Previously on Bates Motel, ‘Persuasion’
Dead on Arrival
Norma’s never been so happy to see a girl die in her arms, because at least now she knows Norman didn’t do it. Even though he comes stumbling upon the crime scene mumbling, “Did I do it?” as cops and Sheriff Romero are nearby. Thankfully, Dylan arrives and takes Norman back in the house, but Norma still has to answer Romero’s questions when everyone is gone. She’s defensive, as usual. She excuses herself to check on Norman, who’s been sleeping under Dylan’s watchful eye.
When he awakens, she tells Norman he passed out while in the bathtub and confirms Annika is dead. She thanks Dylan for taking care of his brother, and Norman notices how she lovingly pats Dylan’s head. Uh oh.
Later, Norma tries to access the flash drive Annika gave her, but it’s password protected. Oddly, Norma’s guesses like, JOHNSON and SEXCRAZED, didn’t work.
The next morning, Norman tells his mother the kinds of things he spoke about with Annika, like what a good mother she is. Then he notes things are different between them. Her relationship with Dylan has changed, as has hers with him. She denies this and says everything is fine.
Norma approaches a hipster in the coffee shop with the hopes he can get into the flash drive. She asks him because he’s wearing a ridiculous hat and furiously typing on a laptop in a coffee, in the middle of the damn day. Must be a hacker! She says it’s her dead mother’s financial affairs. He can’t access the data and marvels that her dead mama must have really known what she was doing using the program on the drive. Romero has better luck with his Annika investigation: the coroner confirms she was shot 20 minutes before arriving at the motel. Also, her car was registered to the dead girl, Lindsey, found floating in the river.
Norman and Emma are studying when Norma comes home. Norman quickly grabs Emma into a passionate kiss, making sure his mom sees. This whole making your mother jealous shit is creepy. Super creepy. Norma interrupts, as he knew she would, and reminds them to practice a bit of restraint in her house. Norman reminds his mother that it’s his house, too.
Who Was Annika?
Romero confronts Bob Harris about Annika, and Bob insists he doesn’t know anything about her. But… he does ask if Annika had anything on her when she died. Subtle, this one.
The psychology professor spots Norma in the library thumbing through computer books. She says it’s to check up on her son’s computer activities. He invites her out for coffee because he’s clearly not intimidated by baggage. She unloads more over coffee when she admits that she and Norman have always been close – probably too close. She doesn’t trust him anymore, and that makes her feel lonely. Then she starts crying. Worst.Coffee.Date.Ever. But he finds her honesty and willingness to share her feelings refreshing. This poor guy.
Norma finds Romero going through Annika’s belongings in her room. He asks if Annika had anything on her, and she says no. He doesn’t believe Norma and she doesn’t believe that he’s simply investigating Annika’s death. There’s more going on and he’s not telling.
Inside, Norman is preparing food for a picnic with Emma. Norma thinks it’s a picnic for them and she’s clearly hurt when Norman corrects her. She accuses him of playing games. Why would she have a problem with a young, sexy, intelligent girl having feelings for him, he asks. She doesn’t answer, but warns him that he can’t have sex with Emma because of her illness. This conversation just got all kinds of inappropriate. Then she threatens to kick his ass if he hurts Emma. Their relationship is so twisted!
Relationship Status Set to Complicated
Norma confides in Dylan about the drive Annika gave her. He agrees to look into it and makes her promise not to tell anyone. It’s their secret, and Norman overhears just that part. Just enough to feed his paranoia.
On their way to the picnic, Emma and Norman decide to try a little breaking and entering of a cabin they find in the woods. By the fire, they start to make out, but Norman backs off citing his mother’s claims that he could kill Emma if they have sex. Talk about killing a lady boner. Emma is furious and insulted, and storms out.
Romero interviews a friend of both Annika’s and Lindsey’s. She was asked to have a three-way with Bob Harris and Lindsey, but she had prior plans. Annika stepped in. She doesn’t think Bob Harris would worry about anyone knowing his sexual proclivities – especially not enough to kill over it.
Caleb accompanies Gunner into town for supplies. He sees Norma, but she doesn’t see him. Later, Dylan yells at him for being careless. What if Norma had seen him? Caleb doesn’t care and the two argue before Caleb falls off the roof and knocks himself out. He refuses to go to the hospital because he has a warrant. He lets Dylan stitch up his hand with only liquor to numb the pain. While he works, Dylan asks him about raping Norma. He says it was exactly as she said it was, but maybe something else, too. They had no one else, just each other. He was in love with her. One day, Norma came home and said she knew what they were doing was bad and that it needed to stop. That’s when he raped her. All he wants is an opportunity to apologize and you can just see Dylan’s desire to fix ALL THE THINGS kick in. Don’t do it, Dylan.
Dylan finds two men snooping in the motel office at night. Of course they’re looking for the drive. After some gun pointing and threats, they leave. Dylan tells Norma, but she refuses to give up the drive or get the police involved. Norman confronts them on their whispering, but they continue to lie to him that nothing is going on and everything is fine. When Norma accuses Norman of acting like a child, he makes an “I’ll show you” face and leaves. For a family with so many secrets, they’re horrible at lying.
Later, Dylan drives up to the farm and hides the drive in the switch for the light timers. Caleb asks why he’s there, but Dylan lies. They share an awkward hug. And then Norman appears. He accuses Dylan and Norma of keeping Caleb’s presence a secret from him. Dylan finally tells the truth and says he and Norma have been talking about Norman’s mental health, but all Norman cares about is having something he can use to tear Norman and Dylan apart. Despite Dylan’s pleas, Norman rushes off, presumably to snitch like a little bitch.