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Bates Motel, A&E

'Bates Motel' season 3 premiere fan recap: It's not normal!

Season 3 | Episode 1 | “A Death in the Family” | Aired Mar 9, 2015

In season three of Bates Motel, we open with Norman (Freddie Highmore) waking up in bed with his mother (Vera Farmiga). Norman, if you’ll recall, is not a 3-year-old who had a bad dream, but an 18-year-old who calls his mother “Mother.” Norman’s brother, Dylan (Max Thieriot), ever-so-delicately implies to Norma that an 18-year-old sleeping with his mother is creepy as hell. She tells him he’s overreacting, and makes him toast. A+ mothering, all around.

Once Dylan leaves, Norma gets a phone call from a lawyer informing her that her own mother has died, and he’s settling her estate. Norma replies that she’s not interested, “but thank you for calling.” Classy to the end, that Norma.

Norma gets her favorite son ready for his first day of senior year, and causally mentions the death of her mother. She’s fine. Once they arrive at school, Norman says he doesn’t want to go in, so Norma literally drags him out of the car in front of the entire school. Rough. At least she wasn’t wearing pajamas and a sloppy ponytail, like some moms at drop-off (cough, me).

Later, at lunch, Norman is sitting at a completely empty table because kids are cruel/he’s a freak. The ghost of Miss Watson (Keegan Connor Tracy) appears to keep him company. As she recites poetry, her neck opens up and bleeds all over the table. He takes off, which is the most rational thing he’s done thus far.

Norman comes running through the motel parking lot like a Muppet and tells Norma all about his episode at lunch. She holds him to her bosom, because she’s Norma Bates. A Porsche (I think?) pulls up and out hops a young lady in decidedly city-girl clothes. Her name is Annika (Tracy Spiridakos), and she’ll be staying for a couple of nights. Norman leers at her (that was not intentional!).

Meanwhile, Dylan is lunching and perusing barn blueprints. Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) approaches him to discuss the future of the town. Dylan tells him that he’s going straight, meaning that he’ll grow less pot than he did before, and sell it to sick people instead of healthy people. Romero issues a thinly veiled threat, but Dylan is undeterred from his farmer plans.

Annika comes to Norman to complain about a broken light fixture. He offers to fix it, then volunteers half of his life story (the legal parts, you know). He asks her why she’s in town, and she tells him she “works” at “parties.” Charlie Bucket 2005 gets very flustered.

Dylan is driving home, listening to the Arctic Monkeys. He notices that he’s being tailed by a van, and leads the driver into a trap. The driver turns out to be his dad/uncle (dunkle?), Caleb (Kenny Johnson), who wants to give him the money he inherited from his mother. Dylan refuses, which is dumb, because barns don’t get built for free (unless you’re Amish).

Back at home, Norma and Norman are snuggling in bed, watching a movie. Norma tells Norman that she’s decided to allow him to homeschool, and she’s also promoting him to manager of the motel (Mister Manager). She then sends him off to his own bed because of that buzzkill Dylan, which offends him. She calls out, “I love you,” and he responds with, “I know,” but it’s much less cool than when Han Solo said it. Much less.

The next morning, Dylan passes Caleb on the side of the road; his van has broken down. Dylan tells him to go away, and Caleb asks him for a ride to the auto parts store. On the way, he whines about how his mom is dead and Dylan and Norma are all the family he’s got left. Dylan is unimpressed.

Back at the motel, Norman tells Emma (Olivia Cooke) that he’s quitting school and is now the motel manager. She tells him her health is failing. He invites her to homeschool with him, and also date him. Yes, just that casually. She accepts both offers gladly.

Dylan comes home and Norma tells him that her mother died. He pretends he didn’t know. She says she’s fine. Then she gets really upset about an old hair ribbon of her mother’s. She’s fiiiiiine.

Norman is leaving the motel when he spies a raccoon going through the garbage. He shoos the raccoon away (rude), then notices that Annika’s bathroom window is open. He spies on her shower for a moment, and gets it right. Remember that terrible Psycho remake where Vince Vaughn completely ruined the most iconic scene by playing Norman as a common Peeping Tom, rather than Anthony Perkins’ disturbed, curious, and somehow sort of innocent psychopath? Well, you’ll be happy to know that Charlie Bucket did Mr. Perkins proud.

Of course, this Norman’s mom is still alive, so she catches him, drags him home, and scolds him within an inch of his life (“It’s not normal!”). Later, when Norman finds her crying, he apologizes, and Norma tells him that she’s actually crying about her mother, and invites him to sleep in her bed, “because I’m so sad.” He calls her a silly woman and spoons her. Not normal, indeed.

The next day at the motel, Norman and Emma are discussing their homeschooling/dating future when Annika shows up, asking for directions to a restaurant. Norman drops what he’s doing and offers to ride with Annika to the restaurant and walk home. Emma is not psyched.

In the car, Norman asks Annika why she does what she does for a living. She mentions a bad upbringing and explains away sex work as no big deal. She’s fine. Everyone on this show is just fine, folks.

Later, we see Emma closing up for the night. Just after she leaves, Annika’s Porsche (?) arrives, and Norman gets out of the driver’s seat. But where is Annika? I’m sure she’s fine.

Bates Motel airs Mondays at 9/8C 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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