“The Pit” is essentially what could be considered “the calm before the storm.” Granted, by the end of the hour, we’re already ramping up the energy and intensity… but it’s safe to say that the eighth episode of Bates Motel laid some pretty heavy groundwork for the final two hours of the season.
We last left our Bates crew with a mixture of happiness and dread, as Norma’s “last supper” took place. So begins the next morning, where Dylan comes to tell Norma that he’s heading back to the farm. (a.k.a., taking that gun-running job Chick told him about.) It’s sweet watching Dylan interact with Norma, and it also reads kind of like a last goodbye, which worries me. But then again, everything on Bates worries me, mostly because I feel anyone can go at any moment.
After he leaves, Norma goes to wake up Norman, and I will forever love the parallel shots of Norma and Norman lying awake in bed with their different expressions—always in tune, even when they’re not together. She’s as touchy-feely as always, but Norman’s in a strange mood that makes him jumpy and nervous. Before Norma can worry too much about his behavior, however, she gets distracted by construction sounds coming from outside.
Norma (being Norma) flies off the handle, demanding to know why a huge hole is being dug in front of her property. Apparently, it’s a pool (remember, part of the request she had given to Bob Paris when she met with him about the flash drive?) Norma is at first surprised, then excited, only there’s one small problem: There aren’t any papers or blueprints for her to look at. She’s got no idea what this pool is even going to look like, and the workers don’t seem too concerned about that. Norman arrives and throws his own version of a temper tantrum, shouting at Norma as he tries to find out what’s going on. Because, you see, Norman didn’t know Norma went to talk to Bob Paris. Or that she asked him about a pool. She didn’t check with her precious son on such matters, and Norman has again been left out in the cold. The whole conversation is more in tune with how a husband might interact with a wife, not the way a son might interact with his mother, and perhaps Norma should be worried about his behavior. But there are more important things to worry about. You know, like a pool.
Norma calls Bob because she wants to see the designs, but Bob’s out of the office at a “meeting.” That “meeting” is really an abduction of Finnegan, who gets taken and tied up as Bob and his town henchmen try to get him to talk. Bob wants his flash drive, and he’s convinced Norma told him about it when he went to his house. But Bob also needs leverage on her, and needs to know anything she’s told the well-meaning doctor. To his credit, Finnegan tries to hold out and doesn’t budge… until, you know, he gets a nail gun to the foot. Hilariously (except not really) as Bob returns a beat-up, tortured and clearly traumatized Finnegan to his home, Norma is chewing him out over voicemail, because she wants to know what he said to Norman that’s made him act strange. And that’s the least of Norma’s current problems. She’s also found out that the “pool” Bob has given authorization to be built is a hole that is 23 feet deep. Even Norma’s a little suspicious of the fact that a pool should not be that large.
But forget the pool for a moment—let’s talk about Romero. Romero, who decides to go through the trouble of getting Norma’s old car back. Romero, who doesn’t want anything in return, because he can’t stand the thought of Norma being sad. Romero, who also is not buying the fact that Bob is conveniently putting in a pool with no plans, that is also deeper than it should be. But Norma doesn’t care about that at the moment, because she’s got her car back, and Romero is being adorable about it… and we FINALLY get the Normero kiss that we’ve been teased with. Everything is wonderful. (Seriously, Bates fans. Take this moment and revel in it, because later, you’re going to need to remember how to feel happy.)
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