This episode of Bates Motel has been about the best up to now, with Norman beginning to get into his Psycho persona I’ve been waiting and hoping for. I expected uncle Caleb to cause trouble of some description for the Bates’ but I didn’t think it would come in the form of breaking Norman’s tenuous grip on reality. Dylan is understandably upset and confused after the revelation of who his father was and the fact his mother was being raped by Caleb over a long period of time.
When confronted by Dylan, Caleb denies the allegation to a point, telling Dylan it didn’t happen the way Norma claimed, but how ultimately the sexual assault did occur, but perhaps not by Caleb himself. Are we then to believe Norma is the one who instigated the sex with her brother, or, is there some deep-seated secret to be uncovered at a later date? Whatever it turns out to be I’m sure it will be interesting.
Last episode saw Dylan being attacked by Norman for shouting at his mother and siding with Caleb, that is until Norma dropped the bombshell by telling him Caleb was his father. Emma wakes up in bed with a boy who she later discovers was checked into the motel by her while she was drunk. She didn’t even know if she’d had sex, which wasn’t the way she wanted to lose her virginity. After sneaking out of the motel room, Emma finds a vomit-covered Dylan, passed-out drunk in the front seat of his car. She wakes up Norman so they can take care of Dylan, and all the while Emma is asking Norman why Dylan is in that state. Norman ends up being angry at Emma for her persistence.
When Dylan finally wakes up he and Norma get into another argument, but nothing is resolved between them. Caleb visits Dylan where he returns Dylan’s money, and when Caleb is questioned about him being Dylan’s father, he denies it and tells Dylan it was someone else. Dylan is now very upset and doesn’t know who to believe, and when he sees Norma at home, they begin arguing again.
This scene was powerful with Max Thieriot and Vera Farmiga giving standout performances. Before this argument had taken place, Cody Brennan had noticed Norman’s strange mood, and after getting him to tell her about Caleb upsetting Norma, Cody persuades Norman to go to Caleb’s motel and threaten him. On the way to the motel, Norman keeps having flashes of a young Caleb forcing himself on his mother, but just before the pair reach his room door, Norman becomes very angry, warning Cody they need to go. Was Norman scared he would lose control?
When Norman returns home from the motel, he overhears his mother and brother arguing and upset because of uncle Caleb, and while he’s listening in we can see something change in Norman. He goes back to Caleb’s motel where he confronts him, but he doesn’t stand before him as Norman Bates, he’s taken on the role of his mother, accusing Caleb of raping him. Norman pulls a knife on Caleb but isn’t strong enough to tackle his uncle, who by this point is freaked out at Norman’s behaviour, and at the things he’s saying, as if he’s actually Norma. This scene was extremely good and gave us a glimpse at the Norman Bates we know from Psycho.
After Caleb leaves the motel, Cody finds Norman almost catatonic and takes him home. Cody seems to be taking Norman’s crazy behaviour in her stride, but we seen by her actions last episode she’s no stranger to weirdness. Sheriff Romero (who actually looks like a young Anthony Perkins) decides to put Zane in his place by reminding him he’s still a force to be reckoned with, however, the warning backfires and the Sheriff’s house is now in flames. This will no doubt cause a backlash, but Zane is a psychopath who doesn’t appear phased in the slightest by the Sheriff’s threats.
After this episode were left to ponder if Norma really was raped by her brother and if not, who is Dylan’s Father? Has Norman finally cracked and will he begin to kill women while imagining he’s Norma? Will Emma lose her virginity to someone other than Norman? Why does Christine have such an interest in Norma when she barely knows her, and is George the gentleman he appears to be? Perhaps George is crazy and Christine just wants her brother settled down. I don’t know about her but there’s something off.
TV Review by Lead Entertainment Writer, Ed Blackadder