In the Bates Motel recap, Norman decides it’s time to check out of the mental institution and his plan to come home again will ruin Norma’s fun time playing house with Alex…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Four seasons into Bates Motel and it’s clear Norman Bates is finally recognizing that there’s more than one person living inside his body.
What’s unclear is how much Norman understands it or wants to actually exorcise those demons, especially with everything he’s ever known or loved falling out from under his feet and the only thing that keeps him warm at night are the voices in his own head.
Norman finds out some unsettling news this week that sends him jetting to the front door of the Pineview Institute while Dylan discovers a deadly secret about his brother that might just land him in the line of fire as well.
Not to mention, Alex is finally getting closer to his wife while he thinks his problems connecting him to Bob Paris’ murder are about to move a few thousand miles away to Indiana. Of course he has no idea that his entire world is about to change when Norman walks back into his life and cozies right next to his wife.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of Bates Motel titled ‘There’s No Place Like Home’….
Love and Marriage
After fighting against therapy for the biggest part of this season, Norman is finally starting to realize that things aren’t all right inside his fractured psyche. Whether it was the death of his father or the unusually close relationship with his mother, Norman knows that there’s a demon living inside of him and it comes out whenever he can’t handle a certain situation.
Norman has finally opened up to Dr. Edwards and confessed that he can’t remember what happens during his blackouts and he’s even managed to reveal his alternate “mother” personality during sessions with his therapist.
Dr. Edwards has prescribed a new drug regimen to keep Norman’s emotions in check and it seems like he’s finally on the path to recover.
Of course that all comes crashing down around him when Norman is sitting in arts and crafts class building a paper mache dog to match the stuffed one he has at home and he finds pieces of a newspaper that put together form a photo.
A photo of his mother standing next to Sheriff Alex Romero and a caption underneath that explains that they are husband and wife.
There goes all that progress Norman has been making lately.
Back at home, Norma and Alex are enjoying some good morning sex because life has never been better for the two of them since they found each other. They are starting to fall into routines and truly falling in love with each other. Norma is so hopeful after her morning romp that she wants to star sprucing up the house with some new curtains she plans to sew from scratch while also exploring the idea to plant fruit trees in the backyard to really make the place pop with color while simultaneous giving her hotel an overhaul as well.
Unfortunately, Norma dashes her own plans realizing that all of this costs money and she certainly doesn’t have any of that right now.
To boost his wife’s spirit, Alex goes to the furnace and pulls out the bag of cash that he stashed there weeks ago — the money he stole from Bob Paris after killing him a season ago. Alex gives the money to Norma and tells her to spend it on the house and her hotel. He knows Bob Paris won’t come looking for it and there’s no better way to pay it forward than to let that bastard’s money go to good use. A karmic rebalancing as Alex puts it.
Norma agrees and kisses her husband passionately — things are finally starting to come together. That is until it all comes crashing down around them.
Piecing together the picture his mother with her new husband leaves Norman unhinged and he finally decides to confront Norma when he calls the house and Alex answers. The sheriff tries to play it off like he was just there on business, but Norman knows better.
When Norma picks up, her son hits her with the truth right away and all she can do is come up with every excuse in the book about Alex marrying her for the sake of his insurance and how this is nothing more than a union of convenience to make sure Norman is taking care of at the institute. Norman pretends to buy it, but in reality his mind is working at a million miles a minute to figure a way out of here.
Norman decides to ask the hotel for a discharge — considering he admitted himself voluntarily, he can leave on his own accord at any time, right?
Norman finds out that he must sign a letter of intent and the hospital has 72 hours to approve him for release or find an alternative to keep him inside. When Dr. Edwards finds him quietly typing away at a computer rather than sitting in group therapy, Norman does his best to control the simmering rage that’s boiling away inside of him as he explains that it’s time for him to go home and he needs the doctor to back him up this time.
Dr. Edwards certainly isn’t convinced that it’s time for Norman to go home and when he speaks to Norma about this scenario, she agrees. The only way to keep Norman inside Pineview is for the doctor to file an appeal with the courts to deem him a danger to himself or others. The alternative is Norma doing something similar with the courts, except she would once again become his legal guardian and could force him to stay as a patient as long as she sees fit.
As much as Norma believes Norman needs help to get better, she can’t go behind his back and get a court order so she decides talking and convincing him to stay admitted to the hospital is the best course of action for everybody. It turns out — shocker — that she’s not nearly savvy enough to deal with her sociopathic son.
Missing In Action
After finding a letter from Emma’s mother hidden away in Norman’s room a week ago, Dylan is concerned about what actually happened to Audrey Decody. Knowing that his brother blacks out and people around him end up dead, Dylan is already thinking about the worst cast scenario in his own head but he needs further proof.
The problem is only confounded when he finds Emma and her father fighting over a visit from her mother while she was in the hospital. Emma’s father is convinced that Audrey was never anything but bad news and she only came running to her daughter’s side when she was convinced that she was going to live thanks to the lung transplant. It seems Audrey got out of town when she found out that she was raising a child destined to die only a few years later. Now Audrey wants back into Emma’s life and her daughter is clearly considering that as an option no matter what her father says.
This makes Dylan even more determined to get answers and while he hopes to find a way to vindicate his brother, each passing moment only gets him more proof that Audrey checked into Bates Motel but she never checked out again. He calls her apartment complex and Audrey’s landlord explains that she left a few months ago and never came back again.
When Dylan confronts Norma about the letter and the computer saying that Audrey stayed at the hotel but never checked out, she finally confesses to almost everything. Norma explains that Audrey seemed a little unhinged and she refused to deliver the letter to her estranged daughter.
Dylan asks his mother why the letter was then found in Norman’s room and then he ponders the most disturbing question of all — was Audrey alone with Norman at any point? Dylan knows what his brother is capable of doing and no matter how much Emma is convinced that her mother was only reaching out to her as a way to steal more money from her father, he sees just how much she wants a relationship with Audrey regardless of her motives.
Now it’s up to Dylan to find out if Audrey left Bates Motel on her own accord or if Norman added her to the growing list of dead bodies piling up in White Pine Bay ever since he arrived.
I’m Coming Home
Alex believes he’s finally putting out the last fires left in the wake of Bob Paris’ death when Rebecca visits him at the sheriff’s station and tells him that she’s leaving town once and for all. Now that she’s cashed in on Bob’s secret lock box full of cash, Rebecca is heading home to Indiana to aid her ailing mother. Alex reminds her that she’s already on the FBI’s watch list after Bob disappeared but she assures him that no investigation will bear fruit, especially with her intentions so pure by taking care of a sick mother.
There’s no way that story doesn’t come back to bite Alex in the ass.
Meanwhile back at Pineview, Norma visits Norman in an attempt to convince him to stay hospitalized to get the help he needs. But Norma finds out in quick order that she’s not there to tell Norman anything because he’s got something that he needs to confront his mother about instead.
He shows her the paper clipping with Alex and her together as husband and wife. Matters were only made worse when the Pineview staff explained that his stay was paid for by Alex’s insurance — except the nurse referred to him as Norman’s stepfather.
Norman screams betrayal but his mother explains that it’s nothing more than a marriage of convenience for his sake. Norman isn’t sold but he uses the veil of betrayal to finally get one over on his mother and when he says that he’s ready to come home, she caves and says that she’ll back up his decision. Little does Norma know that by allowing her son to return home, she’s essentially putting her life and Alex’s life in Norman’s fragile, dangerous hands.
Finally, Norman puts on the performance of a lifetime in front of Dr. Edwards after explaining to his part-time friend Julian that he’s going home — not because he’s normal, but because he can feign normalcy and that’s something his disturbed psyche ward buddy will never be — much less able to fake.
When Dr. Edwards confronts Norman about his desire to leave, he explains how much better he’s gotten under his care and he believes it will only improve once he’s back at home, sleeping in his own bed with his mother only a few feet away. Norman promises to take his medication and see Dr. Edwards on a regular basis to continue his treatment as an out patient. Norman even breaks down and sheds a few tears because he doesn’t want Dr. Edwards to give up on him.
Seeking sympathy in the face of true strength is a powerful motivator and Dr. Edwards finally caves into Norman’s request as he agrees to sign his release forms and send him home. Of course, Norman hides the fact that he’s still flashing back and forth between reality and the “mother” that lives inside of him.
Back at the house, Norma walks into a happy house with a brand new 60-inch TV courtesy of her husband. All he wants is to celebrate his new life with a wife he loves while the two of them cuddle on the couch and watch old movies on brilliant high definition. Alex’s dream turns into a nightmare when Norma explains that Norman is coming home and they can no longer act like a happy, married couple because her son just couldn’t handle it right now.
The next day, Norman returns home but his mother doesn’t see the angst and anger living behind his eyes. She doesn’t know that Norman is quietly fantasizing about her and Alex having sex before his head fills with rage. She doesn’t know there’s a sociopath living inside of Norman and it looks just like her.
And by the end of Bates Motel, only one Norma Bates is getting out alive.
Bates Motel returns next week at 9pm ET on AMC with only three episodes to go this season!