Emma "breaks" the "news" about Bradley's "suicide" to Norman, who does a very bad job faking surprise or grief; later, she decides to throw a memorial bonfire that becomes a predictable beer-bash, which bums her out since she's forced to confront the fact that she never liked Bradley in the first place. But she runs into that cute Cupcake Boy that gave us our best Emma scenes of last season, drinks a bunch of beer, and -- assuming Cupcake's immune to the White Pine Bay curse -- lives through the night without being murdered or assaulted.
Less so, but only slightly, is Norman: He's given up his role in the chorus for a place on the tech team, the better to be friends with Cody the register girl. She joins him at the bonfire, along with her buddy Phillip, and the two launch into a sort of ad hoc attempt at a threesome because they think Norman's gay, all of which is about thirty steps above the poor kid's pay grade, so he bounces and ends up walking Cody home (to what would seem to be another abusive house of horrors, as per).
Norma's distraught when she loses the lead in South Pacific to cronyism, but the director Christine (always-wonderful Rebecca Creskoff) quits in solidarity, and decides to take on Norma as a new social project. It's rushed -- three-martini lunch minutes later, garden party the next afternoon, immediate matchmaking for her brother George (Michael Vartan) -- but that could just feel that way because of where the story's actually going... Or it could be because the lady is crazy and obsessed with Norma Bates. Probably both. After sweetly turning down Vartan, for now, Norma makes another new friend: Nick Ford, Miss Watson's father and the other drug lord in town. Those are all the nice things that happen to Norma Bates this week. Rather a long list, comparatively.
The not-so-nice things have to do with her brother Caleb showing up, looking for an investor-partner in a hotel down in Costa Rica. Dylan is wary of him at first, and Norma goes ham on his ass in a beautifully violent sequence the second she sees him, but Dylan's yearning for family and home is so intense that eventually he takes pity on the guy, setting him up with several grand and eventually pleading for a reconciliation on his behalf.
Well, Norma is not having that, and -- after an episode of slamming doors in Dylan's face for even asking what the deal is -- eventually tells Dylan about the constant raping back when they were kids, but by that point he's so involved with Caleb he doesn't believe her. Which is the fight that Norman walks into, shifting into ass-beat mode and taking a good chunk out of Dylan's poor face before Norma screeches her rational explanation that Dylan would of course have every reason to love this man beyond all sense, as he's not only his uncle but also his father. Yep.
What's neat about that ("neat") is how the episode keeps flirting with this idea throughout their interactions, like that creeping feeling you get in the hours before the flu hits, so by the time she actually says it aloud you're so achy and off-center that it's just like...
All right. Deal with that, Dylan. Apparently the body count in your drug war, your chaotic, labile relationship with your family, and the murder you just covered up are not enough stress. So now here's something new -- arguably the worst thing that has ever happened on this show that is entirely about terrible things happening -- see how that works out for ya.
Next Week: Dylan has some questions about some things, clearly. Romero is no fan of Zane, because who could ever be, or drug wars, because what an ass-ache. Christine continues to be fascinated by Norma, who is legit fascinating. And Emma finds Dylan injured after what's probably another Ford attack. Mainly I am curious to see how old Norman processes Dylan's provenance, after all that. How do you even have that conversation?
"It's so weird because you're my absent big brother, and you kind of want to be my father, and she treats me like her sister, and you kind of do too, and sometimes she treats you like her brother and sometimes like her boyfriend, but then it turns out your father is her brother, I mean, I'm still only in Pre-Cal but this sounds a lot like Calculus. Are you my cousin? Are you your own cousin? Do we just go crazy now? Do we all just lose our shit now? Because if so, I got this."
With very little information to go on, really, Bradley Martin killed the head of one of the two main drug crews in White Pine Bay, and Norman got Dylan's help to fake her death and send her off to Boston. A few months earlier, basically because she was unraveling but also to ruin a date that was already going to be ruined anyway, Norma told Norman -- because who could be better prepared to handle this information -- about her brother Caleb, who sexually abused her for her entire childhood, until he left home. Later that night, he almost got molested and possibly killed a drug lord's daughter. Four months later, that brother has arrived in town. But to what end?
Emma lets herself in, and Norman offers her some breakfast cereal because he is a sweet kid who is enjoying his breakfast cereal, but she's got seriousness on her brain: Specifically, the discovery of missing teenager Bradley Martin's clothes and suicide note, on the front page.
Emma: "I'm so, so sorry!"
Norman: "It's no big deal. She was kind of DOA ever since her last suicide attempt, if I'm being totally honest."
Emma: "You don't want to break down crying in my arms?"
Norman: "Nah, I'm good."
Emma: "Because I am weirdly distraught. I hated her, but then after the last time I was sad for her, and then when she was missing I was worried and now she's really dead."
Norman: "Yeah, but what does that have to do with you?"
Emma: "Remember how obsessed I was with the dead Chinese sex slave? Because I have cystic fibrosis and every day is a fight to stay alive? Bradley Martin didn't have cystic fibrosis, or a heroin addiction, or any problems whatsoever. Besides that time her nearly dead father tried to run her over while he was on fire, I mean."
Norman: "Yeah but you weren't friends. In my version of reality, you were bitter romantic rivals."
Emma: "Right? That's why I came running up here, clunking my oxygen tank against every step, to see if you were okay. Now… about those hugs."
Norman: "I will let you know if I have any pretend feelings about this, I promise."
He asks Emma to leave the paper, for his growing pile of mementos, and she does. He's not acting entirely right, but he's not happy about it either. She is gone. And that's sad, even though it's empowering because he was the one that did it. He saved her -- this report is the official confirmation that he saved her. But she's still gone.