The morning after – Norman leaves a sleeping Bradley like he’s some kind of pimp boss and James Deans his way back down the highway to the motel. Dylan is all “Congrats on the sex! Mom’s totally in jail” when Norman comes in. They find her in the clink and offer to use the motel as collateral for her bail. Mother snarks them a bit, saying she doesn’t need any help and yells at them to get out. Puppy Dog Norman doesn’t understand why Mother is being mean and not looking at him. It’s because of the sex you didn’t have with her, genius.
If this were American Horror Story, we'd be knee deep in a haunted women's prison plot line by now.
Emma finds Norman frantically going through boxes in the motel for the deed. She invites Norman to stay with them. Smooth, Emma. She takes him to a bail bondsman and while they wait, Norman tells Emma about finding the Chinese girl in the basement. Emma wants to go to the police, apparently sailing right past the part where a member of the police is a part of the problem. Norman says he wants to do something, but not until Mother is taken care of first. Which is going to be a lifelong theme for poor Norman.
The bail bond comes through and Norman goes to fetch Norma with a bouquet of flowers. Mother, however, breezes past him. “I have nothing to say to you,” she brushes him off, preferring to walk home than drive with him. Later, they meet with their naturally attractive female lawyer, who Mother is also not pleased with, likely imagining her as yet another succubus who’s going to swoop down on Norman at any minute. The lawyer lays out a case that would defend Mother, but Mother insists no story is needed since she didn’t kill Keith and jeez, why is everyone so enamored of physical “evidence” anyway?
On the ride home, Norman tries to talk sense into her, but Mother insists that Norman doesn’t care about her. “You went out and you got laid while I was crying alone in my room worried sick about all this,” she tells him. She blames Dylan for his advise that Norman go and make with the sexy time and she wants to know why Norman did this to her? Norman tells her that she scares him sometimes. Mother, clearly missing the message, yells at him to get out of her car and walk the ten miles back home. When he doesn’t, she physically drags him out and speed off without him. Thus giving us one of the first real scenes in this series where we start to see Mother’s psychological abuse and hold over Norman. It actually makes a lot of sense if you consider the movie. Norman is eventually rescued when Dylan comes upon him on his motorcycle and drives him home. As they speed down the road, Norman actually looks happy for the first time with a member of his family. It’s actually really touching.
If it's possible to have a bro-mance between brothers, this is getting close.
Back home, Dylan accurately points out how Mother lives for drama and behaves the way she does to get Norman’s attention. He tells Norman that the only thing you can do sometimes with those people is walk away. He tells Norman the he’s getting his own place and he wants Norman to move in with him.
The next day, Dylan gets an infusion of cash from his coworker Ethan for the place he wants. Ethan says the bosses don’t give this out, but he’s loaning it to Dylan from his share because he knows Dylan is good for it. Just then, another man comes up to the two of them, pulls a gun and shoots Ethan in the throat. Have to say this, things never go over small in this town. Dylan rushes him to the hospital.
That night, Mother meets with Shelby in his cruiser down by the lake. Shelby apologizes for having brought Mother down to the jail and tells her that it’s not safe for them to be seen together for a while. Mother begins to storm off but Shelby stops her by telling her that he loves her and that he went through hell knowing that she was in trouble and he couldn’t even show his concern. This is apparently what Mother needed to hear because she softens and begs him not to do anything stupid. Back at the station, Shelby clandestinely breaks into the evidence room and steals the carpet fibers found on Keith’s body.
Dylan cruises the mean streets of Whereverthehellthisis, looking for Ethan’s shooter. He finds him down by the docks, natch, and chases him in Ethan’s truck, running him down. Like, with the truck. Damn.
Mother is putting the finishing touches on the motel’s website (which, fun fact, is a real website) when she gets the news from her lawyer that the carpet samples are lost and the police have no case. Meanwhile, Norman tries to call Bradley after texting her two, three hundred times, but gets no answer. I will kind of love this show if it turns out that Bradley totally just used Norman for some distraction sex. That would not only be a cool reversal of the stereotype, but it would explain adult Norman’s eventual distrust and disgust with sexualized women.
Regardless, Mother is all giddy, hugging Norman and telling him that everything’s taken care of and they’re going to be fine, thanks to Shelby. “What’s he going to make you do for this favor?” Norman asks. Looks like it’s his turn to be bitchy. He leaves the house and finds Emma arriving, who has a theory on where the Chinese girl has been hidden. “Just take me away from here,” Norman says.
Emma takes him down to the water and tells him her theory – after googling “Keith Summers murder evidence” to see if he had any other properties in his name, she’s guessing that Shelby may have hidden the girl on Keith Summers’ boat and hey Norman, are you listening to me? Norman tells her the harsh truth – he’s with Bradley now because they made passionate, tender love even though she hasn’t called him back. Emma uses unassailable teenage logic to defy Norman’s insistence that he’s off the market – “Did she change her relationship status?” She asks. “Then it’s just a hook-up.” Truer words, my friends…
La la la, denial denial denial... I'm not listening to you talk about the other girl you slept with, not on FB, after all...
The two teenage sleuths head to Keith’s fishing boat. They break in, finding the girl basically feral and hiding in a closet. They drive her back to the motel, which has got the be the LAST place this girl wants to be given that she was likely held hostage there for a while. Thankfully, she’s passed out for some reason, so she goes more or less quietly.
Mother is finishing up work in the office meanwhile and sees Emma’s car, prompting her to investigate what this girl hussy would be doing to her son. She finds Emma and Norman caring for the frightened Chinese girl in one of the rooms. Norman tells Mother that this is girl from Shelby’s basement. The Chinese girl is all “lady, you’re crazy for not trusting your son here because I was totally that cop’s sex slave.” (Not her exact words, given that the character speaks very little English, but that was certainly the subtext.) Mother still refuses to believe her, getting a picture of Shelby and asking the girl again. “He is the one,” she says, pointing to Shelby.