'Bates Motel' Recap: A Drug War Begins
'Bates Motel' Recap: A Drug War Begins
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Jennifer Lind-Westbrook
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
In this week's episode of Bates Motel, Gil's death brings a new threat to town. More details emerge about Miss Watson's personal life. Norman fulfills his promise to Bradley. One key player involved in White Pine Bay's thriving drug trade is revealed. And Norma has a hidden talent.

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A Vacancy in the Basement

After committing murder and breaking and entering, a girl needs her beauty sleep. Bradley spends the night in Norman's basement. He wakes her early in the morning and questions why she's at his house. She balks at telling him anything in favor of devising a plan to get herself out of town. Norman refuses to "be there for her" if she doesn't start talking. She tells him she kills the guy who killed her dad. 

He's Come Undone

Norma's at the gynecologist and uses that awkward time to question her doctor about blackouts. When the doctor questions if they are happening to her, Norma makes up a story about a fictitious sister. The doctor says that if the cause isn't physical, and we know it isn't, that it could be mental. Then she offers to give Norma a referral to a psychiatrist.

Both Bates have already been down that road, and even though it was hard to tell who needed regular therapy more, neither Norma or Norman have returned. Norma doesn't want to risk her son's homicidal history being exposed, and she refuses to deal with her own past or how it might have contributed to the type of mother she's become. Wanting to help Norman but unable to, she's left hoping for any shred of encouragement she can get during a routine pap smear.

A Warning from Sheriff Romero

Dylan and Remo decided to head to Gil's when he doesn't answer his phone. They didn't expect to drive by a crime scene. Remo urges Dylan to keep going, but Dylan wants to know what's going on. After they learn Gil is dead, Romero is anxious for any information either man can give him that might help his investigation. Romero is aware of Gil's chosen profession, and it is apparently not only in the town's best interest, but his own, to figure out who killed him.

Remo tells Dylan he hasn't been in the business long enough to understand the implications of Gil's death. He's convinced this is a declaration of war on behalf of the competing operation in town. One thing is certain: Dylan is about to get a new boss.

A Powerful Town Resident is Revealed

As I suspected, Sheriff Romero knew the man in Norman's photo. His name is Nick Ford (Michael O'Neill), and he's the head of one of the town's two competing drug families. He plays for the other side that Remo and Dylan mentioned.

Romero catches up with Nick at the cemetery where he's been visiting his daughter Blair Watson's grave. Romero comments on not having seen Nick around, and Nick responds that he's been in mourning. It's also implied that father and daughter were not on good terms at the time of her death.

Romero breaks the news about Gil's death, and Nick immediately says that "we" had nothing to do with it. Nobody more trustworthy than drug dealers. Romero warns Nick that he may look the other way when it comes to certain agricultural matters, but he won't sit by and let things get out of control between the two families.

Nick's only response is how he wished Romero put the same level of effort in solving the murder of a school teacher as he does a big time drug player. Romero assures him he's working on it, but his daughter didn't live a simple life. Nick claims to be aware of his daughter's dirty little secrets, which viewers will have to wait to discover as the season progresses. Kind of a Twin Peaks-ish feel to her demise now.

Girl Gone

Norma sees a flyer in town promoting the local theater's upcoming production of the musical South Pacific. Norma asks Norman to audition with her. He's less than overcome with excitement at the idea. Norma tries her usual tricks, but when she gets overly clingy and handsy, Norman shrugs her off.

Norman receives a call from Bradley's mom wanting to know if he's seen or spoken to her daughter. He denies having had any contact with her. Norman tells his mom that Bradley's been missing since last night. This peaks Dylan's interest. In the same breath that Norma comments on how terrible it is, she wonders why Bradley's mother would bother him about it. Norman plays dumb and takes a keen interest in his sandwich, especially under the watchful eye of his older brother.

Dylan questions Norman later and says if he does know where Bradley is, Norman should tell him. He reminds his brother what her father did for a living. In an attempt to throw Dylan off the scent, Norman suggests that perhaps Bradley is dead. After all, she was suicidal. Dylan says he hopes that's not the case.

The New Boss

Gil's replacement shows up, and his name is Zane (Michael Eklund). He's a real go-getter. He tells Dylan they have to clean up the mess that Gil left behind. He says that Gil got himself killed and that calls for culpability, and they're going to address it.

Off, Off, Off Broadway Baby

As Norman nervously goes about his tasks to get Bradley out of town, his mother is relentless in her attempts to get him involved in the musical. Norman seems to get into the spirit of things singing a duet with his mother, but it could be he gets carried away in an attempt to distract her from what's going on under her own roof. He finally agrees to make an ass out of himself for his mother and audition.

An Unusual Suspect

Romero gets a break in the Watson case when they apprehend a suspect, Kyle, who was definitely hot for teacher. Faced with the news that his semen sample was found, he questions if his was the only sample. Turns out to be a big fat no on that one. But Kyle also sold tainted drugs that caused the death of three residents and murdered his girlfriend according to the sheriff.

Kyle isn't too concerned about all of Romero's allegations since he has no proof. He does tells Romero that Miss Watson was just a little bit slutty -- not a shocking revelation. Kyle claims she had "daddy issues." Romero decides to charge him with her murder. Unless someone better comes along, I think the sheriff will do whatever he has to do to make the charges stick. He's just got way too much to lose.

A Simple Plan

Norman hooks Bradley up. She's set to leave town with him and catch a bus further up the coast. She thanks him for everything he's done for her. Bradley says she always knew there was something special about him, and she wasn't wrong.

Dylan gets the 411 on the new guy at work. Remo says he fancies himself a character out of Scarface. Zane just happens to be the brother of the big boss. He also did time for being stupid enough to get caught speeding with a car full of dope.

Zane arrives with an employee of the other family in his trunk. Zane shoots the guy and tells Remo to drop him off in front of Nick Ford's house.

Maternal Instinct

While making Norman's bed, Norma comes across Miss Watson's pearls and a newspaper clipping about her death that Norman's been keeping as tokens. She doesn't immediately freak out but puts the items back where she found them instead.

Norma and Norman show up at the auditions, and it appears the entire town has turned out in the hopes of landing a part. As time passes, Norman grows increasingly agitated, since he's supposed to drive Bradley to the bus station. He tells his mother he has plans to meet Emma at the movies. He pitches a minor fit and stomps out when she suggests that he cancel.

Norma follows him, and Norman unleashes his wrath on her. He says she gets ideas in her head, and she gets hurt if they don't do them. Norma says she just wanted them to do something fun together. Norman points out that they already work, live and eat together. Not to mention the proximity of their bedrooms.

Norma says that she just wants to keep him close to protect him. Norma confronts him about the pearls, and Norman claims to have found them in his pocket after that night. Norma breaks down, repeating over and over, "I'm so scared." This fear is genuine. Norman tries to comfort her. He tells her he probably found the pearls at school during the dance and meant to turn them in. He's working his ass off to talk her off the ledge. Norman's desperate fear of getting caught doing any number of the things he's doing drives him to agree to go back into the auditions. This forces him to call Dylan for help. He tells his brother that Bradley killed Gil.

The Goodbye Girl

As Dylan and Bradley wait for her bus, he tells her she needs to write a suicide note. He lets her know that there's a really bad man looking for Gil's murderer, and she needs to be off the map. Bradley's bus arrives, and she leaves.

After killing it at her audition, Norma and Norman arrive home. Emma tells them that someone was arrested for Miss Watson's murder. Norma is ecstatic because now she can go back to burying her head in the sand when it comes to her son's sanity.

Dylan returns, favor accomplished, and gives his brother a note from Bradley. It simply states Norman's the best person she's ever known.

No sooner does Norma think she's got things under control does another threat to her carefully constructed ecosystem enter town: her brother Caleb. 


Bates Motel airs Mondays at 9pm on A&E.

(Image courtesy of A&E)



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