The second half of ‘Bates Motel’ Season 2 is shaping up to be much better than the first half. Episode 6 (‘Plunge’) gives us more information about Norman’s frequent blackouts and concludes with the kind of shocking ending that we’ve come to expect from the show but have gotten so few of this year.
As the episode begins, Norma reads in the morning newspaper about the tragic car accident that killed the local councilman. Norman arrives and chats for a bit with his mom, then something accidently falls from his pocket onto the floor. He tries to cover it, but Norma scoops it up. It’s the cap to a bottle of beer, and Norma is none too happy that her son has been out drinking.
After getting hit with a car (driven by members of a rival drug gang), Dylan is released from the hospital, and Zane’s sister Jodi is there to pick him up. As we learned in last week’s episode, Jodi is the actual boss of the drug ring Dylan works for. She gives Dylan a ride back to her home, which is deep in the woods. She wants Dylan to stay there while he recovers, and she has a job for him as well. She wants him to take over running the drug operation, but not tell Zane that he’s doing so, instead keeping an eye on her brother and reporting information back to her. That night, Dylan gets a surprise visitor in his bed as Jodi shows up and climbs on top of him. “Don’t take this personally,” she says. Umm, okay!
Norma tries to go see Nick Ford at his boat, but his assistant won’t let her in. Norma turns to leave and runs into Nick, who mentions how convenient it is for Norma that the councilman wound up dead. Norma tells Ford that she’s uncomfortable working with him, and that she wants to deal with things on her own now. Nick makes a few semi-threatening comments, but lets Norma go on her way.
Cody shows up at the motel to pick Norman up. Before she can leave, however, Norma insists on talking to her. She tells the girl not to give Norman more alcohol for “medical reasons.” As Cody and Norman drive off together, she tells him they should blow off the work they’re supposed to do for the musical that day, and instead go to the local swimming hole. First, though, Cody needs to stop at her house. While there, they hear Cody’s father coming home. Not wanting to be seen, Cody and Norman hide in a closet. Norman begins to go into another one of his incidents and has a flashback to when he was just a little boy and he and Norma hid in a closet so his father wouldn’t find them.
Cody is able to snap Norman out of it, and the two go to the swimming hole as planned. As it turns out, Emma and Gunner have also decided to come to the same place. After greeting each other, all four take turns swinging on a rope off a short cliff and dropping into the water below. Gunner goes first, followed by Norman, but then Emma wants to give it a try. Norman warns her not to, but Cody talks her into it. Emma removes her oxygen apparatus and drops into the water. However, she doesn’t come up right away. Norman swims out to save her and gets her back to shore, hooked back up to her oxygen tank. He then angrily yells at Cody for talking Emma into jumping.
Norma’s friend Christine comes to the motel and encourages Norma to run for the now-vacant town council seat. Norma insists that she knows nothing about politics, but Christine has already arranged for her brother George to come over and brief her on what she needs to know. Additionally, she’s helped to set up a meeting with the mayor. After an evening studying with George, Norma goes to meet the mayor, who’s impressed by Norma’s friends – Nick Ford and Christine – and not in a good way. He seems afraid of them, which makes sense with Ford, but makes me wonder what Christine may be hiding. The next morning, Norma gets a phone call telling her she got the seat on the council.
Norma takes Norman for his driving test, but gets a call from Emma telling her about Norman’s recent blackouts – which Emma has learned about from Cody. It occurs to Norma that – given his frequent blackouts – Norman behind the wheel of a car could be very dangerous. She tells the driving instructor about the blackouts, and he informs them it could be several years before Norman will be allowed to drive. On the way home, furious at his mother for divulging that information, Norman steers the car off the road, jumps out, and insists on walking. Before he leaves, he learns that Norma got the info about his latest blackouts from Emma, who heard it from Cody. Norman makes a beeline towards Cody’s house.
When he gets there, Norman yells at Cody for telling Emma about his blackouts. However, Cody’s father is in the house. He comes out and begins a confrontation, starting with grabbing Cody. Norman reacts, shoving Cody’s father and knocking him down the basement steps, where his body slams into a board (or something – it happened rather quickly) and kills him instantly. If you’re playing the Norman Bates drinking game at home, take a big swig.
While this isn’t the first time Norman has killed someone, it looks like this might be the first time he wasn’t in a catatonic state while doing so, and will retain the memory of it afterwards. It will be interesting to see how things play out in the next episode and how this affects Norman. Without giving away too much from next week’s preview (which I know some fans avoid), it doesn’t look like the characters will hide the fact that Norman killed Cody’s father, and it’s possible that the death may all be chalked up to an accident (which it certainly was). I’m curious to see how the knowledge of killing someone will affect Norman.