TV Recap: 'Bates Motel' Episode 108 - 'A Boy and His Dog'



bates motelBates Motel Episode 108
“A Boy and His Dog”
Written By: Bill Balas
Directed By: Ed Bianchi
Original Airdate: 6 May 2013

In This Episode...

A coughing spell sends Emma running to the bathroom. While in the stall, a trio of “mean girls” comes in, talking about how pathetic it is that Norman hangs all over Bradley. “Doesn’t he realize she won’t ever sleep with him?” Emma storms out and defends Norman’s honor by telling the girls that they did sleep together. Word gets back to Bradley, who confronts Norman in the hall. He is hurt and confused about why she doesn’t want people to know about them, but he keeps that big dopey smile on his face until she leaves. He rushes from the school, chased by Miss Watson, who tries to get him to come back inside so he doesn’t get cited. This upsets Norman, and he jerks away from Miss Watson violently.

Norma decides she wants the empty seat on the town planning board so she can object to the location of the new freeway, and goes to Sheriff Romero to get his support. Romero is icy to her, and sternly tells her that they are not friends; they have no “deeper” connection, and he doesn’t want to hear another word about political favors. Scarcely over that slap in the face, Norman’s principal calls Norma down to the school. He and Miss Watson tell Norma about her son’s odd behavior earlier. Norman is suspended for three days, and Miss Watson wants Norman to see the school shrink. Norma balks at this, but agrees to take him to a private therapist. And she does. But at the meeting, Norma finishes all her son’s answers to the therapist’s questions. The therapist is concerned about this, and asks Norma to allow Norman to see him alone next week. She does not like this idea, and the shrink suggests she have her own sessions. She is too controlling, he says, and this is often because you feel out of control of your own life. Norma denies this flatly.

Throughout the episode, Norma had become increasingly wary of Jake Abernathy. He always seemed to be staring at her. He asked her to come in and clean the room while he watched - and initially tried to prevent her from leaving. He questioned her about her relationship with Zach Shelby. Eventually she decides to follow him one night. He goes to the docks and checks around on a boat (Keith’s boat, I assume). He doesn’t seem to find what he is looking for, but he knows Norma is following him and he surprises her. She plays dumb, but he wants what she is “hiding” from him. She has no idea what he is talking about, and taunts her with his knowledge of her and Shelby’s relationship. To Jake, this proves that she knew what Shelby was up to, and wants a secret item. I have to assume it is Jiao’s diary. He suggests that he is at the top of whatever disgusting ladder Keith and Shelby were part of.

After the therapist suggests Norma feels out of control, she decides to take control. She storms to room #9, throws Jake’s money back in his face and tells him to get out. He suggests she “dial it down before I get really annoyed.” Norma shows no fear until Jake mentions that if she was dating Shelby, she had to have known what he was up to. Norma’s fear and rage turn ugly, and she gives him five minutes to leave or else she will call the police. “You want to play? Let’s play.” Norma is relieved to watch Jake pack his car and leave the motel a short while later.

Dylan and Remo head out to California to pick up the “trimmers” - the workers who prep the raw marijuana plants for use. Along the way, the guys stop at a bar. Remo can’t hold his liquor and the men brawl. This seems to clear up any ill will Remo has for Dylan. He has been working for the company for 23 years, and was given his shot to move up the ranks, but was too unpredictable and couldn’t cut it. He also reveals that Gil is not the “big boss;” he will only tell Dylan about him when necessary. The guys pick up the trimmers - eight hippies. Remo remembers one of them as a douche from last year, but Dylan is under orders to deliver all the trimmers. Eight hippies in a van is never a good sign, and sure enough, douchebag hippie starts trouble, playing his guitar and driving Remo crazy. As retaliation, douchebag hippie tries to unionize his fellow hippies and complain about them being way past lunch. Dylan has had enough. He makes Remo pull over, throws open the back doors to the van, and tells douchebag hippie to get out. Douchebag apologizes (kind of) and promises to keep quiet. Dylan pulls a gun on him and tells him again to get out of the van. He makes the same offer to anyone who wants to play guitar and complain about lunch. No one takes the offer. Douchebag gets out of the van, and they leave him there. Remo has a newfound respect for Dylan.

Back home, Dylan brings his van full o’ hippies to his mom’s motel. Norma is only too happy to rent seven rooms to Dylan’s company. She is sincerely thankful and offers to take him to dinner. Dylan accepts, and Norma rushes home to change. Once in her bedroom, she flips on the lights - and discovers Deputy Shelby’s rotting corpse laying in her bed.

Dig It or Bury It?

Tonight’s episode seemed unusually sedate. Norma wasn’t particularly smothering; Norman wasn’t particularly mental. I think this was just one of those “middle” episodes that carries us through to the season finale. I liked the end though. It was pleasantly gruesome and was a a nice nod to Psycho.

I am a little disappointed, because it seems that Norman and Bradley really did have sex. I still feel like there is something not right about their relationship

An Ode to Psycho

We see how Norman became interested in taxidermy.  He brings Juno to Emma’s dad, Will, to have her stuffed and mounted. Norman shows a keen interest in the hobby and Will offers to teach Norman how to do it. Norman says of Juno, “It seems dishonorable to just put her in the ground.” Could have been saying the same thing about Mother.


Norma finally comes to her senses and decides she wants to leave White Pine Bay. Of course, by now, Norman doesn’t want to leave.