“Bates Motel” Recap: Norman Goes… Abnorman

Norma shares secrets about Norman. Norman shares another horrifying gaze.


Uh, well! If you were concerned that Bates Motel was moving too slowly, teaching us too much about Cystic Fibrosis, or threatening to hit us with another 150 episodes of circumspect intrigue, fear not! We learned a big, big secret this week, and it’s basically all I care to talk about. I’m thrilled, dammit! Look, the original Norman Bates himself, the effete and debonair Anthony Perkins, is ready to weigh in with his review.

This week, Mr. Perkins is…


Tony loved this week’s episode, even when it was off-the-rails implausible. Because honestly? So is this life.

Here are the most notable things about last night’s Bates Motel.

1. Emma: Get away from these people before they go super-Hitchcockian on you.

Bates Motel

Emma had a short but somewhat humiliating appearance on the show this evening, as she had the nerve to announce, “No one will believe that there was an Asian sex ring without her!” when referring to, yes, that Asian sex slave. This storyline is both too creepy and too boringly insane, and Emma’s constant Nancy Drew tactics feel more forced with every episode. When she exchanged an overlong hug with Norma, that was “forced” in a hilarious and weird way. I want to see a show where Norma Bates is forced to hug random people for an hour straight. She’d run through 70 different and distinct grimaces, I guarantee it, while wearing one very flattering Ann Taylor Loft shawl.

2. Norma, stop nailing that sexual criminal feet from where you’re storing his victim.


I’m not saying Detective Shelby isn’t attractive. I would even call him very attractive! Fills out a pair of jeans. Grins in rugged outerwear like a devilish Eddie Bauer customer. Sexy eyes. But then there’s that other thing about him: He is a confirmed kidnapper and deranged sexual monster. I couldn’t buy that Norma, who is acutely aware of his moral shortcomings, would schtup him while housing his Asian Sex Slave (TM) in her motel. I also wouldn’t buy that he’d snap to attention during their sex sesh, immediately realize that the Sex Slave was lurking in her motel, and barrel around the premises with his gun drawn. That struck me as farfetched. But since it served as a prelude to the show’s greatest act of the season, I can kind of tolerate it.

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