Bates Motel Wiki
Bates Motel Wiki

"The Truth" is the sixth episode of the first season of Bates Motel. It aired on April 22, 2013.


Norma warns Emma that some things are best kept to themselves, whilst Dylan asks Norman to move in with him.



After they discover that Shelby had the girl, Norma feels that it's best to talk to him. They let the girl stay overnight and report Shelby to the police the next day. Norma won't turn him in until Keith Summers' belt is found. Dylan and Norman go to Keith's boat and find the belt.


Back at the house, Shelby comes and says that he wants to be with Norma still, so they go to the motel and have sex. When that happens, he hears water coming down the pipes. He goes to see where it's coming from and finds that the girl from the basement is there at the motel. She runs off in horror in the forest, Shelby tries to shoot her but Norma physically assaults him. Norman and Dylan come back and reveal that they threw the belt in to the harbor.


Shelby returns and holds them at gunpoint, demands Dylan to drop his gun and says he wants to talk to them. There, he assaults Norma, leading Norman to attack him in a fit of rage. Shelby throws Norman into a wall and Norman falls unconscious, pending a battle between Dylan and Shelby, as Norma drags an unconscious Norman out to the car. A game of cat and mouse begins between Shelby and Dylan, and just as Norma realizes outside that she has forgotten her car keys in her bedroom, gun shots ring out from the house. A figure comes staggering out, grotesquely wounded, much to Norma's horror - it is Shelby, who has been shot once in the face and several times in the abdomen. As he lifts his arm to shoot, he crumbles to the ground, dead.


Dylan runs out of the house and he and Norma embrace, and he reveals that he intends to tell the police the truth - until Norma reveals (via flashback) the truth behind Norman's father's death - Norman killed him in a fit of rage after his father beat Norma in a fit of anger, and has absolutely no recollection of it. At the end of the episode, Norma confides to Dylan that Norman needs to be protected, just as the police arrive.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


  • This episode was watched by 2.93 million viewers
  • The scene in which Emma tells Norman "It must be a shock. Finding out the guy you're into is a total monster" is foreshadowing Norman's eventual fate as a serial killer.

Episode Guide[]


Norman and Emma stand on the porch of the motel, wondering what they can do to help Norma, who is sitting silently, having just learned that Shelby is involved in human trafficking. Norma suddenly gets up and heads for the car. Norman races to stop her from rampaging off to Shelby's. He convinces her that they'll get the wayward deputy, but they'll do it "the right way".

Dylan meets with his employer, Gil, to explain how his partner Ethan was killed. Gil is impressed that Dylan took the initiative to run down Ethan's killer. He gives Dylan instructions to get rid of Ethan's truck. After setting fire to the vehicle, Dylan meets Remo, a grizzled, longtime employee of Gil's, who was sent to pick Dylan up. Dylan is shocked to learn that he's been promoted, and is now Remo's boss.

Back at the house, Norma and Norman convince Emma to wait before going to the police. Emma seems unsure, but Norma is becoming a mother figure to her, and she finds it impossible to resist. Norma and Norman agree that they have to find Keith Summers' belt before they go to the authorities.

Dylan returns home to find Norma preparing to go see Shelby, and Norman trying to stop her. He puts an end to Norma's plan by taking Norman with him to find the belt on Summers' boat. On the way, Dylan tries to convince Norman to move in with him. They search the boat, and Dylan tells Norman his theory; that Norma is the one who killed Norman's father. After more searching, Dylan finds the belt, and they throw it into the bay.

Back at the motel, Norma gets a visit from Shelby. She tells him it's not a good idea for them to be together, but he won't be dissuaded. They go to a motel room where Shelby hears a suspicious noise. He investigates and finds Jiao, who runs away into the woods. Shelby gives chase.

Dylan and Norman return home, and Dylan tells Norma that Norman is moving out. Norma tells the boys about Shelby, but is so upset about Norman moving, she refuses to leave. Shelby returns and takes them back to the house at gunpoint.

Shelby sits the family at the kitchen table as he realizes he may have to kill them all to protect his secret. He knocks Norma to the floor, which causes Norman to attack. Shelby struggles with the disassociated teen, losing his gun in the process. Dylan grabs the gun as Shelby runs for cover.

They exchange fire, and Dylan's arm is grazed by a bullet. Dylan manages to hit Shelby in the leg, but when he comes in for the kill, he pulls the trigger and realizes he's out of ammo. Shelby scrambles to his feet, recovers his gun, and limps after Dylan, who has run upstairs looking for more ammo.

Norma drags Norman out of the house, stopping on the porch to call the police. She gets Norman to the car, but realizes she doesn't have the keys. Shots are fired in the house, and a limping figure emerges. It's Shelby, face covered in blood, with his right eye shot out. He raises his gun, but falls down dead before he can pull the trigger.

Norman sits in the car in some sort of trance as Norma and Dylan talk. She tells him what really happened to Norman's father, Sam. She and Sam were fighting when Norman came out of nowhere and clubbed him with a blender. Norma, after being unable to get a response from Norman, moved Sam into the garage and made it look like an accident. When Norman came to, he had no memory of the attack. Norma tells Dylan that Norman needs to be protected. Dylan can either pitch in, or get out of her way.

Production Notes[]

We've already said goodbye to Ethan. In this episode, we bid farewell to his truck. However, there are more farewells taking place in the scene where Dylan sets fire to Ethan's ride than meets the eye. Property Master Terry Weaver explains:


Only the worthiest trucks earn Viking funerals.

"A little trivia on the truck being set on fire. There has always been an underlying transition from the Seafairer motel to the Bates motel. This scene was also a bit of a sendoff to The Seafairer. The prop Master (me) Terry Weaver came up with the idea to use a book of matches from the Seafairer to light the truck up. The actual effect of burning the truck was achieved by covering it in a flammable gel, laying a trail of flammable gel to the truck from Dylan, and basically dropping the lit book of matches onto the fuel."


Smokey Bear would approve. Note the leftover trail of flammable gel leading to the truck.

In this episode we meet Dylan's troublesome new "employee," Remo, and we get to see more of their employer, Gil. We also get to spend more time with Norman's father, Sam. They're all pretty intense guys, but did you know that they're all award-winning pretty intense guys? All three actors have taken home Gemini awards. Ian Tracey, who plays Remo, won Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series in '99; Vincent Gale, who plays Gil, won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in '02; and David Cubitt, who plays Sam Bates, won Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role in '97.


Those are some handsome Canadians. Ian Tracey as Remo, Vincent Gale as Gil, and David Cubitt as Sam Bates.

Not only are they all award winners, all three of the actors above also played roles in the classic TV series, 21 Jump Street. Not as fancy as winning a Gemini, but still pretty neat.



Promotional Pictures[]

Season 1
#101 "First You Dream, Then You Die" #106 "The Truth"
#102 "Nice Town You Picked, Norma..." #107 "The Man in Number 9"
#103 "What's Wrong With Norman" #108 "A Boy and His Dog"
#104 "Trust Me" #109 "Underwater"
#105 "Ocean View" #110 "Midnight"