"Bates Motel" A Boy and His Dog (TV Episode 2013) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Norman is upset after Emma tells some of the other girls that he and Bradley slept together. He leaves school without permission and in a meeting with the principal and his teacher, it's suggested to Norma that Norman seek professional help. The session with the psychologist doesn't go well. Norman starts spending time with Emma's father who is teaching him taxidermy. He gets his dog stuffed.Norma is worried about the bypass the town is about to build and tries to get Sheriff Romero to help her. He has news for her. Jake Abernathy is back at the motel and Norma decides to follow him to see what he's up to. She finds he's looking for something on Keith Summers' boat. She decides the best thing for him would be to leave the motel but he is obviously not happy about it. Dylan and Remo head off on a road trip to California to pick up the trimmers who will process the latest crop of marijuana.

  • Sheriff Romero accepts to keep quiet about the Zach debacle but warns Norma never to lean on him, notably to find a way to oppose the new highway which would drain the motel of potential guests. Norman enjoys learning taxidermy from Emma's father Will Decody by stuffing 'his' car-killed stray dog, Norma opposes the 'freak' hobby. Dylan considers his older weed plantation foreman Remo Wallace a lush looser, yet ends up siding with him against the troublemaker among the Californian Hippie-type pickers they pick up for the harvest processing. The school insists on therapy for recluse Norman and accepts that Norma chooses a private therapist, Dr. Kurata, but she turns on him for duly questioning her maternal domineering. Realizing that Jake Abernathy wants to rent the whole motel for dishonorable purposes, Norma cancels the deal, leaving Dylan's pickers as only guests.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • "Bates Motel" - "A Boy and His Dog" - May 6, 2013

    Emma's taxidermist dad stuffs Juno for Norman and explains how it works, including taking out the innards. Norman reads up on the practice. Emma's dad offers his condolences. Norman says it seems sad to let her go and that's why he's doing this. He thinks what he does is amazing. He says he can teach him how to do it and it can be quite beautiful.

    Meanwhile, Emma is hacking and coughing in the girl's room at school, sucking on her inhaler. In the stall, she overhears Bradley's friends calling Norman socially challenged and thinks she sees him as more of a pet and they can't believe she would ever have sex with him. Emma comes out and confirms that Bradley and Norman did it and dresses them down for being idiots.

    Norma looks at a paper that says the new bypass construction is starting in July. She calls Sheriff Romero who won't take her call. She sees Jake Abernathy out the window, smoking in the parking lot.

    Meanwhile, out in the pot fields, Dylan hangs with his new partner Remo. Gil the boss calls and tells him to go pick up the new harvest down in a town called Fortuna. Their relief arrives and he tells Dylan to pack a change of clothes. Dylan says they should just go.

    At school Bradley asks why Norman told Emma since she told everyone and he apologizes. Bradley says it's not cool and he needs to forget about it as she has a boyfriend and she doesn't want people to know. He agrees. His English teacher watches this exchange through a window and follows him as he leaves school. She stops him. He says he has to leave, tearfully. She tells him he can't just walk away from school. He yells that he doesn't care. She places a hand on his arm and he violently shakes it off.

    Norma goes to clean Abernathy's room and he asks her to clean the room right now while he's in it. They chat about the "unpleasant incident" with Shelby at the motel. She confirms it. Jake says he knew Keith Summers some but not well and he can't believe he was using the motel for sex trade. He says you just never know do you. She accidentally knocks over a lamp and breaks the bulb. He approaches her and says it's not a problem. He asks if she knew Zack. She says a little. He is weird and menacing. She nervously says she has to give Norman a ride somewhere. Jake notes Norman is at school. She again tries to leave and says she'll finish later. He grabs her cart and some linens off it and says they're good for now and if he needs anything else he'll come by the office. She scurries away.

    She heads to town to chat with Romero. She tries to charm him. He is immune. She asks about the bypass, which is bad for the motel. She says she's trying to figure out a way to fight this "from the inside." She notes there's a seat open on the city planning committee and she wants him to recommend her. He doesn't understand why she thinks he'd do that. She says because they know things about each other. He says they're not friends and not to think they are since he was kind enough to save her ass. She points out that he was saving his own ass as well. He shuts the door and tells her not to imply she has something on him because that would be bad for her because he would kill her. They say they have no connection and are not on the same playing field and should never assume that they are. He tells her to go home.

    As she leaves she gets a call from the school principal asking her to come in and discuss Norman's "behavior."

    Remo shows up to pick up Dylan, who has discovered that their mission is to go trim the weed harvest. They take off.

    Norman heads to Emma's house and asks why she told the girls about Bradley. She says it just came up. Just like with his mom. He asks what she's trying to do. She apologizes. He says Bradley was really upset and asks her not to tell anyone anything he told her in confidence again.

    Norma discovers Norman was suspended for three days for leaving school. Norma says he was just sick. The English teacher notes that he seemed upset. The principal says they're worried about Norman's emotional "instability." Norma is offended. They say they want him to speak to a school psychologist. Norma says she'd rather have him see a private therapist of her choosing. Norma says she'll keep in touch and scurries off again.

    Dylan and Remo drink shots at a roadside bar. Dylan says he wants to hit the hay. Remo keeps needling him and Dylan asks what his problem is. Remo says he's got 23 years of experience and now he's working for Dylan. Dylan say it's pretty obvious why and he calls him a pathetic, self-destructive loser. Remo punches him and they fight. Even with one bad arm from the shooting Dylan bests him, more or less. Remo tells him to watch out for him because he's going to destroy him. He says he used to be the golden boy with Gil but he didn't prove to have leadership potential. He says he gets no respect now. He says Gil isn't the big boss but won't tell Dylan who is. (Good money on Romero.) Dylan asks why he doesn't quit. Remo says there's no quitting in this job, only getting "fired." He wishes Dylan a goodnight.

    Norma confronts Norman about his behavior at home. He apologizes for what happened at school. He doesn't want to talk about why he was upset but he says it won't happen again. She says it can't, he has to be more careful and he needs to try more to fit in and he can't be so emotional. He says he does fit in for the most part. Andt hen he notes Emma's dad is teaching him how to taxidermy and wants a ride over. Totally fitting in.

    They head over and Norma meets Will, who has successfully skinned Juno. Norma speaks to him alone. She says she doesn't think this is such a good thing for Norman to be doing since he's already sort of unusual. Will says he's always very calm in his presence. Norma doesn't want him to get labeled as a freak. She's not saying Will is a freak, she's saying that not a lot of people do it. Will points out that not a lot of people are poets but we still need them. He says Norman is good at it and it's good company and he's not hurting anything. He wonders what could go wrong with a young person following their passion?

    Dylan and Remo show up for the harvest and pick up a bunch of hippies to help. Remo says the lead guy is a complete pain in the ass and that they should leave him behind. Dylan says Gil said to bring him and that's what they're doing.

    Norman admires Will's work. He says he's done it his whole life, except for the ten years he was married to Emma's mom, who didn't like it. He took it back up after she left. He says he left that life behind in England and he got Emma and that's all that matters.

    Norma drives into the motel lot and sees Abernathy driving out. So of course, she follows him, even though they are the only cars on the road and it's totally obvious. She follows him down to the docks and turns off her lights. She follows on foot as he heads to a boat. He goes on the bridge and then comes back out. It seems like he spots her and he disembarks. She tries to scurry off and he confronts her. He thinks she knows what he's looking for. She pleads ignorance. He gets out of his car and says "where is it?" Again, ignorance. He calls her on screwing Zack Shelby. She tries to excuse herself. He says he's not just going to walk away from this and he's some moron like Keith Summers. He says Keith was the bottom rung and he's the top. He says once Norma thinks about it she'll remember and she should come by his room and they can discuss it.

    Norman meets with a therapist with Norma. He asks about losing his father. Norman says it was an accident. Norma interjects about how they're starting over. He asks about moving to a new town and how it felt. He says he felt a lot of things. Like what? Norma interjects that he was sad. Norman agrees, sad.

    The lead hippie sings in the back of the van with his guitar and Remo tells him to shut up and put the guitar away. The hippie says he remembers Remo from last year too and he thinks he and his buddies might not come back next year and he wants to stop for food. Remo says no. Dylan tells him to pull over. He does. Dylan pulls his gun and tells the hippie to get out and any of the others who thinks this is a democracy should go with him. They leave him by the side of the road.

    The therapy session ends and the doctor wants to meet at the same time next week. Norma says she'll schedule something but they're very busy with the motel opening. The doctor asks to speak to Norma alone and says he thinks he should see Norman alone. She says she doesn't feel comfortable with that. He asks if she would consider therapy for her control issues with Norman. Norma notes she's his mother. He says maybe she needs to let go a little and people who feel the need to control things often feel out of control on the inside and asks if she feels that way at all. She says she's in total control of her own life and never feels powerless and is insulted by the doctor. She storms out and takes Norman with her.

    They get home and she sends him in and goes to see Abernathy. She throws his money back in his face and tells him to get out and not come back. He tells her to dial it down before he gets annoyed. She threatens to call the police and tell them about Keith and Zack. He says he knows all about her and Zack. She says there's nothing to know. She says he has no power over her. He says he can't believe she wants him to believe that she and Shelby were casual acquaintances and she knew nothing. She says if he isn't out in five minutes she's calling the police. He says if she wants to play he'll play. He leaves.

    Norman hangs out with the newly stuffed Juno at Will's shop. Emma comes in and confesses why she told those girls about him and Bradley, about what they were saying. She says it made her angry because she thinks he's special and they're stupid. She apologizes again and says she didn't want him to think she had any other motive. And she says it's not about her liking him, which she does. She's used to making the best of not getting what she wants but she thinks he's special and she feels safe with him and he's her friend and she doesn't want to lose him. She notes she doesn't have many real friends. He says it's okay and apologizes for being mad. She hugs him. he hugs her back. Her dad walks in.

    Norma is cleaning Abernathy's room when Remo and Dylan return. Dylan asks how many rooms they have available. She says all of them. She says he was right about Abernathy so she got rid of him. He says he has seven people who need rooms and they need somewhere to put them for two weeks, they're working for his boss. She thanks him and then invites him to dinner, just the two of them, since Norman is spending the night at Emma's. She seems excited about spending time with Dylan. And, of course, the business.

    She heads up to the house to change and Zack Shelby's dead body is in her bed. She freaks out and screams for Norman.

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