The Horror Honeys: BATES MOTEL Recap: Season 4, Ep. 4 ~ “Lights of Winter”

BATES MOTEL Recap: Season 4, Ep. 4 ~ “Lights of Winter”

A Horror TV Honey Recap with Jennica


So far in this season of Bates Motel, we have seen a major transformation in Norma Bates, or Norma Bates-Romero. As Norma has started to come to terms with the fact that there is something seriously wrong with her youngest son, she has kept him at arms’ length despite her constant concern for him. Norman, on the other hand, has spent his time in the hospital at Pineview expressing wavering feelings toward his mother. Although he is furious with her for coercing him into confinement, he cannot make her disappear from his mind as his hallucinations continue. In this week’s episode titled “Lights of Winter,” Norman develops a dangerous bond with his new friend Julian (Marshall Allman) while Norma proceeds to play house as the town sheriff’s wife. 

The episode opens with a good morning knock on Norman’s door by a doctor insisting that Norman ingest a healthy dose of pills before breakfast. Reluctant to take them, Norman pulls a classic fake-out scheme as he swallows the pills and spews them out as soon as the doctor is out of sight, showing that not much has changed at Pineview. Norman continues to refuse treatment and he is not given any sign or suggestion of a future release date. Luckily for Norman, however, Julian has just the medicine Norman is looking for… or so he thinks. Eager to reach out to Dylan without hospital staff lurking over his shoulders, Norman enlists Julian to find a room with a phone and little privacy. Norman tries to warn Dylan that authority figures may show up on their mother’s doorstep due to Norman’s accusations of murder in the previous episode. But Dylan, knowing that Norman has been institutionalized, dismisses Norman’s warning and is instead concerned about Norman’s mental state.

Take your pills, bro.
“The whole world’s gone mad but I’m not.” Fed up with being treated as a liar and a psycho, Norman is desperate to flee the hospital to warn his mother himself but he is not as sly as Julian, who is a seasoned runaway. Antagonizing an inpatient with severe OCD and snagging a staff member’s security badge, Julian and Norman make a run for it, but they do not get too far before causing trouble on the outside. In the short amount of time that Norman has in the free world, Julian teaches him the art of teenage rebellion at its finest. The first lesson is on hitchhiking, an activity kept alive and well mostly by hospital patients and “free spirits.” As Julian says “We’re the crazy ones.” So, what could possibly go wrong? Finally succeeding in hitching a ride with a stranger, they are dropped off at a place that any young men with uncontrollable urges wish to go: the nearest nudie bar. 

Unfortunately, Julian and Norman are far from gentlemen and cannot seem to keep their hands to themselves. Never getting a moment’s peace, Norman becomes his mother in the VIP lounge, playing dress-up with a dancer and engaging in a bizarre psycho-sexual experience. But the fun is interrupted when Julian gets in a brutal fist fight with the bouncers and they are thrown out of the club and driven back to Pineview as Dr. Edwards discloses to Norman that Julian is a far from stable. 

Do you like The Cure?
Meanwhile, Norma is at home playing the good wife as she slaves away in the kitchen to make Romero breakfast and attempts to avoid the elephant in the room, the elephant being Normero lovin’ the night before. Romero does not waste any time to confront the awkwardness that he senses from Norma. He is not sorry. Norma is not sorry. We are not sorry. That night was a moment that we have all anxiously anticipated from the moment that Norma and Romero first met. The magic finally happened and there are no regrets! Being the romantic guy that he is, Romero’s next move is to suggest opening a joint checking account because nothing says love like shared money. Of course, given Romero’s suspicious money laundering antics, we can predict that the money that will be shared will not just be Norma and Romero’s.

Adding merit to the prediction, Romero’s old flame and bank manager Rebecca questions him about the Bob Paris murder. She goes on to explain that three million dollars-worth of Bob’s money was laundered and placed into a safety deposit box to which she had a key and Bob once had a key. Bob’s key has gone missing but Romero insists that he neither killed Bob nor took the key. However, in the very next scene, Romero is in Norma’s basement where it appears that he has hidden a large black bag full of neatly wrapped cold hard cash and a passport with a brass key taped inside. Striking fear into Romero, he later receives a phone call from the DEA inquiring about Rebecca as a possible suspect in a money laundering case involving Bob Paris but he plays his cards right for now and lies about his previous relationships with Rebecca. Digging her nails deeper into Romero, Rebecca makes her presence known to Norma at the town winter festival, although she spares the details of how she really knows Romero. Clearly this season is not ending without a cat fight and we know who will win. Returning home from the festival, Norma and Romero find that Norma’s home has been turned upside down as if someone was searching for something.  

Girl, please.
Back in Portland, things get serious between Emma and Dylan as Emma drops heavy news that she and her dad have plans to move to Seattle, where Emma can receive the best post-op treatment from the best respiratory center in the country. Emma doesn’t want to leave Dylan behind, but she also wants to build a bright future for herself. College, a career, fresh air to breathe. The works. In an attempt to have her oxygen and breathe it too, Emma asks Dylan to follow her to Seattle. With plans to distance himself from the marijuana harvesting business and a bleak future in White Pine Bay, Dylan agrees to start life anew in the Evergreen State.

Will Norman and Julian maintain their bromance? 
Will Norma find out Romero’s dirty little secret? 
Are we seriously losing Emma and Dylan? 
Let’s discuss on Twitter: @PrmQueenFrmMars