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"Bates Motel" Review/Recap: "Plunge"

Dymon Lewis ‘14 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Kathleen Robertson and Max Thieriot in the Bates Motel episode "Plunge." Photo Credit: A&E Networks.
Kathleen Robertson and Max Thieriot in the Bates Motel episode “Plunge.” Photo Credit: A&E Networks.

Dylan (Max Thieriot) got a promotion, Norma (Vera Farmiga) got a second job, and Norman (Freddie Highmore) might’ve murdered a guy. Just another day in White Pine Bay for the Bates/Massett Clan.

It took one and a half seasons, but Dylan finally got laid. Someone as handsome as Max Thierot probably gets laid all the time, so it’s alarming that this didn’t happen sooner, but viewers should still be pleased. Granted, the sex was with his drug lord boss, Jodi Morgan (played by Kathleen Robertson of 90210 fame). She’s the older sister of the wannabe Zane (Michael Eklund), so it’s bound to end in bloodshed and disaster, but hurray regardless! In contrast to the rattlesnake coiled energy of rival drug lord Nick Ford (Michael O’Neill), Jodi Morgan emits the aura of a 70s throwback with her plaid shirts and biker boots. She’s the Martha Stewart to Nick Ford’s Tony Montana—just as dangerous but with a more tastefully decorated home. Dylan falls prey to his boss’ attention very quickly and with no resistance—though she does warn him to not take their sexual activity “personally”.

Norma is busy having awkward relationships with drug dealers, just like her son. Though she did have the sense to try and end her relationship with Nick Ford after the death of a city council member who opposed the bypass, she lacked the sense to end it appropriately. Normal people, even the most mundane and unlikely of people to interact with a drug dealer, know that you don’t go to a drug dealer’s yacht, inform them that you suspect they had a hand in the death of the city council member that was pissing both of you off, and then tell the drug dealer you don’t want to be his friend anymore. Normal people know that if there’s one person whose feelings you don’t hurt it’s the feelings of the local, violent drug dealer everyone’s afraid of. Norma is not normal people. And though she did acquire the deceased council member’s seat, it’s obvious that Nick Ford had a lot to do with it, regardless of Norma’s desire to disassociate from him.

Olivia Cooke and Keenan Tracey in the Bates Motel episode "Plunge." Photo Credit: A&E Networks.
Olivia Cooke and Keenan Tracey in the Bates Motel episode “Plunge.” Photo Credit: A&E Networks.

The increasingly separate worlds of Norman and Emma (Olivia Cooke) collided this episode when both teens, accompanied by their respective partners, happened upon each other at a rope swing. Things went south when Emma, at the prompting of Cody (Paloma Kwiatkowski), used the rope swing and nearly drowned in the water. This caused Norman to snap at his sort-of girlfriend and re-established the connection that seemed to be lost between Norman and Emma at the start of the second season.

While the romantic nature of their relationship seems to be buried for good, it’s obvious that Norman still cares about Emma. It’s also becoming apparent that any woman being in a dangerous situation can set Norman off, and that both his temper and his blackouts are becoming more severe. So when Norman goes to confront Cody for telling Emma about the blackouts he’s experienced in front of her and he witnesses her father physically assaulting her, the audience is not surprised when he snaps. The surprise is that Cody Brennen’s father may in fact be dead.

Overall Episode Grade: A+

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