Sorry about last week friendos. We have two episodes to catch up on now…up first last week’s “Nice Town You Picked Norma” followed by last night’s “What’s Wrong With Norman?”
I said in my review for the first episode of BATES MOTEL that I thought it had promise but I was wishing for more. Damnation did they deliver! It’s starting to get TWIN PEAKS up in here! Here’s a recap of last week’s episode first…
“Nice Town You Picked Norma”. At the start we see Norman’s big brother Dylan in the flesh. He has finally tracked down his mommy and has come to freeload, er…stay with her. I can tell already that he’s a bad news bear. Norman is hanging out with his gal pals from school when a car whizzes by and crashes into a ditch. It is Bradley’s father’s car. Don’t ask me why one of Norman’s love interests’ name is Bradley. Anyhoo she opens the door and her father is Kentucky Fried Crispy but still alive…for now. Sheriff Romero is on the scene and still has a bug up his ass about Norma and as Norma’s luck would have it he finds Keith’s pickup behind some brush next to the motel. Keith was the former owner of the motel if you recall. After the fuzz leaves Emma, Norman’s oxygen tank wearing friend comes over to work on a homework assignment. At first I could feel Norma’s jealousy growing but as soon as she found out that Emma had cystic fibrosis she cooled her heels. She had a very rude question for her though, “So what’s your life expectancy?” Damn Norma! While Norm and Emma are working in his room she spots the enigmatic journal that Norman found in one of the rooms of the motel. You know the one with the creepy drawings of girls chained and tied to things. She asks Norman if she can borrow it and he obliges.
Later Norma chats up Deputy Shelby in town and asks why the sheriff is such a big meany. He asks her to grab a cup of coffee and they flirt like nobody’s business but there is an uneasiness under the surface. In my opinion there is something pretty shady about Shelby. Shelby asks Norma to meet him at a lumber event that night and she accepts. When she tells Norman she’s going out he is not pleased. He wants to go with mommy! Their quasi-incestuous relationship grows ever creepier as she tries on two dresses in front of Norman giving him a glimpse of the lingerie underneath. “It’s not weird, I’m your mother!”. Indeed.
While mommy’s enjoying the wholesome men sawing logs thing in honor of the town’s lumber past, Norman and Dylan have a nice conversation. Just kidding! Norm sees Dylan’s phone ring and the caller ID says “The Whore”. When Dylan answers Norman is pissed to find out that that is Dylan’s moniker for Norma! The horror! Punches are thrown and when Dylan turns his back Norman picks himself up off the floor and tries to ambush him with, of all things, a meat tenderizer. Unsurprisingly Norman loses the fight. While Norm cries into his pillow he gets a text from Emma. She wants him to come to her father’s shop, now! I like the fact that there were many taxidermy animals on the walls…is this where adult Norman got the passion for stuffed animals? We shall see. Emma has been doing research on the journal and finds out that four young Chinese women were brought to the town to be sex slaves and one of them died of an overdose. Town lore says that the other three women were forced to take her into the woods and bury her body near a shed. Norman and Emma trek their way through the woods, Emma wheezing most of the way. I’m sure her doctor wouldn’t approve. While dreamily staring at the vast landscape they realize that the closest greenery they see is actually…wait for it…a pot farm! A huge pot farm! Two armed guards spot them and they are chased out of the woods and barely make it back to Emma’s vintage VW Beetle. I’m sure the armed guards won’t remember seeing an old orange bug later on, right? As they hightailed it out of dodge they actually saw an old shed and I can bet that Emma will want to go back to check that out.
Whew! The episode ended with Norma driving through town with police cars all around. As she slo-mo’s past Deputy Shelby she sees the cause for the commotion. There is a body hanging by it’s feet from a pole…and it’s on fire. Now we’ll move on to last night’s episode. If you haven’t watched it for hell’s sake don’t read on yet!
“What’s Wrong With Norman?”. Back at school Norman asks Bradley how her burned dad is doing. Not too well it turns out but she thanks him for the flowers he brought, which Bradley’s boyfriend intercepted by the way. Emma interrupts and asks to speak to Norm. She confesses that she didn’t really believe the folk lore about the sex slaves and just wanted to spend time with him…but as soon as she saw the shed she felt in her bones that the story was true. As Norman digests this information he stares down at the test on his desk. He sees it switch from an innocent test to drawings from the journal. His teacher sees him struggle and tells him that he knows the answers. He looks at her and fantasizes that she is tied up. Kinky! Then Norm blacks out. In the meantime Dylan meets a teary eyed employee of Bradley’s dad…at a strip club. When the man pulls a huge wad of cash from his jacket to pay for their drinks Dylan asks how he could make some serious dough. I guessed it would have to do with the Garden of Weedin’. I was right. He’s now a gun toting member of the team that guards five million dollars worth of the leafy greens.
As Norman fiddles around with the pulse-ox meter on his finger, Norma is called away from his hospital bed to sign for some carpeting…and I noticed they said they had some for five rooms…Norma and her son only tore carpet out of four of the motel rooms…is this important? Who knows? Maybe I’m just paranoid. Bradley, who was probably already in the hospital visiting crispy dad brings flowers to little Normie. She scoots into the bed with him and they watch an old movie. I just have one question…how the hell is Norman such a pimp?! He dresses like Mr. Rogers! While Norma is signing for the carpet Sheriff Romero barges in with a search warrant for the house. She freaks out and runs back to the hospital to check Norman out, against the doctor’s orders. She fills him in on things and as soon as he gets in the house he rushes to his room and looks under his bed. He explains to mama that he kept Keith’s tool belt. Smooth move Norman!
After Norma masks her anger over this stupid move she calms Norm by telling him that if the fuzz had found anything they would have said something. She finds Deputy Shelby and hints around at the subject. He coyly says he has something to tell her…over dinner…at his place. While Norma sips her Jack and Coke Shelby tells her that he found the tool belt and no one else knows about it. We can see where this is going can’t we? Blackmail sex and god knows what else. Back at Bates Manor Norm is anxiously waiting for his mama to return. Dylan shows up first and chides Norm for waiting up well past his beddy bye time. He tells him he forgives Norman for trying to tenderize him to death and strangely Norm has no memory of their fight.
Norma finally arrives home and says all is well. The next day at school Emma says she is going to show the journal to the police and Norm has a major freak out. After school he lies on his bed until well after sundown. He hallucinates that his mother sits on his bed and tells him to get the tool belt from Shelby so he can’t control her anymore. Of course he obeys and sneaks his way into Deputy Shelby’s suspiciously empty house. While in the master bedroom Norman happens upon a huge set of keys and as he turns he sees Shelby’s large viscous looking doggie. His skinny ass somehow manages to hold the beast at bay with a conveniently placed baseball bat and shuts the dog in the room. He makes his way to the basement door…which has two locks. He easily finds the key, out of dozens mind you, and descends the stairs. When he flips a switch it’s like a basement disco. As he navigates this freaky space he opens a second door and sees another bedroom. There is a bean bag on the other side of the room…and a pretty Chinese girl is laying on it. She pleads for help…Shelby arrives home…and end scene.
Is this one of the sex slaves from the journal? It would be quite a coincidence if it weren’t. Will Norman kill Shelby? Will he rescue the girl on the bean bag? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out. Thanks for reading…next week we’ll only have to go through one episode so it won’t be quite as novel-like as this review/recap. Let me know your thoughts on the show!
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