Bates Motel Season 3: Episode 8 “The Pit” Recap

by Rob Caprilozzi

Recap by: Lady Bastard


Synopsis:  Norma and Norman lay it all out; Dylan and Caleb gun run together; Romero encounters friend versus foe.


Summary with SPOILERS:  Norma wakes, contently thinking about dinner with everyone the night before – especially Alex.  Dylan tells her that he is heading up to the farm to work for a few days but when he comes back, they need to talk about Norman.  Norma and Norman hear heavy machinery outside and head to the window where they see a bulldozer breaking ground in the motel parking lot.  Bob Paris has ordered the building of the swimming pool Norma demanded in exchange for the flash drive but Norma can get no more details out of the foreman.  Norma, proud of herself for getting her demands met, leaves a message at Paris’ office for him to call about the pool plans.  Norma orders Norman to put some kind of fence around the pool pit so no one falls in.


Professor Finnegan is detained lakeside by the Arcanum Club thugs. Paris makes it very clear that he needs dirt on Norma as leverage to get back the flash drive.  Finnegan’s refusal to break doctor-patient confidentiality is answered with a nail gun to the foot. Finnegan is tossed, bloody and beaten, onto his front lawn from a moving car just as Norma is leaving him a message demanding to know about his convo with Norman. When she eventually goes to his house, he admits that he told his abusers everything he knew about her. He demands that she never contact him again and takes off down the road with all of his belongings in the trunk.


Caleb walks in on Hogan giving Dylan the details of the gun delivery and insists he go with him. Caleb threatens Hogan with death if anything happens to Dylan on the trip. Dylan tells Caleb that he really wants to help Emma, who is Norman’s pseudo-girlfriend.  Caleb announces that he’s leaving town when the barn is finished because he can’t ask much more from Norma.  He also confesses that he is wanted for the brutal beating of a man during an illegal run gone bad.  Dylan calls Emma while at a pitstop to tell her that he’ll be out of town for a few days. The drop off point gets changed once the recipients realize Hogan is not driving.  Once Dylan and Caleb arrive, they are ordered on their knees at gunpoint and told that Hogan was going to be killed had he been there. Dylan is seconds from being shot when Caleb pulls out a gun he had hidden under the truck.  The father/son combo kill everyone except the driver of the truck containing the transferred guns who manages to take off.  The boys jump back in their truck and leave the carnage behind.


Emma dumps Norman while he’s attempting a makeshift fence around the pit. Norman assumes he was not the best boyfriend material and Emma adds that they were probably forcing a higher relationship. Norman pushes himself away from Emma’s hug and excuses himself to the house. Emma drives up to the cabin and leaves Dylan a vase of flowers, brownies and a note, much to Gunner’s surprise.  He apologizes for not keeping in touch to which she replies that her health is in the crapper these days and she hardly has time for romance.


Romero tracks down Norma’s old Mercedes and brings it back to her at the motel.  She is tickled pink as Romero tells her that he couldn’t stand to see her sad. She gives him a passionate peck on the cheek beneath his puppy dog eyes. Romero visit Paris at the Club to ensure that the new pool (currently a 23′ pit) is on the up-and-up.  Paris spills all of the juicy bits he has learned about Norma: her one-night stand with her shrink; her affair with Deputy Shelby and his bizarrely explained death; her husband’s death at the hands of Norman.  Romero keeps a poker face as Paris sums up that Norma has been using him to protect herself and her family.  He asks Romero to come back to his team to protect their hometown but Romero turns down the offer and leaves.  Romero visits Norma at the house but does not accept her invitation to come inside. He quietly begs her not to lie before asking her how her husband died. Norma repeats the garage accident story and when given one last chance by Romero, she sticks to her story. Romero says his goodbye and heads down the stairs, ignoring her calls to him from the porch. The following day, Romero sits in his truck with the flash drive in hand. He flips open his phone and asks for the District Attorney’s office.


Norman tells Norma how distraught he is by Finnegan’s suggestion that he is sexually attracted to his mother.  Norma laughs it off as a normal and developing instinct. She reassures him that their relationship is solid and gets him to laugh as they snuggle on the bed and rub noses. After talking to Finnegan, Norma warns Norman that there are no more secrets. When he freaks that she told Finnegan everything, she screams that being his mother is killing her. She quickly composes herself, promises to fix everything and tells him to lock the doors behind her. Imaginary Norma in the pretty blue dress appears and seductively tells Norman that she will kill anyone who tries to hurt him. He tries to fight the hallucination and runs out of the house, only to see her shadow in the upstairs window. Suddenly, Juno (the stuffed dog killed in Season One making his 2nd live appearance of the episode) runs down the street and Norman chases after him.  He encounters an idling car, its driver standing in the mist of the headlights.  Sensing that he is standing behind her, a haggard Bradley Martin turns and speaks his name. 


Opinion: Norman consciously tries to shoo away Imaginary Norma which is pretty impressive, albeit futile. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Norma’s eyes cross as she goes from crazy to composed – I’ve missed that.  Poor Alex, finally opening up his heart only to have it kicked closed.  Sigh. The gushy, mushy, gooey stuff between Dylan and Emma needs to stop.  I find Neighbor Hogan hilarious – I’m glad they didn’t shoot him although I don’t expect Caleb to let him off the hook so easily.  Oh…and one last thing: why the hell does Romero still have a flip phone?


“Keeping the Creepy” Score:  4 – Norman’s twitchier than usual behavior is resolved after his Eskimo kissing session with Mother. He is assured that checking out his mother’s ass as she leans out the window is perfectly normal…because we all know how well-versed Norma is when it comes to incestuous boundaries. 

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