By Zack Smith
Spoilers for A&E’s “Bates Motel” follow, so if you’re keeping up on DVR, we’re revealing a major twist from Monday’s episode…
As viewers saw Monday, the character of Deputy Zack Shelby met his fate at the hands of Norman Bates’ half-brother Dylan. It was for the best; he had a sex slave chained in his basement. No tears here.
Fans likely weren’t surprised by Shelby’s fate; his portrayer, Mike Vogel, already has a new job as the lead on Under the Dome, the much-anticipated CBS series based on Stephen King’s novel, produced by Stephen Spielberg, and run by fan-favorite comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan (“Saga,” “Y: The Last Man,” “Runaways”).
On a recent set visit to the “Under the Dome” set in Wilmington, NC (sadly, we didn’t get to see the dome, which is CGI), we had a chance to chat with Vogel, who didn’t reveal any spoilers for either show (both are from former Lost producers, whose policy on leaks is likely something just short of breaking your kneecaps), but he acknowledged that the fact he was there meant that things weren’t going to end well for his character on “Bates Motel”: “The basis of that show is, if your name’s not Norman Bates, you don’t stand a chance.”
Unsurprisingly, the “Cloverfield” and “Pan Am” veteran is in real life much, much nicer than his character, and has nothing but good things to say about the “Bates Motel” experience: “I knew going in that I only signed on for X amount of time, but what a fantastic cast, and a what a fantastic writing staff — such rich, rich, rich material.”
“What Carlton (Cuse) has done so beautifully on “Bates Motel” is make it a case study of a serial killer, and all the influences that push Norman Bates to that — his mother, his brother, and now me.” If nothing else, Vogel can take pride in knowing he helped portray one small step in pushing a troubled young boy into an infamous cross-dressing slaughterer of women that rendered generations terrified of showers.
And the show helped lead him to his new role as Dale “Barbie” Barbara “on “Under the Dome.” “It was because Carlton Cuse of “Bates Motel” spoke so highly of Brian and Jack Bender and all those guys that I was interested in this, because I know the quality of work that they do, and that it’s going to be a quality product,” Vogel says. Having already worked with J.J. Abrams on “Cloverfield,” Vogel is open to the idea of collaborating with all the major “Lost” producers by working with Damon Lindelof — “I’ll have run the gamut!”
We’ll talk more with Vogel and the rest of the “Under the Dome” cast and crew when the show’s closer to premiering on June 24 — everything from what it’s like working with Stephen King to how the series expands the novel’s storyline and characters to portraying a psychopath…though this time Vogel will be the good guy.
Surprised by Vogel’s character’s death? Enjoying “Bates Motel”? Looking forward to “Under the Dome”? Let us know!