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'Bates Motel' recap: What aren't you telling me, Mother?

Season 2 | Episode 7 | “Presumed Innocent” | Aired Apr 14, 2014

After a wee reminder that — oh, right — Norman killed someone last week on Bates Motel, we pick up with Norma whining in a voice message about how uncool it is that Norman won’t answer the phone. She’s kicking off her new position on the City Council — or at least it seems she is. Keys, parking pass, new office, big tree-killing binders of paperwork (get some tablets, already) — all the accoutrements of the position. Councilman Max Borowitz (John Cassini) calls her into his office to interrogate her before she has a chance to step foot in her new office, put her council-business tome down or even get a cup of coffee — I smell an alpha-male play. But then the alpha male, Sheriff Romero, pops his head in and begs an audience with Madame Bates. This won’t be good, but at least he derailed that weasel move.

Outside, Norma insists that the sheriff explain. Nope, not good. When they get to the station, Romero further explains that Norman claims self-defense. Then Romero offers her some refreshment — see there, that’s polite. In fact, Romero’s been awfully polite to Norma lately. Enough shipping. Time for Norman’s mug shots. Nervous Norman questions the entire process of collecting hair, prints, nail clippings, his bloodied shirt, etc. And, no, he may not go home yet.

Remo wants to know what’s up with Dylan: “I thought we were friends.” He offers to let Dylan crash at his place. Zane arrives with a trio of thugs, vaguely mentioning a job that needs thug work. Dylan, whom Jodi asked to run things without appearing to run things (way to be decisive, upper “management”), looks worried. Remo: “He’s going rogue on us — wonderful.”

Emma shows up to lend support at the police station. Norman would never! (But he has, and he did.) Norma asks her to help out by looking after the motel.

Overeager Deputy Patty Lin (Agam Darshi) presses Sheriff Romero with her annoying efficiency and hubris. Two words: Go away.

As the desk clerk chuckles at her text messaging, Norma feels ignored in the station waiting area. Deputy Jeffcoat (Matthew Mandzij) arrives just in time to prevent Norma from throwing the clerk down some stairs. Bates Motel: Norman is presumed innocentShe can see Norman now. Frazzled Norman manically explains the argument and Cody’s dad hurt Cody and he pushed him away and Cody stepped between them and … and … and … “I’m sure you were very frightened,” Norma says, but explains that she’s trying to make him understand that he can’t be so forthcoming about everything in this situation, because it will work against him. Sheriff Romero wants to talk to Norman, and no, Norman does not want his mother there.

Turns out Romero just wants to make Norman feel better. Cody’s dad was an angry guy. Tearful Norman keeps seeing his face as he fell down the steps, and if he hadn’t been there, Cody’s dad would still be alive. Norman does not feel better.

Norma is on the verge of a nervous breakdown in the other room. Fortunately, lawyer George shows up. Unfortunately, Norma tells him her own version of what happened — the truth embroidered by mom. It’s bad enough that Norman has his own recollection of what went down, and Cody will have a slightly different tale to tell, but Norma just created a third account.

Dylan eavesdrops on Zane and the three bears. Zane tells Dylan he knows Jodi told him to “watch his back” (nice spin, Zane), but he shouldn’t bother himself too much. Also, my sister’s too good for you, so don’t get too attached.

Norma ambushes Cody in the bathroom. Don’t tell them about the blackouts. Cody: That you don’t want me to tell them about the blackouts makes me think I should maybe tell them about the blackouts. Deputy Lin’s arrival sends Norma skittering into a stall, and Cody leaves before the conversation gets all Ouroboros and collapses into a singularity.

Emma meets Dylan and urges him to go see Norman and help him through this crisis. Still smarting from the revelation that he’s the product of incest, Dylan refuses. Ignorant of his personal trauma, Emma growls at him, “I wish I had a mother and brother I could treat like shit.”

George promises to help Norma. She throws her arms around him just in time for Norman and Sheriff Romero to see her, which is an issue for each. At least, I think it’s an issue for Romero — his attraction to her is perplexing. Romero is called away, while Norman glowers at George, but with a smile, which makes it that much more sinister. George, understandably, leaves. Cody pops out of door No. 2, and Norman — cheerfully, hopefully, desperately — asks how she is. If Norman’s glower at George was a threat, the look Cody threw Norman was a fact. Norman runs out for air. Romero tells Norma they can leave.

The next morning, Norman makes breakfast and argues with Norma about the strength of her belief in his innocence. He wants to know why she doesn’t have complete faith in him. Norma fumbles this one. She obviously feels she can’t win whether she tells him that he’s a psychopath or stays silent, but she chooses the latter for simplicity’s sake; otherwise, Norman would — what? Have an episode? Run off and meditate by putting a hatchet to someone’s skull?

At the motel, Emma expresses her concern. Norman says, “I can’t ever trust you again, but I’m not mad,” and basically lays all of the blame for what happened at her feet.

Cody stops by the next morning. She’s off to Indiana to squat with her aunt and her five cats until she’s 18. As an afterthought to a touching good-bye, she tells Norman that his mom isn’t telling him something about his blackouts: “You gotta make her tell you, Norman, ’cause whatever it is, it scares the shit out of her.” And with that, Norman becomes one roiling emotion in human form.

Romero stops by to tell Norma that the death of Cody’s dad has been declared an accident. He departs, and Norma dashes up the steps yelling for Norman. She’s so relieved. Then he challenges Norma with Cody’s revelation: that he becomes someone else when he blacks out, that he does things, that she knows all about it and she’s just not telling him. Norma morphs from her great relief to desperately sad and then livid: “You have to trust that I am protecting you … I don’t want you to ever ask me again!” (Again, Vera Farmiga swings for the fences with this character. I sincerely hope she’s recognized for the masterful work she’s doing on the show this year.)

Zane and crew show up at the warehouse. Zane tells Dylan that since he’s so curious, now’s his time to find out what the gig is. He and Remo, they should both come. C’mon, get in the car. They separate the two. Both Dylan and Remo look like men with their necks on the executioner’s block. At Nick Ford’s isolated warehouse, Dylan begs Zane to rethink his plan to raid the warehouse. Zane knocks Dylan out. Remo opts to not be knocked out and joins the raid. A gunfight erupts when Zane and his team enter the warehouse. Concussed Dylan struggles to his feet and staggers into the brush.

Unwinding in his room at the motel, Romero’s phone rings. Deputy Lin has big news: Norman’s DNA matched the unidentified semen sample found in Blair Watson. Romero is going to need another drink.

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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