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‘Bates Motel’ recap: Norman's blackouts come to light

Season 2 | Ep. 6 | “Plunge” | Aired Apr 7, 2014

The Bates Motel news of the day is the series’ renewal for a third season by A&E, so congrats to everyone involved.

“Plunge” opens on Norma chastising Norman about drinking with Cody. The incident threatens Norman’s driver’s license. Norma again tells him that he cannot keep secrets from her, which sounds like something any mother would say, except we know that Norma’s been drilling that into his skull mainly because of his tendency to black out and become homicidal. She’s one mom who really, truly does need to know where her son is at all times. Anyway, he’s sorry, she doesn’t freak out and everything’s relatively peachy.

Except that a nurse is rolling Dylan out of the hospital and parks him in front of Jodi (Kathleen Robertson), Zane’s sister and Dylan’s boss. “Let’s go,” she says, and then they’re driving through a secluded wooded area. She explains that he was hospitalized in another town because no one knows he was involved in the shootout. She jokes that she’s bringing him out into the woods to kill him. Dylan’s face: Ha. Ahem. They arrive at her house, and she shows him to a guest room.

Norma stalks Nick Ford at the marina. His assistant turns her away, but Nick happens to walk up. They talk about the councilman who died, Lee Berman, and Nick shocks her by saying his death is sad, but convenient. Then Norma breaks up with Nick as a partner in highway-bypass opposition, which very noticeably annoys him.

Back at the motel, Christine visits Norma to tell her that she should call Mayor Rob about Lee Berman’s seat on the city council. Christine is going to call George to help Norma with her campaign. Then the human whirlwind jumps into her Tesla Model S and drives off. Norma’s face: What just happened?

Bates Motel s2, ep6: Jodi, Dylan (A&E)Jodi makes sleepyhead, blessedly shirtless Dylan an “elixir” of lavender and other herbs from her garden. He stares at her as if her joke about killing him wasn’t really a joke, but when he doesn’t die after drinking it, he thanks her for taking him in.

Cupcake Boy — fine, Gunner — throws Emma up against the wall. Just when we think he’s going to swallow her face, she breaks off the moment to go deliver towels. But she’ll bring more towels later when she gets off. Or she’ll get off when she brings more towels later. One of those.

Cody picks up Norman. Norma dashes down the staircase as fast as her blue espadrilles will take her and throws herself in front of the car. She asks Norman for a moment alone with Cody and tells the girl that Norman can’t drink for medical reasons, and that she shouldn’t enable. Cody knows exactly — well, some of — what Norma’s talking about, but won’t fully acknowledge that she knows he blacks out, because doing so would force her to share the concern of a dreaded parent, so she acquiesces: “Yah, sure.” Shrug. It’s all “our side” and “their side” with Cody. We need to get her backstory soon, because she’s becoming annoying, which is a credit to actress Paloma Kwiatkowski. I have the feeling she’s made her character exactly as annoying as she’s supposed to be. Norma tells Norman she’ll allow him to go with Cody this time to avoid making a scene, but never again.

What does Cody do? Brings Norman directly to her house to snag some liquor. When her dad drives up, she pushes Norman into a closet, and he proceeds to disconnect, remembering closet quality time hiding from his dad with his mom when he was a child. Cody’s dad leaves. When Norman finally comes around, he tells Cody his episodes have been happening more and more frequently. What does Cody do? Takes him to the river to continue the conversation over rum and kisses. Emma and Gunner show up and teen awkwardness ensues.

Sheriff Romero catches Norma’s eye in his dapper suit. A compliment bestowed, she tells him she’s going after the city council seat. He tells her she hasn’t a chance in hell, but good luck to her. Then he tells her she should be aware that her curtains are transparent at night. She looks horrified and weirdly turned on.

The kids swing from a rope into the cold river. It’s all fun and games until Emma insists on doing it, with Cody’s encouragement and ignoring Norman’s protestations. Of course, she almost drowns. Norman has a mini-episode, raging against Cody that it’s all her fault and Emma could have died. Cody slinks away, and he wraps his arms around crying Emma: “It’s OK. I’m here.” (Mother’s here.)

George arrives to help Norma with her campaign and meeting with the mayor. A little banter over tea, and they dive in.

Jodi brings Dylan to inspect the barn and her weed varieties. She tells him how her parents started the business, and they left her in charge when they died. But now she has a problem: She regrets giving Gil’s position to Zane, and she needs Dylan to run things without Zane realizing that he’s running things.

Norma practices for her meeting with the mayor. George tells her to relax. She’s trying too hard.

Sleeping Dylan gets a visitor. Jodi whispers him awake: “Don’t take this personally.” He won’t. She climbs into bed and — harsh cut to commercial! Could’ve eased that transition a bit more.

Tinkering Norman gets a visitor. Emma clomps down the basement stairs. Norman expresses concern for his reaction at the river, and Emma says that she was flattered. It was all very sweet.

Norma practices more in her room. Norman enters and strokes a scarf. Norma tells him how George has been so helpful. Norman strangles the scarf. She tells Norman that George complimented her. Norman crushes the scarf in his fists.

Norma meets with the mayor, who mentions both Christine and Nick and tells Norma that she’s in with all the right people. He knows what he needs to know about her to make his decision on the city council seat. And … don’t let the door hit your butt on your way out.

Cody visits Emma at the motel. She tells her about Norman’s blackouts, because after the other day, she’s scared he might have a serious brain disorder. And she would be correct!

Norma gets a call: She got the city council seat! She runs to Norman, who pulls her down on top of him on his bed. Huh? And when she gets up, he nuzzles his face in her bosom. There seems to be a bit too much celebrating going on. “What a great day!” Norma says.

Time for Norman’s driving test. I am scared for the poor guy administering this test. Norma gets a call from Emma, who wants to talk to her in person, but Norma insists she tell her what’s wrong. Emma tells her about the blackouts Cody witnessed. Norma jumps off the call and torpedoes Norman’s driving test, which was just about to start. If looks could kill, Norman would have crushed his mother like that scarf.

On the drive home, Norma stupidly tells Norman that Cody told Emma about the blackouts. Norman forces the car off the road and starts walking. Norma tries to stop him, but he has that look, and he’s saying “Mother!” a lot. Where’s he going? Why, to Cody’s house, of course. And who’s there? Her irascible dad, of course. And what transpires? Yelling, a physical altercation, Norman tweaking. Next thing, Cody’s dad has a broken neck at the bottom of the stairs.

Looks like next week Norma might actually have to get Norman some real help. Will this end her political career before it’s begun?

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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