The penultimate episode of Bates Motel gave us a set-up that basically confirmed the fact that we know something’s going to happen—we just don’t know what.
We know someone will probably die. Whether or not it’s related, we know that someone probably is going to end up in that pit (come on, how can we not? Plus, we already got Bob’s ominous line of, “don’t slip and fall into your pool, you might never get out.”) But we’re not sure what’s really going to happen, and that uncertainty is what has made Bates so interesting this season. How many times have we watched a scene waiting for the inevitable, only to have nothing happen? In a show that can build the tension and then pull the rug out from underneath us, season 3 has given us a lot less shock factor and a lot more discomfort.
Last week, we ended with Norman stumbling upon Bradley (Nicola Peltz), the former flame who faked her suicide and disappeared. She’s returned because basically, her life is pretty much crap right now. It’s hard living on your own with no support system and no money. So, she doesn’t want to be dead anymore. She wants to come home. Like, she wants to tell her mom that she’s alive and everything, only she’s not quite sure how to do it…which is where Norman comes in. After sneaking her into the motel, Bradley casually drops the idea that Norman should be the one to tell her mother that she’s alive, because Norman has a great quality: He seems sweet and innocent. (Ain’t that the truth.) And since Norman is still easily swayed by his feelings for Bradley, it doesn’t take long for him to agree to her suggestion.
The two stake out Bradley’s house, in which Bradley watches her mother leave and realizes that while she’s been away trying to survive, her mom’s moved on—big time. She’s apparently re-married (or at least seriously dating), and Bradley’s not happy about it. She decides that she needs to go inside and find out what life has been like since she left. As it turns out, that’s not really the best idea. Sure, there’s a nice photo of Bradley pre-disappearance. But everything about her house has changed, and even her old bedroom is gone, replaced by an exercise room. That’s pretty much all it takes for poor Bradley to realize that coming back from the dead just isn’t that easy after all, and now she really is abandoned and alone. I may not have been Bradley’s biggest fan (or the biggest fan of the fact that she was seemingly brought back randomly) but I do feel for her.
While Norman and Bradley re-connect in what is probably the strangest way possible, Norma finds herself on a mission. She makes her way to Bob Paris’ house, mostly to try to convince him that what she told Finnegan was a lie. Bob is still suspicious of Norman, though, even after Norma offers to give him the flash drive—she just wants him to promise her that he won’t bring Norman in. Bob tells her that she doesn’t get to call the shots… and that Romero might be the one to bring him the flash drive before she does. Score one for Bob, because this clearly rattles Norma, and Bob gets to gloat that he might not be the bad guy as much as she thinks he is.
Norma finds Romero and yells at him (in front of all his co-workers, no less) for not answering her calls. She then asks for the flash drive and tells him that she talked to Bob, which Romero seems a bit surprised to hear. But Norma also believes that she’s owed something, so when Romero tells her he’s taken care of it, she gets even more upset. At this point, Romero is pretty much just done, and I can’t say I blame him. He’s kind of gotten the crappy end of every deal this season, right down to being shot.
NEXT: All In The Family…Drama