Bates Motel Season 2 Episode 3 Review
Warning! Spoilers Ahead!
Bates Motel took a giant leap forward this week with an intriguing story of a power struggle in White Pine Bay coupled with an earth-shattering reveal that will undoubtedly change the complexion of the entire series. Needless to say, “Caleb” was an episode consisting of the most shocking set of circumstances to occur in the Bates world to date.
The characters are growing and the town is becoming increasingly connected through random and indirect events that link everyone in the small town of White Pine Bay together. What is really being discovered about Bates Motel as it begins to develop an identity is that it isn’t simply a story about Norman Bates and how he became the character in the Hitchcock film — it’s a story about the character and the environment he grew up in.
Through finding out that she didn’t receive the part in the community play (“South Pacific,”) Norma meets a new friend of whom which she has a ton in common. She proceeds to get day-drunk with her and an instant friendship is sparked. Apparently her new friend is some kind of socialite in White Pine Bay and intends to tap Norma into the social pipeline.
Worlds collided when Dylan met his estranged uncle for the first time who was on a journey to find his sister, Norma. I know by the time you finish reading this that you won’t believe me, but I thought in this scene that there was something — I don’t know… weird about their encounter. Perhaps it was just I, but it felt a little strange — maybe like there was something more to the chance-encounter.
After Dylan’s epic fail at trying to reintroduce Norma to her brother (hey, would you really want to be reunited with an incestuous rapist?), things began to get even stranger in the Bates house. I thought for sure that Norma was just not telling Dylan about her brother because she didn’t feel close to him like she did Norman — wrong. We will get to that later though.
Without an explanation from his mother, levelheaded Dylan gives his uncle a chance and gets to know him a little bit. Dylan ends up having an instant-bond with his uncle and regards him as an overall nice guy. This leads to Dylan blindly handing him over $10,000-plus for a property in Costa Rica (who knew that Dylan was so sentimental?).
Even with things being cheerful in Dylan’s social life with the connection to his estranged uncle, things are not so great in his criminal career. Dylan and Remo’s new boss, Zane, continues to Scarface it up without paying any mind to consequences. He seems to be on a power trip and Remo and Dylan both know it, yet cannot do anything about it because he is the boss’ brother (who we as the audience are yet to meet).
Norman’s romantic life is getting resurrected with his new weird little crush. The scene at Bradley’s memorial (which was more of a beach party) where his crush and her supposed boyfriend were making out and her boyfriend forcefully grabbed Norman’s thigh in the midst of it was nothing short of hysterical. Freddy Highmore just continues to masterfully kill it at playing awkward.
At her new best friend’s garden party, Norma becomes indirectly connected to Dylan’s rival family’s leader, Nick Ford (they strike up a conversation about their shared opposition of the bypass that will surely put Norma out of business if built). He gives her his card, and now there is another variable that could shake up the entire story this season.
The end of the episode was when things really went boom though. Norman arrives home to hear Dylan and Norma arguing about Caleb (Norma’s brother and Dylan’s uncle). Norma furiously tells Dylan that her brother raped her. Dylan, having been charmed by his uncle, doesn’t believe her. Norman walks in on this and begins to beat Dylan up (I didn’t know Norman even stood a chance against his stronger, older brother. Maybe he was blacked out like when he killed his father). While Norman is pummeling his older brother, Norma brings everything to a screeching hault by blurting out the big secret she has been harboring:
Dylan’s biological father is Norma’s brother, Caleb.
What an episode, what a reveal, and what a gutsy call by the writing staff. Dylan is the product of inbreeding? Shocking is an understatement. This show continues to be the dark comedy/drama dark horse of the television world. Who knows where Bates Motel goes from here? If you’ve kept up on it like I have — I’m willing to bet you will be watching next week to find out.