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'Bates Motel' recap: 'The Last Supper'

Tensions rise when Norma tries to get Norman help. Dylan and Emma’s bond continues to grow, and Romero makes a startling discovery about the flash drive.

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Joseph Lederer/A&E

Bates Motel

TV Show
Mystery and Thriller
run date:
Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore
Current Status:
In Season

“The Last Supper” felt like classic Bates Motel, in that we got an episode filled with some of the heaviest storytelling…but also some of the show’s most tender moments. It was unclear how the show would move forward in the aftermath of Norma’s return—clearly, the affect that that her leaving had on her sons needed to be addressed, but with only three episodes left after tonight, Bates also had to move the story forward in a way that could set up the last few hours of the season.

In opening with Dylan and Emma, we sort of bring to light a story line that was nudged at last week—a friendship that, after tonight, might end up being more than a friendship. That’s purely speculative on my part, but as I’ve said before, I can absolutely see that relationship happening… if nothing else than to provide another instance for Norman to unravel.

At any rate, Dylan wants to take Emma to dinner as a thank you for staying and helping during Norma’s disappearance. They’re interrupted by Emma’s slightly uptight dad, and it’s clear that Emma’s more than a little embarrassed at how much she’s being coddled. But it’s interesting to me that the show used tonight to demonstrate three different kinds of protective parents: Emma and her dad, Caleb and Dylan, and Norma and Norman. All are trying to protect the people they love in different ways, even if, according to Norman, his mother is the only one treating him with such security. 

Meanwhile, Norma’s at the phone store with Norman. Norman’s basically grilling his mother about what happened the night of her disappearance—where she went, who she saw. But Norma isn’t really paying attention, because with her phone back in commission, she finally gets to see the dozens of text messages from Dylan… as well as the one from Romero about being shot. Clearly, this onslaught of chaos is the last thing Norma expected after disappearing. “Can I get into a mood for one night without the world coming to an end?” Apparently not, Norma. Apparently not. (Vera Farmiga’s reactions and lines in this episode were gold, by the way.) When Finnegan makes a phone call to check and see if Norma’s okay, Norman grabs the phone before his mother can. He basically overhears Norma implying that she did something with him during the night, but because it’s Norman, he pushes his emotions under the surface and acts calm. Good ol’ Norman. 

Norma gets the surprise of her life when she gets back in the house. Romero’s waiting for her, and wants to know where she’s been. Norma really needs to get the message people are actually worried about her, and for good reason. The two end up in another heated argument about who shot Romero, and how Norma could be in danger because of what they did with the flash drive. Romero wants to know where the flash drive is and call it defeat or call it trust, but Norma actually tells him. In fact, she tells him where it is specifically, who she gave it to, and who can open it. I never thought I’d see the day when Norma stopped protecting that flash drive while knowing it could be a big part of getting her out of her life in White Pine Bay, but maybe a drunken night puts things in perspective.

Anyway, Romero arrives at the farm, much to the dismay of Caleb and Gunner—because friend or not, a sheriff van is not what you want to see rolling up to your weed farm in the middle of the day. Gunner gives him the flash drive and opens it after Romero basically cuts to the chase about why he needs it. Seriously, I am really enjoying this new side of Romero. It’s so nice to see Nestor Carbonell having more to do this season and the writers giving him another layer to play with.

Dylan tries to approach Norma again to bring up Norman’s blackouts. “That’s nothing new for Norman,” Norma scoffs when Dylan tells her about how he found him in the basement with one of his dead pigeons. Well, of course not. Your son is Norman Bates. But Dylan lays it all out on the table, alerting Norma to Norman’s creep-tastic behavior when he cooked dinner in Norma’s robe. And at least, to her credit, Norma looks a little freaked out about it.

Good. We’re making progress. (Maybe.)

NEXT: Growing Pains