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Bates Motel – S3E2 – The Arcanum Club

Previously on Bates Motel, ‘A Death in the Family’

Where’s That Girl?

Anika is missing. Norma heads to her room with fresh towels – and to check the bathroom’s window shade so her son can’t get his peek on – and even though her car is out front, Anika’s not answering. Norma heads to the house’s basement where she find Norman stuffing a goat. Not a euphemism. He claims he hasn’t seen Anika. Norma remains suspicious.

Norma - Bates Motel S3E2

That afternoon, when Norma realizes Anika still hasn’t returned, she asks Emma if she’s seen their missing guest. Emma spills the beans about Norman giving Anika a ride the night before. The moment Norma hears this, she gets a frightened, then cold look in her eyes. She stars at the door to Anika’s room like it’s to blame for Norman being ill.

Norma Mad

“I shouldn’t have said anything,” Emma says.

Uh, ya think? Your boss is now shooting death rays from her eyes. When Norma confronts Norman, he says he dropped Anika at a bar and drove her car back. Norma completely loses it when Norman says Anika was a prostitute. She doesn’t understand why unhinged women are drawn to him. Clearly she doesn’t understand he is drawn to unhinged women because they remind him of his mom.

She demands they go to the bar in town, and there she notes Norman referred to Anika in the past tense. Norman watches as Norma goes into the bar and does her Norma thing – lots of arm waving. Unsurprisingly, she learns nothing. She sighs and says, “I don’t know how much longer I can do this.”

This being run around and clean up after her homicidal son.

Because these two are masters at manipulating each other, Norman later tells Norma he’s dating Emma. On the surface, it seems to work. Norma looks relieved and they share a hug. When he leaves, she looks even more concerned.

Dog Fight

Dylan has let his UncleDaddy, Caleb, stay. He’s helping out with getting the grow business started. They’re sitting around drinking beer after a day’s work when their dog is attacked by another dog. As Dylan and his friend yell and whistle at the fighting pups, Caleb calmly pulls out a gun and kills the strange dog.

The next day, a man comes looking for his dog. He’s creepy and intimidating. Dylan claims he hasn’t seen the dog. When Caleb walks up, the man – Chick – becomes slightly less aggressive. They speak in code about “growing vegetables” and how lucrative it could be now that the prior “vegetable growing operation” was wiped out by the DEA.

That night, Caleb and Dylan show up on Chick’s doorstep because turnabout’s fair play. Dylan says he thinks they accidentally killed his dog. Chick looks at Dylan like he’s a special kind of stupid and says, “I don’t have a dog.”

Chick and Dylan and Caleb - Bates Motel


He invites them into his shed where there’e more dick measuring over talk of respecting rules. When Chick comes right out and asks how many plants they’ll have, Dylan says 99 – the legal amount, much to Caleb’s annoyance.

“You guys remind me of two guys in a book. You don’t have any rabbits up there, do you?” Oh, snap!

Before they leave, Caleb makes it clear they’re going to do whatever the fuck they want and Chick is going to stay far, far away from them.

Date Night

Norma gets Emma to help her search Anika’s room. While Emma side-eyes the whips and sexy lingerie, Norma finds an invitation to The Arcanum Club, a hunting club where Emma’s father used to work. When they’re done, Norma makes Emma promise not to mention what they’ve done to Norman.

Sheriff Romero is moving out because his house is ready. He insists Norma accept payment for the time he spent there – that bypass construction will begin soon and Norma will need the money. They share the world’s most awkward hugkiss. Yes, that needs to be one word; that’s how bizarre it was. Before he drives away she tells him she always felt safe with him there.

Bates Motel - Norma and Romero

Emma and Norman are out to dinner when she tells him how much she’s looking forward to doing some very non-friend activities with him. He asks if she had sex with Gunner and, “Did you feel bad after?” What a fucking question! I wanted a big red flag to flash for her, but it didn’t. Emma does take a moment before telling him she thinks his mother loves him so much that it stops him from growing up and doing adult things. Clearly, Emma is DTF. When they compare themselves to Wendy and Peter Pan, Emma points out the two never got to have sex. Norman’s laugh/moan was both adorable and disturbing.

The Arcanum Club

Norma gets dressed up and drives out to The Arcanum Club. She pretends to be Anika at the gate and even flashes the invite, but she’s turned away because she doesn’t know the password. Because she’s Norma, she jumps the wall and sneaks onto the property. She follows some men to a cabin and peeks inside a window. There are couples having sex while a man in a tux watches.

Sheriff Romero appears from the trees and demands to know what the hell Norma is doing. She’s honest with him about everything, including the fact that she fears Anika is dead and Norman was the last person to have seen her. He promises to investigate if she’ll just get the hell out of there.

She heads home, but stops to throw a fit at the sign for the Lee Berman Memorial Bypass. Hahahaha! Oh, Norma. When throwing pylons at the sign doesn’t work, she drives through it.

Norma Yells at Sign - Bates Motel

Emma drops Norman off at the motel, they kiss for a bit, but Norman stops it. Before he heads inside, Norma pulls up. She doesn’t tell him the details of the party she went to, only that she went to one and left early. They hug and he promises everything will be okay.

No it won’t. The next day a dog finds a woman’s body floating in a lake.

Score | 9/10Overall Thoughts:
  • Even when he is the cause of her turmoil, Norma can’t help but throw herself into his arms for long, tight hugs to make herself feel better.
  • Emma is gorgeous, smart, funny, and it’s going to be a shame when Norman kills her.
  • When Norman asks if she drove into the sign on purpose Norma replies, “Of course I did. You think I just go around accidentally driving into signs?” God, I love her.


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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