Well, that episode was fracked up on so many levels.
I suppose it potentially answers the question I had of whether Norman Bates becomes a psychopath killer or not. Really though, I thought they would drag it out more ambiguously for a few more seasons. Still, a satisfying, pulpy episode that definitely leaves much open for the next season.
The episode opens with Norma rushing into Sheriff Guyliner (who btw, became way hotter in this episode, despite the guyliner) telling him all about how Creepnathy threatened to kill her and how he wants $150,000 she doesn’t have. He looks at her, tells her he’ll take care of it. She doesn’t believe him, and runs her mouth off. He ignores her, as one would an irritating fly. She leaves, not assured
Norman, at school with Emma, stares up at the enormous sign in the hallway declaring the winter formal. She more or less (ok she outright) guilts him into taking her. He doesn’t seem to mind, and then you see him notice Bradley and realize he has… ulterior motives for going to the dance.
Norman then comes upon his language arts teacher having a heated conversation on her cellphone. They have a sexy sexy time moment, except it’s all in the gaze. He says he doesn’t want to publish his story. She asks him not to tell anyone about what he overheard. He promises not to.
Meanwhile, there’s a shot of the Sheriff going to a garage and getting a suspicious bag of something out. Is it the money???
Back at the house, Norma tries to bribe Dylan to get her a gun with French toast. He refuses, on the basis that Norma and a gun are a bad idea.
Agreed, Dylan. Completely agreed.
She tells him all about Creepnathy. He still refuses to give her a gun and storms out on his crazy ass mother.
Norma decides that she needs to talk to someone and also decides that person is Norman’s therapist. She goes to him. He starts asking her probing questions about her childhood. She suddenly gets a stomach ache and runs out of the office. Very productive session, Norma. Way to share your feelings.
The sheriff then talks to Keith Summer’s sister because she used to run the books for the Asian sex slave ring. We find out Creepnathy’s name, Fiore (or is it his name?). Her face is all beat up because he thought she had the money at first and he worked her over. The Sheriff tells her not to say anything, and she’ll be ok.
Man of few words, Sheriff Guyliner.
Back at the motel, Norma runs into Emma who shows her the dress she bought for the dance. The dance is news to Norma, but she seems to handle it fairly well. Her son is going with a terminally ill date, not much threat there for his attention. She makes the appropriate girly noises about how pretty the dress is. While they’re cooing, Emma notices the scar on Norma’s thigh. Norma deflects it, saying it was some hot chocolate that burned her when she was two.
Yeah, ok, we believe that.
Meanwhile, Norman answers the door to Bradley. He smiles. Then she asks for Dylan. His face goes…all Bates. He gets Dylan and then eavesdrops on them from the other room. He doesn’t catch them doing anything other than making innocuous conversation, but man, the look on his face… I would definitely never, ever want to make Norman Bates angry.
Dylan decides it is ok for Norma to have a gun after all (no, Dylan, baaad idea) and tries to teach Norma how to shoot. Points for the two actors for making the scene both funny and heart-warming. He calls her mom for the first time in ever. She tells him she’s scared. They bond over bullets. Hooray.
God, the Bates family. They’re really like no other.
Norma gets a visit from Keith Summer’s sister. Their conversation is… oh, who cares it doesn’t really do much for the plot of the episode. So let’s skip over.
It’s before the dance. Norman is furiously looking for black socks. He can’t find any. Norma is playing with her gun and almost shoots herself in the face. Norman yells for his mother. She hastily hides the gun. He comes storming in demanding for his socks. She yells back at him. Dylan comes in with the voice of sanity and says Norman can borrow a pair of his black socks. He and Norman then have an awkward conversation where Norman insists he’s over Bradley and Dylan can date her, etc, etc., even though Norman is clearly so not over her at all. Norman brushes past his brother.
Clearly fraternal bonding is over and Abel and Cain are back.
Downstairs, Norma and Norman wait for Emma to pick Norman up. Norma then chooses NOW to share her true childhood story with her son about how her brother raped her for years, and her father was angry and violent and her mother just a shell.
Good job Norma for completely being THE WORST MOTHER EVER. Who tells their son this??? Who tells him before A SCHOOL DANCE?
Emma comes, picks Norman up. Norma sees them off then gets a call from Creepnathy reminding her about their meeting. Like she (or we) could forget.
Norman and Emma go to the dance, which is decorated in the way Hollywood insists school dances look like, which is way over the top and more beautiful than the shit-tastic things they actually are. Norman spends the entire dance making eyes at Bradley. Emma notices. Bradley’s boyfriend notices. Emma leaves upset, deserting Norman as a ride. Bradley’s boyfriend takes Norman outside and then punches him for bothering Bradley. Norman starts walking home in the rain and then gets picked up by his language arts teacher in a Fiat.
Woo-hoo product placement.
Norma goes to the docks to meet Creepnathy but hides when she hears a car coming. It’s the Sheriff! He walks to the dock. Creepnathy pulls up. Creepnathy asks where’s the “cute but nutty lady who runs the hotel?”
Best. Description. Ever.
Sheriff Guyliner tells him she’s out of the picture, then brokers a new sex slave deal with Creepnathy that cuts him in. He throws the bag he has at Creepnathy. Creepnathy bends to pick it up. Norma aims a shaky gun at both of them. Then, as Creepnathy’s hand closes over the bag, THE SHERIFF SHOOTS HIM!
Creepnathy falls into the waters. The Sheriff throws the bag in after the body (clearly no money in that). Then he says, “not in my town” and then “you can come out now Norma.”
Norma comes out from her hiding spot, yelling “I almost shot you!”. Sheriff Guyliner tells her she should have trusted him to take care of it, then walks away.
Meanwhile, Norman stares down the dress of his language art teacher as she cleans his eye. They have more sexy gazes. Then she goes to change and leaves the door open. He can see her undressing in the mirror. THEN NORMA appears and talks to Norman, telling him she’s trying to seduce him and he knows what he has to do. Norman rises slowly and…
Cut to Norman running in the rain towards home. He pulls into the motel and his mother almost runs him over in the car. He babbles, upset about how he can’t remember anything from after he got picked up for a ride home by his teacher. She pulls him into a hug. She assures him everything is going to be ok now. They go up to the house, holding hands.
Then, cut to a shot of the body of Norman’s teacher with her throat slit and a necklace with B around her neck.
Da da duuuum.
Did Norman do it? Is he truly now THE Norman Bates of Psycho? Oooor was it the threatening caller on the phone with the teacher earlier?
Guess we’ll find out… NEXT SEASON! Because it has been renewed! Yes! Can’t wait for more ridiculous pulpy plotlines in the future!