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‘Bates Motel’ Recap: Underwater

"Bates Motel": Episode 108. Photo by Joseph Lederer

It’s the penultimate episode of Bates Motel’s freshman season and “Underwater” brought plenty of new drama to set-up for the finale. It also brought lots and lots of pot, but we’ll get to that in a few minutes…

After finding Zack Shelby’s rotted corpse in her bed the previous episode Norma is shaken up and immediately begins pointing toward Jake Abernathy, the creepy man in room number 9, as the culprit. Making things worse for Momma Bates is the hippie squad who decide to smoke pot at the motel. When Norma demands they stop, the hippies fire back that pot is the money maker in the town. This sets Norma off and she announces to her children that they are moving from White Pine Bay. The drama continues for her though when she receives a bouquet of flowers with a simple note: “See you soon…” Continuing on her verbal attacks, Norma demands her money back from the realtor who sold her the motel. Later, Sheriff Romero shows up and reveals that Jake Abernathy doesn’t exist – all the information the man gave was false.

The youngest Bates dreams about drowning his former love Bradley, but she has her eye set on Dylan and requests he help her get into her dearly departed dad’s office. Norman isn’t down for good though; he’s got a new friend: the dog he took to Emma’s dad, the taxidermist. His teacher has also informed him that he’s got a 4.0 and she wants to have one of his short stories published. He might be crazy, but at least he’s smart. The two meet and his teacher praises him for his old soul. If I didn’t know any better I’d say this teacher might have some feelings for Norman. Maybe we should just start calling her Mary Kay Letourneau? Back at the motel, Norman reveals his dream of drowning Bradley to Dylan. A few nights later, Dylan and Bradley break into the office and are caught by one of the workers who, in a surprisingly kind gesture, he allows her to visit the office. While looking around, Bradley finds letters written to her father by a woman that wasn’t his wife. She is upset, but of course Dylan is there as her shoulder to cry on.

Emma has been holding down the fort at the motel while Norma is on her never ending rampage and she’s been told to not let anyone smoke pot. Of course they don’t listen, but one of the boys takes a liking to her. He leaves a pot laced cupcake for her as a gift and Emma ends up eating the treat. A high Emma walks in on Norman and his mom after he calls her crazy for asking them to move and start over again. That night, Norma asks if she can sleep with her son is his bed because she is scared and the two bond, which is still just as disturbing as it has always been.

The next day, Norman tells his teacher he doesn’t think his mom would approve of his short story and he asks that it not be published. However, his teacher tells him she is going to publish it without his mother’s consent. If anything this episode proves Norman is the king of inappropriate relationships with female authority figures. Back at the realtor’s office, he informs Norma she is ‘underwater’ – the motel will only sell for half of what she paid for it and there is no market value on the house. A furious Norma attacks the man and leaves, only to be attacked by ‘Jake Abernathy’ hidden in her car. He demands Norma give him the money Zack Shelby owed him for the last batch of girls they sold or else he will kill her and her sons.

Next week is the season finale of Bates Motel which we can only hope will finally bring some answers.

Spencer Barrett
Stars are his kind of thing! Spencer Barrett joined the TV Source team as a staff writer in 2013. In 2018, he was promoted to Senior Writer, TV & Pop Culture, shaping our pop culture content. He loves all things horror, Archie Comics and Taylor Swift.

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