Okay guys, shit goes DOWN in this episode and for real, it might be my favorite one of the series so far. Not only do things actually happen that move the plot massively forward, but there's some truly awesome humor, character revelations and fast-paced action happening. If the show can keep up a pace like this, the second half of the season is going to be amazing.
Mother’s having an understandably bad evening processing the news that the police officer she’s sleeping with to keep her safe from a murder conviction is actually the pivotal figure in an international sex smuggling operation. “I can’t imagine what a shock it is,” Emma, the Living Irony Machine says, “finding out a guy you’re that into is a monster.” #ISeeWhatYouDidThere. Mother tries to make a break from the hotel and drive to Shelby’s, but Norman runs after her, literally jumping into the car through the window as Mother yells, “Son of a Bitch!” at him. Less than two minutes into this episode and the irony meter is already about to explode. Norman manages to get Mother to stop the car despite the repeated donuts it spins as they wrestle for wheel. Norman comforts a sobbing Mother, telling him that they’ll find a way to get Shelby. This might honestly be my favorite scene in the entire series so far and Emma sums up the entire thing nicely with a sardonic, “well, shit.”
Elsewhere, Dylan emotionally tells his employers at the pot farm about Ethan getting shot and then running down the shooter. The Boss, Gil, is actually impressed with him for taking initiative and instructs Dylan how to effectively torch Ethan’s truck so there’s no evidence left of the murder. As he does, Dylan meets his new partner, Remo. Remo is less impressed with Dylan, partially because Remo is in his 40s and Dylan is all of 21 but mostly because it turns out that Gil has told Remo he is working for Dylan, not the other way around.
Can't wait for the annual employee review.
Back at the motel, the Chinese girl is asleep in one of the rooms. Norma inspects her bruised and bloodied arms before tucking her in and then heading back to the house where Emma again insists that they go to the police or at least the FBI. Mother and Norman are not keen on bringing more of Johnny Law back into their crime scene. Mother convinces Emma that they’ll convince the girl to go to the police on her own. Sidebar, I ask again, why leave the Chinese girl in the motel where she was previously held captive when there are at least 20 good bedrooms in that rambling mansion the Bateses live in? Oy. Waking her back to her car, Emma confesses that her mother left their family, not wanting to care for a kid with cystic fibrosis. This spurs some actual affection between them all and Mother hugs Emma sweetly before sending her off.
That night, Mother plots to go back to Shelby’s house. Norman wants to go too. Mother apologies for not believing Norman when he first told her about the Chinese girl. Norman wants to know if there’s something wrong with him, remembering how she said he sometimes sees things that aren’t there. Dylan finds them and they bring him up to speed. Dylan and Norman agree to go to Shelby’s boat. On the way there, Dylan tells Norman that he’s bought a place on the water and he wants Norman to live with him, away from Mother. Norman is noncommittal. They board the boat, looking for the missing belt. While they search, Dylan asks Norman how his father died. Norman says a shelf in the garage fell on him in a totally non-suspicious way, why? Dylan says that Mother hated Norman’s father and she was miserable and Norman needs to stop making excuses for a bastard father and an insane mother. Just then, Dylan finds the missing belt hidden in the ceiling. Dylan throws the belt overboard, promising that it won’t wash up or float. “Now she’s safe,” he says as he throws the belt into the harbor.
But is she though? Back at the house, guess who’s coming for
dinner sex? Shelby arrives feeling randy and tries to get Mother to head
down into the motel with him.
"I have a incestuous thing going with my son, so what does it tell you that you're creeping me out sexually right now?"
Three minutes later, Mother has the best bored sex face ever as Shelby clearly thinks more of his ability than she does. When he notices she’s not as enthused and asks what’s wrong she tells him she’s just worried about Norman. Just then, Shelby hears what sounds like water running in an adjacent room. He tucks it in and heads out to investigate. If it weren’t for the gun, this would make for an awesome French farce. He correctly identifies the room the Chinese girl is in, but she’s showering and can’t hear him. Mother tries to cover, saying it’s a painter from Sacramento (that old chestnut), but just then the Chinese girl opens the door and ruins the whole thing. She panics and runs. Shelby chases after her, pushing Mother to the ground and calling her a bitch when she tries to stop him from shooting the girl. As Shelby runs off, the boys arrive back home. Dylan says Norman is coming to live with him, causing Mother to instantly all but totally forget about the Chinese girl being chased by the psychopathic cop and demand to know why Norman would do this to her? Norman says it’s because she killed his father, but Mother sighs and sadly tells him that’s not true. The family drama could continue, but Shelby reemerges from the woods and boy is he not happy.
He takes them back to the house for a family meeting before deciding that this is all Norman’s fault, putting his gun into Norman’s temple. When Mother tries to say that they’ll all stay quiet he strikes her hard and remember how Norman sometimes goes into a blackout rage? Well, here it comes again. Norman charges Shelby with an assist from Dylan. Lots of punching, kicking and Shelby and Dylan are at opposite ends of the house shooting at each other around corners. The fight leads upstairs with a wounded Shelby chasing after Dylan while Norman is unconscious in the kitchen and Mother dragging him out of the house. Mother calls 911 and gets a dazed Norman to their car. Typical horror movie cliché, the car keys aren’t in her purse, but upstairs with Shelby. Just then she hears two gun shots coming from the house. A few tense moments later, we see a man emerge from the house… it’s Shelby looking FUCKED. UP. He points his gun at Norman and Mother before collapsing on the ground.
Your mileage may vary on this image.
Dylan comes running from the house and Mother runs to him, hugging him for what I think is the first time. “You’re safe,” he tells her. Norman meanwhile is still sitting blankly in the car. Dylan says they need to tell the truth about what happens when the cops arrive, but Mother says he doesn’t know the whole story. She, of course, doesn’t tell him about killing a man who raped her on her kitchen floor, which would explain some things, but she does tell him about how Norman’s father died – they had been fighting, him calling her a whore and that saying she’s cheap. Norman had been listening from the kitchen when his father started to beat Mother, causing Norman to calmly walk to his father and hit him over the back of the head, killing him. Norman seemed blank, so Mother took him to his room and let him lie down. Then she dragged his father to the garage and staged his accidental death before showering to get rid of the blood on her while Norman woke up and found his father's body, bringing us right back to that first scene in the pilot episode.
Maybe the fact that we've both killed someone will bring us closer together as a family?
Mother tells Dylan that Norman is innocent and he doesn’t know what he did. “You can either get out of my way or you can help me,” she tells him as the police arrive.