Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Bates Motel recap: Lights of Winter

Norman tries out life outside of Pineview. Norma tries out life without Norman.

Posted on

Cate Cameron/A&E

Bates Motel

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

In this week’s installment of “Norman goes crazy,” there were strippers. And break-outs. And makeouts! And someone needs to give Vera Farmiga an Emmy, or at least a Golden Globe already, because she’s doing work that’s far too outstanding to never be recognized. Freddie Highmore, too.

At Pineview, Norman is awaiting his morning wake-up and morning meds (and imagining his mother killing his dad, and imagining killing Ms. Watson.) He’s not happy about taking meds but relents when he learns he can’t leave his room without doing so. After pulling some Girl, Interrupted work to throw them back up, he runs into Julian, who basically is on a mission to have Norman become his BFF.

But Norman has more important things on his mind: namely an elusive private phone call. Julian can help with that! He breaks his new friend into the office for the night staff because butter knives are just great for that sort of thing. The call Norman wants to make is to Dylan to alert him that Norma is in trouble. Dylan is rightfully confused and concerned to hear from his brother, especially when Norman starts telling him how he’s getting out of Pineview and about how the police are going to show up now that everyone’s secrets have been spilled. Dylan placates his brother, who realizes that everyone thinks he’s the problem and that no one is taking him seriously. “The world has gone mad, but I’m not.” YET, Norman Bates. Not YET. Meanwhile, remember that nice night Norma and Romero had last week? Apparently they have to deal with the awkward post-sex morning talk. Norma, who was self-assured and willing last we saw her, is now hesitant and drawn back. But she agrees to Romero’s suggestion to open a joint checking account, and Romero asks Norma to come to the winter festival with him. Norma declines because she needs to visit Emma (and the moment of Romero finding out about Emma and Dylan was wonderfully sweet), but Romero can tell she’s holding back. And Norma realizes she is, too — when she finally leaves, she allows herself a moment alone where she seems to finally understand her true feelings for her new husband. (It’s about time. It’s been like, four seasons!)

WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.

At Pineview, they make you do things like talk about your feelings in group sessions, which Norman is absolutely not into. Besides, he’s being released today! Dr. Edwards comes to talk to him and assures him that they have reported Norma based on his accusations, but they need to continue working in the meantime…a.k.a he’s not leaving. Norman takes that as Dr. Edwards not believing him and angrily tries to leave, unsuccessfully. Julian rescues him from getting into more trouble and then promises he can get him out…that is, if he wants. Norma arrives to visit Emma, who is surprised and happy to see her surrogate mom. Dylan’s been keeping her in the loop about Norman, so she knows what he’s going through, and Norma admits how scared she is. Wise Emma tells her that maybe this is a good thing — a chance to be away from Norman, to be on her own, to think about herself. And you know what? For the first time in probably this entire series, Norma seems to agree.

NEXT: Tell me how to say no to this