In this week’s episode of Bates Motel, Norman and Cody grow closer. Sheriff Romero checks into the motel. Norma partners up with Nick Ford to stop construction on the bypass. And Dylan gets caught in the middle of the town’s escalating drug war.
Norman comes to in Cody’s car after his most recent blackout. With the exception of the night of Miss Watson’s death (the events of which have yet to be revealed), Norman has only exhibited violent behavior. This time around, we see him embody his mother as a young girl, his empathy or imagination so strong that he ceases to be. Her day-to-day smothering now results in her persona gobbling him up entirely.
Norman has slowly been coming to terms with the fact that he’s got some issues and now has a confidant in Cody. This season, he’s keeping more and more from his dear mother, a fissure in their relationship that obviously is the beginning of the end.
Word Spreads Like Fire
Remo tells Dylan that someone set Sheriff Romero’s house on fire. He’s confident that Zane was the one who lit the match. These drug people are very big into burning things: people, houses, people.
It’s Always Been You and Me, Norman
Norma breaks the news to Norman that Dylan has moved out. Norman is ready to formulate a plan to lure him back, but Norma says there’s nothing they can do. There’s a part of her that’s glad he’s gone as well as a part that mourns the demise of their sickly entanglement. Norma tells her youngest that they need to move on. She’s still on edge. She should be relieved that one more skeleton is out of the closet, leaving room for some new frocks to wear on those dates with George.
Ashes to Ashes
As if he hasn’t been through enough, the sheriff has to take up temporary residence at the Bates Motel. This taciturn man now has to deal with a daily dose of Norma, and they aren’t off to a great start. As soon as she finds out someone burned his house down, her Asperger’s kicks in. You can always count on Norma to say the wrong thing. “What kind of crazy lunatic would torch your house? I mean, if I had torched your house, I’d be getting the hell out of town cause I figure you’d be coming for my ass. What are you gonna do about it?”
Gunner continues his pursuit of Emma despite being initially freaked out at her virginal status. He asks her on a date while Norman observes. Norman warns her that he sells pot, and she informs him she already knows. Emma’s just in it for a summer fling, but Norman can’t get past the whole drug dealer thing. It’s actually nice to see him showing Emma some attention. Emma doesn’t labor under the delusion that anybody is perfect unlike Norman (Bradley Martin). As if to emphasize Emma’s point, Cody pulls up.
Later, Mrs. Bates
It isn’t exactly love at first sight for Norma when it comes to Cody. Norman downplays their association saying she’s just giving him a ride to the theater, but Norma’s very particular of any young girls who come sniffing around her boy. Cody doesn’t help her cause by playing loud music, smoking and being generally disrespectful.
Emma, short one mother, goes to the only other conveniently located maternal figure for “the talk.” Not knowing that Norma’s first was her brother, Emma asks her boss what sex is like the first time. You might expect Norma to bristle at this particular topic at any time, much less given current events. But who can resist Emma’s earnestness? And that oxygen tank doesn’t hurt, either. Norma says that if you care about the person, and he’s a good person, it should be lovely. Notice she didn’t say it is lovely. It’s a very nurturing moment between Emma and Norma.
We find out Cody’s home life is less than satisfactory. So far, it looks to be your standard abusive father, absentee mother. The run-in puts her in the mood to skip building props and take Norman on a field trip instead.
The two head out into the great outdoors where Cody determines it’s Miller Time. Cody asks Norman if he heard her fighting with her dad, and he says yes. Cody tells him how lucky he is to have a good relationship with his mother. If she only knew.
Cody talks about her dream of hitching down the Pacific coast to Mexico. Norman tells Cody he feels safe with her. Of course he does. The chick travels with a tire iron.
Caught up in the moment, he confesses to Cody about his blackouts. She blows it off as no big deal, which is exactly what Norman wants to hear. Emboldened by the beer, he follows her deep in the woods and climbs a tree straight out of The Hunger Games. Norman lacks upper body strength but makes it to a tree house at the top at Cody’s urging. Risking his life and limbs pays off because Norman gets laid for the second time since arriving in White Pine Bay.
Never Take Candy from Strangers
Norma goes to meet with Nick Ford, her best and last hope for stopping the bypass. Norma still questions why Nick doesn’t go toe to toe with the town council himself, and all he’ll reveal is that things just don’t work that way. Nick says that because Norma has no position or power, she can go up against them. Good thing they’re meeting on his fancy yacht and drinking fancy wine because he isn’t exactly a sweet talker.
He can’t oppose them openly, because he’s got his hands in too many cookie jars. However, Norma is a single mother with everything to lose. Ford has got Machiavelli written all over him. He promises to help her maneuver her way through this battle and pull strings when he can. Not once does she stop to question what he has to gain or lose regarding the construction of the bypass. Norma’s like an abused dog finally offered food and kindness.
Nick writes down a name and tells Norma to go see him. Norma thanks him for his help, and it looks like, in addition to George and Christine, Norma’s managed to charm another resident.
Norma finds out the man in question is a biologist, and he’s conducted an environmental impact report with a request for an immediate injunction. All Norma has to do is file it at City Hall. Apparently, the proposed site for the bypass is also home to the Pistol River Pocket Gopher (sounds perverse). Norma is pleased as punch.
Zane takes a break from pissing off the local law enforcement to check in on Dylan and the gang. Zane asks Dylan to meet him for lunch, purposely sending Remo on an errand.
On his way out, he gets clocked by Romero. It looks as if Romero follows the Patrick Swayze philosophy from Roadhouse: be nice until it’s time to not be so nice. Well, that time has come. Romero beats the crap out of Zane and warns him that it’s just the beginning. He promises to bury Zane and his business. And you know what, I believe it.
Norma’s odd kinship with Romero continues. Returning home from her errand, she finds him filling an ice bucket for his wounded hand. Not content to give Romero the privacy he craves, she pushes and pushes in her usual way until he agrees to come to the house to get some medical care. It turns out she’s also doing his laundry. Between Romero and Ford, Norma is keeping some very strange bedfellows.
Too bad she and the sheriff didn’t get so cozy sooner because when she mentions the name Nick Ford, he warns her to stay away from the man at all costs.
Not the Right People
Zane meets with Dylan, barely fazed by the beating he took from Romero. Oddly enough, he figures he had it coming. As the two leave the restaurant, they become the targets of a drive-by shooting.
When the car circles for a second shot, Dylan meets it head on, literally. Fear not, there’s no way anybody’s killing off this hottie.
As expected, Norma lectures Norman about the dangers of girls like Cody. But it’s clear when she describes the lost teen as one of many girls “raised like a weed that are trapped in some unbearable circumstance they can’t get out of,” she’s describing herself. She says outside of the play, she doesn’t want him to see her. Norman gives in too easily, so you know it’s just one more secret he’ll keep from mother.
Norma’s wishes keep coming true, but at what cost? Will word of Dylan’s “accident” reunite mother and son? And will Dylan, long overdue for some lovin’, be putting in overtime with the boss?
Bates Motel airs Mondays at 10pm on A&E.
(Image courtesy of A&E)