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Bates Motel Episode 2: The Angel of Breath

03/26/2013 04:30 pm 16:30:46 | Updated May 26, 2013

Hello loyal readers and sportsfans! Welcome to this week's episode of "Bates Motel: The Easter and Passover Years." I guess you could say this show does draw a lot on its holiday namesake - tonight there was a lot of, oh, let's say, "passing over" on sane behavior and a whole bunch of "resurrection" of bad and naughty behavior on everyone's part. As you can see, the Bateses love a good holiday tradition. So load up your plate with your aunt's weird brisket and round up some disgusting dyed eggs and let's dig in.

Norman's half-brother Dylan the Demon Seed has returned from whatever meat locker he's been hiding in to terrorize his family. He hasn't got a job, so he goes home to mooch off the only people who're guilty enough to take him in. Norman would be worried, but he's busy looking at violent pornographic drawings up in his bedroom, and when he isn't doing that he's busy walking to and from the school bus stop. If you recall, last week his new friend Bus Stop Girl took him to an underground satanic teen orgy, which was a fun way for kids in town to meet friends. He had to bail early though, because he's terrified of both women and sex, and doesn't really agree with underage drinking. She asks where he went after leaving the party, and he spews some crap about having to study. Smooth, Norman. Bus Stop girl is undeterred; she seems to have some esteem issues. After all, she is trying pretty damn hard to woo a man in a sweater that looks like a slow preschooler doodled on it with Magic Markers. Everything's interrupted when they see a car spinning out of control - it's Bus Stop Girl's dad's car! Then it crashes and they open it up and there's a half-burnt man inside.

...Well, that escalated quickly.

Sheriff Richard Alpert's on the scene. Why's he got a shiny gold Jewish star attached to his belt? Must be a shout-out to Passover. See? Dylan knows what's up, at least according to his suspicious glare. And now, let us take a moment for Dylan. He's so sultry and his jaw is so strong. Immature teen girls with tumblr accounts probably love him. In this wake of attractive brooding, little is said to acknowledge the extremely traumatic burnt-car-man event. We can only assume that, much like this plot line, the victim remained half-charred and forgotten in a roadside ditch.

At school later that day, Norman is assigned a group project. You can tell he totally wants to ask Bus Stop Girl to be his partner, but Air Tube Girl (see: first episode barf scene) snaps him up and he's too polite to reject her because she's...well, heck, she's got to carry around an oxygen tank. Cut to Dylan, who's not at school, but instead at a strip club during daytime hours, watching a pair of ankles do a Magic Mike impersonation to "Pony" by Ginuwine while an Asian man stares at her and cries - which is how I imagine a strip club to be during the day. As it turns out, the man burned in the car from before was the crying man's boss. Burning Man probably won't make it and his employee is sad, so obviously the best way to cope is to go to a sketchy rural strip club. Just another day in Batesville, I guess.

The next day Air Tube shows up at the hotel for a project work session. Dylan answers the door and greets her with a smile that says "I'm overly acknowledging you have an air tube and an oxygen tank." It turns out her name is Emma. And her disease is cystic fibrosis. A sobering moment for all, until Dylan ruins it horribly by making a sex joke. First a sad strip club, then belittling a terminally ill teen girl. Pitching a no-hitter! Anyway, upstairs Emma and Norman are reading poetry to each other, as misfit teens are wont to do. Emma finds the creep-o drawings that Norman found last episode inside the motel. He's embarrassed at first, but then Emma says: "I've read porn manga so this is small potatoes". She's so cool and different!

In Norma news: Richard Alpert returns later that night, still hot on the trail of the Fat Rapist disappearance in episode one. He questions her for a bit and it makes me uncomfortable to watch this. The deputy's uncomfortable too. He's like, "Uhhh this is gettin' weird, chief. if you need me, I'll be at the Denny's up on Route 4, stress eating and playing Tetris on my phone." Norma senses his weakness and the next day hunts down Deputy Sympathy, who also happens to be a male model, and they go out for lunch. He explains that Richard Alpert and Dead Fat Guy were childhood pals. Seriously? Those guys? Aren't they different ages? Also, you'd think Albert would've been a cool jock and Dead Fat Guy would have been like...vice-secretary of Anime Club. Was not expecting this one, no. Anyway, Norma flirts with the deputy and gets him to invite her out to dinner.

Getting ready for her date, Norma freaks out about her outfit and makes the following mistakes: She a) asks Norman, wearer of Muppet sweaters, for fashion advice and b) then she CHANGES CLOTHES in front of him, her 16 year old son who is far past puberty (or is he??) Then she leaves Dylan to babysit. A good babysitter would make Normal alphabet soup and hotdogs and put on a Thomas the Tank Engine DVD. Instead Dylan's like "crap, we're out of beer!" And then he gets an incoming call from "The Whore", as it's labeled on his phone. Obviously it's his mom. Norman calls it out, they fight, tempers flare, and they almost kill each other with a meat hammer. Dylan, you've got to rein it in or you're going to be next on their shit list. These are people who, just last episode, killed a fat rapist and dumped his corpse in a mill pond. Do not mess. Meanwhile, Norma's on her cougar date, watching Deputy Sympathy win a log cutting contest because of course he's good at log cutting. He starts to allude to some cryptic goings-on about the town and its shady income. This town is totally run by the Russian mob, isn't it. Ahhh. She comes home and Norman's got battle wounds from his, uh, beef tenderizer fight with Dylan.

Later on: Norman shows up at Emma's house. She asks him about his facial injury. Says Norman: "I fell down the stairs", which I guess means his deadbeat boyfriend punched him but was really sorry about it after and swears he'll change. Anyway, Emma's been looking at the motel sex drawings and she's also totally on to some weird stuff going down in town - something to do with a mass grave and some sex slaves. Because murder and sex trafficking seem to be turn-ons in Batesville, then she makes out with Norman - even though he's wearing a sweater that looks like it was designed by Paddington Bear. He grins, which is pretty adorable; he is so bad at hiding his happiness. Norman is so good at distracting us from the glaring fact that he will inevitably turn out to be a psychosexually ill murderer! Emma persuades him to go out in the woods to investigate said mass grave. It's pretty romantic until they run into a couple of weird gun-toting nuts, without any explanation. The teens run away and hide silently (Norman: "don't even breathe!" Kind of a tall order for someone with cystic fibrosis, eh Norm?) They narrowly escape.

In the next and final shot, which has no relation at all to the scene before, Norma is driving through town and passes a burning effigy of a human corpse dangling from a suspiciously crucifix-like boat mast. Somehow this just feels like...Easter? Only in Batesville could this be an unsurprising development. Maybe the ghosts of all the prematurely murdered plot tangents will rise again next week and explain themselves. Spooky!

Tune in next week for more satanic fun and family drama from America's newest sweetheart/woods adventurer/future murderer, Norman Bates.