Bates Motel Wiki
Bates Motel Wiki

"Underwater" is the ninth episode of the first season of Bates Motel. It aired on May 13, 2013.


Abernathy amps up the pressure, but Norma doesn't know what he wants.  Miss Watson encourages Norman's active imagination; Bradley and Dylan connect, and Emma takes a trip.


Norman and Miss Watson work on a story

Norman has a dream about drowning Bradley in a bathtub. After receiving a threatening note, Norma puts the motel up for sale and decides she wants to buy a house in Hawaii for her and Norman to move into. Blaire Watson wants Norman to publish his creative short story but needs Norma's permission.

A trimmer named Gunner gives Emma a marijuana cupcake; she gives into temptation and eats it. At her father's office with Dylan, Bradley finds love letters exchanged between her father and someone known as "B".

Abernathy threatens Norma

Blaire Watson decides to publish the story without Norma's permission. Norma's realtor tells her the property won't go up for sale. Norma is shocked to find Jake in her car with a pistol. Jake reveals that Shelby owed him $150,000 from the Chinese sex slaves trade and threatens to kill her and her sons unless she delivers the money to him the next night at the docks. Norma agrees.


Main Cast[]

Guest Cast[]

Also Starring[]


  • This episode was watched by 2.48 million viewers.

Episode Guide[]

109 Episode Guide

Sheriff Romero listens as a shaken Norma recounts finding the corpse of Deputy Shelby in her bed. She's convinced that Abernathy moved the body into her room to scare her into revealing the location of something. The only problem is, she has no idea what he's looking for.

As Dylan, Norman and Norma carry the soiled mattress out to the dumpster, Norma smells someone smoking pot. She confronts the trimmers who are sincerely confused that she cares. Doesn't she know what the local economy is based on? She insists, and they reluctantly agree to stop. Norma takes Dylan aside to ask about the trimmers and finally realizes what he does for a living. It's the last straw for Norma. She tells Norman and Dylan that they're moving.

Bradley runs into Dylan, and asks him to do her a favor. She wants to visit her father's office at Dylan's job. He agrees to look into it.

Norma goes to her realtor in a rage. She accuses him of not telling her about the bypass, and demands that he put the motel back on the market.

At school, Miss Watson compliments Norman on a short story he wrote. She offers to help him edit it so he can get it published. Norman glows as she congratulates him on his improved grades. She tells him that she thinks the school will be good for him.

That night, Dylan notices Norman researching what it means when you have a dream about drowning someone. Dylan pushes Norman to tell him who he drowned in his dream. Eventually, Norman tells him it was Bradley. Norman assures his brother it's not a big deal, but Dylan seems concerned.

The next day, Dylan's boss, Gil, makes it clear that Bradley's dad is an unwelcome subject, but he offers Dylan the office. Dylan meets with Bradley for dinner, and tells her it's too dangerous to get her into the office, but he's happy to bring her her dad's stuff. Bradley is upset. She had hoped to spend some time there to see it as her father had left it. Moved, Dylan offers to sneak her in, although he knows it's a bad idea.

Emma arrives for work at the motel and spots one of the trimmers smoking pot. Having been charged by Norma to make sure the smoking ends, she confronts him. When the young man's attempt to hide his joint fails, he offers it to her. When she refuses, he agrees to put it out, and offers her a pot cupcake instead. She passes. He introduces himself as Gunner, and she thanks him for putting out the joint. Gunner watches, obviously smitten, as she walks away.

Norman and Miss Watson sit in close quarters as they edit Norman's story after school. She's impressed with his literary vision and calls him an old soul. Norman asks if she's ok, and she laughs off his concern before telling him that, as a minor, he'll need to get his mother's permission to have his story published.

The next day, Emma returns to the motel to work and finds a cupcake and a note from Gunner. She smiles, but ignores it. Eventually, the cupcake proves too tempting to resist, and she eats the whole thing.

Up in the house, Norma tells Norman that she's found a nice place in Hawaii for them to move to. Norman explodes. He's happy in White Pine Bay and doesn't want to move, he's tired of her attempts to start over, and he's convinced that wherever they go, nothing will change. Norma's hurt, but before Norman can apologize a very stoned Emma enters, muttering about being watched. Norma takes Emma to sleep it off.

At the docks, Dylan and Bradley sneak into the office, and someone starts shooting at them. Dylan calls out his name and finds that the shooter is none other than Remo. Remo recognizes Bradley and is not happy about the position that Dylan has put him in. Ultimately, he lets them go. They explore the office, and Bradley finds a pile of love letters addressed to her father from someone named "B". She runs out of the building with Dylan close behind. He comforts her, and they embrace.

Norman is in bed when Norma comes in. She's too scared to sleep in her room. He offers to sleep on the floor, but she tells him not to be silly and climbs in next to him. They reminisce about the sleepovers they would have when he was little. She apologizes to him about moving so much, and he apologizes for calling her crazy. He turns out the lights, and they go to sleep.

The next day, Norman tells Miss Watson that he doesn't think his mom will let him publish the story. She asks him about therapy, and he admits he only went once. She tells him that she knows what it's like to have a troubled life, then suggests that they publish his story without Norma's permission.

Norma returns to the realtor's office only to find that her agent won't be putting the property back up for sale. Due to the bypass, she'd be lucky to get back half of what she put into it. She threatens to sue him, but he tells her he's in debt and lives with his girlfriend. She smacks him around with her purse and storms out into the night, devastated.

As Norma gets in her car, Abernathy reaches out from the backseat, slaps a hand over her mouth and presses a gun to her head. He tells her that Shelby owed him $150k for the last batch of girls. He wants her to bring it to him at the docks the next day at midnight. Norma, not seeing any other options, agrees to bring the money, although it's money she doesn't have.

Production Notes[]

The trimmers finally get down to work in this episode, and it looks like they have a bumper crop on their hands. Property Master Terry Weaver describes the process of creating the marijuana-filled set.

109 Production Notes 1

Ra'uf admires his handiwork. Nice work, Ra'uf.

"The pot processing room set at the shipyards was intense for props. We had a 'technical advisor' who wishes to remain anonymous, help guide us through the process of taking pot from the field to market. All the buds in that sequence were fake of course. Each one was made by hand. It took three weeks of building buds, vacuum sealing, wrapping, and stacking. We presented photos of the finished set to a police tech advisor and asked him to adjudicate the props. He said his fellow officers gave it 'high praise.'"

But set dressing isn't all fun and games. Sometimes it's downright dangerous! Weaver explains:

109 Production Notes 2

Guess the connection! But do it quick. We're about to ruin it for you in the next paragraph.

"The day I was driving to set to dress it, my minivan was full of fake bud and I had guns for the guards... Needless to say, I drove REALLY well that day."

This episode features a fun family connection. Gunner, the handsome young trimmer who takes a shine to Emma, is played by Keenan Tracey. Keenan's dad, Ian, plays everyone's favorite grumpy second-in-command, Remo. This episode is the second time they have acted together in the same television show.

109 Production Notes 3

Seriously, who could say no to that cupcake?

Emma takes a chance on a magic cupcake, and finds herself armed with a large branch, ready to do battle with invisible bad guys (read more about it in her blog). But who could blame her? That's a delicious looking cupcake! Want to know more about these special treats? All Terry Weaver was willing to say was:

"48 cupcakes were killed in the making of this episode..."



Song Title Performer(s)
Slide Matt Ellis
The Cisco Kid War
Pressure Drop Toots & The Maytals



Promotional Pictures[]

Behind the Scenes[]

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"