Review: Bates Motel 2.04 – “Check-Out”

Bates Motel is back and we finally get a creepy, psycho-like pay-off at the end of the episode. More on that later. Emma (Olivia Cooke)- who if you remember from last week’s episode had quite a drunken bender- wakes up shirtless, in bed with the boy from Bradley’s memorial, looking embarrassed and sneaks out of the room. She’s at the Bates Motel. It’s good to see someone is staying at the motel. A woman and her children (so there are other guests!) walk up to Emma and complains about the passed out man in a truck. It’s Dylan (Max Thieriot)!

It seems he had a drunken bender last night, too. And who can blame him? Finding out your uncle is your father and that you are no less the result of rape. Emma and Norman bring Dylan back to a motel room, where Norma (Vera Farmiga) sees them. Norma dismisses Emma saying, “Everything is fine!” Someone is in deep, deep denial. Norma coddles passed-out Dylan on the bed and cries. She then drives to another motel, The King’s Motel, and sits in her car crying before driving away. She doesn’t have the courage to face her brother, Caleb (Kenny Johnson).

Norma Okay Bates Motel

Back from credits, Dylan is awake! He asks Norman how long he knew the truth, but Norman denies it. Dylan says he is forever different and can’t go back and suggests that Norma might be lying to Norman about something in his life, like Norman’s blackout during Sam Bates’s mysterious death. That suggestion shakes Norman.

Dylan goes down to the docks where he runs into Caleb. He confronts him about the truth. Caleb sort of side-steps the truth, saying he was different then and it was a long time ago. However, he says that Norma is a liar. He says she got knocked-up by a high school boyfriend, dropped out and moved out of the house to marry that guy. Regardless, Caleb gives Dylan back his money and tells him he should have never come to White Pine Bay. Uh, yeah, Caleb, probably not!

Christine (Rebecca Creskoff), who apparently has nothing better to do all day than bug Norma, insists that Norma come out with her. She shows up unannounced at Norma’s house, and says crazy things like “stop resisting” and “people aren’t meant to live alone.” And then she proceeds to go through Norma’s closet, suggesting dresses she should wear to a double date with George (an old Michael Vartan) and her husband, Peter. Norma clearly has other things on her mind. Does Christine have no other friends or a life? What the heck is her deal?

Sad Norma Bates Motel

Later, Norman comforts his mother… in her bed. Yes, creep it up. Creep it up, Bates Motel! He asks her if there is anything else she hasn’t told him and she says no. She tells him how she drove to Caleb’s motel, but couldn’t confront him. Norman spoons/hugs her more closely. Too close. I never did that with my mother.

Norman web searches for Caleb’s motel online while playing Katy Perry. Okay. No. Norman playing Katy Perry’s “Roar” is something I take issue with. What the heck, Bates Motel? Totally does not fit the mood or atmosphere of the show, and it’s not even funny or quirky. It’s just weird and unsettling. Cody Brennan (Paloma Kwiatowski) shows up angrily and yells at Norman for not showing up to tech. Woah, calm down bro! Emma throws her two cents in, saying Norma wouldn’t like Norman hanging out with her. I’d have to agree, Emma.

George Arrives Bates Motel

It’s time for Norma’s double date, but first she must put on a black dress with her bedroom door open and Norman creepily watching. Seriously, Norma, can you please just shut your bedroom door when getting dressed? It’s not that hard. When George arrives at the door, Norman answers and then asks when Norma will be home. It’s a funny role reversal. On her date, Christine’s husband, Peter, talks about the development of the motorway and the town. He is for it. Norma has a mini freak-out in the bathroom, but George later apologizes for Peter’s behavior.

On a Date Bates Motel

Prying Cody convinces Norman to go confront Caleb and make him leave town by scaring him. Norman at first agrees and they get as close as outside Caleb’s door, but then Norman freaks out, lashing out at Cody, saying he can’t do it, so they leave. Hint to Cody: Norman is crazy, can’t you tell?

In a lighter, happier Emma subplot, she keeps running into Gunner (Keenan Tracey), the boy she met at Bradley’s memorial. She checked him into the motel and he is doing some work selling weed in White Pine Bay for the summer. She asks if they slept together and he says no, which is a relief to Emma. But then later, he asks her why she is relieved and she says because it would be her first time and she wants to remember it. Aw. Emma is a cute, good girl and I can’t help but root for her. Hopefully she can trust this Gunner boy.

And in a boring side plot, Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell, where have you been?) makes an appearance to threaten new drug kingpin, Zane (Michael Eklund). They argue about how things work in the town and who is really in charge here. Zane, of course, doesn’t care because later on, the Sheriff must deal with a giant house fire. Who is the culprit? Zane, of course. Does anybody else care about this plot line? Please let me know if you do, cause I don’t.

But back to the main action: Norma is drunk at home when Dylan shows up with boxes. He is moving out! She doesn’t understand why. He says, “You made this mess, now you have to live with it.” Norma claims rape! They continue to argue, both get very emotional. Dylan, his eyes brimming with tears, says that Norma just used him to get out of her house before running out and away. Norma cries out that she was a child, she didn’t know what to do! But Dylan is gone… Norman, however, overhears the whole conversation from a hiding spot. His face is pure psychotic.

Norman's Face Bates Motel

What follows is the best part of the entire show, yet. Norman goes to confront Caleb at his motel. Or should I say, “Mother” confronts Caleb at his motel. Norman, who has been having visions of his mother getting raped the whole episode, has finally jumped ship. He is “Mother” talking to Caleb as Norma and then attempting to slash him with a knife! Caleb easily dodges Norman and pushed him to the ground, shaking his head and leaving. Cody later picks up Norman from a diner. He stares ahead blankly. YESSS. This is the Norman Bates we all know and are afraid of. Thank you, Bates Motel, for finally giving us what we want.

Hopefully this new development in Norman’s psychosis will lead to better things in the future of this show. What did you guys think of Norman’s transformation? Are you excited about next week’s intense looking episode? Comment below and let me know!

New episodes of Bates Motel air Monday @ 10/9c on A&E. Watch full episodes on AETV.com, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video.

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Post Author: Ben Fleck

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