Review: Bates Motel ‘Crazy’

When you see an episode of Bates Motel titled “Crazy,” you have to wonder just what aspect of the show warrants the title. It’s not that it’s not appropriate for the show. It’s that you don’t know how to whittle down the possibilities. Is it Norma? Is it Norman? Is it Bradley, who suddenly returned to White Pin Bay at the end of the last episode? Best answer is that it’s probably a combination of all of them, and “Crazy” delivered that in spades in an episode that builds dramatic tension leading into next week’s Season Three finale.

Norma shows up at Bob Paris’s front door in an attempt to stifle what he knows: that Norman killed his father. Having lost her leverage, Norma offers to return the flash drive in exchange for silence. Given what Paris knows and the massive pit in the motel’s front yard, Norma will be lucky if that’s the only thing she has to worry about. Still, I wouldn’t count Norma out just yet: she’s cornered and panicked, and a cornered and panicked Norma Bates is hardly a rational Norma Bates. After leaving Bob Paris, she confronts a cold Sheriff Romero, tired of her constant lies. He says he’ll take care of everything (he submits the flash drive to the Feds, but they’re suspicious of his persistent involvement), but it’s the last thing he’ll do for her.

After last week’s dramatic shootout, Uncle Father returns to his neighbor who set them up to deliver the guns. The whole thing felt a little fishy, of course, and Uncle Father is pretty convinced that killing Dylan was the whole reason for the trip in the first place. When the neighbor seems nonplussed by the events, Uncle Father beats him to a bloody plup and then threatens his life if harm comes to Dylan. Meanwhile, back at the motel, Dylan flirts with Emma. He smells. She can’t smell. Something like that. It’s all very cutesy.

Norman has stashed Bradley in the motel as she is actually supposed to be dead. I’d forgotten she’d faked her own suicide. He agrees to go talk to her mother and “ease her” into the revelation that her daughter is alive. Seems like a plan. Back in the main house, Norma makes a stab against Norman’s eccentricities and the potential for his father’s case to be reopened by throwing away all of his taxidermy materials. Norman obviously objects but, instead of arguing the point, he suggests that it was perhaps Norma who killed her husband, not Norman, since he cannot remember any of the events for which he’s supposedly responsible. Shaken, Norma sends Norman to his room, and he chillingly, passively obliges.

The episode largely balances between the two brothers: Dylan and Norman. Both are trying to help girls in need – Norman with Bradley and Dylan with Emma – but their methods and behaviors are distinctly different. Norman takes Bradley home, and she discovers her mother has completely replaced not only her dead father but also Bradley herself (her room is an exercise room now). Crushed, Bradley wants to remain hidden, and Norman is only too happy to oblige. Dylan now has the money for Emma’s surgery, and he gives $50k to Emma’s father. Paying her a visit in her room, Dylan seems sweetly torn about how close he should remain with Emma. There’s a moment in which they almost kiss, but he pulls away. Emma may die, but it’s not because Dylan would kill her. I’m not so sure Bradley can say the same given her closeness to Norman.

Back with cornered, threatened Norma, she logically decides its a great idea to break into Sheriff Romero’s house in search of the flash drive. Of course, he comes home and is furious with her, begging her to tell him the truth about Norman’s father. She lies at first and then physically attacks him, yelling that he already knew the truth. They struggle, and she relents slightly but runs away just before they kiss. She drives back to the hotel and breaks down again, manically attempting to fill in the hole. Things go from very bad to horrible when Uncle Father drives up to say goodbye. Just before he leaves, he tells Norma the story of the psychotic episode he witnessed where Norman had adopted the “Mother” persona. Uncle Father leaves telling Norma, “He’s going to hurt someone… I just hope it isn’t you.”

Cut to: Norman bringing Bradley food. She admits to him that she’s going to flee town again and that he should come with her. They discuss Norman’s “neurological disorder” as a reason why he can’t join her, but Bradley is unfazed. Instead, she comes on to him, pulling him into bed with her. He’s very willing to ride this train once more until “Mother” shows up, ruining the moment. Outside of Bradley’s motel room, Norman has further conversation with “Mother,” who convinces him they don’t need any additional trouble in their lives.

They’re all stocked up on crazy.

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