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Okay Everyone; Let’s Play the “Is Bradley Real?” Game (Bates 3×08)

Image Source: A&E 

After the last two episodes of Bates Motel, I literally couldn’t contain myself waiting for The Pit to come out. Though it may not have been as strong as its two predecessors; it’s still an episode including in the show’s best season. There were some great moments and it all seems to be leading up to a terrifying end to the season. But again; we’ll have to wait and see.

 

Not Your Typical Father-Son Bonding Trip

I think I am going to start with probably the weakest part of this episode; Dylan and Caleb’s gun run that we all knew was going to go bad. What kind of show would Bates Motel be if they both showed up, did the exchange and then everything was all fine and dandy? That doesn’t sound terribly interesting. So they start this storyline off with Chick giving details to Dylan and Caleb storming in like the concerned father he really is striving to be. Didn’t he say in the last episode that he understood why Dylan is doing this? I’m so confused. Anyway, as much as I wasn’t a big fan of Caleb in this episode, I guess it was nice to see that he actually can handle things and was able to save Dylan’s life. That being said, I feel like this scene was put into the episode just to conjure up some type of sympathy for Caleb which I really don’t have. It seems like they are trying to get us to feel like Dylan is connecting with both of his parents so if there is some kind of conflict in the future (and you know if Caleb sticks around there will be), Dylan will have a hard time choosing sides. I have this feeling that Caleb is there for Norman to kill eventually and the writers are so desperately trying to get us to feel bad for him whenever that happens.

Getting back to the more interesting part of this whole plotline; Chick Hogan. Chick Hogan is one of the best characters the show has written in a long time and he needs to stick around longer. If there does happen to be a Caleb vs. Chick fight, I will definitely be rooting for Chick. As we see more scenes with Chick the more delightfully ambiguous he gets. He’s very smart. Probably smarter than both Dylan and Caleb combined and he also has a creative side. I can’t help but think Caleb and Dylan leaving that piece of art work there might come to bite them in the ass. I understand it was an intense situation with a whole lot of gun fire and you probably don’t want to stick around for more of that but still, Chick seemed very fond of his art. After the confrontation at the exchange site; I can’t help but wonder if Chick could actually be an undercover FBI agent? Or something to that effect. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Why does everyone he does dealings with get arrested, hmm? I really hope they will make Chick a bigger part of the next two episodes left in the season and I really really hope he kicks the crap out of Caleb if he gets the chance.

 

So…..Bob Paris Needs to Die

Kudos to Bates this season for making the bad guy in White Pine Bay actually scary. Don’t even get me started on Zane. Bob Paris was terrifying enough in the meeting he had with Norma and Romero earlier this season where he seemingly went along with everything she said but just creepily smiling at her. AH! Why does he look so damn happy when he’s being blackmailed? We all knew he had no intention of honoring the deal and this episode just further proves it.

What a brilliantly terrifying image to see outside of the motel is a giant pit that we all know is for Norma’s (and insert other victims) bodies. We all know Bob Paris has no intention of keeping Norma alive after he gets his hands on the flash drive and I wouldn’t put it past him to come after Norman, Dylan or Emma as well. And even though he said he needs Romero on his side; I still can’t tell if I believe him so there may be room in there for him too. So now we’re just waiting for the cards to all fall into place for Bob Paris and he gets the upper hand in the situation against Norma. Hell, he basically already has it. He’s essentially turned Romero against her (more on that later), he’s uncovered some awful truths she doesn’t want to get out and he’s even uncovered some stuff about Deputy Shelby. Goodness, he’s been a busy boy.

And in the most terrifying scene of the episode; Bob Paris tortured all of the information out of James. Sheesh; James you really made the wrong friend. Oh well, can’t say I’m going to miss James…..and I knew that Norma shouldn’t be spilling the beans to James. I knew it! Now, don’t get me wrong….I’m sure if I was in the same situation as James I would’ve talked as well. Nobody likes torture but all season; I was so mad that Norma was finding some sort of confidante in the Joe-Schmoe she met at college when she should’ve been putting her trust in Dylan or Romero. If they were tortured, you could almost bet they wouldn’t cave because their close to the situation and actually care about the people involved. So good riddance James, thanks for a whole lot of nothing.

 

UGHARRRAGUBARRRRAHHH

Oh, that’s the sound I internally hear inside of my own head whenever I watch that porch scene between Romero and Norma. BAH!! Okay, so I have a lot to say on this subject but first let’s talk about the super cuteness of the beginning of this episode. These two were heading straight on the road of being somewhat of an item until Bob Paris really threw a wrench in things. Norma wakes up so happy from the night before telling Dylan that she was particularly glad Alex came. Oh my god, I almost fainted….when’s the last time Norma singled out anyone making her happy that wasn’t one of her own sons? Aww. And then if that wasn’t enough; Romero gets Norma’s car back. What was more shocking was how Romero acted around Norma when he brought the car around. I thought he confession of being attracted to her was a drunken mistake that he was probably going to backtrack on later but the fact that he seemed to be pretty open about “not standing the thought of her being sad about it”. Oh my lord and just when you think there’s going to be a kiss, she just plants one on his cheek. DAMNIT NORMA, THAT WAS YOUR MOMENT. This scene is obviously preluding to what Bob will tell him later that Norma doesn’t actually care about Romero and that she’s just using him to protect her family. Ugh, I am so mad.

So then Romero has a meeting with Bob Paris….essentially to warn him to back off of Norma but the tables are turned when he gets some not so great information that Bob was all too eager to share with him about Norma. Cue the porch scene, the god damn porch scene where Romero confronts Norma about what really happened to Sam giving her one chance to come clean before he walks away forever (though he left that part out). Norma being Norma did not tell him the truth and he spoke the words that literally drove a knife into our hearts; “Goodbye, Norma”.

And I knew it. Whenever this show gives us a sweet Normero moment, they always take it away by driving them further apart than they’ve ever been before and this time was the worst. Before I get into what could be going through Romero’s mind; I want to slightly defend Norma’s choices. When you think about it, Norma and Romero are both control freaks and they both leave out information all the time. So on some level; it does seem a little hypocritical that Romero’s all like “you lie to me”. Like he said in the past, he just withholds information and he doesn’t necessarily lie but all in all, he’s not entirely truthful. So when he shows up he doesn’t say “Bob Paris told me this because he got some information out of your therapist”, he just asks the question. Don’t get me wrong, I’m furious that Norma wasn’t honest with Romero. He’s the one ally she really needs and the just flushed it down the drain but let’s not all act like she’s completely in the wrong. Also, Norma is reeling from the fact that she told someone the truth about Norma that she really shouldn’t have. In her mind, the best thing to do would be to keep Norman’s secrets to as few people as possible.

But all that being said; she should’ve told Romero! How on earth can you trust James and not Alex? Ugh. Well, Bob Paris gave Romero a whole lot of information and Romero pretending like he didn’t care. And of course, Bob Paris said the “therapist she’s been screwing” basically implying that it happened more than once. She was drunk and probably did a whole lot of things that she regretted that night. So he goes to get the truth from Norma and just gets a whole bunch of lies instead. I have no idea what Romero could be thinking at this point. I can’t imagine that he really is going to trust the guy who had him shot or help him out in any way. But again, at this point it seems like he doesn’t trust Norma either. I don’t really see Romero as a vengeful man who would completely ruin her life just because of that conversation on the porch but who knows; we really haven’t seen Romero get close to anyone. Right now, all we know is that Bob Paris has information to blackmail both Romero and Norma and that could seemingly put them in the same boat. The only difference is Bob Paris needs Romero and he doesn’t need Norma.

And in the last scene with Romero; he makes a call. A call that could have very serious consequences. Now, I’ve watched the scene a few time and it seems like he said “DEA” but it’s possible he actually said “DA”. Both have very different implications. After doing the most research I could; it seems like he said “DA” even though it sounds like “DEA”. The DEA we met in the first episode was named Anthony and Romero asked for man named Carl. So that’s good news? When I thought he said DEA, I feel like that could only mean he was going to out Dylan or something of the sort. But since it’s likely he said “DA”; he could be doing a number of things. I’m just hoping he doesn’t do something to hurt Norma before they can talk….I mean like really talk. Nestor Carbonell did say that the hardest scene he had to shoot was both emotionally and physically taxing with Vera Farmiga and it was coming in episode nine. So I’m hopeful that Norma and Romero will in fact get out all their frustrations and possibly be honest with each other for once. Fingers crossed.

 

Dylan and Emma: A Recipe for Disaster

Does anyone else get a feel like their watching a train wreck that just happened yet? Listen, we all like Dylan and Emma together. Honestly, who wouldn’t want them to get together? They’re both relatively sane and arguably the most likable characters on the show. He’s putting everything on the line to get her the money she needs for a transplant and she actually sees him for who he really is. They’re perfect for each other….if it were any other show.

Now, I’m going to take a step back and talk about how much I really enjoyed Emma breaking up with Norman. Emma was never treated right when Norman was around. He always put other “prettier” girls ahead of her and though she is probably the best thing that’s ever happened to him; he never realized it. And he still doesn’t in my opinion. I was so mad that this poor girl was going to spend the rest of her possibly short life being with a guy who 1) has a whole lot of issues and 2) doesn’t even notice her potential. And though I was quite nervous throughout the whole scene that Norman was just going to throw her in the pit; it all ended pretty amicably. Emma stood up for herself…..Norman headed straight inside to go back to crazy town and she might be rid of him once and for all.

Until she’s start dating his brother. So as much as both of them would not like to admit it (Dylan with Caleb and Emma with Gunner), Dylan and Emma are blatantly flirting with each other non-stop. You better watch that stuff around Norman. As much as we would all like to see the two sane people get together and ride off into the sunset together; I can’t help but think that this is all very irresponsible of them; especially Dylan. Dylan refused to have any part with Bradley way back when because of Norman. But I guess the same rules may not apply to Emma? Dylan knows that Norman is literally on the edge of snapping or is already there….so why would he make things worse by dating his brothers now ex-girlfriend that he genuinely cares about? Oi. I’m not saying I don’t want Dylan and Emma to get together. I actually think they are super cute together but I wish they seemed a little more restrained and a little more concerned with the consequences. If they are going to build a relationship with each….let’s just hope they’re smart about it and not putting themselves in danger.

 

Norman Bates: A Man of Many Emotions

Freddie Highmore has brilliantly portrayed the many versions of Norman Bates that we have seen this season and in this episode; we saw them all. In the beginning of the episode, we see Norman seriously disturbed and confused about what actually went down in the previous episode but moments later; we see him become more of “annoyed husband” Norman when he realizes what’s being done with the pit. These transitions seem to be happening very frequently that soon all of these versions of Norman may all mold together into the Psycho we know so much about.

Well, first I’d love to talk about the Norman we all know and love; the Norman that reminds us of the Norman from Season One and Two. We see that Norman towards the beginning of the conversation with Emma and in that perfectly done scene with Norma. The real Norman (we’ll call him for now) is so upset by what he does when he blacks out and we’ve seen that over and over again. He also became sufficiently disturbed when James asked him if he wanted to sleep with his mother. Because we all know on some level he does. And even he knows that….and he hates himself for it. As much as this season really does trounce the other two in terms of well almost everything; we needed the first two seasons to really develop a love for Norman Bates. If we started everything with this season; we would write Norman off like he was just the crazy one but in this season, we get glimpses of the Norman we once knew and our heart breaks over and over again.

The whole scene with Norma and Norman talking about his sexual desires was brilliant. Not only did he come right out and say what was bothering him, he seemed sincerely distraught over the whole thing. Norma becomes the mother she needs to be and tells him that it’s all stupid. Can I just take a moment and say how wonderful it was to actually see Norman smile again? As much as I think Norma is in some sort of denial; she really did handle the situation beautifully and it proves once again that Norma really is possibly the only person who knows how to correctly handle Norman. And then it got weird. Then, they embraced and cuddled and shared little eskimo kisses. Man, do these two really have no notion of what the personal boundaries between son and mother are. But that’s what is so brilliant about this show. As soon as you think they’re making progress with Norman, there’s just a little moment that makes you cringe and really takes you back.

But now we’re led to the final scene between Norma and Norman in this episode where Norma delivers the very foreshadowing line of “You’re going to kill me, Norman!” Yes, yes he is. Norma is starting to get to breaking point with dealing with Norma and I don’t think these next two episodes are going to be any different. Norma know has to completely take matters into her own hands with no allies left and save her family’s lives. Though I can’t wait to see what could happen next with Norma and Bob Paris….and the haunting pit outside of her house, I’m very concerned for almost everyone’s lives at this point. Chips are about to start falling and it doesn’t look good for the home team.

 

Oh, Hey Bradley

Okay so I have to touch on this because it seems like the next episode is going to heavily focus on Norman and Bradley and their relationship. The fans were notified of Bradley’s return before the season even started and damn, it took her long enough. Obviously the first question everyone is asking is; “Is Bradley real?” Well, she could be. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that she could come back to her hometown after whatever adventures she’s been on in the last year or so. But it seems highly unlikely that Norman would just happen to stumble upon Bradley while chasing after his vision dead dog while trying to escape from vision Norma. Wow, that’s a weird sentence.

The problem is; I’m not sure I care. I don’t really care if it’s real Bradley or fake Bradley. I wasn’t a huge fan of Bradley when she was on the show. I didn’t hate her but I didn’t particularly like her. She was just “meh”. So the only reason I care whether or not she’s there is to see how far gone Norman really is. And who wants to bet that Bradley will have contact with no one else in the next episode? Typical. I have a feeling this will end one of two ways. 1) Bradley could be a figment in Norman’s mind propelling him further down the path of insanity or 2) Bradley is real and will trigger Norman’s inner Norma to come out and kill her. Either way, it doesn’t seem like this will have a happy ending.

 

After watching the promo for “Crazy”, it could really go either way. For the entire season; it does seem like the least enticing promo that they’ve done. This could mean it will be a huge build up episode for the finale and not much will happen or there’s so much that happens that they could only put a few not so interesting scenes in the promo. Let’s all hope for the ladder.

From what I can tell; Norman is going to get super close to Bradley again and given one of the promo photos we may be getting a whole lot of visits from vision Norma (probably telling Norman to kill Bradley). On another note, the scene that Norma has with Bob Paris, Romero and Caleb will probably be in the first few minutes of the episode seeing as she’s wearing the same clothes as she did in this last episode. So don’t worry Normero fans; there is a good possibility that the super emotional scene between Romero and Norma is not the one where he walks away from her. Also, it seems like Norma trying to throw away Norman’s taxidermy. Not the taxidermy!!!

 

Best Quote:

Caleb: Just between you and me, if anything happens to him….I’m going come back and I’ll kill you.

Chick: Well, it’s a little dramatic but……sure.

 

Best Moment:

The scene where Norman actually admits to Norma he’s worried about being sexually attracted to her was just brilliant and Freddie Highmore’s performance was so good in this episode; particularly this scene.

 

Worst Moment:

The porch scene. The motherfucking porch scene.

 

What is going on with Bradley?

 

Reaction: 

 

 

5 comments on “Okay Everyone; Let’s Play the “Is Bradley Real?” Game (Bates 3×08)

  1. Just to wrap up my many emotions to this episode and the ones to come…Freddie Highmore, you are brilliant. That is all.

  2. I LOVE, absolutely LOVE #Dylemma, but I fear the worst. Their flirting and their sweetness and Dylan’s “knight in shining armor” qualities…something felt wrong, foreboding about the development of this relationship. Everything seems so sweet and it makes sense that they would work together, but you’re right. This is the wrong show for that. I’m not sure Norman will be the one who kills one/both of them, but that phone conversation they had, that sweet one…something inside me made me think that the writers were purposely pulling on our heartstrings only to rip them out soon. And I don’t like it. 🙁

    1. I’m not sure anymore. I definitely think Bradley is the most likely to become a victim of Norman’s unless something seriously changes in the next episode. On one hand, I think Dylan and Emma could be safe. This isn’t really a show that needs to kill of main characters so they could actually survive remaining as the viewers perspective. I also think at some point; someone major has to go and as much as the writers might think so I don’t think of Bradley as “someone” major. Who knows? Right now Emma’s in danger because of her condition. Dylan is getting in deep with some not so nice types and Norma & Romero are both targets for going into that damn pit. Ugh, the pit.

      1. True. This isn’t Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead where fans wait around for main characters to die off, like a bunch of ghouls. We all went into this show knowing the ending, more or less, and the suspense and the mental development of the main characters is a lot more interesting to me than who’s going to be killed next. Norman will have plenty of time to kill later.

  3. I have to say, the last moment of the episode where Norman runs into Bradley had me so confuddled. I was like, “Bradley? What? Why are you in the middle of the road when Norman was just chasing his dead dog?” I’m concerned that she’s going to be the pretty young victim he’ll replay over and over again. I mean, it would make sense to me that Norman actually kills Bradley and not Emma. I mean, as much as they were “in a relationship,” Emma and Norman never had sex. Sexual attraction seems to be his trigger, as we know, and he’s never shown that towards Emma. (Also, good for you, Emma, breaking up with someone who didn’t appreciate how gorgeous you are!) His brief sexual relationship with Bradley could be what does her in…if she’s real.

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