Bates Motel Recap: Episode 1.02 - Nice Town You Picked, Norma
In the premiere of "Bates Motel" last week, we saw amazing performances by Vera Farmiga and Freddy Highmore, who did a fantastic job channeling a young Anthony Perkins. Now that the plot had been set up, we can learn more about the town and Norma's other son.
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read any further if you haven’t watched the episode yet. This is a recap with specific details from this episode. Continue only if you have already watched it.
Norman was fascinated by the little picture book he found last week while cleaning and obsessed over some of the bondage pictures. When the doorbell rang, he was awakened from his trance and hid the book. Norma ran down the stairs to open the door and was shocked to see the surprise visitor: her other son, Dylan.
Norman asked Norma how long Dylan was staying but she shrugged it off. Dylan walked in during Norma making breakfast and the family dynamics were definitely off. When Norma asked why Dylan was there, he replied that he lost his job and wanted to go home like normal people, unlike Norma, who hid her new location from Dylan.
When Norman got to the bus stop outside the hotel, the popular girls were there. Bradley asked why Norman left the party early the other night. She even asked Norman to study together and for real this time. Before he could answer, a car screeched past them and crashed into a ditch near them. They pried the door open and saw Bradley's dad in the driver's seat all burned up.
While a tow-truck worked on the car, Sheriff Alex Romero briefed Norma on Bradley's dad, who owned a warehouse up the road. Someone set the warehouse on fire with him inside. Dylan walked up to his mom and remarked on the strange town they now lived in. She scolded him for calling her Norma and gave him work to do.
Sheriff Romero directed Norma to a side street. Keith Summers' truck was parked there. (He was the previous owner; we know what happened to him from last week!) Norma kept her cool but the sheriff was a little suspicious.
In class, Emma imposed herself as Norman's partner for the assignment and invited herself to the motel to work.
At the hospital, Norman brought a flowering plant to Bradley. She saw him but he was intercepted by Richard, who disdainfully stopped Norman from giving the plant directly to Bradley.
At a strip club, Dylan tried to enjoy the show but the patron next to him was crying. The patron lamented about his boss being in the accident from earlier. When he pulled out his stash of cash to pay, Dylan got interested.
Returning to the motel with his assignment, Norma was waiting. She scolded him for coming home late. She wanted to build a life there with Norman and would not let Dylan screw up her plans. Turned out that Dylan and Norman had different fathers and even Dylan noticed the slightly inappropriate closeness between Norma and Norman.
Dylan questioned Norma how she got the money for the motel. When she explained about the insurance policy, Dylan was not fully convinced.
Another doorbell rang while Norma and Norman were cleaning the kitchen. Emma arrived to work with Norman on their homework project. Norma immediately quizzed Emma on her life story despite Dylan trying to distract her. When Norma found out Emma's life expectancy from cystic fibrosis was only until 27, she became at ease and even suggested Norman and Emma do their homework upstairs.
Emma and Norman worked on their poem homework in his room when their discussion topic evolved to contemporary murders. Emma found Norman's little picture book. She was not disturbed by the pictures as she had read steamier manga and even borrowed it.
While Norma was getting ready for bed, another doorbell rang. If Bates Motel gets this much business, the Bates would be rich! Sheriff Romero and Deputy Shelby were at the door. They were asking her about Keith Summers and Norma slipped up during the questioning. She got a little flustered but refused to let them in without a search warrant. Did Norma just flirt with Deputy Shelby right there?
Driving through town, Norma stopped next to Deputy Shelby and joked about being arrested. Deputy Shelby asked her for coffee instead. At coffee, as they flirted, we got to learn more about the sheriff's relationship with Keith Summers. The charming deputy even managed to arrange a "date" at the town festival that night.