Bates Motel “Crazy” Review (Season 3 Episode 9)

Bates Motel "Crazy" Season 3 Episode 9 (2)

You really could probably get away with giving any episode of Bates Motel the title “Crazy,” so you just knew that if tonight’s episode was the one deemed worthy of that moniker that we were in for something good! What we did get was certainly a lot of crazy events, with Bradley Martin back in town, Norma gettin’ slap happy with Romero, and Caleb beating the crap out of Chick over last week’s debacle.

We’ll get right to the Bradley stuff, as that was the cliffhanger last week and it’s right where the episode picked up as well. It’s honestly been so long since Bradley left the show that I felt like I needed a little reminder of what happened to her when she left way back at the beginning of the second season. They didn’t really go over that in the “Previously on” scenes, so I was glad that they did a pretty good job of recapping it in-show so that we’re reminded that she faked her own suicide and skipped town.

Bradley is understandably pretty messed up after a year on the road by herself. You can tell that she’s a much darker person now because she went so far as to dye her hair! Between Bradley and Sansa Stark over on Game of Thrones, this has been the season for teenage girls to darken their hair to signal a darker turn for their character! As nice as it was to have Bradley back, and as fun as it is for me to watch Nicola Peltz in a tank top, I had a hard time understanding her reasoning for coming back. I get that life on the road is no picnic, but I don’t know what she was expecting to come home to. She seemed to blame her mom for moving on too soon, but what else did she expect her to do? She was a grieving woman whose husband was killed and her only child committed suicide. Did she expect her to just wallow in misery for a year? Shouldn’t she go out and find a new husband to help assuage her grief? Shouldn’t she change Bradley’s room into a gym? Maybe her mom has been crying for her every night. Maybe she’s using the gym equipment as a healthy way to work through her pain. I guess Bradley wanted to come home to her mom hosting 24 hour vigils in her honor, or maybe see that she’s converted her bedroom into a shrine.

It looks like the real reason for her return is so that she can ensnare Norman with her sexiness, and it looked like it almost worked! I totally thought the episode was going to end with Bradley trying to seduce Norman, causing him to snap and kill her, but apparently they’re keeping her around for next week to try to lure Norman away from White Pine Bay. The visual of Norma sitting there in the background while her son awkwardly gyrates in the foreground was great, and it’s a great representation of just how far gone Norman has become. It’s a little strange that he can’t quite make up his mind about how to deal with Fake Norma. He appeared to be trying to ignore her and shut her out while he was making out with Bradley, but then he left her room and just struck up a conversation with the figment of his imagination like she was real. I wish he decided to either ignore her or treat her like she’s real, instead of whichever one is more convenient to him at the time.

It also feels like the show is trying really hard to drive a wedge between the real Norma and Norman, most likely so that he starts listening more to Fake Norma instead. A good example of this is Norma’s rash decision to start throwing away all of Norman’s stuffed animals. This seems like she’s just asking for another shouting match, and her reasoning was pretty darn flimsy. The guy already had such a spotty history with violence that a basement full of dead animals is really one of the least condemning things about him. Plus, Norman has a good point about her, that she’s got some skeletons in her closet that are way worse than a couple of stuffed squirrels.

Elsewhere in White Pine Bay, we were introduced to special investigator Babbitt, played by Princess and the Frog‘s Anika Noni Rose. We don’t know much about her other than the fact that she apparently doesn’t know too much about this town judging by the way she so quickly condemned Romero, so I’m hoping she’s corrected soon. As much as I like Rose, I really hope we don’t get too much more of this storyline next week. We only have one more episode left and a lot of crazy loose ends to tie up that I care about more.

I’m so glad that Caleb finally told Norma what Norman did and said to him last season. I was wondering if he ever would, so I’m glad this wasn’t a thread that the writers just dropped. Although, is Caleb just leaving now? It seems a little weird that he’d poke the hornet’s nest by pissing off Chick and leaving his son alone to deal with the fallout. He’s also in better place with Norma than he’s been for decades, so it seems like an odd time to bounce. Hasn’t his only goals in life been to make amends with Norma and get closer to his son? Now that he’s getting closer to Norma and put his son in danger, he’s out? Weird.

The best scene of the episode came when Norma broke into Romero’s house to find the flash drive. The relationship between Norma and Alex has definitely been a roller coaster over these past three seasons, but this was probably their most passionate interaction thus far. They didn’t actually kiss, but they did get pretty darn close. Part of me hopes they’re able to get out of this sticky situation with Bob Paris and the DEA and make amends, but part of me hopes they keep this “will they, won’t they” thing going a bit longer. They’re both so good at it!

What did you guys think of the episode? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– My favorite line of the episode came with Romero exasperatedly saying “I hate you” to Norma, followed by my second favorite line: “I hate you too. So what?”

– It was pretty funny seeing Anika Noni Rose playing yet another special investigator, as she had the same title in her role as Wendy Scott-Carr in The Good Wife. Maybe this investigation will be more successful than the one she tried to pursue against Will Gardner.

– So…crazy theory time: Is there a possibility that Bradley never came back at all? Nobody else ever saw her or spoke to her. Is she just another figment of Norman’s imagination?!