Season 1 of “Bates Motel” revealed that Norma and Norman Bates are holding on to many secrets … and those secrets are piling up in Season 2.
Episode 3, “Caleb,” may have picked up with the town mourning the loss of Bradley after finding her suicide note, but the main focus was on the arrival of Norma’s brother, Caleb. “Bates Motel” fans will remember that in the Season 1 finale Norma revealed to Norman that her brother had raped her when they were teens. Norma hasn’t seen her brother since he moved out of the house … that is, until now.
Caleb shows up at the motel to see Norma, but instead he runs into Dylan. And Dylan has no idea that his mother has a brother. “Some things never change,” Caleb tells his nephew. And that’s enough for Dylan to invite Caleb inside the house.
Needless to say, Norma is shocked to walk in and find her estranged brother sitting at her kitchen table. But no one is more surprised than Dylan when he watches his mother throw Caleb out of the house, yelling at him to “GET OUT!”
Fortunately, Norma has made a new friend to help keep her mind off the arrival of her brother – the director of the White Pine Bay play, Christine. Norma met Christine while auditioning with Norman in episode 2, but this week Norma finds out that due to local politics she lost the lead role. Norma was surprised to find that Christine ended up quitting due to the casting drama. So while Norma didn’t get the part, she did gain a friend (and drinking buddy).
As Norma battles her inner demons and attempts to join the world of White Pine Bay, Norman and Dylan are having their own struggles. For Dylan that involves cleaning up Zane’s bloody mess as his new boss starts a war with the rival marijuana family. But that’s not the only thing he's got his hands into. After watching Norma and Caleb interact, he’s curious to find out what their history is. And while Caleb wants to talk, Norma’s not willing to acknowledge that anything happened between her and her brother.
Since Caleb’s in town for a couple of days thanks to a non-refundable ticket, Dylan sets up a meeting with him to question him about his mother. “You know how families are,” Caleb explains to him. “Things that happened years and years ago, it’s like yesterday. You don’t need to be loaded down by that.”
But what exactly would load Dylan down? According to Caleb, Norma was abused by their father, and he did nothing to stop it.
Caleb’s not just in town to make amends, though. He’s also looking for some money. After discovering that Norma was now in the hotel business, he confessed to Dylan that he has the opportunity to buy a hotel in Costa Rica off of two of friends who are divorcing. He says he needs only a small sum, and Dylan surprises him by offering him more than $11,000 of his own money.
Norman, on the other hand, is trying to “mourn” Bradley while befriending a townie girl, Cody. Since Norman has a tendency to fall in love with someone at first sight, he immediately takes Cody’s suggestion of joining the tech team behind the White Pine Bay play. Unfortunately for Norman, he discovers at a beach memorial for Bradley that Cody already has a boyfriend. But Cody’s boyfriend doesn’t seem to be too into her – because while he’s hooking up with Cody, he’s gripping Norman’s thigh.
Shortly afterward, Cody asks Norman to walk her home and Norman takes that time to tell his new friend that her boyfriend may be gay. And instead of getting mad or shocked, Cody tells him that she knows and that he wasn’t her boyfriend, just a friend that she was kissing. “Aren’t you?” she asks Norman of his sexuality. Norman tells her that he’s straight, and Cody warns him that he needs to get out more.
As Norman and Dylan are out and about in town, Christine invites Norma to her garden party in an attempt to introduce her to “the real White Pine Bay.” And while Christine does just that, her end goal is trying to set Norma up with her recently divorced brother, George. But Norma’s not ready to start dating. Lying to George, Norma says that her husband died suddenly in a car accident and that she doesn’t even remember how to date.
George agrees to take things slowly with her, but later that evening Norma turns the tables by asking another man out for coffee. Meeting him outside Christine’s garden party, the mysterious man reveals that he heard about Norma’s outburst at the council meeting regarding the new bypass. And when he confirms that he’s against the bypass too, Norma gets his name and number. And that man just so happens to be Miss Watson’s father, Nick Ford.
Happy with her new social life, Norma’s surprised to come home to find Dylan ready to talk … about Caleb. “He’s still in town,” Dylan tells his mom. “He told me what happened. What you went through. What your dad did to you guys. He said he didn’t do anything to stop it and try to protect you.”
“He raped me, Dylan,” she interrupts her son. “Every day for a year.”
But Dylan already drank Caleb’s Kool-Aid. “You’re unbelievable Norma, you know that?” he fires back. “I don’t believe you. You’d say anything to get your own way.”
As the pair engage in a screaming match (which involves Norma kicking Dylan out), Norman comes home and immediately comes to his mother’s defense. “Get away from her,” he tells as he attacks his brother. But Norma begs Norman to stop, telling her sons that Dylan “can’t help it” … because “it’s his dad.”
“Caleb is his dad,” she repeats. “I’m sorry.”
What did you think about that shocker? Let us know in the comments section.