After last week’s episode of Bates Motel saw Norma and her brood all sitting together like one big happy family (well, except Norman, of course), this week begins with Norma lying awake in bed. She’s still happy about the family dinner they all enjoyed the night before as Dylan enters her room and tells her he’s going to stay at the barn for a few days. He also reminds her that they need to talk at some point about what to do with Norman. Dylan kisses Norma’s forehead and it’s a nice moment to see how far they’ve come since season one.
At the same time, Norman lies in his bed and his mother enters into his room. They talk about Emma and Norman expresses some intense anxiety. As they are talking, Norma hears construction going on outside of the motel. She looks out the window to see a construction crew digging in her front yard and as she leans over the window, Norman checks out her ass. What? WHAT?!
Norma rushes outside and learns that the construction crew is digging a hole for their new pool on orders from Bob Paris. Norman follows her and becomes short with Norma. The tension that Norman is expressing towards his mother is becoming really violent and aggravated.
Meanwhile, that same morning, also happy from the dinner the night before, Alex Romero heads to the used car dealership to try and get Norma’s car back. While he’s there, Norma calls Bob’s office to discuss the pool but is told that he’s out for the morning and is assured that he will call her back.
Where Bob is happens to be out in the middle of nowhere, accompanied by his goons who have James, the psych professor, tied up. They’ve held him captive and Bob confronts him looking for the flash drive. Paris tells him that he needs dirt on Norma for leverage and James refuses under the confidentiality agreement. Paris is clearly uninterested in his Hippocratic Oath and one of his goons uses a nail gun to drive a nail through his foot.
Back in the woods, Dylan and Chick are going over the details of the truck for the gun run. Chick explains that it is a simple job and should cause him no problem. As they discuss the plans, Caleb shows up to put a stop to the deal but Dylan pushes back. He’s decided that he’s going to do it so Caleb says that he’s going to go with him. Before they go, Caleb threatens Chick, warning him that if anything happens to Dylan he’s going to kill him. It’s worth noting that Ryan Hurst, best known for his role on Sons of Anarchy, plays Chick, the crazy hippie, with such a weird, dry sense of humor. It’s quite enjoyable.
Norma calls James to talk about what happened with Norman when they spoke in the basement a day earlier just as Paris’s folks dump his battered and bloody body at his own front steps.
The next day, Caleb and Dylan are on the road for the running job. Caleb, after spending the evening with the family at dinner, says he understands why Dylan likes Emma so much but Dylan explains that they’re not romantically involved. Caleb tells Dylan that when the barn is finished in the next few weeks, he’s going to leave.
At the motel, Norma notices that the hole is really deep for a pool and the construction manager tells her it’s 23 feet deep. Alex drives up in Norma’s car and she thanks him. He offers to take her Mustang back for her and they have a little chat that is cute and flirty. Ohhh, are they going to kiss? Well, kinda as Norma kisses Romero lightly on the cheek.
Romero shows up at Paris’s office to confront him about the “pool.” Paris tells him to sit down and he reveals what kind of information James gave him including details on the night that Norma went rogue and that he knows about the deputy that Norma killed that Romero helped cover up from season one. Paris also reveals that he knows that Norman killed his father and suggests that Norma is using Romero to protect her interests and Norman’s darkside. Romero is clearly hurt but he doesn’t agree to start working with Paris. Jeez Louise, so much for that Hippocratic Oath when torture is involved!
Dylan calls Emma from the road and, I have to say, they are super cute with each other. He tells her that he’s going to be gone for a few days but if she needs anything, well, not to call him because he’s unavailable. Again with the cuteness! It’s a different side to Max Thieriot’s character that we’ve yet to see in all of three seasons and it’s very endearing. I just say I hope he and Emma don’t die this season. For serious. It feels like we’re headed for some major character deaths and I really hope it isn’t one of those two…
Outside the motel Norman is having a tantrum trying to put up some protective fencing around the hole and Emma comes out of the office to speak with him. He tries to act like everything is fine and invites her to a movie but she tells him that they need to talk. Oh goodness, she’s standing at the edge of the hole; is Norman going to push her in?! She tells him that she was there the night Norma left and Norman is uncomfortable. She also tells him that it was never right between the two of them but that she’ll always love and care about him but Norman can’t deal with the emotional or physical intimacy of her words or even a kind hug. He walks upstairs sits in his room and doesn’t move for hours. A vision of his little dog appears and Norman talks to himself. I feel so badly for Norman, he’s so hurt and confused and twisted and someone needs to help him! But something tells me that ain’t going to happen. This is Bates Motel, y’all!
Later that night, Romero shows up at the motel to talk to Norma and she greets him cheerily and invites him in. He’s not having it and he’s clearly hurt and upset but she has no idea what has happened. He’s talked to Bob and he needs the truth: How did her husband die? She lies, telling him it was an accident in the garage and that a heavy shelf fell on him. Romero asks her again. This is her last chance. She doesn’t budge and that’s all Romero needs to hear. “Goodbye Norma,” he says and he leaves.
Both Norman and Norma have been seemingly abandoned by the people they think they care about because they both are incapable of telling the truth. Norman enters Norma’s bedroom with a confession and he asks her if she’s afraid of him. He tells her the thing that James said to him is haunting him because he’s afraid it’s true. He confesses that James suggested that he’s attracted to Norma; he was angry at first and then he was scared. Norman is crying, he can’t even look at his mother but she shuts it down, quickly. She says it’s OK, it’s normal that he might have feelings or notice her sexually. Sex is confusing and what sets them apart from animals is that they have feelings and then they make choices. She tells her that they’re OK and that no one can ever come between them. Oh jeez. It’s like when Norman confesses what happened with Blair and Norma shuts him down. This show is very smart. We are seeing the struggle for Norman’s soul, the struggle for him to want to atone for the things that he’s done but every time he asks his mother for help, she selfishly can’t bare the thought of letting him go from her and prevents him from taking the steps he would need to truly start to heal. Oh boy. This isn’t going to end well…
Dylan and Caleb are at what they think is the drop site. Dylan asks Caleb about his warrant. He stops short of saying that he killed someone and the phone in the phone booth rings. The person on the other line asks where Chick is and seems upset that he’s not there. The guy on the other end gives them their directions and Caleb hangs up then offers Dylan the chance to go back but he says no, he wants the money. So, this is it for Caleb right? He’s going to die during this. I mean, if he doesn’t, then I’ll be shocked. Dylan and Caleb arrive at the drop site and they are met with guns drawn and lights on them. They are really intense and this doesn’t look good. They say that they’re taking the guns and not going to give the money. They have beef with chick and are going to kill Caleb and send Dylan back to teach them a lesson. Fortunately Caleb has hidden a gun in the truck, grabs it and shoots the person threatening them. Caleb and Dylan speed off. Holy cow, Caleb isn’t dead!
On the other side of town Romero sits in his police truck and makes the decision to call the DEA. Uh oh… At the same time, James is packing his bags into his car as Norma drives up. He’s pissed that he’s been beaten to a pulp and confesses that he told Paris everything and that he’s leaving town and suggests that she does the same. Norma, clearly freaked out about who knows what about Norman, rushes home to find her son in the basement with the animals. She confesses that she told James the truth about what happened to her husband. He’s angry that he told someone their secret and asks her if she’s even really there (wow, that’s so awesomely subtle and creepy) and she breaks, yelling at him that being his mother is killing her, which is the worst thing he could ever hear. She apologizes and tells him to lay low and that she will handle it. Norma comes to him in a vision, sexy, and he rejects her. He tries to run away but he hears her in his head. He sees the dog again and chases him down the road where he runs into a vision of–BRADLY!!! Whaaaat???
Admittedly this was a long recap but we are speeding towards that season three finale. Are you all loving this season of Bates Motel as much as I am? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to watch new episodes Monday nights on A&E.