Bates Motel Season 2 Episode 7 – TV Review
Well, Bates Motel’s second season’s seventh episode survived the curse laid down by its predecessor.
And in style.
TL;DR Norman gets away with murder; Cody leaves town (Norman’s girlfriends have a habit of doing that); Norma and Norman’s relationship becomes strained; Dylan is unable to stop Zane from being a fucking dickhead and stirring more shit with the rival drug gang.
Considering how congenial Nick is with his allies, I look forward to how pissed off he’s going to be with his enemies.
The plot mostly comes to rest at the White Pine Bay sheriff’s station this episode, as Norman gets hauled in after kiling Papa Cody. Luckily for him, it was actually mostly self defence, and Norman didn’t black out, so the investigation settles on ruling it an accident. But not before Norma spends some time frantically stressing about Norman’s blackouts becoming known. She begs Cody not to tell the authorities about them. And she doesn’t. She just tells Norman about Norma’s worries, instead, which leads to him confronting her. Norma absolutely refuses to discuss it, and a division is born. Meanwhile, Dylan finds it difficult to implement Kathleen’s instructions to watch out for/manipulate Zane into doing the sensible thing. Mainly because Zane knows what Dylan’s been tasked with and is an uppity brat who is an idiot. So he takes his posse to go attack Nick’s warehouse. Dylan gets clocked and passes out on the grounds, so I’m expecting he’ll be in for a rude awakening. The episode ends with Norman’s DNA swabs testing positive for another case in the system: the semen inside Blair Watson’s dead body.
That dirty paedophile.
So this week gives us yet another quality Bates Motel episode.
I do find it frustrating that Norman has lost another girlfriend to an abrupt fleeing of White Pine Bay due to their father’s death (Cody did a little quicker than Bradley did).
Emma’s dad better watch his back.
Why I hate this episode:
Zane is a fucking twatbag. Apparently he can learn his lesson about fucking around with the sheriff after a swift arse kicking. But a drive-by from the opposition isn’t enough to deter him from escalating things with a literal gang of opponents. Jesus Christ, Zane. Kathleen really needs to just kill you. No amount of Dylan whispering good ideas in your ear can fix the mess that is you.
Not one to let Zane hog all the inappropriate emotional response action, Norman apparently isn’t that fazed by seeing a guy fall down a flight of stairs to his death. It’s got nothing on having to sit in a closet for 5 minutes, evidently.
Dylan is a bad big bro to Norman. Emma tells him to get his butt over to the police station to support Norman and Norma, but Dylan is like “But I don’t wanna wah.” For fuck’s sake, Dylan, Rape Baby-gate was, like, 3 episodes ago. Get over it, already.
Romero is uncharacteristically sympathetic towards Norman’s situation and all but sweeps any suspicion under the rug. I suppose that leniency plays nicely into his sexual tension with Norma, but it didn’t feel right.
Cody is more upset over her dad’s death than I expected. So ungrateful to Norman, too.
Norman is jealous of George’s relationship with Norma. Either make a move already, Norman, or shut the fuck up.
Oh, and I’m getting pretty tired of Zane’s Little Man Syndrome. I hope he died in the gunfight at the warehouse just so I won’t have to endure his peroxide and self-righteousness anymore.
But it’s not all bad:
Dylan does his best to uphold his deal with Kathleen. But to Zane’s credit, he is onto that shit hard and fast. He knows Dylan had sex with Kathleen, too, and makes it clear that Dylan isn’t the first underling she’s bedded. He half-heartedly warns Dylan to be careful of getting used up and tossed out by her. I can see that happening.
Zane’s decision to act recklessly seems to be in defiance of Kathleen’s approach. If he didn’t die in the gunfight, I would love for Kathleen to take the initiative and whack him herself.
I’ll give Dylan some points for standing up to Zane and refusing to get involved with the warehouse operation. He gets knocked out and left in the dirt for his caution, but knowing how psychotic Zane clearly is, it was ballsy. Dylan’s partner didn’t have the same stoicisim, and grudgingly agreed to participate in the gunfight. I suspect he will not be coming out alive.
Norma is the star of the episode, which is nothing new, baby. Her frantic concern for Norman’s secret is so sublime. She risks a lot when trying to get Cody to agree to keep her mouth shut, and predictably, it comes back to destroy her.
Norma’s absolute refusal to discuss the implied secrets about Norman’s blackout past (ie. him killing his dad) is achingly tragic. She’d rather have Norman mistrust and hate her than reveal the horrible, horrible truth to him. God, she’s the best mum ever.
While she’s waiting at the police station, she also makes up a narrative of what happened between Norman and Papa Cody in her head wherein Norman was an innocent angel and Papa Cody was a Hitler/Satan hybrid. To try and reassure herself. It’s what any good parent would do.
George offers his support and legal expertise to Norma. Romero also keeps up the shipping front by being very understanding and gentle with Norma. He’s the one who goes to the council to pick her up and take her to the station. I’m keeping my money on Romero, I think.
Emma proves herself a valuable ally to Norman. While he later bitches her out for telling Norma about the recent blackouts, he does thank her for believing in him. The UST is strong.
Best line of the episode goes to Emma when she’s attempting to convince Dylan to go down to the station. He refuses, and she uses the power of sarcasm and indignation: “Of course you can’t. So don’t go. Don’t help. Don’t do anything. You know, I wish I had a mother and a brother I could treat like shit.” All she needed was a mic to drop.
I’ll give Norma an honourable mention when she’s infuriated by Romero not allowing her to accompany Norman for questioning (at Norman’s request, mind you): “You’re gonna patronise me? I’ve done your laundry!” The next step from handling a man’s pants is getting into a man’s pants.
One of Romero’s deputies is extremely zealous and thorough, which Romero seems to find annoying. Her zeal turns out to be useful when they match Norman to the mystery semen from Miss Watson’s body. Looks like Norman’s presumed innocent status will be revoked.
A fellow city councillor appears to be suspicious of how Norma got the job. The stuff with Papa Cody interrupts that, but we’ll see how that develops next episode.
Oh, and Cody just up and leaves White Pine Bay to live with her aunt. Her farewell to Norman is a bit hurried.