'Bates Motel' Episode 4 Recap: Sex Temporarily Solves Everything


I went into the fourth episode of Bates Motel, which I've been reviewing since its premiere a month ago, in a good mood. The A&E show has just been renewed for a second season, meaning you have a lot more of my recaps to look forward to.

Where did we leave off? Last week, Norman wandered over to Deputy Zack's house in a sleepy haze. Before running off to the cop's home in the middle of the night, Norman had a vision of his mother, who told him to enter the residence and take the belt, which happens to be evidence that can be used against them in the disappearance of the town perv.

If you remember correctly, Norma killed him after he broke into her house in a rage, physically assaulted her, and raped her. His death has been a secret between Norma and Norman ever since, as Norma assured her son that a murder/rape would hurt their chances of starting a motel in town, and their lies are becoming harder to veil every episode. 

The good news for them is that the policemen, one of which is seeing Norma, truly don't think Norma and Norman were involved in the town creeper's death. Naturally, Norma and Deputy Zack, whom I've remarked looks exactly like her eldest son Dylan, have sex this episode. They aggressively tear each other's clothes off, seeming to need the release after so much intensity surrounding a town disappearance.

Norma and Dylan are getting along better, but he still keeps her at arms length ... and warns Norman once again not to get sucked into her little world. He doesn't have too much time for that, as he has two girls hollerin' at him.

The first is Emma, the girl with cystic fibrosis who got the uncomfortable third degree from Norman's mother a few episodes back. Norman and Emma have kissed before, but things got weird last week when he exploded on her in school following their discovery of a creepy notebook in his home. The notepad seems to belong to a deceased girl who needs their help, but Normans drops the situation entirely, apparently dropping Emma too.

There's also Bradley, the less interesting but more conventionally attractive classmate. For one, she doesn't have tubes inside her nose and isn't tethered to an oxygen tank. She's also just lost her dad unexpectedly, a tragedy with which Norman is familiar. 

After Norman's mother has a little freak out upon the realization that she murdered someone and has to live with the consequences, Norman runs off to Dylan for help. Surely enough, Bradley texts Norman at 10 p.m., a suggestive hour, Dylan says.

Dylan tells Norman to go see the girl, as she's down to hook up.

"No girl calls you at ten if she doesn't want you to come over," Dylan offers, adding that Norman needs to cash in his v-card already. "I got laid when I was twelve."

And that's kind of implied here. After three episodes of uncertainty, fear, blackouts, creepy visions, death, fights, and more, Norman needed to do something enjoyable. So he gets in bed with Bradley and it's assumed that they have sex. 

Dylan is a proud older brother, but Norma, who we already know has a creepy relationship with Norman, loses her cool again and starts crying and screaming after hearing that her youngest child is probably out getting it on. Many parents get upset about their high school offspring having sex, but there's no reason to be livid and start punching things, so this behavior is yet another reminder that the Norma-Norman dynamic is anything but normal.

At any rate, the two of them needed to escape their sordid world of boundary-free interactions, secrecy, death, and mental instability for a short period of time. They'd both probably be saner if they took more time out of each episode to do this, and it also gets them away from their toxic relationship with each other.