Recap by: Lady Bastard
Synopsis: Norman is haunted by a tragic event in his past. Norma tries to save Norman from making a horrible mistake. Romero and Dylan find a way to bring closure to the drug war. Emma makes a decision about her future at Bates Motel.
Summary with SPOILERS: Dylan flees the murder scene at Nick Ford’s house just as Sheriff Romero is driving by. Dylan tells Romero exactly what happens and goes with him back to the house. Romero confirms that Ford is dead and catches his security guy gathering cash and jewels from an upstairs room. Dylan and Romero find Norman in the box and bring him to the emergency room after the brothers have an emotional reunion. Dylan and Romero get Jodi to call Zane and convince him to come to her house, telling Zane that Ford is dead and Dylan is up for grabs. When Zane arrives, he cuts the power and eventually shoots and kills Jodi after she slashes his arm with gardening shears. Just as Zane turns his gun on Dylan, Romero cocks his rifle and tells Zane he’s a man of his word before blasting him across the room. Romero lays out the “story” to Dylan – he got a tip that Zane killed Ford and when he approached Jodi to learn more about Zane’s shenanigans, he wound up shooting Zane after discovering that he had already killed his sister. When Dylan asks Romero why he’s being given a free pass, the Sheriff implies that Dylan needs to be the new leader because understands the rules that allow everyone to live in a peaceful manner in White Pine Bay. Dylan agrees to meet with Norma only to discover she has purchased 3 plane tickets to Montreal and wants to take Dylan with her and Norman. Dylan is deeply affected by Norma’s apology for the way she has treated him and her expression of love and pride. He convinces her to stay in town and that Norman has to take the Romero’s secret polygraph test so she can learn the truth and deal with his mental illness.
Norma sits by a sleeping Norman’s hospital bed and declares her devotion to Dylan who leaves uncomfortably to fetch the doctor. While tucking Norman into his bed back home, Norma tells him that she didn’t know what she would have done if anything happened to him. Norma bumps into Christine in the grocery store who is livid over Norma’s treatment of George and her verbal bashing of the White Pine Bay elite. Norma tries to apologize explaining that she was in a bad state during her outburst but Christine calls her a train wreck and threatens to convince the mayor to reconsider Norma’s council seat appointment.
Norman struggles with the visions he experienced while in the box. He tells Norma that he remembers having sex with and killing Blair Watson although Norma insists these were hallucinations. Norma argues that Norman will pass the polygraph test that Romero wants him to take because while he may have had sex with her, he didn’t kill her. Norman challenges his mother and connects his memories in the box to his actions during blackouts. Norman takes a gun and bullets hidden in Norma’s drawer and makes a list of things to accomplish before committing suicide: organize bedroom, finish sparrow, apple pie, catalog/put away taxidermy, Emma, Mother. He shares the Dylan/Caleb taboo with Emma and asks her to reconsider resigning. He showers Norma with adoring compliments and plucks on her heartstrings by asking her to dance like they used in the kitchen when he was young. He crosses off everything on his list and takes off into the woods to do the deed. When Norma realizes Norman’s plans, she follows him into the woods and eventually tackles him onto the ground. Norman tells her that he wants to kill himself because he doesn’t want to be the bad person that he is. Norma tells him that he is innocent and gets confused by reality. Norman brings up blacking out the night his dad died and Norma tells him that he was protecting her from her abusive husband. When asked how he is expected to live with this news, Norma tells him that she will die if Norman dies. Through tears, she promises to see them through. Norman drops the suicide attempt and bitterly says, “Alright, mother. You win.”
With Norma, Romero and Dylan waiting in the hall, Norman takes the polygraph test. After a series of questions, he is asked if he killed Blair Watson. Before he can answer, a vision of his mother dressed in her same hallucinatory garb appears sitting next to him. She tells him that she killed Blair Watson and coyly adds that it needs to be their little secret. The test administrator declares that – in his opinion – Norman did not kill Blair Watson. Norman sits in the room alone, looking at the floor, still strapped to the machine. The camera pans up a tad and captures Norman look up from under his twisted brow with a crooked grin.
Opinion: The Season 2 finale was flat and predictable. There are a lot of unanswered questions but no real shocks or cliffhangers. The remainder of the drug lords are killed off, leaving the door open for another asshole to take over one or both of the families (unless Dylan accepts Romero’s endorsement). The Bates family comes out with lots of apologies and squishy sentiments while Norman takes one step closer to his Mother Morph. There were, however, a couple of classy Hitchcockian nods to close out Season 2: Norma watching Norman sleep from a squeaky rocking chair by the window; and, of course, the identical closing shots of Norman’s frozen stare. After the intensity of Episodes 8 and 9, I feared the end of the season. After watching the finale, I unfortunately feel I can definitely wait until next year to find out what happens.
“Keeping the Creepy” Score: 4 – The connections to the original film are tastefully done and creepy to boot. The stuffed owl keeping watch over the Mother-Son dance was swell as was the segue from the statutory rapist to the “Eat your pot roast!” command. The passionate kiss Norma plants on Norman after telling him he killed his father, albeit creepy, seemed staged and gratutious.
Off to the fruit cellar until next season…