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'Bates Motel' recap: Life sucks, so suck face

Season 2 | Ep. 5 | “The Escape Artist” | Aired Mar 31, 2014

Post-traumatic family breakup in last week’s episode, Norman wakes up in Cody’s car. She explains how he arrived there, and, with her assurances that Norma won’t hear about the previous night’s episode, Norman moseys back to the house. The next morning he discovers that Dylan has moved out. Sad serial killer face.

Cody meets Norma and, given her firm anti-parents stance, succeeds in being completely obnoxious. Norma’s face is all “mergh,” as Cody drives off with Norman. They stop at Cody’s house where Norman kinda sorta but not really witnesses an altercation between Cody and her pop. But given Cody’s behavior toward Norma, who’s really only been civil to the girl, you have to wonder if Cody is maybe instigating some of whatever hostility she’s dealing with. Unlikely since Bates Motel is chock full o’ mewling victims, but a person might wonder.

Norma has a business date with Nick Ford, who’s setting her up to fight his battle — once again, Norma allows herself to be positioned as cannon fodder. Meanwhile, Emma has a hot date with Cupcake Boy. “He sells pot,” Norman says (twice). Emma figures we all have our faults; she’s also previously suggested that she may not live a long life due to her cystic fibrosis, and she’s going to seize the day — or the boy, as the case may be.

On Nick Ford’s request, Norma goes to see Bryan Fuller (I’m not sure if that’s spelled like “Bryan Fuller,” the TV sci-fi/fantasy writer-producer of shows like NBC’s Hannibal, but let’s say it is). Nick didn’t explain: Bryan is a biologist who has whipped up a report seeking an injunction against the bypass on behalf of some gophers. Let the gopher wars begin!

Back at Pot HQ, Zane rolls in and asks Dylan to lunch — weird. Zane rolls out, but before he can make it to his car, Sheriff Romero shows up and administers the Zane beatdown we’ve been waiting for. “That’s the warm-up, Zane,” Romero huffs. “When you least expect it, I’m gonna show up, and I’m gonna bury you and your little business in the ground.” Then he walks off into the sunset as a bloodied Zane lies sprawled across the ground. (There wasn’t actually a sunset, but that’s how sheriffs usually do their walking off — maybe it was just the aura of badass surrounding him.)

Meanwhile, Cody and Norman ditch theater tech to go for a wee hike of the beer-drinking variety. True confessions all around: Cody says she’s planning to hitchhike down to Mexico, and Norman confesses that his coffee shop blackout wasn’t his first time. Then she shows him the tree of life, and they transcend their mundane existence with a tree-house make-out session. Norman’s shirt comes off, blinding the audience with his lily-whiteness.

Emma goes out on her beach date. She has ditched the rolling oxygen tank for the more fashionable backpack-toted option. Good move, because they’re going to make out, as well. It’s just a hormone frenzy here at Bates Motel.

Norma gets home and runs into Romero, who is cut and icing his hand in the motel bucket. They fight like an old married couple. Norma: “Don’t you ever get tired of being so stoic? Seriously, you never want to talk about anything. It’s a little boring.” Wonder if they’ll make out, too. Almost, maybe, but no. She tells him about her encounter with Nick Ford (who I can’t help but refer to by his full name). Romero informs her that Nick Ford is in the drug business. Norma starts tap-dancing. Don’t know him. Nope. Just met the guy. Dancing, dancing, dancing.

Zane arrives at the Mexican restaurant where Dylan waits. He confesses to torching Romero’s house. Says he doesn’t blame the guy for laying the smackdown on him. Interesting perspective from a sociopath. Later, as they leave the restaurant, Dylan shoves Zane to the ground during a drive-by. As the culprits swing around in their black Chrysler SRT®, Dylan very convincingly shrugs off his sanity, stands in the road, shoots and tumbles over the hood of the car, cracking the windshield and landing splat in the road. Good thing he signed up for insurance on Healthcare.gov, because those injuries look expensive. Although who should pay for stupid is a debate for the ages.

Norma warns Norman against getting involved with troublemaker Cody, giving him the “there are the wrong sort of people and there are the right sort of people” speech. Down at the motel, Emma and Cupcake Boy are gettin’ busy. Norma stalks Sheriff Romero to his room. He lays the news on her that the troublesome city councilman is dead. But no one’s told her about Dylan?

Speaking of, Dylan wakes up in the hospital. Zane’s sister emerges from the shadows at the end of his bed. Turns out his boss is going to pay for his brand of stupid. And, man, is she pretty.

Next week: Looks like Norman is going to challenge Mother again.

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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