Review: Bates Motel 3.04- “Unbreak-Able”

This week terrible and unhappy times for all, especially those Bates family members. It seems multiple murders/dead bodies/scandals at their motel isn’t driving away business in the slightest? Or is it? I can’t tell if there are actually any other guests at the motel. Anyone?

Well, last week, a bloody shot Annika stumbled into Norma’s arms, handing her a secret flash drive. Who shot Annika? What’s on the flashdrive? What is Norma going to do? Let’s find out in the fourth episode, aptly titled “Unbreak-Able.” Not so sure about the hyphenated play on words? It just reminds me that I want to watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for the second go-around.

Bates Motel 3.04 Unbreak-Able1Anyways, Norman awakens to see the cops outside. He, of course, goes outside, stands over Annika’s dead body, and asks if he did it. Norman done messed-up for reals now. Norma is recounting to Sheriff Romero what happened, but makes sure to say it wasn’t Norman. Dylan finally arrives home (it feels like he has been away at that cabin for weeks). Norma has Dylan rush Norman upstairs to the house. Romero continues to interrogate Norma, but she gets fed up, saying he can’t come to her house and accuse her/Norman. She then goes to check on Norman, who is still in a post-bathtub blackout state. Norma affectionately pets Dylan’s head, which causes Norman to narrow his eyes. Uh-oh. Bad news for all I’m guessing.

Bates Motel 3.04 Unbreak-Able5Norma heads to her room where she takes the secret flashdrive out of her bra. She then tries to access it, but it requires a password. She tries everything from “Annika” to “sexcrazed,” but nothing works! The next day, Norma goes to a coffee shop and berates a random coffee shop patron to help her break into the flashdrive, after making a story up about her dead mother. Unfortunately, the drive is very complex and the patron can’t open it. This was one of the lighter, funnier moments of an otherwise dark, angry episode.

Romero gets a report that Annika was shot 20 minutes before arriving at the Bates Motel and that her car was registered to Lindsay, the other dead girl who was found in the marsh. Interesting! Caleb and Gunner are in town, packing up their truck. Caleb sees Norma and his face says it all, yet he hides from her sight. I don’t know how I feel about their relationship. All I know is that I could care less about the whole “drug barn” storyline.

Bates Motel 3.04 Unbreakable NormaNNorman tells his mother that he thinks Annika came back to find him and then asks if Norma still likes him. Ooh, he is already very jealous of Dylan’s return. Norma assures him she does, saying nothing is different or ever will be. Later, Norman and Emma “do home school” or whatever that entails, but Norman starts making out with Emma to make his mother jealous. It is as gross as you think. POOR EMMA.

Romero follows the trail to Bob Harris’ sex castle to ask about Annika. Bob denies everything, but asks Romero if the Annika had anything on her when she died. BAHA! Wow, if that isn’t incriminating, I don’t know what is. This sets Romero off on a quest to find whatever it was the Bob was referring to (the drive). Norma catches him searching thru Annika’s room (without a warrant) and then she lies to him about the drive when he asks. They both call each other out on lying, yet neither reveals the truth.

Norma goes to the library to get a book on computers. Who should be there? Why, it’s her latest obsessed stalker, psych professor James Finnigan (Joshua Leonard). I can’t tell if he likes Norma or just wants to psycho-analyze her! He barrages her with questions and they eventually go to get coffee, where Norma cries and continues to reveal half-truths about herself and Norman, whom she says she doesn’t trust. Okay, Norma, just let it loose with this random man.

When Norma gets home, she finds Norman making a picnic for him and Emma. Norma assumed it was for her and looks sad. Norma calls Norman out on using Emma to get back at her and forbids him from having sex or hurting Emma. It’s all weird and creepy and Norman has issues. Norma then goes up to Dylan’s room and tells him about the flash drive and Annika. Wow, that really shows a growing love/trust between Norma and Dylan, which is nice. Norman doesn’t think it is nice as he eavesdrops from the hall.

Bates Motel 3.04 Unbreakable kissRomero interview a woman named Portia (Courtney Richter), who was friends with Annika and Lindsay. She reveals that Bob Harris was taken with Lindsay and Lindsay asked her to have a three some with her and Bob. Portia refused, so they asked Annika. Hmm. Now Annika and Lindsay are dead. Foul play, indeed!

Meanwhile, Norman and Emma go to picnic in the woods. They come across a cabin, break in, start a fire, and start making out before Norman stops it, saying he doesn’t want to hurt her and his mother said not to have sex. Emma gets extremely insulted and mad and FINALLY is fed up with Norman and LEAVES. FINALLY! Good on you, Emma. I have been waiting for this day. Please don’t go back to him. Emma is the best and we can’t let the antics of the Bates family bring her down.

Meanwhile, Dylan approaches Caleb at the cabin. He is atop the roof, working on stuff. They start arguing and Caleb falls thru the ceiling. There is blood. (Is it bad that I kinda hoped that’d be the end of Caleb on the show? Cause I really did hope that.) Well, he is alive and the injury leads to a heart-to-heart between father and son that is mildly touching.

Bates Motel 3.04 Unbreakable DylanWhen Dylan heads back to the motel, he finds a stranger searching thru the motel lobby. He confronts him with a gun, but soon is in a standoff with two guys. They leave, but not without threatening to return, looking for something of theirs. Dylan rushes up to the house and starts to tell Norma about what just happened. Norman bursts in, demanding to know what is going on. Both Norma and Dylan push him off, telling him to leave and stay out of it. Hm, is that the best thing to do to your mentally unstable, possibly murderous son? I would’ve just told him. But, I have the rationality unreserved for the Bates family.

Bates Motel 3.04 Unbreakable DylNormaDylan takes the flash drive and is going to hide it somewhere else. They hug and it is so nice and sweet. AW. As Dylan leaves, a bug-eyed Norman confronts him about what he is doing, but Dylan tells him to stay the hell out of it. So, of course, Norman secretly follows Dylan! C’mon people! Dylan hides the flash drive in a timer in the weed cabin. Caleb appears, asking what Dylan is doing…but then, Norman appears, wild-eyed and angry. He has lost it, yelling at Dylan and calling Caleb a rapist. Norman runs away and Dylan chases him, tackling him down, begging Norman not to tell Norma about this. Poor Dylan. You can see it in his eyes. If Norman tells Norma about Caleb, everything Dylan and Norma had built up would be destroyed, but Norman doesn’t care. He shouts about Dylan’s betrayal and is gone.

Wow, what a sad ending for Dylan. Y’know, if we took away all the quirky, funny moments of this show (mostly thanks to Vera Farmiga’s astounding performance), this show would be uber dark and uber serious. Everyone angry and shouting all the time. It wouldn’t be fun. It would be creepy and uncomfortable! Luckily, the show still maintains a bit of it’s charm, but then again, it is dealing with Norman Bates, a literal Psycho!

There was a lot of anger on Norman’s end. Would you have left him out of the flash drive secret, or told him? I would be annoyed if my mom and brother were keeping secrets from me, but then again, I’m not Norman-effing-Bates! Also, what is on the flash drive? And who killed Annika and Lindsay!? Bob Harris is way too obvious, right? This season has been way more intriguing than seasons past, so I’m excited to see where it goes.

What did you guys think of the episode? Let me know in the comments below!

New episodes of Bates Motel air Monday @ 10/9c on A&E. Watch full episodes on AETV.com, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video.

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Post Author: Ben Fleck