"Bates Motel" A Death in the Family (TV Episode 2015) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Norman and Emma make decisions regarding their future; Norma informs Norman of his boundaries.

  • The summer is over and it's time for Norman to return to school. He does so reluctantly and at Norma's insistence but an hallucination in the school cafeteria sends him running home. Norma decides it would be best for him to be home schooled and so makes him the motel manager. Norman and Emma agree they should date. Norma meanwhile learns that her mother has died. She tries to maintain a cool facade and tells the lawyer she wants nothing to do with her mother's estate. Her brother Caleb is still around and he tries to give some money to Dylan who is out of a job now that the DEA has shut down the grow op. A sexy call girl, Annika Johnson, checks into the motel and Norman happily offers to show her how to get to the party she is working that night.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • "Bates Motel" - "A Death in the Family"- March 9, 2015

    And we're back, and things are creepier than ever in White Pine Bay.

    Following the polygraph test that he passed, convincing everyone he didn't kill Blair Watson, Norman and Norma have apparently spent a blissfully uneventful summer working at the motel, watching movies, and sleeping together. As in actually sleeping, Norman falls asleep in her bed, they spoon, they go about their daily lives.

    Dylan meanwhile has been living part-time in a cabin in the woods that he is rehabbing. He does come home though and he happens to catch Norman and Norma in a spoon one morning and mentions to her that now that Norman is 18 years old, that arrangement is downright creepy. She tries to explain this to him and he claims to understand, but he is clearly hurt that his mommy no longer wants to spoon with him. She claims she actually does but agrees with Dylan that it might not be good for Norman himself and since he doesn't have a father she's deferring to Dylan's judgement on "manly things."

    Also, apparently during the summer, in the wake of the deaths of Nick Ford and the creepy siblings Zane and Jody who were the kingpins of the White Pine Bay ganja empires, the DEA came and busted all the pot dealers in town and burned down their farms, screwing up the local economy and making everybody mad at Sheriff Eyeliner, um, Romero, because he was supposed to be protecting the legacy business of the town.

    Romero tries to prevail upon Dylan to get back into business but Dylan wants to go legit. He is drawing up plans to build a barn near his cabin to grow 99 plants, the legal limit, to help people with glaucoma and anxiety, and make enough money just to get by. He's done being a boss, he just wants some peace. Romero is very disappointed in this attitude and says he can no longer protect Dylan now that they won't be in business together. Dylan points out that what he plans to do is legal so it shouldn't be a problem. Romero menacingly notes that it "shouldn't."

    Later, two out of work drug dealers confront Romero in a bar. He notes the irony of two drug dealers being surprised the DEA ruined the party. They blame him and insinuate if he wasn't a cop they'd kick his ass. Romero neatly slams one of their heads into a bar and knocks the guy out. He throws down some money and leaves. You don't mess with Sheriff Luscious Lashes.

    Norma tries to force Norman to go back to school but it doesn't take when on his first day he sees a bloody vision of Miss Watson in the cafeteria. She decides he will home school for his senior year, promotes him to motel manager, and says she is going to take some business classes at the local college to work on marketing the motel so they can figure out how to stay in town after the bypass is installed. He agrees to this plan.

    She also gets the bad news that her crazy mother has finally died. She turns down any money from the estate. Even though she tells Norman it doesn't matter because she hadn't talked to her in 20 years, she later becomes very upset. She breaks the news to Dylan that his grandmother is dead and shares stories of how her illness, and the nature of it, was never discussed. She shows him a blue hair ribbon she kept of her mother's because it was the only thing that she ever seemed to talk about that made her happy. Later, crying in bed, Norman tries to comfort her thinking she is crying because he's a creeper and apologizes. She says that wasn't it, that she's crying over her mother and she's not even sure why. She scoots over and asks him to sleep in her bed just for tonight since she's so sad. He happily obliges.

    Even though he pretended to be hearing the news about his crazy dead grandma when Norma told him, Dylan already knew. The previous evening he ran into his incest daddy/uncle Caleb. Caleb followed him to his cabin. He told him that there was money from crazy grandma's estate but Dylan wanted no part of it and told him to leave. The next day he saw Caleb broken down on the road. Although he clearly wants nothing to do with him, he did the right thing and drove him to an auto parts store. On the way back to his truck, even though Dylan doesn't want to hear it, he tells him that he finally figured out that he is Dylan's dad and that is why Norma ran off and married a guy from high school. He tries to explain that their mother was nuts and that their father was extremely violent so all Norma and Caleb had was each other. Dylan does not want to know and wonders how he thinks they could have a relationship under these circumstances. Caleb says with his mother gone he now has no other family and it has been hard for him. Dylan is unsympathetic and tells him to get gone. Only to find him turn up at the cabin chatting with old pal Gunnar-- himself a drop in sent by Remo in search of pot harvesting work. Gunnar is all jazzed that Caleb apparently knows a lot about construction and building houses which is, coincidentally, exactly the help they need ot build Dylan's new, totally legal pot barn. Dylan tells Gunnar to take a walk and and Caleb, once again, to get gone. Caleb beseeches him to let him stay, that he is his son, and he wants to spend some time with him. Dylan acquiesces. Later, a comely young woman named Annika arrives at the motel. Norman goes all googly-eyed at her boobs. When he goes to change some lightbulbs in her room she reveals she is a stripper/hooker and will be staying in town to attend some parties and Johns for a few days. He says she seems like a nice girl, and she does, and she thanks him. Later when he is out by the dumpsters behind the motel he peeps in her window while she showers. Norma catches him and berates him, saying the manager can't be a peeping tom.

    Norman announces the home school plan to Emma,who has gotten the bad news that her lung capacity has even further diminished. He invites her to home school with him and also proposes that they date, saying "it's time." Emma is all in. They discuss going on dates, since, Norman notes he never dated Bradley, just slept with her. Emma seems confident that the will date just fine. But then Annika arrives looking for directions into town where she is working for the night. Norman pops up and says he will show her the way and walk back since he has to get a new thermometer for room 7 anyway. Emma is all "hey we were just discussing first dates"-face and Norman is a cartoon cloud of speed away from her saying he'll be back in an hour.

    He hops in Annika's Porsche-- she's a very successful hooker apparently-- and as they head to town she explains that she doesn't mind her life. She's saving money until she doesn't have to do it anymore and that it's all just sex, everybody needs it, and sometimes, she even enjoys it. Norman gets a nutty, solicitous look in his eye and tells her to turn down the next road.

    The next thing we see is Emma closing up the motel alone. Norman then returns driving Annika's Porsche, and Annika is nowhere to be seen.

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