Bates Motel Wiki
Bates Motel Wiki

Zack Shelby was a young, handsome, clear-eyed deputy of the White Pine Bay Sheriff's Department but was the main antagonist of the first half of the first season.

He was almost immediately attracted to Norma Bates and found himself drawn into her life and wanting to take care of her. He was often partnered with Sheriff Alex Romero.


Season 1[]

After Shelby and Romero visited the Bates Motel once (soon after the murder of Keith Summers), he quickly developed feelings for Norma. (First You Dream, Then You Die)

When Jerry Martin is found burned alive, Shelby and Romero are on the scene collecting Jerry's BMW and investigating the scene. After one of the other deputies calls Romero over they find Summers' car parked nearby. Shelby sets up a perimeter and has them search the woods nearby for more evidence. Later that night Shelby and Romero arrive at Norma's front door. They question her after they find a witness that was driving by when Keith was hassling Norma and Norman a few days ago. After Romero questions Norma, both of them leave.

The next day Norma runs into Shelby in town and Shelby invites Norma for a cup of coffee and they talk about Norma's history and the investigation. Shelby defends Romero's actions and invites Norma to a local festival but stresses they can't go together. At the festival Shelby tells her about the criminal activities the town is known for. He is later seen directing traffic after a man is found hanging from a lamppost, burned alive. (Nice Town You Picked, Norma...)

Romero later gets a warrant to search Norma's home and Shelby helps search the house. During the search, Shelby found Summers' belt underneath Norman's bed and hid it from Romero to protect Norma. Norma goes to meet Norma and he tells her they need to talk, over dinner at his place. Later that night, Shelby welcomes Norma into his house and tells her, over drinks, he has the belt. Shelby tells Norma he is going to take care of her, subtly blackmailing her, and they have sex. (What's Wrong With Norman)

Shelby heads out and Norman breaks into his house while he is gone. When he returns he heads upstairs and lets his dog, Clementine out and hears Dylan Massett ring the doorbell. When he answers the door, Dylan asks Shelby where the nearest gas station is to buy time for Norman to escape. The next day Shelby and Norma make plans and go to the motel and have sex again. After they are done Shelby runs into Dylan again and Norma introduces him as her other son and Shelby gets in his car and leaves. Shelby gets spooked and moves Jiao over to a boat owned by Keith. Shelby runs into Norman in town and despite Norman trying to avoid him, Shelby invites Norman to go fishing with him, despite Norman's protests. Shelby and Norma later spent the night at his place. When he and Norman go fishing he asks Norman to trust him and Norman lies saying he does. Shelby gets a call and cuts the fishing trip short. He heads to the docks and Romero tells him they found Summers' hand in the lake. Shelby brings Norma down to the police station where Romero interrogates her about Summers' death. When the carpet fibers in Keith's watch is matched to the Bates Motel, Romero has Norma arrested for his murder and Shelby accompanies him. (Trust Me)

Shelby gives Norma some food while she is in lock-up. After Norma makes bail Shelby meets up with her and apologizes to her and tells her they need to stay away from each other for awhile. When Norma attempts to leave in anger, Shelby stops her and tells her he loves her. He tells her he will protect her and Shelby goes back to the station. Shelby tricks Regina the receptionist into leaving and sneaks his way into the evidence room and steals the carpet fibers. (Ocean View)


Shelby visited Norma one night at the motel, when he discovered Jiao in one of the rooms. He pulled out a gun, pushed Norma to the ground and chased after Jiao through the woods. When Shelby returned, he held Norma, Norman and Dylan Massett at gunpoint in their house, where he yelled at and physically abused Norma for "betraying" him. In an attempt to protect his mother, Norman attacked Shelby, which caused him to drop the gun he had earlier confiscated from Dylan. Dylan grabbed the gun, Norma ran outside with Norman, and Dylan engaged in a gunfight with Shelby. Dylan eventually prevailed and killed Shelby. (The Truth)

Shelby's body is seen on the steps leading up to the house as Romero turns it over to confirm the identity. His body is later taken to the morgue after Romero frames him for killing Keith. (The Man in Number 9)

Shelby's boss, Jake Abernathy came to the Bates Motel only to continue the sex slave business. Norma kicked him out of her motel and later he came back to threaten her by placing Shelby's corpse in her bedroom, the cops took Shelby's corpse away again. (A Boy and His Dog')


Recurring Characters
Many Seasons
Amelia MartinBen WillcockBlaire WatsonCaleb CalhounChick HoganDeputy JeffcoatGil TurnerGinnyGregg EdwardsGunnerJiaoLiz BabbittMaggie SummersMinisterPacoReginaRemo WallaceRichard SylmoreSabel WillcockSam BatesTom HutchinsTonyVicki MonroeWill Decody
Season 1
Alex RomeroDannyDr. Fumhiro KurataEthan ChangHaydenJake AbernathyJennaKennedyLissaRa'ufReceptionistSummerZack Shelby
Season 2
BenChristine HeldensChuckCody BrennenDeclan RogersGeorge HeldensIggyJimmy BrennenJodi MorganKyle MillerNick FordPatty LinPeterSidZane Morgan
Season 3
Annika JohnsonBob ParisBob's AssistantBob's EmployeeBradley MartinClay DuFontDeputy WalkerHarryJames FinneganLindsay DavisMarcus Young
Season 4
Audrey EllisBen WillcockChrisDickie BoltonDoctor GuynanGinnyHoward CollinsJakeJulian HoweNurse PennyRebecca HamiltonSabel WillcockStephen
Season 5
Ben WillcockBoyCopDeputyDeputy MillerJane GreeneJulia RamosKate MassettMadeleine LoomisMarion CraneSabel WillcockSam Loomis