimpse of Norman’s downfall. So many things in his life have gone wrong and we’re getting to see them first hand. This episode was one of the creepiest yet.

When Norman finds the dog under the house, I thought he was going to kill it with the hammer he was using to fix the house. However, Norman likes the dog and wants to keep it. Norma completely flips out about the dog every time Norman mentions it, but she eventually allows him to keep it. While at school, Bradley is distant of Norman and completely acts as if nothing ever happened between them. This causes much anxiety for Norman – which is not a good thing for someone who clearly has a mental issue.

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When the mysterious man first pulls up at the motel and Dylan talks to him, I noticed a small Asian tattoo on his wrist. Later on, the mysterious man asks Norma if he can have the same agreement he had with Keith Summers – to rent out every room for an entire week, every other month. Norma’s skeptical, but she agrees. Throughout the entire episode, he shows up unexpected and acts very creepy. Is this man the ringleader for the Asian sex slave business? And what happened to the Asian girl officer Shelby went after in the woods? Is she definitely dead?

Norma has several freak-out moments in this episode. I loved how she tried washing away Shelby’s blood from the stone and she told Dylan, “Every time I walk out the door, it’s gonna be ‘Oh, what a beautiful day. Hey! There’s where deputy Shelby bled to death.’” After Emma stops by the house and Norman refuses to see her, Norma feels bad and decides to spend time with her. On the car ride into town, Emma reveals to Norma that Norman and Bradley had sex. This doesn’t sit well with Norma and they go spy on Bradley while she’s at a yoga meeting. Here is when the creepiest scene of the entire season happens. While Norma stalks Bradley through the window, she begins imagining what all Bradley and Norman have done – sexually.

When Norman introduces Bradley to Dylan, things get awkward. Do Dylan and Bradley known each other? Why were they looking at each other so awkwardly? Was it just attraction? Back home, Norma tries to talk to Norman about sex. After finding out that Norma hired Emma to help around the house, Norman has enough. He’s figured out that Norma is trying to set them up and he doesn’t like Emma like that. He runs out of the house and heads straight to Bradley’s giant mansion. However, once he gets there, he doesn’t get the reaction he wanted. Bradley tells him that what happened between them didn’t mean anything, it just happened. Norman is devastated by this and starts walking away from the house. As he’s leaving her house, he recites Norma’s EXACT same words that she told him previously. This scene was incredibly creepy and started the beginning of Norman literally becoming his mother.

Throughout the episode, I figured something would happen to the dog – and I was right. When Norman comes home, he calls out for the dog. As soon as the dog runs to him however, it is instantly hit and killed by a car. This is the tip of the iceberg with Norman and he loses it. He picks up the dead dog and carries it to the house saying, “I’m taking him to Emma’s dad – he can fix dead things.” He finally reveals to Norma that he was wrong about everything – even Bradley. Thus, solidifies Norma and Norman’s relationship once again.

I loved this episode. There were so many great moments. Norma and Norman are so creepy that I actually laughed out loud several times throughout the show. You can tell that they both have mental problems. I guess you could call them, psycho.


  • * Will Norman try and get together with Emma now?
  • * Will Norman have Emma’s dad stuff the dog? Will he continue to act like it’s real?
  • * Who is the mysterious man? Is he connected to the Asian sex slave business?
  • * Will Bradley and Dylan get together? How mad will this make Norman?

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Staff Television Critic: I enjoy reading, writing, viewing, filming, and learning. I enjoy thought-provoking material that stimulates the mind. Inspirational influences of mine include J.J. Abrams, LOST, and Cloud Atlas.