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'Bates Motel' recap: Norman’s other mother finally shows up

Season 2 | Ep. 4 | “Check-Out” | Aired Mar 24, 2014

Picking up after last week’s bombshell that Caleb is Dylan’s uncle and father, Emma awakens next to Cupcake Boy, stumbles out of his motel room — walk of shame! — and is immediately alerted to Dylan slumped over a dried stream of vomit smeared down the door of his truck. Norma to the rescue — as much as anyone can be rescued from the kind of epic hangover Dylan is in for.

Sufficiently pissed, Norma lights out of there to deal with Caleb, but loses her nerve in the parking lot of the hotel where he’s staying.

While Emma hides from Cupcake Boy, Norman and now-conscious Dylan have a brother-to-brother talk in which deeply wounded Dylan suggests that their mother has been keeping information from Norman as well.

Down at the docks, Caleb runs after Dylan, who tells him that they can’t speak anymore, “because you had sex with my mother.” Ew. Caleb doesn’t exactly deny it: “It wasn’t like that.” Ew. Dylan informs Caleb that he’s his son, which Caleb does deny. And then he returns Dylan’s money. Guilty much?

Back at the house, Christine calls Norma for a play date, but Norma begs off, saying she doesn’t feel well. Norman tries to console his mother, crawling into bed next to her and saying that she can tell him anything, and then he asks her if she has told him everything. She says yes, but she’s compartmentalizing, ignoring the fact that she hasn’t told Norman that he’s actually a psychotic serial killer. He wouldn’t respond well — I get it. Norman nuzzles his mom in her bed and tells her that he’ll take care of her, which would be quite sweet if you could ignore the facts of their situation entirely; that is, if he were  just an average teenage boy giving his mother a hug and telling her that he’ll watch over her.

Later, as Norma meditates over some housework, Christine drops by. She refuses to take no for an answer and pushes Norma into a little black dress and some pumps. George will pick Norma up at 7.

Ugh. Zane. Dylan and Remo roll eyes at each other. Zane’s like that weaselly, overconfident dude from high school that grows up and acts like he’s the lost member of Green Day — who murders people.

Emma hides from Cupcake Boy, and Norman calls her out on it. Cody flies into the motel office in a rage. Apparently, Norman was expected at the theater. These exchanges aren’t especially important and are mainly setup for later scenes. Moving on.

Bates Motel, ep 4: George, Norma and NormanNorman watches Norma get ready for her date. Dylan comes in and waves around his existential crisis: “How can I put me behind me?” Thankfully, George shows up before things get any more awkward. Norman sees his mother off on her date, looking rather conflicted about this new-man situation.

At the theater, Norman tells Cody about his concern for his mom over the appearance of “abusive” Uncle Caleb — he’s not specific about the abuse. Cody offers to give him fight club lessons.

Emma is super-adorable as she grills Cupcake Boy about the previous night’s activities. He reassures her that nothing happened, and she thanks him, making the amateur love-interest mistake of saying how relieved she is that nothing happened.

At dinner, Norma is reminded about her highway bypass problem and looks like she’s chewing glass. George shows particular sensitivity to her plight. Norma being Norma, I wonder, what’s the catch? Will George and his sister be revealed as high-stakes con artists and turn this into a Jane Austen tale?

Cody gives Norman a tire iron as she drives him to the hotel where his uncle is staying. Norman has vivid visions of his teenaged mom being victimized and his brain starts twitching. He insists that Cody take him away.  That’s a first: a murderous brain twitch, but no blood spilled. Could it be that our Norman is gaining some self-control? Surely not!

Cupcake Boy confronts Emma about her earlier comment about being relieved. Emma tells him she just meant that it would’ve been her first time, and she’d like to be conscious for such a special occasion. I don’t like where this is all going — the guy’s One Direction hot and all, but this scenario is icky. Emma deserves better than drunkenly fumbling through the teenage wasteland.

On the way home, Norma apologizes for being a lame date. George asks her out for a lower-pressure date, but she’s non-committal. Yawn.

Sheriff Romero! Where’ve you been? He approaches Zane: “I thought it was time for us to meet.” This is going to be good. Romero threatens Zane, basically saying, “Stop being obnoxious, or I will end you.”

Dylan tells Norma he’s going to move out: “Why’d you have me Norma?” Norman overhears his mother telling Dylan particulars about her abusive home. Next thing we know, he’s at his uncle’s hotel room, monologuing as his mom. As his mom! “I came here to tell you that I remember what you did to me … You raped me — over and over,” and so on. Caleb fends off Norman’s crazy with a swift kick and bolts.

Someone burned down the sheriff’s house. Three guesses who that someone might be.

Cody picks up catatonic Norman at a coffee shop — good thing she wrote her phone number on his arm. Every little thing gonna be all right, she promises (but not in the Bob Marley voice I just summoned into your brain — enjoy that).

The preview for next week promises a Zane beat-down. Excellent.

Bates Motel, rated TV-14, airs Mondays at 10/9 C on A&E

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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