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'Bates Motel' fan recap: The Secret Club of the Damaged

Season 3 | Episode 3 | “Persuasion” | Aired Mar 23, 2015

Tonight’s episode of Bates Motel begins at the morgue, where Sheriff Romero has summoned Norma to confirm whether the body found at the end of last week’s episode is Annika’s. Norma initially thinks that it’s her, because she recognizes the toenail polish (apparently she’s never seen The Big Lebowski). When she finally works her way up to the face, she sees that it’s actually not our girl. Upon returning home, Norman pesters her for details, and she tells him to stay out of it.

Norma then goes to the community college for her first day of Business Marketing 101, where she immediately gets into a turf war with a man over a chair. Surprise, he turns out to be the professor (Joshua Leonard from The Blair Witch project, aka that movie that played us all for fools in the summer of ’99). Also, she’s in the wrong class. She gets up to leave, and he asks her if she’s sure that taking psychology isn’t a good idea, after all. Rude.

Meanwhile, Romero shows up to the Arcanum club to meet with Bob Paris (Kevin Rahm). He tells Bob about the dead woman, and asks if she might have been at his sex party. Bob takes offense, and reminds Romero that he’s no angel himself.

Romero then goes to the Bates’ house and asks Norma for permission to talk to Norman. He wonders if Annika and the dead woman are connected, and since Norman claims he last saw Annika when she was going to meet a friend, Romero hopes he’ll be able to confirm his theory. Norma tries to minimize Norman and Annika’s interactions, but Norman agrees to talk. The questions are pretty standard, and Norman doesn’t deviate from his original story.

Once Romero leaves, Norman blows up at Norma for telling Romero that he was the last person to see Annika. He tells her to “stop telling lies” about him, and implies that she’s the one with problems, not him.

Down at the office, a marijuana delivery woman arrives, looking for Dylan. Emma tries to convince her to take the shipment to the farm, but she refuses. I wish I had a screen shot of this next scene for you, because Emma decides to pack those 99 plants into her little VW Bug, don her driving scarf and oversize sunglasses (as one does), and drive them up to the farm herself, all while blasting the Specials. Adorable.

At the farm, Dylan is grateful for Emma’s help, but uncomfortable that she now knows that Caleb is in town. He asks her not to tell anyone. It’s all very awkward, but not as awkward as cramming 99 pot plants into a compact car and driving them up a mountain. I assume.

The next day at college, the psychology professor hunts Norma down to apologize for being a dick. The wise Norma concedes that we’re all dicks sometimes. So true, Norma. So true. He then basically calls her damaged, but in the nicest possible way. He can smell childhood trauma on her, and gives her his card, should she be interested in therapy. What a weird way to drum up business.

At the police station, Romero learns that the dead woman is one Lindsay Davis, a California prostitute who’s been spending one weekend a month in White Pine Bay, to the tune of $10,000 per visit. Nice work, if you can get it. Then he has a pissing contest with Marcus Young, who is running against him for sheriff in the upcoming election. It was pretty uneventful, but obviously it will come into play later, so I thought I’d let you know.

At the motel, Norman and Emma are studying when Emma decides to pry into Norman’s crappy mood. He blows her off, but she picks at it until he’s fuming mad at Norma again. She thinks he’s bad. She acts like he’s done something wrong. Man, parents just don’t understand (when you’re a serial killer). He stomps up to the house and fights with Norma again, screaming that he didn’t kill Annika, that he remembers that whole night.

And that brings us to our Psycho moment of the week. It’s a doozy! Norman’s in the bathroom when Norma appears in the mirror behind him. Only … her hair and dress are completely different than they were a moment ago, and if you’re even remotely familiar with the movie, you recognize this as classic Norma.

She reminds him how he remembered everything about Blair’s death when he was trapped in the box underground, and suggests re-creating that experience by going underwater in the bathtub to see if he can remember killing Annika. She begins to undress him and smiles the most sinister smile since the Grinch. And then, poof, she’s gone.

Norman takes his sensory deprivation bath and starts flashing back to various memories we already know about. Before anything new can be revealed (to us, anyway), the real Norma kicks the door in and pulls him out of the tub, sputtering and coughing. As she tucks him into bed, he wonders aloud if he did kill Annika, after all. Norma takes off to lock up the office, promising to come back with tea.

Down at the office, she has a mini-breakdown, crying and screaming “I’m sorry.” I would expect no less from her. Then, a car arrives. Guess who gets out. No, not Hugh Jackman. That would be ridiculous. It’s Annika! And she’s been shot in the stomach! And she pushes something into Norma’s hand, telling her to “use this to do something important.” Of course she does! Norma runs inside to call 911, even though she suspects that Annika is already dead. She opens her hand to reveal a bloody flash drive.

OMG—but what if it’s formatted for a PC and she only has a Mac???

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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