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‘Bates Motel’ Season 3 Episode 5 Recap: “The Deal”

bates motel the deal

Remember how I was heartbroken and scared after last week’s episode when Norman (Freddie Highmore) was on his way to tell Norma (Vera Farmiga) that Dylan (Max Thieriot) was keeping his father and her rapist, Caleb (Kenny Johnson), up at his farm?

Well, he didn’t actually tell Norma! Yay.

Not so yay is that he was under the assumption that he had told her. In reality, he experienced another one of his blackouts in which he thought he told his mother the truth. It’s important to note that she was wearing the blue and white dress he likes so much during his blackout.

He learns the truth — that he didn’t actually tell her — when Norma acts normally around Dylan and when he decides to ask if he spoke to her that morning. She admits she just found him on the floor of the kitchen that morning, muttering nonsense. At this moment, it seems to click. This horrifying realization that despite his mother’s protestations that he’s fine, that there’s nothing wrong with his condition, he knows, in this moment, that there really is. He doesn’t tell her, though. Instead, he runs to his mother’s room and pulls out that same blue and white dress he loves so much. He caresses it for awhile until she calls out to him from downstairs. In a rush to dispose of it, he takes it to no place other than his room. He actually stashes it under his bed. To do what with later? Who knows. Still weird.

As for the USB storyline, Gunner (Keenan Tracey) — oh, innocent Gunner — ends up finding it where Dylan hid it. He also ends up opening it because he’s bored and tells Dylan that it contains a financial investment return of $15 million from the drug trade. This illegal revenue, if sent to the police, could put everyone involved, including Bob Paris (Kevin Rahm) who so desperately wants it, in prison. Norma instantly wants to use it as leverage as Annika told her to do, but Dylan convinces her to get Romero’s (Nestor Carbonell) help first.

Romero really doesn’t want Norma to get involved because she’ll likely end up getting killed, but she’s sure she’s “ready to play ball with the big boys.” After angrily exclaiming that he’d be sure to help her if she was a man and not just a mother and that she has gone through enough, including getting raped and having her son kidnapped, she tries to rush out. But she can’t get the door open. This is the last straw for her because as the more she tugs on the door, trying to get it open, the more emotional she gets. She ends up bursting into stressful tears. Romero pulls her into his arms and agrees to take her to Paris.

They do end up going and Norma makes a deal with Paris. She asks for more publicity for her motel among several other thing. Oh, and a pool with a jacuzzi. Cue exasperated Romero look.

If he tries to harm her in any way or kills her, she’ll make sure to tell 1 person about the flashdrive he can’t get to. That person will then turn it into the FBI. The catch is that she won’t give back the USB at all, but she won’t use it again for leverage. She’ll abide by her promise to not ask for anything else if he doesn’t hurt her. Surprisingly, he agrees. I just can’t see this going that easily, so I wouldn’t be so quick to trust him.

Dylan ends up deciding that he wants to tell Norma the truth. Norman agrees to help him out because he wants to be a man and not just a momma’s boy. “I trust your judgement if you think this is the right thing to do.”

And they do end up telling her, but Dylan isn’t the one who ends up getting kicked out of the house. Norma leaves angrily after quietly listening to Dylan tell her the hurtful truth. What seems to cause her more pain is that Norman backed him up, but as soon as he sees her packing, he regrets ever talking. Dylan has to hold him back as he yells, “She can’t leave me,” to his mother while she drives off.


  • “Password for the Wi-Fi is “MOTHER” in all caps.” Emma, you’re really just getting the hang that something’s wrong with Norman? Really?
  • Caleb is a really interesting character. Don’t get me wrong, he’s horrible and it’s pretty gross that he’s still fawning over Norma, but wow, this storyline is interesting.
  • What exactly is Norman planning by keeping his mother’s dress? I just — why must he — what is happening?
  • The sexual chemistry is so perfect between Romero/Norma (Normero). I just love that their relationship has been so drawn out. And that hug. So perfect.
  • Why didn’t Norma ask for a new car?
  • Anyone else notice those beautiful lingering looks between Dylan and Emma? And don’t even get me started on his yelling at her to get back into the office at the end of the episode. He cares about her despite trying to focus on holding Norman back from running after Norma.
  • Freddie Highmore is the perfect Norman Bates. (Should I just make this the last note for every recap from now on because it’ll continue to be true even after this show stops).