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'Bates Motel' fan recap: Chaos seems to swirl around you

Season 3 | Episode 4 | “Unbreak-Able” | Aired Mar 30, 2015

The fourth episode of Bates Motel opens with Norman, fresh from tubby-time, awakening to sirens outside his house. Sheriff Romero arrives and asks for Norma, who immediately tells Romero that Norman didn’t kill Annika. Norman appears, dazed, and Norma rushes to him. He repeatedly asks Norma if he did it, and she has Dylan take him back to the house.

Romero interviews Norma about the death of Annika, and she tells the truth, omitting the part about the flash drive that Annika gave her. Romero asks what was wrong with Norman, but Norma goes on the offensive, claiming that he was stunned by seeing a guest die, and saying she doesn’t appreciate him treating her and her son as suspects.

Norma goes to her room to change, retrieving the flash drive from her weird, old-fashioned bra. I’d like to take this time to come clean and say that for the first half of the pilot, I had absolutely no idea that this show took place in the present. Norma’s clothing, hair, and car all led me to believe that it was set in 1950, and it wasn’t until Norman’s classmates all pulled out iPhones that I realized it was actually present-day, and Norma is just weird. Anyway, it is 2015, and so Norma plugs the flash drive into her laptop, only to find that the files are password-protected. She tries a few obvious guesses (ANNIKA, JOHNSON, and SEXCRAZED among them) before giving up.

Back at the house, Emma and Norman are studying; he’s brooding and not paying attention, as usual. Emma suggests that they go on a picnic to take his mind off of Annika’s death. Norma appears in the next room, so Norman abruptly starts making out with Emma, as one does when one wants to make his mother jealous.

Romero goes to the Arcanum club to confront Bob Paris about Annika’s death. Bob claims to know nothing about her, then asks whether she had anything on her when she died. Real subtle, Bob. Romero then goes to the motel to search Annika’s belongings, looking for the aforementioned “anything.” Norma finds him, and he asks her about the “anything.” She denies any knowledge of the “anything,” they both accuse the other of lying, and both deny lying. Can I just say that I’m so glad I don’t live in White Pine Bay? I mean, can anyone be trusted? Maybe Emma.

Norma goes home and finds Norman preparing food for his picnic. She initially assumes that he’s preparing a picnic for her (completely normal), and when she learns that it’s actually for his age-appropriate, non-relative girlfriend, she gets all huffy and starts slamming pots and pans around. She tells Norman that he can’t have sex with Emma because she’s ill and he’ll kill her. Sure, Norma, that’s why.

Norma goes to Dylan’s room and tells him about the flash drive. She says she doesn’t trust anyone else, and she asks him to try to open the files. He tells her not to tell anyone else about it. Norman overhears the tail end of the conversation.

Romero interviews a colleague of Annika and Lindsay’s, who tells him that Lindsay was seeing Bob. She says that Lindsay was beginning to resent Bob’s lifestyle, and she was pretty sure that Annika had a three-way with them. Pretty damning. Now I’m counting the days until her body turns up in a landfill.

Norman and Emma attempt their picnic, which, due to poor planning, turns out to be a freezing trudge through the woods. Okay, we’ve already established that this show takes place in 2015; why doesn’t either of them have the Weather Channel app? They hole up in a cottage that just happens to be completely barren, save for a fireplace and firewood. They begin to kiss, but Norman hits the brakes and explains that Norma has instructed him not to have sex with her. Emma is more than a little offended that the Bates family has declared themselves experts on her illness and arbiters of her sex life, and she takes off. I like it when Emma makes smart decisions. This brings her grand total to about two, I think.

Up at the farm, Caleb is working on the barn roof when Dylan shows up for one of those typical “you’re my uncle who’s also my dad because you raped my mom” fights that they’re prone to. Caleb, who just wants to be a good dad, falls off the roof in a spectacular human Plinko fashion. He somehow survives, but sustains a hand wound. He refuses to go to the hospital because there’s a warrant out for his arrest (shocker), so Dylan sews him up while Caleb tries to explain how much he loves Norma, who is, again, his sister, whom he raped, thereby conceiving Dylan. Am I the only one who feels worse for Dylan than Norman? I mean, at least Norman’s father is dead … and not his uncle.

Dylan arrives at the motel to find two men in black (not Johnny Cash, Will Smith, or Tommy Lee Jones) ransacking the office, looking for “something that belongs to us.” After a brief standoff and some threats, they leave. Dylan bursts into Norma’s room to tell her about the break-in, and begs her to give the drive to Romero. She refuses, but agrees to let Dylan hide it at the farm. Norman shows up and demands to know what they’re whispering about; they tell him to stay out of it.

Dylan arrives at the farm and hides the drive. Norman has followed him, and discovers Caleb. Norman and Dylan argue and wrestle. Normal brother stuff, except for the everything else, ever. Norman leaves, telling Dylan that he’s destroyed his relationship with Norma by harboring Caleb, which, I guess, yeah. But still. Poor Dylan.

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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