While we were presented with a duo of lovesick emotion last week, Bates Motel returned to more familiar ground with this week’s episode ‘Plunge’, as Norman began to feel the effects of his damaged psyche once again and both Dylan and Norma began to head further into the rabbit hole of their prospective roles.
After his recent brush with the softer side of life in a romantic embrace with Cody, Norman slowly began to feel the sharper edge of the girl his mother is hugely opposed to, with former possible love interest Emma in the centre. Heading off for another youthful love conquest in the forest, the pair would come across Emma and her man in what was a rather awkward situation. Cody, the rebellious and far from embarrassed beau of Norman, would take the opportunity to combine the couples and have some fun; the result being a daring jump into the river from a ledge.
Emma, somewhat pressured into also partaking, would soon find herself in difficulties and her hero Norman was on hand to pretty much save her life. The repercussions of the event would we felt though, with Norman infuriated with his rebellious partner and the spark between him and Emma somewhat reignited.
Meanwhile, Dylan, fresh out of hospital and acquainted with his new boss, would find himself in new territory within the hierarchy and requested to take a further step up. That would mean going over Zane’s head at the demand of his sister and also getting rather close to her too. And speaking of getting close, Norma is certainly making waves in the community as she strove to get herself a position of relevant power this week, visiting the mayor and immediately realising that those who have recently become close to her may have more influence than she would have imagined.
It seems rather apt that the title of this week’s episode was ‘Plunge’, as each focal character took one in some way or another. With Emma’s plunge into the pool consequenting in Norman’s rash reaction, we saw the fortunes of both their new relationships take a dip and raise many a question mark. Then there was Dylan, removing himself from his family, the elder Bates sibling found himself deeper than expected into the drug business and finding new ground. Then there was Norma, taking the plunge in attempting to gain more authority and power, all while uncovering a surprising amount of support in her corner.
Cleverly interweaving the focus title in the ongoing story arcs of our main characters, the show certainly shifted its focus from the love-happy emotions of last week to a large number of head-scratching instances that engaged interest immediately and thrust us into the land of theory and prediction. With Norman and Emma suddenly revisiting the light that they held for each other previously we were forced to question exactly what will happen with them, so too with Dylan’s situation as he gets in deeper with Zane’s sister.
What’s most interesting is Norma’s current scenario as she finds herself almost at the mercy of individuals in the town whom certainly the sheriff seems keen on her to avoid. As yet we do not fully know the extent of the likes of Christine, George and Nick’s influence and dealings within White Pine Bay, but they certainly create a huge web of intrigue that will definitely be untangled in further episodes to come.
As ever, the unfolding danger levels with Norman’s deteriorating state made themselves known yet again to provide the inevitable future for the show, but with everything around the future serial killer heading to a boil, there is still so much to savour from this sumptuous of shows. With every plot and sub-plot slowly unraveling and a distinct sense of atmosphere continuously nailed, Bates Motel continues its reign of brilliance and it’s doubtful that this series will slip as it heads into the final half.