While it’s Spring where I’m at (and where many of you are), it’s winter in White Pine Bay, which is why Bates Motel‘s “Lights of Winter” isn’t as strange of an episode title as I initially thought it might be. It was also a good excuse to put Romero and Norma in attractive winter wear, but that’s not the only thing that happened this week. (But what if it were? Let’s imagine a world where the episode is just forty minutes of them drinking hot toddys at the winter festival and being smitten. I’d watch it.)
We start the episode of Bates Motel with Norman in his room at Pineview, remembering Norma killing rapist Keith Summers way way way back in the first episode, as well as visions of “Mother” killing Sam and Blaire. A staffer named Oliver comes in with Norman’s meds, and Norman asks to make a private call but Oliver tells him it’s not allowed and reminds him that if he refuses meds, he can’t leave his room until a resident comes to see him. Norman takes the pills but once Oliver leaves, he goes into the bathroom to throw them up. He leaves his room and Julian is there, so Norman asks him about making a call. Julian is ready to go with a butter knife in his shoe and breaks them into the room for the night staff. Norman calls Dylan and begs him to listen to him, telling him that Norma is in trouble and the police may be coming to talk to him. He tells him the truth is going to come out about a lot of things, and Dylan tells him to calm down and promises he’ll be there for Norma. Dylan wants to talk to Norman’s doctor, but Norman plays it off and ends the call. Julian offers to break him out of Pineview, but Norman says he doesn’t need to break out as he will get out of there today.
Norma is making breakfast for Romero and they both agree that they aren’t sorry they slept together. They kiss but she stops him, telling him she can’t do this right now. He tells her they should get a joint checking account to make it look real and she agrees, but when he brings up going to the Winter Festival together, she tells him she wants to but can’t go as she’s visiting Emma in Portland and won’t be back in time.
Norman is standing around the common area when an orderly tells him he has to go to a group therapy session or he’ll be confined to his room. Norman insists that he’s being released today and when Edwards shows up, he gets increasingly upset until Edwards takes him somewhere private. Edwards tells him sometimes people in therapy make accusations that they believe are true but aren’t. He tells him he did report Norman’s accusations against his mothers, but that he and Norman need to continue their work together.
Emma and Dylan are on the roof of the hospital when she tells him there’s a hospital in Seattle that her dad wants her to go to for the rest of her recovery. She also wants to go to college there and Dylan says that it makes a lot of sense. She asks if he would go with them, knowing what a huge thing it would be to uproot his life for someone he’s just barely started dating. Dylan answers that if she wants him there, he’s there and they kiss.
Norman tries to leave through the front door of Pineview but is stopped by security. (Come on, Norman, really?) Julian shows up and tells Norman not to give the guard a hard time and advises him to be smart. Norman doesn’t want to be here, and Julian tells him that half of the security measures there are because of him, and he can take him on a trip out of there.
Norma brings flowers to Emma at the hospital and thanks her for making Dylan so happy. She asks where their relationship came from and Emma says that they just finally saw each other one day. She hopes that Norman will understand and knows that he’s dealing with a lot, while also being the fifty-seventh person to assure Norma she’s doing the right thing. She also advises her to think about letting go a little and maybe doing things for herself for once.
Romero goes to meet Rebecca at the bank after an urgent text, and she flat-out asks if he killed Bob Paris but Romero refuses to dignify it with a response. She tells him there is three million dollars in a safe deposit box that Bob left behind, and that the key is probably with the man who killed him. She tells Romero she slept with Bob, but didn’t know what she was getting in to and that the money could benefit both of them. Romero insists that he doesn’t have the key and then asks her to open up a joint checking account for him and his wife. Romero goes home and calls for Norma, but she’s still gone so he goes to check on his Bob Paris stash. He quickly discovers a fake passport for Bob as well as the key Rebecca was talking about.
Later, Norma comes home to an empty house and goes upstairs to pick out something to wear to the Winter Festival. She looks at the picture of Norman on her vanity and then puts it away. Meanwhile, over at Pineview, Julian has created a distraction so they can get by the orderlies and sneak out the back hallways, including use of what we think is going to be Chekov’s Screwdriver that ends up in Norman’s back pocket.
Romero is in his office when he gets a call from a DEA agent Collins, following up on Bob Paris. He tells Romero he’s followed the money trail and believes Bob was laundering through the local bank, bringing up Rebecca Hamilton’s name. Romero lies and says he doesn’t know her personally, just through the bank and Collins tells him they believe she had a personal relationship with Bob but have no evidence yet.
Norman and Julian are out on the road attempting to hitchhike, and Norman asks Julian how long he’s been there. He tells him he’s been in for four years for bipolar, borderline, etcetera but mostly because his family is rich and civilized and he doesn’t fit in. His family gives him cash every time they come to visit because they feel so guilty so he’s got tonight’s festivities covered. He ends up taking him to a strip club, where apparently no ID is necessary, and there’s also no nudity. (I’m from Vegas, this is not industry standard.) They find seats near the front and Julian immediately locks on to a girl and takes her back to the VIP room after handing Norman some cash.
Norma arrives at the Winter Festival and Romero is pleased to see her. He leaves her for a moment to take a photo with some constituents, so Rebecca comes over and introduces herself to Norma, telling her she hopes they’re happy together (uh-huh). Romero returns and things are very awkward, so he takes Norma over to get pictures and away from Rebecca. Later on, they dance and she asks him about Rebecca, but he just calls her someone he knew before he met her. He asks if she remembers the night they met, and she says her heart stopped, but mostly because she thought he was going to arrest her. They agree that things turned out okay, all things considered and both believe things are going to continue to be that way. (Uh-oh.)
Back at the club, a stripper named Athena sets her sights on Norman, and he agrees to go into the VIP room with her. They go back to a row of rooms with beaded curtains and she tells him they can do whatever he wants. He takes the screwdriver out of his pocket and lies on the table, then suddenly he’s Mother who kisses Athena while Athena puts her feathered cape on Norman/Mother. They get interrupted by Julian calling for Norman, and when they go back into the hall, a bouncer punches Julian, then punches Norman when he tries to stop him. Norman stands back and watches as several men give Julian a severe beatdown, but Chekov’s screwdriver surprisingly stays out of it.
Norma and Romero return home and start to get intimate in the entry way, until Norma turns on the light and discovers the house has been completely ransacked. She wonders who would do this to her, but Romero’s face says he knows exactly who.
Norman is sitting in the back of an ambulance, still rocking that feathered cape when Edwards shows up. He tells him they took Julian to the hospital with a cracked rib and Norman doesn’t seem to know where he is or how he got here, so Edwards explains what he knows. Norman asks if anything bad happened, but Edwards assures him only he and Julian got hurt. Later on, Norman is in Edwards’ car and he listens as Edwards tells him that Juilan only breaks out so they’ll come after him and it’s how he convinces himself that someone cares. He says he’s been trying to help Julian for years, but can never get very far and he wonders if that’s how it’s going to be with Norman. Norman asks if his mother killed anyone, and Edwards says he hasn’t heard back from the authorities, but he’d be surprised if she did. Norman finally admits there’s something wrong with him and he doesn’t trust what he thinks is real anymore, while tearfully begging Dr. Edwards to help him.
- I know what everyone is thinking: Freddie Highmore rocked the hell out of that feather capelet. It was a good look.
- It’s okay, Norma. We know exactly what you meant when you said Romero is a “big” man.
- Who the heck is running this motel? Norma is out all the time, Norman is in Pineview and Emma is in Portland. No wonder their business sucks.
- I want Emma and Dylan to flee and be safe, but I don’t really want to see Olivia Cooke and Max Thieriot leave the show. So I propose they go to Seattle, forget all about White Pine Bay, and we still get a couple of scenes of their happy lives there every week.
Photo Courtesy of A&E