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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.