TV Recap: 'Bates Motel' Episode 204 - 'Check-Out'


Bates Motel Episode 204
Written By: Liz Tigelaar
Directed By: John David Coles
Original Airdate: 24 March 2014

In This Episode…

Emma wakes in bed at the motel with “cupcake boy.” She is embarrassed and slips out, then spends the rest of the episode ducking him. Outside, she finds Dylan passed out in his own vomit, in his truck. She goes for Norman, who helps get him into bed in one of the empty motel rooms. He insists he will take care of it, but Norma comes by and sees what is going on. She sends the kids to watch the office, and tucks Dylan in to bed. Emma wants to know what is going on (another recurring theme through this episode) but Norman steadfastly refuses to tell her.

Norman brings his brother some breakfast. Dylan is mad at him, thinks that Norman has known about his true parentage for a long time, and he and Mother have been laughing about it behind his back. (Persecution complex much?) He suggests Norman talk to Mother about what would happen if “someone has been lying to you about an important event in your life.” Dylan heads to the docks and Caleb finds him there. Dylan refuses to talk to him, and lays out Norma’s accusations. “It’s not like that,” Caleb says - but he doesn’t outright deny it. “The guy she married in high school got her knocked up, that’s your dad.” He gives him back his cash. “I don’t know what is going on but I never should have come here.”

Norma is having a rough day, too. Christine wants her to come to dinner, but she politely declines. Norman finds her in bed. “I get why you didn’t tell Dylan, but you could have told me. You can tell me anything.” He delicately broaches what Dylan hinted at: “Is there anything else you haven’t told me?” She assures that is everything. She did go to Caleb’s motel with the intention of telling him off, but she couldn’t even get out of the car. Norman comforts as she cries, and begs her not to worry. She eventually goes into the kitchen to clean her troubles away, and Christine comes to the door. She won’t take no for an answer, and picks out an outfit for Norma to wear to dinner.

So Norma dresses and Norman zips her up, assuring her it is a good idea for her to go out. Dylan comes in and she wants to talk to him; he doesn’t want her to make this harder on him. Norman steps in to protect his mother from a potential altercation, but there won’t be one. Norma wants Dylan to put this behind him like she has; he doesn’t know how to put himself behind himself. “I’m a consequence!” Dylan announces Caleb gave him all his money back, and storms to his room. Just in time: George is there to pick up Norma for their double-date with Christine and Peter. At dinner, Norma is fighting to keep her facade up, but the issue of the bypass comes up and she becomes impassioned about how it will destroy her little business. She excuses herself to the bathroom to cool off. When she leaves, George is waiting for her and apologizes for Peter.

Norman is at play tech with Cody. He is hammering angrily and admits to Cody that he is having trouble with his family. He tells her more than he would tell Emma: that her mom’s brother showed up out of nowhere and he is a “bad guy.” Abusive-bad. Cody suggests he gives him a beat down, or at least scare him. So they drive out to Caleb’s motel, and Cody hands him a tire iron. While she checks in with the office to find Caleb’s room number, Norman seethes in the car, and has flashes of Caleb’s abuse. Cody collects him and they approach room number 16. But Norman can’t do it and insists she take him out of there.

After her date, Norma is in the kitchen drinking. Dylan comes home and announces he is moving out. He doesn’t want to live with this mess, and said Caleb told him he wasn’t his father. “He said it wasn’t like that, so live with it.” Norma sticks to her story, so Dylan pointedly asks her: “Why did you have me?” She has no answer. Norman comes home at this point but hides on the porch to listen to this latest fight. Dylan accuses Norma of having him to get her boyfriend to marry her so she could get out of the house. “I was scared, I had no voice, I had no one to protect me!” she insists. “It’s not your fault, but it’s not mine either.” Dylan storms out, and Norman finds his strength. 

Norman shows up at Caleb’s door. Caleb doesn’t know who he is, so Norman introduces himself. Caleb has nothing to say to “any of you.” Norman has been silent long enough. Caleb pushes him into a chair, and Norman again flashes on what he perceives his mother’s abuse was like. He slips into his fugue state, and when he comes back around, he is speaking as if he was Norma. “I remember, you came into my room. You raped me! You should have protected me!” Norman has a knife, but Caleb pins him down, throws him across the room, and gives him a good swift kick before leaving.

Norman ends up at a coffee shop. With no ID or cell phone on him, the waitress called Cody after finding her phone number on his arm. He hasn’t said a word or moved, and that doesn’t change when Cody shows up. She delicately walks him into the car.

Also: Emma finally confronts weed boy and is relieved to find they didn’t have sex. She is still a virgin and her first time could be her last time, so she wants to at least remember it. There is a definite attraction between the two, so I give it no more than two episodes before they have sex. Romero hears that Zane is back in town, and goes to give him a little warning about bringing trouble into his town. Zane responds by setting Romero’s house on fire.

Dig It or Bury It?

I am still fascinated that Dylan is taking Caleb’s side so easily. I don’t care how rotten his relationship is with Norma, how can he blame her for years of sustained abuse? How can he take Caleb’s word that “It wasn’t like that?” How is that an excuse?


Norman finds safety in Cody, while Norma seems to be cozying up to Nick Ford.