Bates Motel Episode 5 Review and Recap
This week’s episode opens up with Norman staring creepily at Bradley while she is sleeping. From his facial expression, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out he is elated about what transpired between the two of them the night before (Norman finally got lucky). Norman struts home with a permanent smile and a new perspective. That feeling of elation is cut short when Norman arrives home to find out his mother, Norma, is in jail.
Norman and Dylan visit Norma at the county jail. Dylan suggests that they put up the motel as collateral to post bail. Norman asks his mother what they can do to help and Norma lays on a first-degree guilt trip on both of them. Dylan is unaffected by it, but it clearly gets to Norman.
Later, Emma pays Norman a visit while he is searching the front office of the motel in an attempt to find the deed to get his mother out of jail. She offers up her sympathy for what Norman is going through. Norman then finds the deed and asks Emma for a ride to the bail bonds.
In the next scene, Dylan asks his criminal colleague, Ethan, about possibly getting an advance from the bosses. When Ethan explains to him that there is a slim chance of that happening, Dylan explains that he just wants to get his own place so he can get his brother, Norman, away from their mother. Perhaps it’s the big brother complex or guilt for not playing a bigger role in his brother’s life, but it seems that Dylan has come to genuinely care for the little brother. All the resentment between the two brothers has evaporated. Norman now trusts his brother enough to tell him his biggest secret (the murder of Keith Summers).
After Emma drives Norman to bail his mother out of jail, he tells her about the Chinese sex slave he found in Deputy Zack’s house. Emma insists that they go to the authorities, but Norman refuses to do any of that until he can guarantee his mother will be set free from jail. Emma asks Norman if his mother did it. Norman tries to put on his best poker face and gives her a very shaky and unsure answer: “no, she didn’t.”
Norma is freed from jail and when she walks outside, Norman is waiting for her with a bouquet of flowers. She gives him a cold shoulder and begins walking angrily away from him. Transition to the next scene: Norman and Norma are visiting with a lawyer. The lawyer begins to put together a defense as if Norma was guilty of the crime, (which she is) but Norma will have none of it. She professes her innocence to the lawyer and then storms out when she is not taken seriously.
On the car ride home, Norma and Norman have a heated argument that ends with Norma kicking her son out of the car (and ten miles away from home). As luck would have it for Norman, his brother, Dylan, was riding his motorcycle down the same stretch of road. Dylan offers Norman a ride back and their bond deepens further (it’s getting to the point where Norman may trust Dylan more than his mother).
Dylan then confronts Norman about moving on with his life and getting away from Norma. Norman resists at first, but everything Dylan says to him was hitting its mark. Dylan tells Norman about getting his own place and invites him to move in regardless of whether Norma is cleared of the murder charges or not. Even though Norman tried bludgeoning Dylan with a meat-hammer a few episodes ago, I think that Dylan is the healthiest relationship that Norman has in his life.
Later on, Dylan and his criminal colleague, Ethan, are out and about. Ethan hands Dylan a bag of what he says are bagels. When Dylan checks the bag, he finds the money he was trying to borrow earlier on in the episode. Ethan explains that the loan is from him and that he knows he is good for it (judging by their earlier dialogue, I’m assuming that protecting his family hit close to home for Ethan). Suddenly, a fiendish-looking man approaches them. Ethan grills the man about something and he quickly pulls out a gun and shoots Ethan in the neck.
Dylan, thinking on his feet, tells Ethan to put pressure on the bullet-wound and drives him to the hospital like a bat out of hell. He gets Ethan there with a fighting chance, but the audience is left to wonder the fate of the nice guy who lent Dylan the money.
Norma meets with Deputy Zack and he tells her that they shouldn’t see each other for a time. She takes it as a breakup and storms off. Deputy Zack chases her down and pours his heart out. Norma melts and Deputy Zack claims he will figure out a way to get her out of trouble. (I’m sure she feels abandoned by everyone else. Besides, this guy can ACTUALLY help. Evidence can go missing after all).
At the police station, Deputy Zack asks the secretary to retrieve documents from the back of a storage closet. While she is away, Deputy Zack unplugs a couple of camera cords and snatches the carpet fibers from the evidence locker. That is two times now that Deputy Zack has saved Norma by snatching evidence. If that doesn’t get you into someone’s good graces, I don’t know what will.
While driving, Dylan spots the fiendish man who shot Ethan. Dylan seizes the opportunity and runs the man over with Ethan’s truck. That has got to be some kind of poetic justice. Dylan didn’t even think twice about it. Perhaps this is a foreshadowing to what kind of work Dylan will be doing in the future.
Norma receives a phone call from her lawyer informing her that the police had lost the evidence in her murder case. Norma feels the weight of the world roll off of her shoulders as she realizes she has just been pulled out of the frying pan. Meanwhile, Norman attempts to call Bradley again (she had been ignoring him throughout the episode). He gets her voicemail and leaves one incredibly long, painfully awkward voicemail. It was difficult to watch (I am really curious as to why Bradley would just ignore him like that. I mean the kid’s mother was just arrested for murder).
After the call, Norma comes in and tells Norman about Zack stealing the evidence and getting her case thrown out. Norman is pleased at first until he realizes Zack made it happen. He then guilt-trips his mother the same way she did to him in the car ride earlier. Their relationship really is co-dependent. They are just plain unhealthy for each other.
Norman runs outside and slams the door to find Emma waiting for him. She takes him to an ocean view spot and they talk for a little bit about the Chinese sex slave. Norman constantly checks his phone while she is talking to him and he comes clean about Bradley. Emma, clearly hurt and jealous (a couple of tears drop out of her eye), tells Norman that it was just a hookup. Norman then changes the subject back to the sex slave. Emma tells him that after a little bit of research and critical thinking, she discovered where she thought the girl might be hidden: Keith Summers’ boat. They search the boat and sure enough, they find her.
The episode closes with Norma walking in on Norman and Emma tending to the Chinese woman. When she demands to know what’s going on, Norman explains to her that this was Deputy Zack’s rape victim. She doesn’t believe it and runs to grab a photo of Zack. The girl positively identifies him as her rapist.
I’m still trying to figure out what to make of this show. What can be said about “Bates Motel” is that it isn’t afraid to take risks and it isn’t afraid to break rules. It isn’t counting on keeping the Hitchcock audience by using the same old recycled concepts. What I’ve come to appreciate about “Bates Motel” is that it transcends genres and formulas. I’m liking the picture that’s being painted and I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s finished.