Bates Motel: Episode 102 ‘Nice Town You Picked, Norma’ Recap

Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates and Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates in BATES MOTEL (Image Credit: Joseph Lederer)
Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates and Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates in BATES MOTEL (Image Credit: Joseph Lederer)

In the first four minutes, Norman’s estranged brother shows up and a man practically burned alive drives into a ditch.  Bates Motel certainly didn’t disappoint in the second episode.  The man burned inside his car is Bradley’s father who unfortunately witnesses the accident.  According to the Sheriff, he owns a warehouse in town and someone burned it with him inside.  The car accident causes the police to look around the scene, outside the Bates’ property, and they find Mr. Summers’ (the rapist) truck.  After briefly questioning Norma about the truck they start a search, it is pretty clear that the Sheriff Romero is awfully suspicious of Norma.

We get a little glance into Norma’s past through Dylan’s (the other son) perspective of their history.  Apparently Norma had a first husband she met when she was 17 who is Dylan’s father, but she cheated on him with Norman’s father, Sam.  Sam she claimed to have fallen in love with and Dylan’s father was a youthful mistake thus the vastly different relationships with each son.  Norma tells Dylan she hates him but still insists he call her “mother.”  Dylan also implies that Norma killed Sam for his insurance money to buy this motel, which I think we all know is true judging by the first episode.  Norma is certainly no prize but she knows how to work it when she needs to charm a man.

Hello, Deputy Shelby – I knew him and Norma were going to hook up!  By the way, a mother changing tops in front of her teenage son (mind you underneath her shirt is a sheer lace teddy) is not weird… riiiiight.  This inappropriate occurrence clearly spurs something in Norman because he loses it when he sees Dylan’s phone ring with “The Whore” calling and it’s mother dearest.  Norman starts a fight he doesn’t win with Dylan and we see the first glimpse of his killer instinct.

Let me not forget the development of Norman and Emma (the girl with Cystic Fibrosis).  Emma and Norman are doing a language arts project together so she comes to his house to study and Norma meets her.  Norma takes interest immediately and asks her somewhat inappropriate questions about her disease and her life expectancy.  The look on Norma’s face seemed pleased that Emma may only live 10 more years, then she allowed the teens to go up to his room to study.  I think Norma imagines Emma as the perfect daughter in law, live long enough to possibly procreate with Norman then die tragically so Norma can comfort Norman and have him all to herself for the rest of her days.  Seems that Emma did have saucy thoughts about Norman, she took his Chinese masochistic erotica notebook and scanned it to translate.  Turns out it is a story of Chinese sex slavery right there in the Oregon coastal town, Emma is convinced the story is true and kisses Norman to seal the deal.  They venture together to solve the mystery in the forest.  Guess what they find instead?  A field of marijuana; the secret to the White Pine Bay economy.

Did I mention Dylan has a new job that involves using a gun?  The episode ends with a body being burned by the bay in the middle of town…apparently Norman isn’t just a product of his Electra-style mother, he’s also influenced by a corrupt town.  Keep watching Bates Motel on A&E…so far so good.

 



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BreAna Hansen studied Film & Media Studies at the University of California, Irvine graduating Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. She won two UCI screenwriting awards while earning her Bachelors and continues to develop screenplays in her free time. BreAna is a member of Women in Film Seattle and the Society for Cinema & Media Studies. She is also the creator and principle writer of A Girl with Glasses, an entertainment blog.

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