The Horror Honeys: BATES MOTEL: Season 4, Ep. 2 ~ “Goodnight, Mother”

BATES MOTEL: Season 4, Ep. 2 ~ “Goodnight, Mother”

A Horror TV Honey Recap with Jennica

Last week, in Season 4, Episode 2 of Bates Motel titled “Goodnight, Mother,” we were graced with another intensifying performance from Freddy Highmore as he continues to transform from the innocent, naïve Norman Bates to whom we were first introduced in Season 1 into the psychotic and deranged Norman Bates who is quickly losing his grip on reality. While there are a number of engaging side stories going on throughout the small town of White Pine Bay, Oregon and there have been plenty of Psycho fans with wavering opinions of the series, Freddy Highmore and Vera Farmiga keep reeling the viewers back. Season 3 was a slow burn that ultimately went nowhere; however, this season appears to be escalating quickly, with Episode 2 especially leaning heavily in the direction of the classic feature films.


The episode begins with Norman lying in bed after yet another blackout as his mother rushes to his bedside and urges him to stay home with her, fearing for Norman’s well-being and safety. As Norman prepares to head downstairs for breakfast, completely confused about where the time had gone the day before, he begins to experience flashbacks. He envisions a woman with red hair, a scarf, and big earrings unconscious and being dragged down the stairs to be dumped into a large meat freezer in the basement. She awakens and sees a person about to close the door on the freezer with her inside. The woman struggles to keep the door open, but she is overpowered as she loses consciousness once again. The woman that Norman saw in his mind is Emma’s mother Audrey and although we know from the previous episode that Norman is the one who killed her, in his mind it is his mother who is the culprit. 

Please don't kiss me, mommy.
Heading down to breakfast, Norman questions his mother’s alibi for locking him in her bedroom the day before. Norma claims that she needed to run out and buy groceries and she was concerned about leaving Norman at home by himself. But Norman gains suspicion when he discovers that she was out of cream in the refrigerator and when he notices that there are not any grocery bags in the kitchen to be found. Of course, being the defensive being that she is, Norma sticks to her story and scolds Norman for questioning his mother. It is this point in the events of last week’s episode that signifies the beginning of a tit-for-tat antitrust game between Norman and Norma.

As Norma climbs down into a giant pit remaining on the property that has been partially filled with water due to the rain the night before, new guests arrive at the motel. Norma is quick to volunteer to check them in and get them situated in the motel, but Norman fears that she will kill again and pulls her aside, ordering her to return to the house like a child while he handles the business. While Norma waits upstairs in her bedroom she receives a call from Sheriff Romero who informs her that he was able to get Norman the help he needs at the psychiatric facility in Pineview… but there are two conditions: 1) Because Norman is now eighteen years old, Norma will have to convince him to sign the admittance documents for voluntary confinement, and 2) Norma will have to accept the sheriff’s hand in marriage. 
Health insurance is the new dowry.
After the guests have checked in and retired to their room, Norman hears the sound of the fax machine in the motel office just before he turns to leave. He does an about face and discovers a stack of papers lying on the printer tray and as he thumbs through them, he becomes even more suspicious of his mother, assuming that she is trying to lock him away so that she can continue murdering motel guests and town locals. When Norman returns to the house, Norma tries to convince Norman to join her for a mother-son night out on the town but once again, Norman keeps his guard up and insists that the two of them are better off remaining indoors where no one can get hurt. While Norma prepares dinner, Norman begins to interrogate his mother for the second time but she remains tight-lipped about what really happened the day before. 

Norma heads upstairs to check on Norman and she finds him in her bedroom with her gun in his hand. He explains that he cannot trust her and that he fears for her safety, his own, and the safety of anyone who may come into contact with her. When she attempts to calm Norman’s nerves and convince him to hand over the gun, he pushes her away but he is not ready to pull the trigger just yet. Later that night, Norma searches the house for Norman and finds him standing in the darkened basement near the large meat freezer, his stuffed dead animals lying across a table. Norman questions her once again about Audrey, the woman that he believes that he saw his mother kill and attempt to stow away. And he confronts her about the Pineview documents and her attempt to stow him away in a place full of “crazies” when he is convinced that she is the one in need of professional help. 

Just as Norma points a gun at his mother and prepares to end both of their lives, Sheriff Romero storms through the door with other officers and Norman is hauled outside to a squad car to take him to the county psychiatric hospital where Norman was first admitted in the previous episode. Fearing for Norman, Norma rushes outside and down the steps of her home with the Pineview documents in her hand. In one final attempt to keep Norman out of the county system, Norma explains to Norman that Pineview would be different and that he would receive more proper treatment. Norman reluctantly signs the documents just before being taken away.

Adding a little light to the darkness of last week’s episode, Emma is now on the mends after her lung transplant surgery. She is on her way to being able to breathe on her own for the very first time. No more lugging around an oxygen tank, no more intense vulnerability to illnesses, and no more focusing on the constant possibility that death could be right around the corner. Now, Emma has the chance to have a real future and grow old like everyone around her. And because she has a new bright future, Emma’s father has a serious man-to-man heart-to-heart with Dylan. He believes that Dylan is too smart and too good to his little girl to spend the rest of his life harvesting the ganja. But what her father may not understand is that once entering that line of business, getting out could be deadly.
What? No medical marijuana?

Will Norma agree to tie the knot with Sheriff Romero? Will Norman still blame his mother if he commits any violent acts within the confinement of Pineview? Will Dylan find a less dangerous job?