Review: Bates Motel 2.08 – “Meltdown”

Bates Motel is at its most intense this week! Anything could happen… Norma looks at photos of a young Norman. Ah, there’s the child actor Freddie Highmore we all remember and love from Finding Neverland. Things have changed! Since the revelation in last week’s episode (Norman’s semen was found in the dead Miss Watson), Sheriff Romero is on edge. He suspiciously watches Norman, who suspiciously watches Sheriff Romero. This episode should be entitled, “I’m secretly staring at someone!”

Norman is still mad at his mother, since she won’t tell him the secret about himself, so he refuses to go see Double Indemnity with her. Norma is a mess about it. Suddenly, Nick Ford (Michael O’Neill) appears and demands Norma arrange a meeting between him and Dylan.

Speaking of Dylan, he wakes up in the field outside of the Ford warehouse that Zane and his goons raided the night before. He escapes to Jodi’s (Kathleen Robertson) house, but she doesn’t know what to do. Meanwhile, Romero and over eager Deputy Lin (Agam Darshi) investigate the warehouse. It was a bloodbath! Norma tries to call Dylan, but he doesn’t answer. She asks Emma for advice. Zane (Michael Eklund) arrives at Jodi’s house to discuss tactics about what to do. It’s odd to see these three drug lords debating in a very nice looking suburban house. Zane’s idea of a good plan is to wear down Nick Ford until they win and take over the town. Sure, Zane. The other two don’t look thrilled.

Later, Norma visits Dylan at his “office” at the docks. She is hilariously concerned about the weed and what Dylan is doing with his life. She tells him about Nick Ford, but he says he can’t meet with him. Norma returns home, where George (old Michael Vartan) is waiting to tell Norma the good news about the bypass – it is delayed. They hug and good ol’ George gets the feelings. He can’t just be friends with Norma. He wants to date. She happily acquiesces. I guess she is ready now.

Night. Dylan drives along the road, blasting some uncharacteristic rock music, when he suddenly gets pulled over by a cop. It’s Romero and he is not happy. He demands to know where Zane is, pushing Dylan up against the car. But Dylan doesn’t know, so he lets him go.

The next day, Norman has been busy all day hanging his creepy taxidermy birds all over the house (love this nod to the movie!). Norma is not a fan at all. Romero arrives and asks for Norman’s help to fix a broken shower rod in his room. In reality, he just used this opportunity to question Norman about his relationship with Miss Watson. Romero tells Norman that Miss Watson slept with a lot of people and was troubled. Norman starts acting defensive and shifty. Then Romero straight up asks if Norman slept with Miss Watson. Norman denies it and runs out! I feel like Romero needs to work out his strategy a bit better.

While Norma is out, Nick Ford shows up at the house and begins a conversation with Norman. He asks why Norman was taking pictures of him at his daughter’s grave. Uh-what?! Nick Ford is the estranged father of Miss Watson! That’s new information! Norman looks uncomfortable, but Norma arrives. She is not pleased to see Nick Ford casually sitting in her living room. She sends Norman on his way, but he lingers to eavesdrop on their conversation. Norma says she couldn’t find Dylan and she wants him out of her house. Nick Ford replies by saying she is beholden to him because he got rid of Lee Berman, he got her the council seat, and she is making a horrible mistake! Yikes!

Luckily for Nick Ford, Dylan calls him up and wants to meet him in a public place. They later meet at a pizza place, where Nick urges Dylan to take out Zane and the madness will stop. Sounds reasonable to me. Dylan wants to get rid of Zane too, right? Well, instead Dylan gets angry and defensive and yells at Nick to stay away from his family or he’ll kill him. And thus the drug war will probably begin. Le sigh.

Time for Norma and George’s date. Norma tries to prod Norman, but he just isn’t buying it. The usual jealousy and bitterness about Norma going out with George is gone. Very odd. It’s almost weird to have Norman not being creepy. George’s house is super nice and, of course, this freaks Norma out. She rambles on about her lies (she isn’t educated, her husband wasn’t rich, she’s not this high class lady) and then runs out of the house, whispering “Norman” as she gets into her car.

Norman is happily watching Double Indemnity on the couch alone. Norma rushes in and wants him to comfort her, but he is being a distant dick to her. She gets upset and starts crying, which fuels Norman’s anger. He runs out of the room, saying he doesn’t trust her and everything is changed. Their “game of devotion” was all a lie and it is over now! He locks himself in his room telling his mother to leave him alone. She bangs on his door for a while, before angrily rushing out and back to George’s house, where she starts making out with him and then literally drops her panties. Um… what just happened? Did Norma have revenge sex with George, on Norman’s behalf? Erm…?

Anyways, Deputy Lin asks Romero what they are going to do now that Kyle has been convicted of Miss Watson’s murder, but they have evidence against Norman. Romero threatens Lin, telling her to say nothing or he’ll report her for getting an illegal test on Norman. Simultaneously, Dylan and Jodi talk about their situation aka Zane/Nick Ford. Dylan wants Jodi to stop Zane, but she can’t. She wants Dylan to take out Zane. Okay, so listen everyone, someone needs to kill Zane. Hell, all do it. Just end this storyline!

What a great time for a thunderstorm. Romero arrives back at the motel and tells Norman that Kyle has been convicted of Miss Watson’s murder. But then he reveals he has physical evidence that Norman slept with Miss Watson the night she died. Norman freaks out and goes into complete denial. Romero demands to know why he is lying. Instead of answering, Norman runs back up the house, to his room, where he fishes out Miss Watson’s necklace and obit. Someone else enters the house. Norman calls out for his mother as he walks down the stairs. No one answers. Then, suddenly, a hand covers Norman’s mouth and he gets chloroformed by an unknown stranger! Norma suddenly wakes up in George’s bed. Do they have some kind of mental connection?

Two episodes left you guys! I must say, I am impressed with the show right now. It is getting creepy, intense, and weird and I have no idea what is going to happen next. Who kidnapped Norman? Will Romero discover the truth? Will somebody please kill Zane? Please comment below with any questions, comments, concerns, or musings.

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

2 thoughts on “Review: Bates Motel 2.08 – “Meltdown”

    Dave&Fly

    (2014-04-25 - 6:58 am)

    “Meltdown” was creeeeeeepy. I love the strengthening undercurrents (ie, the incestuous nature of Norma/Norman’s relationship!?). This is a defining episode, ripe with conspiracy fodder. For instance, what significance does Double Indemnity signify? I think the movie’s still on Netflix, so I’ll watch it again. No doubt there will be at least one “Aha!” moment in that screening, whether intended by the makers of Bates or not (Of course there’s significance, right!?)

    Ben José

    (2014-04-28 - 10:10 am)

    Oh, Double Indemnity definitely plays a role! I’d give it a re-watch, for sure. I loved the creeeeepy in this episode. And tonight, things are definitely going to get even “more creepy!”

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