The Horror Honeys: Guest Honey Post: Bates Motel: Season 3 "Who's Doing What" Recap

Guest Honey Post: Bates Motel: Season 3 "Who's Doing What" Recap

A Guest Honey "State of Affairs" Recap by Mary

Season 4 of Bates Motel begins on March 7, 2016, and I could not be more excited. Season 3 was by far the show's strongest, and I am ready to see what happens next with America's most dysfunctional family. Did you fall behind on the show, but still want to tune in for season 4? Don't worry, I got you covered with a quick recap on where the major characters stand after season 3.

(P.S. - In case it wasn't obvious, spoilers abound from here on out so look away if you are just about to binge watch season 3.)


Norma Bates. There is no character on TV that I love more than Norma Bates, the walking tragedy. I want to reach into the TV and save her myself. Season 3 lead to her having to explore and face her horribly damaging relationship with her brother Caleb, who raped her and fathered her son Dylan. She tried ever so hard to keep it together for her sons, but alas there were times that she fell short, with damaging results. Irreparably messed up by her own horrible childhood, Norma Bates is the last person in the world who should be handling a severely mentally ill son, but she tries so, so hard it breaks your heart.
Downward spiral coat... check!
In season 3, Norma finally came to realize that maybe, just maybe, she could not handle Norman on her own, and she reached out to Pineview Asylum, only to discover that she couldn't swallow the exorbitant costs. She worked with Sheriff Romero to try and secure the future of the Bates Motel, only to see that blow up in her face too. She and Sheriff Romero flirted with their feelings for each other, but Norma sabotaged things every step along the way with her inability to be honest with anyone. In the finale, she was finally completely honest with Romero, but was it too late? Norma's entire life has been built around keeping family secrets quiet, and when you add a severe mental illness to the equation and you have a recipe for disaster. As Hannibal said in another great TV show, “There's nothing more isolating than a mental illness.” Norma feels like she is all alone in the world, even when she isn't. She knows no other way.

I'm handling mother being away really well, don't you think?
Norman Bates. His slow slide into Psycho level mental illness is hard to watch, but it cannot be stopped. You can tell Norman is inherently quite sweet, but inherent goodness cannot possibly cure what ails him. He took on his mother's personality when she dared take a small amount of time to herself, because he just cannot do without her. He's so sick he sends psychology professors literally running from the house. Norman brutally killed Bradley instead of running away with her to the promise of a new life, but blamed mother for it. Of course. Finding out that Norma had considered sending him to Pineview hurt Norman deeply and sent his already tragically frail psyche into a tailspin.“I just don't know how I can leave her.” Norman has no life without his mother, real or imagined.

Dylan Bates. Dylan has had quite the character arc over the course of the show. In early Season 1, he was the character hardly anyone wanted on the show. Now, everyone loves him and hopes he somehow has a happy ending. He fought hard to fix his relationship with his mother. He also fought to understand and fix his relationship with his father/uncle, who ended up leaving regardless. He understands how sick Norman is, and has tried to help. In the midst of all this, Dylan also quite accidentally fell in love with family friend Emma and gave her family a large sum of  illegally obtained money for her desperately needed lung surgery. Of course, he didn't quite understand how doing so may have doomed Norman and prevented him from getting the help that he needs. No good deed, people, no good deed.

A sweet romance at the Bates Motel. What could go wrong?
Emma Decody. Emma relates beautifully with the Bates family without being an actual blood relative.  She started off with a mad crush on Norman, but moved on to a beautiful, sweet, amazing relationship with Dylan. She accepted him as a child of incest without even batting an eye, and he loves and cherishes her, illness and all, in a way that Norman never could. Why wouldn't he? She's a "frickin' warrior." Dylan and Emma are so sweet together you can't help but root for them, even if you should probably know better. Her lung surgery should be a major factor in season 4. She's going to be ok right? Please let her be ok.

Who do I have to shoot to get a date with Norma?

Sheriff Romero. Romero killed Marcus Young, a competitor for his job, to help himself. He tipped off Bob Paris to a DEA raid just so he could kill Bob in private to help Norma keep Norman's many secrets. Period. Romero is a good man, but being the Sheriff of White Pine Bay is perhaps the worst job ever. Add to that his love of unsteady Norma Bates, and you have a man literally standing on the edge of his own sanity at the end of Season 3. Will he & Norma work things out (please please please)? Will he be arrested? Will he be able to keep it all together? There's no telling, but I can't wait to find out.

Since we know that Bates Motel is a prequel to Psycho, we all pretty much know how this epic family tragedy is all going to turn out. However, the beauty of the show is that because of the writing and superb acting, you can't help but hope that somehow everything is going to work out for these crazy, mixed up, damaged beyond all hope characters.

“We're all doomed in the end, right?” Indeed, but you can still hope for the best. I know I will be.

Are you a fan of Bates Motel? 
Talk to me about it on Twitter! @afooltocry

Author Bio: My name is Mary, and my love of horror started in kindergarten while watching VHS copies of Dark Shadows with my grandmother. The love grew to movies (especially slashers), games, comics, and books. When life brings me down, horror brings me up. Cheers to you if you feel the same.
You can find me on Instagram or Twitter where I post mini reviews and horror musings from time to time.