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Bates Motel – S3E1 – A Death in the Family

Bates Motel

Dylan notices Norman’s bed was not slept in the night before and asks Norma about it in the kitchen. Norman slept with her. They were up late talking and he fell asleep. No big deal. It happens a lot. Dylan explains it’s kinda not okay for an 18-year-old to sleep with his mommy. Tell her, Dylan. Michael Jackson didn’t get away that shit, and Norma shouldn’t encourage it. She tells him she hears him loud and clear, then sends him off to work with some toast.

I need to point out here they were spooning in that bed. Norman was the big spoon.

Anyway, Norma gets a call from an attorney informing her that her mother died and he needs to go over the details of her estate. Norma is not interested and nonchalantly mentions her mother died to Norman as they prepare to leave for school. She drives Norman to school, but he doesn’t want to go in. Norma tries gentle coaxing, but when that doesn’t work, she jumps out of the car, and drags him out. I was mortified for Norman.

Bates Motel S3E1 Norman and Norma

The first thing he sees when he enters is a framed picture of Ms.Watson in a trophy case. Then he sees her for real when she sits down next to him in the cafeteria, her throat cut and dripping with blood. He takes off running, headed for home. Yeah. I’d say that’s a good reason to cut school.

Norma lets him stay home when he arrives. When a new guest checks in, Norman eyes her cleavage. Norma notices and makes sure to let slip Norman is still in high school. Later, the new guest, Anika, needs help with a blown light in her room and Norman is all too willing to fix it. They make small talk as Norman talks about his family and because he’s been so honest with her, she tells him the truth about her work: she’s basically a hooker.

Bates Motel New Guest

Dylan runs into his uncle/daddy who wants to give him money left by his dead mother. Dylan wants no parts of it or him and tells him to leave… at gunpoint.

That night, Norma tells Norman she’d be okay with him homeschooling while being the motel’s manager. Then Norman tries sleeping in Norma’s bed again, but she tells him it’s not a good idea. He’s clearly butt-hurt, but pretends not to be. Norma sticks to her guns and Norman stomps to his room. It feels like she wants to keep him close to home, away from people at school who might find out what’s wrong with him, but we all know that’s not going to help. 

Bates Motel S3E1 UncleThe next day, Dylan finds his uncle/daddy broken down on the side of the road and reluctantly gives him a lift into town to the nearest auto supply store. Uncle/daddy admits he knows he’s Dylan’s dad. He makes a case for his crazy mother and violent father being the cause of his and Norma’s dysfunctional relationship. Dylan is not impressed.

Norman tells Emma he’s not going back to school. He’s going to homeschool and take care of the motel. Emma has bad news of her own: her lung capacity has diminished. Norman suggests she homeschool with him and Emma perks right up. He also suggests they date, but insists it has nothing to do with her bad news. Emma is thrilled. Clearly Norman is struggling to look and feel normal, and this is part of that, but I fear for Emma. Honestly, I fear for everyone.

Norma sits Dylan down to tell him about his grandmother. Norma kept a ribbon of her mother’s because it was attached to the one happy memory she had of her. I love how close Norma and Dylan have become.

While taking out the motel trash, Norman chases off a raccoon and ends up spying on Anika while she showers. Norma catches him and loses her shit. He apologizes, and when he finds her crying in her bed later, he assumes it’s because of him being a pervy perv. She hugs him and says she’s been thinking about her mother. Then she lets him sleep in her bed again. Norma! You were making such progress.

Anika comes into the office asking for directions to a place in town. Norman awkwardly comes up with a reason to drive with her while Emma side-eyes. Norman says he’ll be back in an hour, but doesn’t return until after closing when Emma has gone home. He was supposed to walk home, but he returns driving Anika’s car.

Score | 8.5/10Other Stuff and Overall Thoughts:
  • Dylan met with Sheriff Romero and told him he’s out of the illegal drug trade. He wants to grow legally to help people who need it. Romero can no longer protect him if he goes that route. Since his new business will be legal, Dylan doesn’t understand why he’d need protection. Oh, Dylan. Later, Romero whips the ass of some guy who stepped to him in a bar, salty that the his weed job has gone bye bye.
  • So, are we to believe Norman harmed the new girl because he returned in her car? I’m so afraid for… everyone, but especially Emma. I feel like he’s going to kill her and they’ll cover it up as if her illness finally won.
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

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