Bates Motel Season 3 Episode 3 Review: Persuasion

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Norma's really going to get herself in to some trouble. 

Hell, Norma's already in trouble, but it's unclear whether either she or Norman is aware of it.

As events unfolded on Bates Motel Season 3 Episode 3, Norma's future started looking cloudier as a result of her hidden concern for Norman which, frankly, she isn't keeping hidden enough.

Bed Time - Bates Motel

The body wasn't Annika's. It was a long shot, especially given the wild party at the Arcanum Club. Norma was called to identify it because of how much she has revealed to Romero in the last few days since Annika's disappearance.

When the sheet was removed from the body's face, Norma practically crawled on top of it to get a better look in her surprise that it really wasn't Annika. She was so certain Norman had killed another woman she almost refused to believe it wasn't her.

Norma's willingness to paint Norman as a murderer, mentally imprison him and throw away the key wasn't lost on Norman and that was really the thrust of the hour. While I wasn't right that he would be questioned first in the event of Annika's death, I was right in that he was questioned first in light of her disappearance.

The only reason Norman was questioned was because his own mother ran to the Sheriff to rat him out. Heck, even if he wasn't half crazy, it would still be rather irksome to discover your mother thought so little of you. Norman owned the interview with Romero and Norma, as well, as he told her to scoot on back into the kitchen while he handled things.

Norman's combination of false bravado and attempts at humor were effective during the interview and played very well for him to blow his stack after Romero left. Once again, Freddie Highmore went to the next degree with his portrayal as he shouted angrily that he remembered every single minute of the night Annika disappeared and everything that was happening was all Norma's fault because she cannot decide if she wants him to be free or guilty of things unknown.

I almost bought it, that he was definitely innocent of injuring Annika. And he was, but he didn't know that. Instead, he's still finding himself hazy on details, and that's truly frightening. I didn't remember that he conjured up Norma killing Miss Watson while in the box, but watching him envisioning her talking him through recreating the helpless feeling of the box to recall events was creepy.

That he can imagine her so clearly this early in his life shows how easy it will be for him to live with her daily after she's stuffed and sitting pretty in the window. She'll live on and he'll likely never know she's gone.

His mind is having difficulty separating reality and fiction to a tremendous degree and when you weave in the taxidermy, it's a layer that will only misdirect any hope he has to correct the insanity. It's rather fascinating, but Norma doesn't have a hope for survival.

So we can assume Bob Paris, who's running against Romero for Sheriff, had something to do with the murder? Their chat about who was more morally compromised didn't give much hope for the future of White Pine Bay. The new fellow in town, running for Sheriff, might come in handy after all.

The story with Dylan continues to drag and be rather uninteresting, other than Emma driving her VW Bug up the mountain full of pot plants. The presence of Caleb will break, but how?

Norma's rather hilarious misstep into the wrong class on her first day of school was pretty cute and she was introduced to an interesting man who, for some reason, I imagine dead in the future. Maybe it's just me. I liked how he read her troubled past, and I hope I'm wrong, however.

Other bits:

  • Emma sure can put the sex on when she wants to. Wow! Norman was good enough to notice, too.
  • Would you rather have your Sheriff watching prostitutes engage in sex at parties or be protecting the city's big stake in the marijuana business and fail to do it properly? Tough call.
  • What's on the flash drive Annika died with and how can Norma "use it" for her and Norman? I wonder if it's something shady about the new highway.
  • Whose side are you on, Norma's or Norman's?

Hit the comments and chat about the show. Come on, people. It's good! If you've missed any of the series thus far, don't. Watch Bates Motel online via TV Fanatic and don't be left behind!

Persuasion Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (6 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Bates Motel Season 3 Episode 3 Quotes

Sorry, I just wanna feel normal right now. It's not our fault. OK, it's sad, it's messy, but it's just not our fault. Stay out of it.


Norman: What happened?
Norma: I threw up on myself in the car. You ever smell the inside of a morgue? It's nauseating.