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Bates Motel: Gone But Not Forgotten (2×01)
Synopsis: Sentence or two on the summary
In case you don’t remember how last season ended, you can check out our Bates Motel tag to track down all of last season’s recaps. But, basically, the show has you covered if you like legit need someone to tell you how it ended. Someone killed the Blue Fairy! Also know as Miss Watson, Norman’s teacher. Norman’s teacher who was last seen by Norman when she was strip teasing him through the crack in her door after she picked up him while he was walking home from a disastrous school dance. Well. I mean, I guess we were the last ones to see her. Laying dead in her bedroom.
The show picks up the next morning when Norma gets an automatic message from the school about her murder. Norma, who knows Norman is crazy, asks him about seeing her last. He admits that she was going to drive him home but doesn’t remember anything else until he was running home through the rain. They go to the funeral and Norman – who doesn’t even seem to fathom that his psychosis is the reason she’s dead – takes it very hard. It gets so bad that his crying even disrupts the preacher’s eulogy at the grave site. Except then Norma and Norman go home and he’s all upset asking who would do something like this. Which seems genuine and sweet up until his mother walks away after trying to reassure him and he’s playing with one of Miss Watson’s pearl necklaces in his hand.
For another ‘uhm, okay’ moment, we suddenly flash to some chick that I’m not one hundred percent sure whether or not I’m supposed to recognize at first (who turns out to be Bradley, by the way) drinking and driving super fast on some old back road. After almost getting hit by a semi-truck she later hapharzardly stops her car in the middle of the road on a bridge and then jumps off it. There’s some letters in the seat next to her that probably drove her to it or something but at first you’re just like. “Well, okay, then. Her side story and introduction were short and sweet.”
And then we time jump four months because enough of this depressing stuff! It’s summer. The Bates Motel is booming. Vacationers are all over the place. Emma is working in the office and Norman is supposed to be, too, but he’s so busy disembowling animals in the basement to care. Don’t worry – it’s good disembowlment! He’s gotten into the taxidermy thing hardcore and he’s super happy about it. Norma maybe not so much but hey. At least he isn’t murdering people subconsciously! How about that?
Okay, so, maybe Emma and Norman are still in a weird place. The letters in Bradley’s car were from Norman and, it turns out, she’s alive! Hurray! She did jump off a bridge, though. Kinda surprised that all she got was four months in a mental institution but kids these days just bounce back, I guess. Of course, the creepy Bates Motel music playing when we see her again in the hospital make it seem kind of like she’s maybe a bit Norman-psycho, too. By the way, who let’s teenagers smoke in a mental institution?
Norma and Dylan are sort of in an equally weird place. They sort of made good but not quite but he’s trying. And she’s trying. Dylan just wants to pay her rent since he’s not moved out yet and he wants to contribute. But she keeps saying she wants nothing to do with his money because of his whole illegal weed business stuff but he makes a good point about the fact that everyone in town has their fingers in that pie some way or another.
Her relationship with Norman is more on the ropes than it has been before it seems, too. Which has a lot to do with her self absorbed ego and Norman’s obsession with dead things – Miss Watson and the animals, namely. Or it could just be that he’s a normal teenager who wants to drive but doesn’t want their mom harping at him while she’s trying to teach him. There’s that, too. The fact that Norma is actually helping him learn to drive – which in turn frees him up to potentially leave – is actually surprising to me but since she desperately wants him to be normal I suppose driving is about as normal of a teenager right of passage as you can get. That doesn’t stop her from taking over when he gets fed up with her, of course. Which in turn just leads them to her driving out to harass the guys building the highway that’s mean to bypass the Bates Motel property all together.
So much for Norma’s plans to fight the bypass. You wait four months and, yeah, Norma. Shit happens. Stuff gets done. It is sad, though, because she seems so proud of the motel and how it’s filled to capacity thanks to the main road running past it and the vacationers looking for a place to stop for the night.
So much for Bradley’s sanity, too. At least the girl gets it now. This town is messed up, her father was murdered for a reason, and shit will never be the same. Not sure going after his former business partners is the smartest plan in the world, though. Nor is playing around with a gun when you’re clearly unstable and pointing it at yourself. That’s one way to screw up this plan to figure out what happened to your father. At least her mom knocks before she maybe shoots herself. Of course then Norman comes over to be all kinds of awkward which would probably drive someone like Bradley to suicide, let’s be real. He wrote her every day she was institutionalized. She sent all his letters back. She barely says two words to him. So when he goes on and on about how she shouldn’t feel like she’s alone or needs to kill herself because no one cares I am surprised she doesn’t pull the gun out and start waving it around. But I guess ignoring him works well enough.
At least until he decides to kill her. Because he definitely just goes home and lays in bed reading an article about Miss Watson’s murder while fondling her pearls. And then goes back to her grave the next day. Norman. C’mon. Your mom just doesn’t want you to get arrested. She also probably doesn’t want you taking pictures of creepy dudes at your teacher’s grave site who then chase after you.
She clearly doesn’t want Dylan getting all in with the local weed crime boss but it’s way too late for that. Dylan is a trusted member of the organization. Regardless of the fact that he helped Bradley steal her father’s stuff that one time (which apparently is where the gun came from). C’mon man. Just do your job. Mind your own business. Now he wants you to make sure Bradley doesn’t get too many answers and you’re so hot for Bradley that this is so not going to work out for you in the end. But, juicy bit to remember: his boss was banging the Blue Fairy. And she was apparently the daughter of one of the other weed operation head honchos in tow so. Weed war brewing? Probably.
And she definitely does not want you to go to the police chief and start talking to him about Miss Watson’s murder. Ugh. Norman. Don’t give Norma reason to kill him. I want them to bang. But, no, Norman goes on and on about his relationship with Miss Watson and how he went to her house once and it’s just like… face palmingly bad. Talking about fingerprints and how lots of people probably went to her house. Sheriff Romero. Just… tred carefully, man. At least it seems like maybe Norman’s photos were useful because he clearly recognized the dude at the gravesite.
Of course, Norma is too busy prepping for her meeting with the city council to be at all aware of any of this. Yes, Norma, the road is going to divert traffic from your business but… you have no plan at all, no proposition. When they shrug her off she probably should have left. Instead she kind of loses it. Calls the chairman a dick and starts going off about how the town runs on drug money. It’s funny how the people at the meeting all sort of look down and away. Then she turns on the PTA moms complaining about the graphic content of Crime and Punishment. … and starts crying.
Predictably none of that helps anything.
Dylan is trying to help Bradley, though, it seems. He warns her off from talking to his boss, Gill, again. Except then for some reason he tells her about her dad’s affair with Miss Watson and how Gill was banging her and how that’s probably why he’s dead. Which then some how turns into a conversation about them and how Dylan knows Norman likes her so he doesn’t want to cross that line. But c’mon, Dylan. Norman’s not going to hook up her. He’s probably going to kill her. Don’t chase her away! Be with her while you can!
At least after Bradley takes off Sheriff Romero and Norma get to be on screen together. Any time these two are together I just seriously want them to hook up. I don’t know why. Their characters are just… so compatible. In a terrible, terrible way. Not that they are terrible together. They are just… terrible with their secrets and lies and manipulation. Whatever. I love Sheriff Romero. Anyway, he tells her about Norman’s visit so she goes home and goes off at him a bit about it all.
Then he drops this bomb that Miss Watson actually had taken him back to her house. He tells her that she sort of made him feel uncomfortable with the touching and the strip tease. It made him scared that she might do something or hurt him so he took off running. He doesn’t remember what happened in between but he blames himself for her death because he thinks that if he hadn’t left she might not have died. Whoever killed her came after he had left and he just wishes he could have been there to stop it. Norma grabs on to that and tells him he’s a god kid and that it’s okay; he did what he was supposed to do. He ran.
But how long before she finds the pears I wonder?
I was going to say “… and I wonder how long until Bradley really loses it?” but that’s well taken care of by the end of this episode. She goes to see Gill, starts to seduce him, and then when she gets his pants down and has him laid out on the couch she blows his freakin’ head off with her dad’s gun.
And then that bitch comes to Norman asks for his help! What even? Go to Dylan! He’s far less likely to get creepy possessive afterward and stuff! Ugh, Bradley. Though, to be fair, he’ll be super happy the dude is dead when she tells him Gill was sleeping with Miss Watson because he’ll probably believe that Gill killed his teacher. Though, to be fair, it’s possible that he did kill her and Norman didn’t do anything. It’s entirely possible that the show is just leading us on making us assume he killed her the same way he did his dad and just blacked out and forgot about the whole thing.
But most likely he killed her. Let’s be realistic here.
Also: totally a weed war coming up, though. Dylan’s shit’s about to get real.
This was such a good jump back into the series! It had literally everything I wanted. It touched on every character and every storyline that needed to be reintroduced. I wish we had a bit more Emma time (and more Dylan time) but honestly? This episode has me so excited for the rest of the season. Especially if this premier sets the bar for the rest. Things are going to get so intense! Just look at next episodes trailer!