TV Show Review

TV Review: BATES MOTEL: Season 2, Episode 6: Plunge [A&E]

Paloma Kwiatkowski Freddie Highmore Bates Motel Plunge

A&E’s Bates Motel Plunge TV Show Review. Bates Motel: Season 2, Episode 6: Plunge is the grand set-up for the excitement and downward spiral of Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore). At the time of the airing of this episode, Bates Motel was picked up for a third season, giving the writers ample time to expound on Norman’s inevitable decline into madness.

The episode opened with Norma Bates (Vera Farmiga), having discovered that councilman Berman was dead, going to Nick Ford’s (Michael O’Neill) yacht unannounced. After a cryptic conversation, Norma told him “she doesn’t want to do this anymore.” Nick pushed back a bit, then conceded. He is a shrewd man. This will not be the last time Norma and Nick interact.

Christine Heldens (Rebecca Creskoff) stopped by the motel to tell Norma to go for the open seat on the council. She said that she and her husband were friends with the mayor, that she would ask George to help her with the preparation. Further along in the episode George indeed helped Norma. When Norman found out that George had been around, he had a hard time concealing his feelings and wrung a scarf around his fists as though it were George’s neck.

On a more romantic front, Jodi Carpenter (Kathleen Robertson) picked up Dylan Massett (Max Thieriot) at the hospital and drove him to a remote estate far away from everything. She had a room waiting for him and took Dylan on a tour of the property. She explained the family business and how it was bequeathed to her when her parents died. She also told Dylan that she had made a mistake putting her brother Zane Carpenter (Michael Eklund) in charge, that she now wanted Dylan to take over. Later in the episode, she entered his room and climbed on top, whispering, “Don’t take this personally.” “I won’t,” he responded.

The most uncomfortable character development is that of Cody Brennan (Paloma Kwiatkowski). The continued intimacy growing between her and Norman is undoubtedly leading up to a fatal ending. Here, we see her pick Norman up from the motel for another tech rehearsal. Norma ran to stop them before they drove off.

She maneuvered her way into the carseat and told Cody that she was not to drink with Norman. “There are medical reasons he should not drink.” Period.

Once again Cody and Norman decided to blow off tech. They stopped by Cody’s, and this time she allowed Norman into the house. Not good. While poring over alcohol bottles, they heard a car door slam and knew it was her father home unexpectedly. They both hid in the closet where Norman had a repressed memory flashback, here he is held in one of his fugue states. Cody calmed him and Norman admitted to more blackouts. Again, this is not looking good for Cody…she knows too much.

Cody and Norman got physical again at the waterfront…until Emma Decody (Olivia Cooke) and Gunner (Keenan Tracey) arrived on the scene. No need for anyone to leave, Cody insisted they could hang together. They decided to swim and used a rope swing to plunge into the frigid cold. First Gunner, then Norman, and then Cody encouraged Emma for a ride. Hesitant but willing, Emma removed her oxygen and swung herself out and into the water. The mood quickly shifted when Emma did not come up for air for what seemed like an interminable amount of time. Norman jumped into to save her and was visibly shaken and enraged by the situation. Wrapped in a blanket, Emma was comforted and held by Norman until he stood and lashed out violently at Cody. Cody, perplexed, moved away from the scene. She is concerned and not sure of Norman any longer.

In another part of town, in the mayor’s office, the mayor gave Norma the seat on the council. (Surprise, surprise.) The mayor needed nothing more than the information and the understanding of the company she kept. “You run with all the right people.” And she knew Nick Ford…”Nick Ford’s support means something…you don’t want to cross Nick Ford.”

In a moment of solidarity, Cody visited Emma and shared that Norman was having more frequent blackouts. She had promised that she wouldn’t tell his mother, but felt she needed to tell someone. There is no question of the girls care and concern of Norman.

In an uncomfortable scene, Norma burst into Norman’s room to tell him she got the seat on the council. Both tumbled onto his bed in an intimate embrace, followed by a nuzzle of Norman’s head into her bosom. The boundaries in this relationship are palpably blurry.

Emma made that inevitable phone call to Norma just as Norman was to begin his driver’s test. Norma stopped the test from continuing. On their way home, Norman was furious and when told that Cody spilled the beans, he violently forced the car to the side of the road. “I’m not a little boy! You can’t keep me locked up!”

The episode ended with Norman at Cody’s house, beside himself with anger. Startled by Cody’s father who started yelling at the them, Norman stood his ground. When her father grabbed her and put her in a headlock, Norman boiled over. In an attempt to pull Cody out of her father’s grasp, Norman sent him head over heels down the staircase.

It was a jam packed chapter that furthers the story of the unraveling Norman Bates and his complicated, beautiful mother.

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