In the latest Bates Motel recap, Norman struggles to deal with his mother after he believes she’s all but accusing him of killing Annika….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Did he or didn’t he?
That was the big question following last week’s episode of ‘Bates Motel’ because all the signs pointed to Norman killing hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold Annika after driving her to a bar and then arriving back at the motel with her car by himself.
The good news is the body that was floating in the creek last week didn’t turn out to be Annika at all and was instead another high priced escort that was left dead in White Pine Bay. While this gave Norma a slight touch of relief to know that it wasn’t Annika, it still didn’t answer the question where was the tenant from room No. 4?
The floating body also makes things tougher on Sheriff Romero when he heads back to the Arcanum Club to investigate and runs into what we have to assume is a powerful local business man named Bob Harris. It seems Bob is the man in charge of these elaborate sex parties at the club and he hires the women who come in to service the members (no pun intended) at these big gatherings. Romero wants to know if anyone was missing while telling Bob that he’s not afraid to go after him if need be. Bob answers back by saying that Romero should probably worry more about the fact that he allowed a drug war to escalate to the point where the DEA came in and destroyed the biggest cash crop the town had.
To make matters worse, Bob even threatens to get rid of Romero all together at the next election. His fears start to come to fruition when an ambitious man from Missouri walks into the police station announcing himself as Marcus Young — the other candidate on the ticket to become sheriff of this lovely little northwestern hamlet. His exchange with Romero is anything but friendly and it’s clear battle lines are drawn.
Meanwhile, Emma decides to sex things up a little bit before going into work to see if Norman notices her new attire and boy does he perk up when she arrives. Well as much as Norman perks up about anything. Emma’s desire for attention falls by the wayside before long, however, as her attention turns to the van that pulls up to the hotel with a mountain of marijuana plants meant for Dylan’s new farm. The delivery person says this is as far as she goes and either the plants stay here or they go back with her so Emma takes them and decides to drive them up to Dylan herself.
At the farm, Dylan is building a barn with Gunnar and Caleb when they realize that to get the proper protection and security for the structure, they need better wood. Caleb offers to spend his last chunk of cash upgrading the frame from pine to cedar, but Dylan says thanks but no thanks. Things only get weirder when Emma arrives with the plants and meets Caleb for the first time. She knows it’s Norma’s brother and she’s well aware that dysfunctional is the most complimentary word she can come up with when describing the Bates’ twisted family tree.
Dylan begs Emma to keep it a secret that Caleb is staying and helping him and she agrees. While Emma continues to pine for Norman’s affection, there’s always been a tension that exists with Dylan that despite an age difference seems to suggest that these two should be together instead of the younger Bates brother. Just an observation.
Back in town, Norma is attending her first day of classes but accidentally wanders into a psychology class (that’s an omen if I’ve ever seen one) and has a bad encounter with a professor who immediately rubs her the wrong way both before and after she realizes she’s in the wrong room. After she leaves school for the day, Professor Finnigan (played by Joshua Leonard aka one of the guys from ‘The Blair Witch Project’) stops Norma to apologize for being rude to her earlier.
Amidst his apologies, he also notes that damaged people can almost always seek each other out and he knows there’s something Norma would probably like to talk about but just hasn’t done so yet. He hands her a card and says to give him a call and while she tosses it out at first, Norma eventually picks it back up again before leaving the school.
Back at home, Romero shows up to quiz Norman about his last night spent with Annika while also revealing that he got the information from his mother. Norma tries to interfere and play attorney/mother, but Norman quickly tells her to get gone because he has nothing to hide.
Romero asks him about his time spent with Annika and whether or not he knew she was a prostitute.
Romero: “Did she tell you she was a prostitute?”
Norman: “She told me she was working at a party, I didn’t think she was a magician.”
Well done, Norman, well done.
Long story short, Norman doesn’t cop to the murder and he honestly says he has no idea where Annika disappeared to after he left her at that bar a few nights ago. When Romero leaves, Norman snaps at his mother because he now knows her entire curiosity about Annika was because she believes he murdered her just like Blair Watson. When Norma got all dressed up to go to the party, it was so she could see if Annika was alive or dead. When she told Romero about Norman spending the last night with her before she disappeared, Norma was as good as telling the sheriff that she suspected he was guilty.
Norman flies of the handle and for a brief moment the calm, creepy demeanor melts away and the psycho living inside starts to seep out.
When Norman goes to the bathroom, he sees his mother standing in the room behind him but it’s not the Norma we just saw scolded seconds earlier for suspecting her son was guilty. No, this is the vision of Norma that he saw moments before he murdered Blair Watson and the same one that visited him when he was locked in a box by the drug magnates last season. And in that moment, Norman confesses that he really doesn’t know what happened to Annika because he can’t remember.
So the vision of Norma tells him to go back to that same dark place where he was locked up in a hole for days to find the answers. Instead of subjecting himself to torture, Norman instead gets into a warm bath drawn by his ‘mother’ after she disrobes him (ewwwww even if it was just a dream) and he sinks his head under the water to get clarity on what actually happened with Annika.
He flashes visions of every woman in his life from Emma to Annika to Blair Watson to his mother, but nowhere in there does he see himself murdering the prostitute who just moved to White Pine Bay. When Norma becomes concerned because she doesn’t hear a peep from Norman, she breaks into the bathroom and finds him submerged in the water, nearly dead and passed out. She revives him and wonders why he did what he did?
Norman goes to bed but still questions whether or not he’s the man responsible for Annika’s disappearance.
Moments later as Norma locks up the hotel a car pulls up and as she walks outside, there is Annika alive and well…sort of.
Annika stumbles closer to her before collapsing in Norma’s arms. She’s been shot and not looking good. She hands something to Norma and tells her to use it for the good of herself and her son before she finally expires. Norma calls for help, but it’s clearly too late. In the palm of her hand, Norma sees that Annika handed her a mini harddrive, which then of course begs the question — what is on there so valuable that somebody would kill Annika for it?
Welcome to our plot twist for season 3 of ‘Bates Motel’