This week Norman and his mother get a surprise guest.  Secrets are revealed about their little town and the people in it.  Questions are asked regarding the death of Norma’s husband and the missing local.  Norman and a friend make discoveries of their own.  All of this and much, much more was packed into this week’s Bates Motel.

The Breakdown

A lot certainly happened in this week’s episode and it was titled perfectly. “Nice Town You Picked, Norma…” was what Norma’s oldest son Dylan had to say on his first day in the town of White Pine Bay.  What brought him to these words?  A car crashed early one morning while Norman and Bradley were waiting for the bus.  The car contained Bradley’s father’s badly burned body at the wheel.

As everyone was surveying the scene, Keith Summers’ truck was discovered near the Bates’ property.  A suspicious sheriff asked Norma if she had seen the local.  Her response was “no” which would later be questioned.

Dylan’s surprising arrival was a problem from the beginning to the end of the episode.  It was obvious that Norma and Norman were not happy to see him and there were constant bickering and friction throughout the show.

For a classroom assignment, Norman paired up with Emma, who he met briefly before while vomiting into a trash can.  They set a time to meet up at Norman’s house for the assignment.

Dylan met a man at a local strip club who was flashing a lot of cash.  He was curious and asked the man where he made that kind of money.  He would later find out when offered a job after answering the question “do you know how to use a gun?”

As the arguments and hostility with Dylan continued, he probed into Sam’s death (Norma’s late husband and Norman’s father).  His questions even included where Norma obtained the money to buy the new car, house and motel as they were always hard up for cash when Dylan was growing up.

Emma showed up at the house to work with Norman on their assignment.  To everyone’s surprise, Norma gave Emma the third degree; even going as far as asking how long she was expected to live due to her Cystic Fibrosis.

When continuing suspicions about Summers from Sheriff Romero were apparent, Norma decided to befriend Deputy Shelby.  They discussed the townspeople and the deputy revealed that the locals made a lot of money and not necessarily using completely legal means.  He also told her that things “tend to take care of themselves” in that town.  Norma was obviously very intrigued by all of this.

At one point, Dylan and Norman got into a physical altercation.  Even though Dylan warned Norman not to try to attack him again, that did not stop Norman from sneaking up behind him with a meat tenderizer.  Just as he was about to strike Dylan on the head, Dylan turned around and beat Norman to the ground.

After borrowing the book that Norman found under the motel room carpet, Emma discovered that it was a story about a sex slave ring in their little town.  When Norman and Emma tried to find the location of where events took place in the woods, they came across a field of marijuana plants.  They were spotted by two men with guns and a chase ensued.  Norman and Emma barely made it back to the car in time to escape harm.

The episode ended when Norma’s drive through town was interrupted by a crowd of locals disrupting traffic.  As she turned to find out what was drawing everyone’s attention, she saw a burning body hanging near the water.

The Analysis

I was actually extremely surprised at what happened in this week’s episode.  A LOT took place, but it was not difficult to keep up at all.  Each little story pertaining to a certain character was well played out and the interconnections between those stories were also done well.

The appearance of Norma’s oldest son Dylan was a great addition.  His constant probing and negative attitude towards his family actually made me laugh a few times, especially when he left Norma speechless after talking about their lives with his father.

There were a lot of secrets and surprises which makes me anxious for the next episode.   There is a lot more to that little town and its people than meets the eye.  I think this brought an interesting spin to the show and will continue to do so in the future.

Norman’s character was also starting to show some intriguing signs of mental instability when he attempted to kill his brother.  I am excited to see how this character continues to grow and what happens with the story he and his friend Emma uncovered.

Norma continued to be the controlling mother to Norman, but it was amusing to see how she could not control Dylan at all.  Keeping him in the story will certainly continue to bring out the true Norma Bates as I believe he knows much more about her than she wants to reveal to anyone.

I think this show has a lot of potential and is already accomplishing its goal of great entertainment.