Bates Motel Season 2 Episode 4 – TV Review
He’s psycho, baby.
Sadly, not very strong in the upper body.
TL;DR Norman unsuccessfully tries to scare Caleb away (and goes psycho in the process); Dylan struggles with his new, inbred reality; Norma goes on a date with Christine’s brother, George; Emma has boy drama.
She’s just happy to get the screentime.
So the Bates family is still reeling from the “you’re an incest rape baby, Dylan” bombshell. Dylan reacts by first getting paralytic drunk (I approve), then moves onto attacking Norman by saying Norma is keeping secrets from him, too (I assume he means the true cause of Norman’s dad’s death?). After running into Caleb and Caleb giving him his money back, Dylan then almost believes that Norma was lying. But later comes to the conclusion that Norma used her pregnancy from Caleb to entrap her high school boyfriend (by claiming she was pregnant from him, not her brother) into marrying her. Norma mournfully denies all this. Because the creepiness aside, she’s a good mother, dammit. Meanwhile, she’s taken on a double date with George, Christine, and Christine’s beau. Things are awkward when the bypass is brought up, but George is a gentleman. Meanwhile, Norman gets closer to Cody (Checkout Chick). After he overhears Dylan and Norma’s fight, he unleashes his true psycho by attacking Caleb as Norma’s persona. It fails. Meanwhile, Emma is embarrassed about getting drunk around her weed dealer boy. And Romero tries to stomp Zane into line, but things continue to escalate.
Romero’s eyeliner is no match for Zane’s peroxide.
Yet another solid episode from Bates Motel. Vera Farmiga gets to shine her light on us again when she sincerely implores Dylan not to fuck her off and move out.
And with the first real manifestation of Norman’s future psychopathy showing, that’s a lock on this episode’s good stead.
Why I hate this episode:
Emma gets a boring romance subplot. She’s just lucky the guy’s cute.
Cody is turning into yet another inexplicably available girl for Norman to get involved with. Instead of getting mad about him not showing up after the party, she just gives him her number so he doesn’t forget next time. When she hears a vague description of his family issues involving Caleb, she suggests they go scare him using violence. When she finds Norman in a catatonic state following his psych-out, she walks him home instead of being like “Woah, weirdo.” She hasn’t banged him yet, so Bradley’s still got a leg up there.
Norma’s date with George is pretty meaningless. Firstly, Christine has to twist her arm to get her to go (Norma is all mopey over the Caleb business). Then all we see of the date is her getting uncomfortable when Christine’s beau is a proponent of the bypass, and George consoling her afterwards. She doesn’t even hook in with George when he drives her home. What a waste.
Norman’s attempt to stab Caleb is pretty tragic. Look how little you are, Norman. Now look at Caleb. There you go.
And while I delighted in his Norma persona stuff, I had to watch it through my fingers due to how awkward it was. I feel you, Caleb.
Dylan views Caleb’s return of his “investment” money as proof that Caleb is a good guy. Yeah, Dylan. Con artists are aware of how to cover their bases when they need to. Damn, man.
Oh, and Romero gets called to a building on fire at the end of the episode. I rewatched the scene several times, but I couldn’t make out the line saying what building it was. I would guess that it’s Romero’s house or something, and it’s Zane’s rebuttal to Romero’s earlier attempt to lay down the law? If you can help me, please do.
But it’s not all bad:
Romero does accurately peg Zane as the impudent, brattish, Little Man Syndrome sufferer that he is. He should have seen that retaliation coming, though.
The highlight of the episode is clearly Norman’s attack on Caleb. Awkward it may be, but he does channel Norma in an appropriately sinister way. Whipping out the knife was a good start, but it’s a shame he didn’t have the strength to put it to use. Caleb disarms him and kicks him in the ribs before fleeing. Better luck next time, Norman.
I think Norma really does love Dylan. When Emma and Norman bring him inside after he passes out drunk in his truck, Norma takes over nursing him. Because she cares. And when she’s begging him not to believe Caleb and stay at the house, well. She’s beautiful.
Dylan is the right balance of self-pitying and spiteful in regards to his recent news. His almost slipping to Norman of the secret Norma’s keeping (that Norman killed his dad) was a good move. Dylan makes sure not to tumble down the slippery slope of martyrdom, though. He’s just really fucked up that he’s found out he’s the product of brother-on-sister teen rape. Understandably.
Best line of the episode goes to Emma. Earlier, she woke up after having been drunk at the party to find herself semi-naked in bed with her weed dealer boytoy. She’s not sure if they had sex, and he later confirms that they didn’t. She’s not one to leave the wrong impression, though: “I do. Want to have sex with you.” Good. Go on.
Norman has a thing for girls with boys’ names, huh? Cody is a high school dropout (and apparently a thug). So Norma’s going to love that.
Norma makes sure to dodge Norman’s enquiries about the hidden truth Dylan implied. Smooth bitch.
Oh, and who knew Dylan was so beefy? Maybe Norma has her incestuous sights set on the wrong son.