In the latest Bates Motel recap, Romero tries to get closer to Norma only to find out a terrible secret while Norman continues to slip further and further away from reality…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It’s safe to say through the first two seasons of ‘Bates Motel’, Norman Bates was the primary character and while a lot of things went on around him, he always remained the central focus in most of the major plots involving the show.
In season 3, however, Norman has taken a backseat for many of the biggest moments that have happened, but it’s brilliant execution by the writers from ‘Bates Motel’ because they continuously play into his fractured psyche about how he’s being left out of his mother’s life, which is serving as a catalyst for his decent into madness.
It’s a subtle trick ‘Bates Motel’ has pulled off but take a few minutes and think back to most of the major twists and turns this season. Norman has been involved, but he’s mostly been on the outside looking in while he quietly slips away from each and every person he’s ever known or loved. Even when he tries to climb back from the ledge, something always seems to pull him back over again.
It’s something to think about as we approach the final few episodes of ‘Bates Motel’ this year, because Norman isn’t the center of attention right now and something tells me he’ll be back in the spotlight, dripping with ruby red from his fingertips, before this season is all said and done.
That said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Bates Motel’ titled ‘The Pit’:
Digging a Hole
Tonight’s episode started off sweet enough with Dylan telling his mother that he would be staying at the cabin for a few days, but not to worry about him and when he returned they would have that long awaited conversation about his brother. Norma is still beaming from the night before where everyone enjoyed a nice family dinner.
Her day perks up even more when she discovers that Bob Paris is coming through with his end of the bargain and building her a pool on the property. Of course he didn’t bother to ask where she wanted it or the plans that go along with the construction, but she’s happy there’s going to be a pool. It does concern her just a bit that no one on the crew has any clue what the dimensions of the pool will be or the finished construction plans but if she wants answers that’s going to have to go through Bob Paris.
She calls up her new pal, but he’s in a meeting.
The meeting he’s attending is a little question and answer session with James Finnegan, the psychologist Norma turned to after escaping her family for a night a couple of weeks ago. Bob isn’t asking nicely, however, and instead puts a nail through his foot to get the answers he’s requesting because even if the good doctor doesn’t know where Norma hid that flash drive, he definitely has some secrets she’s told him as a patient. Bob needs information to lord over Norma’s head and who better to give it to him than her part time psychologist/part time lover.
While Bob is beating the truth out of Finnegan, Norma is a little concerned about the big ass hole the construction crew is digging in the front of her motel. She can’t help but notice the hole is now 23-feet deep and really not all that wide, which means this clearly isn’t a swimming pool. To make matters worse, Norman is throwing a hissy fit because he wasn’t consulted on this whole pool plan and he doesn’t even know who the hell Bob Paris is (on the outside looking in, remember that).
Norma does get a bit of good news when Romero shows up with her old Mercedes as a gift. He went all the way to the dealership in Portland and bought the car back for her. She even gives him an almost kiss as a thank you!
As excited as Romero is to finally get a little of that Norma loving, he’s more concerned about this big goddamn hole being dug on the Bates Motel property. When Norma tells him it’s the pool she was promised by Bob Paris, he realizes this is something else entirely and he goes to pay a visit to his ‘old friend’ to find out what exactly this 23-foot deep pit is actually going to be.
Truth and Consequences
Secrets and lies always seem to find a way to seep out on ‘Bates Motel’ and this episode featured a lot of confessions.
After a talk with Dylan that got her feeling all warm and fuzzy, Emma realized it was time to break up with Norman. She doesn’t mention that she’s crushing on his big brother, but instead says that every time they were together it was almost like he was somewhere else, focused on someone else (she’s right). Norman gets upset and leaves, but really he’s barely been with Emma for weeks so it’s not like this is a shock.
Next up is Romero, who goes to see Bob Paris to find out what he’s doing at Norma’s hotel. Instead of getting the truth about the pit, he receives some rather interesting information about his new gal pal.
Bob reveals that Norman is the person who killed his father and it wasn’t an accident, but Norma covered it up. He also brings up Romero’s shit bag deputy and the police report he clearly doctored to make it look like he’s the one who killed him despite the death taking place on the Bates’ property. All Bob really wants in the flash drive back and for Romero to return to his team.
Romero shuts him down, but he’s got bigger problems now — like Norma lying to him non stop since the day they met.
Finally, it’s Norman’s turn to confess and he decides to tell his mother the reason for his awkward behavior lately.
In his conversation with Finnegan, the doctor asked if he was sexually attracted to his mother and Norman is curious if that’s actually what’s wrong with him. Never mind the fact that when she was staring out the window earlier at the new pool being constructed he was staring at her ass, but still he wants her to know he might be having these feelings.
Norma quickly shoots him down and says this is just normal behavior for an 18-year old boy. Sure, maybe stares at her breasts when she’s showing some cleavage but that’s totally regular! Side note — no the hell it’s not!
Their conversation ends with the two of them hugging a little too close on the bed together and Norma telling her son that no matter what happens it’s always going to be the two of them together. Other people come and go, situations change, but Norma and Norman will always be there for each other through good times and bad. A boy’s best friend is his mother after all.
Father and Son Road Trip
Dylan loads up a truck with Chick’s illegal guns so he can drive them to Canada and collected the $25,000 it will take to save Emma’s life. Caleb tells his son that he’s going with him or he’s not going at all.
Caleb also secretly hides a gun on the side of the truck because you never know when you might need one stashed when dealing with illegal arms dealers. He’s right, you know.
On the trip up, Dylan asks if his father/uncle is going to leave town soon and Caleb says he has to because it’s not right to stay this close by knowing Norma really doesn’t want him around. He also knows Norman hates him with a fiery passion so that doesn’t help much. He also confesses to his son/nephew the reason he had a warrant out for his arrest.
It was a truck hijacking job, but in the middle of it the driver got scared and they had to beat him up. Now the cops identified him as the stick up man and they are on the hunt for him back wherever he’s from.
Once they arrive at the location, Dylan and Caleb’s contact wonders why Chick didn’t come with them but eventually sends them to the place where the exchange will take place. When they arrive, Dylan and Caleb are taken hostage and the gun runners explain that the last three people who did business with Chick Hogan all ended up in prison. So this latest shipment was a trap to get Chick up to Canada where they would steal his guns and then leave him dead on the side of the road.
Since Chick didn’t come along, they’ll have to make do with Dylan to send him a message.
Before they can execute him, Caleb pulls the gun and a firefight ensues. Caleb and Dylan manage to kill off enough of the men so that they can get back in the gun truck and make a run for it. As terrible as it was to nearly get killed, now Dylan has to go back to White Pine Bay with a truck load of guns and no money to help Emma get her surgery.
He’s going to feel even worse when he gets back and sees that Emma came to the farm and left him some flowers and a batch of homemade brownies along with a sweet note attached. Yep, Dylan’s gonna feel like shit when he returns.
Truth and Consequences Part 2
They say the truth will set you free, but it can also set off a chain reaction of events that will leave everybody in White Pine Bay feeling rather morose when this episode is over.
Romero decides to go to Norma and ask her about the day her husband died and what really happened. It seems like he’s ready to forgive her so long as she’s willing to tell the truth.
Norma sticks to the ‘shelf fell on the husband’ story and Romero calls her on it. He leaves with his mind set on never returning because not only was Bob Paris right, but the one person he grew close to can’t stop lying to him. Before going anywhere else, Romero looks in his hand and sees the flash drive that he took from Norma and makes a call to the local district attorney. He’s either turning Norma in (not likely) or turning over the evidence that will get Bob Paris put away for life.
Meanwhile, Romero’s visit prompts Norma to go see Finnegan to find out what secrets he’s been spilling despite his promises of doctor/patient confidentiality.
When she arrives, Finnegan has packed his car and he’s making a run for it. He’s done with this town. She manages to stop him long enough to see that he’s been beaten to a pulp before Finnegan confesses (again) that he told Bob Paris and his men everything, including the fact that Norman was the person who killed his father.
Norma races back home and breaks the bad new to Norman — more people than just us know that you killed your father.
Norman freaks out for telling such a valuable secret to a complete stranger before banging his brains out. I’m not completely sure what he was more upset about — the fact that his mother told him about the murder or the fact that she slept with Finnegan. Either way, Norma lashes out as well and tells Norman that his constant battle with psychosis is going to be the death of her (little does she know).
She apologizes almost immediately and leaves Norman to the basement where he’s surrounded by all his best friends — aka dead stuffed animals.
When Norma leaves, Norman looks up and guess what — mother isn’t actually gone after all. She’s standing in front of him wearing that sun dress he likes so much (the one he sniffed and then hid under his bed). Norman gets a little handsy with mother before running away after realizing what he’s feeling right now.
Norman gets out of the house before looking back up to the silhouette on the third floor — it’s his mother staring back at him. You know, something akin to this — look familiar?
Even he’s starting to realize he’s cracking up just a little, but that doesn’t last long before he’s chasing his dog Juno up the street because he’s running away. FYI — Juno is long since dead.
When Norman finally gives up and can’t find Juno anywhere, he spots a running car sitting stopped in the middle of the road and there’s a girl standing with her back to him. When she turns it’s Bradley and she recognizes Norman immediately before the two former high school lovers catch each other’s eyes in a real moment of need for both of them.
Norman needs someone to put him first. Bradley may have no choice but to turn to Norman.
It’s a match made in heaven.
Tune in next week for another new episode of ‘Bates Motel’ starting at 9pm ET on A&E.