Is Under the Dome ‘s Mike Vogel Gone for Good on Bates Motel?
SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED BATES MOTEL 1×06 “THE TRUTH!”
Under the Dome star Mike Vogel‘s character, Zach Shelby, was killed off on the latest Bates Motel on A&E. It was a tremendous episode. It brought Bates Motel to horror prequel cable curiosity to amazing television show in its own right. A lot of people watching the show have wondered why Zach Shelby and Max Thieriot’s Dylan Massett look alike. We are now guessing this was intentional so we could not figure who was shot and walking towards Vera Farmiga’s Norma Bates and Freddie Highmore’s Norman Bates while they are stuck in the car without car keys. It was kind of sadistically brilliant, when you think about it.
For those not in the know (why are you reading then, then?), before jumping ship to Under the Dome, Mike Vogel filmed these six episodes of Bates Motel. It is no surprise that he agreed to be killed off when the producers of Lost are producing this show and Under the Dome at the same time. There was no way he could work on two shows at the same time, esp. when one films in North Carolina and the other films in British Columbia. The character, Zach Shelby, had an all-American image of a policeman who helps Norma escape murder charges when she is arrested for killing a rapist in the infamous Bates house, but turned out to be just as scary as Norman Bates himself, if not more so. Norman discovered that Zach was involved in a sex trafficking scheme where Chinese girls were brought against their will to the USA and kept in Zach’s basement a few episodes ago, forcing Norman and Dylan to try to save the day. This resulted in many memorably disturbing moments on the show.
It was bound to be temporary. Zach was becoming more and more extraneous and sadistic. He was having sex with Norma, which is never a wise move with someone like Norma Bates. Norman was starting to get suspicious and possessive of his mother. The fact that they kept the Chinese girl in the motel was bound to be revealed in an awkward way like how Zach wanted Norma in there for rough sex. We all know he was bound to blow when he saw that the girl was discovered in the room and not some painter Norma let stay in the room. Luckily, Dylan arrived to take Norman away, only to have to protect both his mother and half-brother with his gun. Zach emerges out of the house after some ambiguous gunshots in one of the best fake-outs I have ever seen in television, revealing a head wound worthy of David Lynch, and falling to the ground after trying to shoot Norma through the windshield. As a reward, Dylan is told by Norma that Norman actually killed his father and doesn’t remember it.
Getting rid of Mike Vogel looks like this is only the start of the sex trafficking plot. According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly,
“I think the audience might be surprised that we took out the guy who appeared to be a main character in episode 6,” says Motel executive producer Carlton Cuse (Lost). “I think part of what we’ve tried to do with the show is subvert audience’s expectations.”
Cuse teases that Shelby’s death is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the series’ sex slave ring storyline. Says the producer, “It turns out that Shelby is not the last piece of the puzzle. There’s someone else who was involved in the whole sex slavery [ring]. That guy arrives in town kind of trying to figure out what the hell happened to his operation and that becomes really the narrative motor for the last four episodes. This guy’s a really, really interesting character, and what he’s up to and what he says that he wants is very unclear.”
So does this mean that Mike V. will not be seen again on the show? Probably. The fact that the latter half of Bates Motel‘s ten episode season was being filmed at the same time as the start of Under the Dome was probably a dead giveaway about that. Mike V. will be playing lead character Barbie on Under the Dome. Of course, Zach could appear as a corpse, in flashbacks, or as a ghost in future episodes (this is a horror show based off of Psycho, after all), but I would not hold my breath. Mike V. has clearly moved on to bigger, potentially just as good things (considering how great of a show Bates Motel turned out to be thus far). I kind of hope he does manage to make the occasional appearance, if not just so I have an excuse to talk about Bates Motel while we continue to count down the days to Under the Dome ‘s June 24th premiere on CBS.