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'Bates Motel' recap: 'Refraction'

Posted on

Cate Cameron/A&E

Bates Motel

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
3
performer:
Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore
genre:
Mystery and Thriller

Last week, we ended Bates Motel with something good (Romero and Norma finally getting comfortable enough to be open with each other) and something bad (the fact that they returned home from the Light of Winter celebration and found Norma’s home broken into). While Romero cleans up, Norma’s understandably shaken. She can’t figure out why she’d be a target given how low-profile she’s kept herself; she’s worried it’s Bob Paris. Romero is CERTAIN it’s not Bob, but, well, only we know why. He makes up a story about people in the drug trade having it out for him still, and Norma leaves the motel to drive into town to ask about her broken stained glass window. She’s followed by a beat-up car, which we learn contains Chick (beat-up and limping and looking absolutely terrible), who stalks her into the store and learns what she needs and where she lives.

Meanwhile, Norman is talking to Dr. Edwards… and actually being a good therapy patient. He’s taking responsibility for his actions and he’s talking about his blackouts, and it’s probably the most astute and responsible we’ve seen Norman since the start of the series. He does drop that “my mother and I have a very typical teenage boy/mother relationship, I think.” I think not, and so does Dr. Edwards, who is suspicious of that wording. Norman explains how the reason for their closeness is because of his dad’s death, so they had to be close because they only had each other. Edwards soon realizes Norman’s problem IS his mother, and, hey, took someone long enough!

Norman asks if he can make a phone call to his friend, Emma, which Edwards allows. But are we surprised that he really calls Norma? At least his message is somewhat emotional and genuine — he tells her he really is working hard to get better. Later, Dr. Edwards receives a call from the police about Norman’s accusations and says they’re not grounded in reality. That’s just as well because Edwards tells him Norman denied the claim anyway.

As for Dylan? He’s finally bringing Emma home to her dad. He shyly (and adorably) asks if she needs help undressing and man, I love their relationship so much. Emma, all confident now without her oxygen tank, tells him he has to wait 4-6 weeks to, you know, do things… but sure, he can see her naked eventually. When Dylan leaves, Emma’s dad offers him an invitation to dinner. He turns it down on the grounds of having an early job interview for an assistant manager position for a hop distributor (I mean, not a bad job…). He’s unsure about his experience, because you can’t really put growing weed on your résumé, and Emma’s dad encourages him to lie. Because, hey. Why not?

But Dylan doesn’t lie. He goes in and tells the guy straight out that he was growing weed, given that occupations in White Pine Bay didn’t really lend themselves to anything substantial. I kind of love Dylan being so honest. The character has come such a long way since the beginning of the series, and it’s been a delight to watch.

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Chick comes to Norma’s house claiming he’s from the hardware store and can help with the stained glass window. Norma is a little wary given Chick’s state, but lets him in anyway because she’s Norma. (To be honest, he does sell himself, and how many people in White Pine Bay know about stained glass, anyway?) He feeds her a story about a dog and a car crash to explain for his physical appearance, which Norma also buys.

Back at Pineview, Norman is alone after experiencing a creepy run-in with his recently returned friend Julian, only to be interrupted by Norma. Good timing, Norma! Norma asks how therapy is going, and asks what he’s being instructed to talk about. When Norman mentions his dad, Norma’s firm in telling him he doesn’t have to talk about things that make him upset or that hurt him.

NEXT: Secrets and lies

[pagebreak]

Chick returns to the motel later that night with a whole new pattern for a stained glass window, and Norma is genuinely touched because no one has never made her anything before. Seriously, my heart aches a LOT for Norma Bates and the fact she just needs someone to love her. Chick mentions knowing Caleb and Dylan, and Norma freely admits that Caleb is her brother. Which is… probably not good.

At Pineview, Norman is again having what seems like a decent session. He’s being helpful in group — he’s in a good mood, and why? Oh, because Norma came, that’s why! Edwards gently asks if it’s possible Norman imagined his encounter with his mother, but Norman is firm in his belief that this meeting was real. Edwards tells him that he knows Norman called his mom when he was meant to call Emma. He also tells him that they get a log of visitors every day… and Norma wasn’t on there. That upsets Norman even more, as he believes Edwards is checking up on him, and that he’s crazy. He freaks out and tries to leave, but Edwards manages to talk him down enough to finish his session in peace (I swear Edwards is not getting paid enough for this). Edwards asks what Norman thinks of, well, Norman. “I think he’s a weak boy who is easy to take advantage of,” Norman answers. But if Edwards wants to know what’s wrong with Norman, he should ask the person that knows him best: “me.” Yes, Norman has slipped into Norma mode WHILE in Edwards’ office. So, at least other people are seeing his issues.

Romero confronts Rebecca at a diner, claiming she trashed his house, and Rebecca admits she just doesn’t want to go to prison. Later, Rebecca shows up at the sheriff’s department apparently super upset about the fact he got married, since he said he never would. Romero returns home to find Norma playing the piano, and she tells him she found an amazing guy to fix the window. Also, hey, did he kill Bob Paris? Romero doesn’t answer, but Norma knows the truth immediately and asks why. “Because I had no choice,” Romero says. Methinks Norma understands that a little too well.

Also having confrontation times? Dylan and Emma. Emma’s proud of Dylan for being honest in his job interview, and Emma then admits she wasn’t really being truthful when she said Dylan couldn’t see her naked yet. She was embarrassed about her scar, which she shows off in all its stapled glory. Dylan, in response, takes off his shirt and allows her to see all of his scars (and tattoos). It’s an endearing, touching and honest moment between the two, so much so that I feel bad for ogling Max Thieriot’s body.

Norma is interrupted from her morning paper reading by Chick. This time, she enthusiastically invites him in and even offers coffee (and an opinion on a new railing), but Chick isn’t here for coffee. He’s here for some real talk. See, that story about the dog and car? Wasn’t true. And the fact that he knew Caleb and Dylan? Not a coincidence. He had kind of put the pieces together about whom Caleb was, but Norma’s admission made it clear, and he even calls her out for sleeping with him. Norma tries to get him to leave, but Chick is firm. He wants to know where Caleb is. Norma thinks he wants to kill him, which Chick probably does… but does Norma want to kill him, too? Does Norma want to make him pay for all the hurt he’s caused her?

What does Norma Bates want?

Bates Bits:

  • At least we’ve confirmed Emma’s mom hasn’t been found. Bets on whether or not she’ll be found by the end of the season?
  • “You have a very soothing voice. Did they teach you that in medical school or were you just born that way?” Norman SLAYS.
  • Who else is of the idea that Edwards is going to die at some point before the end of the season? He’s so hellbent on helping Norman that it seems it HAS to backfire at some point.

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