Bates Motel: The Man In Number 9, Review

Worst motel ever. Do the guests ever survive?

Last week was a hell of an episode, with lots of blood, gore and action. This week’s was naturally slower, and had a lot more teenage angst… And a creepy, mysterious white guy.


That’s Bates Motel for ya. One week, a gory, horror thriller of a show. The next a drama filled, sad background music, weepy cable melodrama, with a pinch of mystery thrown in.


The episode picks up where the last left off, with Sheriff Guyliner pulling up. He takes one look at the scene and his face goes blank with shock. Yep dude. That all went down.


Cut to Norma wrapping up the whole truth and nothing but the truth story (probably packed with lies) she tells the Sheriff. The Sheriff, then in a complete turn-around and for no apparent reason tells them the story they will tell everyone, which pretty much lets the entire Bates family off the hook. The Sheriff will take the blame for Shelby’s death. Dead Shelby will take the blame for Keith Summer’s death. Sheriff Guyliner sweeps out, Dylan is pissed that his heroics get no credit in this new story (really, Dylan? You really are dumber than you look), and Norma pulls Norman into a relieved hug.


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Norman then has what is clearly a sex dream about Bradley, who won’t return his calls, text messages…the girl gone cold on him. Norma interrupts this dream, waking him up and cheerfully ordering him out the door to work on the hotel. While he’s rooting under the motel/house/porch (it’s not clear where it is) he finds…




Norman throws some food to it. The dog warily inches closer and snatches it up. Norman beckons the dog closer. The grip on the hammer in his hand tightens.


I swore at that exact moment that if Norman kills that dog in budding serial killer frenzy, I would refuse to watch the show anymore. That is, after the season was over. I mean, I gotta see what happens after all. Please! But I have a soft spot of canines, and GOD THIS ONE WAS SOOOOOO CUUUUTE! It had little floppy ears, and a little scruffy coat, and a little beard hanging down it’s little chin.


I told you. I love dogs. Some people see this as an unholy fascination, but they are just haters of cuteness and unconditional love, and clearly not worth my time of day.


Anyways, the dog runs past Norman and he looks disappointed. Because he too loves all things fuzzy and doggy? Or because he’s a ruthless, sadistic killer of cute?


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It remains to be seen.


Dylan meanwhile informs his mother over breakfast (that she cooked for him, no less, in thanks for saving her and Norman) that he’s still moving out. Norma gets pissed. No happy Bates household in the future. Dylan stalks out and sees a mysterious man in a black Cadillac with weird glasses and an ever-creepier demeanor pull up, ask for Keith Summers, get told “he’s dead” (way to break the news gently, Dylan) and then drives away.


Woo woo woo.


Back with Norman, he’s at school and… OMG! Bradley’s back! He says hi and “can I see you?” She brushes him off. Awkward.


Norma decudes to go around to local businesses and spread the marketing word, since the hotel is opening in a few weeks. At a restaurant she is told by the owner that the motel has a bad rap due to the murder and all. Norma fumes.


Later, Emma comes by to say hi to Norman. Norma greets her then goes upstairs to tell her son she is there. He tells his mom he doesn’t want to hang and to tell Emma he’s sick.


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God. Teenage boys are bastards.


Norma goes down and feeling terrible, delivers the meassge. Emma’s eyes fill with tears which she says are allergies. (If they were allergies sweetie, you’d probably be in cardiac arrest). Norma takes pity on her and takes her along on some errands.  In the car they bond, and Emma tells Norma all about Bradley. They go spy on Bradley at yoga class, who looks suspiciously like a young Norma now that I think about it.




To make it ever grosser, Norma then has some weird mental flashes of Bradley and Norman doing the dirty. She feels faint and she and Emma return to the car.


Later that night, Norma is fretting over the lack of reservations and spies a man by Room 9. She approaches him. It’s the creepy Cadillac man! He tells her he always rents Room 9 and his name is John Abernathy. Toootaally mysterious, nefarious name in a Henry James novel kinda way. She gives him a key to Room 9 for no apparent sensible reason.


When Dylan comes back and sees his mom has rented out a room to a complete stranger without getting the info and oh yeah, it’s the guy who was giving out weird vibes from earlier, he takes it upon himself to get the guys info and register him.


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Awww, Dylan. Look at you being sorta a good son.


The guy lets him see his ID and then pays in hundred dollar bills. Talk about creepy and probably a criminal of the highest order. Dylan looks suspicious, informs Norma of his suspicions and tells Norma you can’t scrub blood out of stone. Why? Because she’s trying to scrub Shelby’s blood out of the steps. She tells him the motel’s rep in this town is terrible. He drops the hundred dollars of room payment onto the soapy steps and walks away.


And the son of the year award is taken away.


Norman works on the motel again during the day and spots the dog He feeds it again. It takes food from his hands. It’s soooooo cute and then Norma scares it away and tells Norman not to feed it.


Dylan and Norman then take a trip to the hardware store where Bradley runs into them to pick up…some takeout? Ok. She barely acknowledges Norman and then has a weird staring thing with Dylan. She and Dylan lock eyes out of Norman’s sight.


God. I hope it’s not a fraternal love triangle being set up, because that’s super cliché.


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Norma has a strange encounter with the guest in Number 9, who books the entire block of rooms by No. 9 for every month, and then promises to promote the motel to local businesses. Norma agrees, delighted, and then asks him, “You’re not doing anything illegal, right?” He assures her he’s not in a manner that completely assures us he is.


Norman then tries to convince his mother a dog is not a bad thing to have. She relents and tells him if he wants it and takes care of it, it’s all his. She then tries to have a talk with Norman about the birds and the bees. It ends badly with Norma more or less calling Bradley a ho and Emma a nice girl. Norman storms out.


He walks to Bradley’s place (who is conveniently staying by herself for the week). He marches up, knocks on the door. He declares his feelings. She says uh….dude, sorry, SO not into you. He walks away, clearly angry and devastated. Bradley runs after him.


Norman then has one of his weird psychotic episodes where it’s clear another side of him is talking. Bradley catches up with him. He says, in an eerie precursor of Hitchcock’s Norman Bates, “You’re not a nice girl.” Contrite, she hugs him. The other him fades, and he breaks away, eyes full, and heads home.


He’s about to cross the road when he sees the ADORABLE DOG standing across from him. He calls it, naming it Juno (after the goddess or the Diablo Cody movie?). The dog hesitates, then starts to run over. Norman smiles, then realizes a car is coming. He yells at the dog to stay, stay! But the dog doesn’t listen and….




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Excuse me while I try and put my ripped out, bleeding heart back into my chest cavity.


Norman, tearful and upset, grabs the dog’s body and declares he’s taking it to Emma’s because her father fixes dead things. Yep. He does. Sorta. Norma realizes her son is upset about more than the dog and agrees to drive him. The episode ends with Norman clearly not accepting of death and clutching the dog’s furry corpse.




This is so the worst death I have seen on Bates Motel so far. The. Worst. 

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