Bates Motel
What's Wrong With Norman?

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 5 USERS: A
Luminosity Entails Numinosity
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!


Dylan Bates has moved into his mother's house, with no idea that on their first night there, Norma and Norman were forced to kill a man and toss him in the lake. The cops are suspicious, which is tricky because in White Pine Bay the law works a little more Old Testament than it does anywhere else -- which means Norma could well find herself stabbed and tossed in the lake too, if her alliance with Deputy Alex Shelby doesn't work out. While looking for the possibly imaginary dead Chinese sex slaves detailed in a mysterious illustrated journal, Norman and Emma Decody came upon some of the marijuana fields that provide the town's economy its liquidity, and found a shed where one of the girls may have been buried.


Dylan bros out with the gun he needs for his new job -- obviously, guarding the pot fields -- by posing in the mirror in a variety of uncomfortably Steven Seagal-type ways. The goodness of Dylan -- and his probable path toward being a man -- are delineated here: He's a boy, but dangerous; he enjoys the power of the gun, but finds it uncomfortable no matter where he shoves it down his pants. He manages to go from off-putting to fairly sympathetic over the course of the scene and even moreso the episode, but it's interesting that a house and story with so much emphasis on men and women spends so much time literally on the symbolic value of the ultimate destructive phallic symbol here: Does the gun make him a man? What exactly does it do?


Dylan: "Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. Bates."

Norma and Norman roll eyes, instinctively irritated less by his words -- and blithely ignoring the connotation because he just doesn't get it -- than the fact that he's there to say them. Norma asks him to handle a delivery for later (the replacement carpets for the four units they tore up in the middle of the night) and he proudly demurs.

Dylan: "You know, I'd love to. But I have... a job."

They can't hear the pride in his voice, so they don't know to congratulate him. It would never occur to them that he'd try to impress them or find a way inside: He belongs to the world of men, and everything he says and does chafes them, because he's brought it here. So he gives a "fuck me for hoping" finger to the world and sets off for this job. They don't even notice that he's gone, except for the relief.


Norman doesn't want to chat at his locker, but lovely Emma is having a time, sputtering over half-tears and generally acting a mess.

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Bates Motel




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