The Escape Artist – Season 2, Episode 5 – original air date 3/31/2014
This episode follows the separate narrative threads of several different characters, something we have seen in past episodes. The narrative structure works better here than it did in the first season, simply because the characters are all more fully developed. So, strand one involves Norman getting closer to his new friend Cody (Paloma Kwiatkowski.) When Norman tells her “you’re not like any girl I’ve ever met”, I had the feeling he had used those exact same words before with Bradley and Emma, which simply means that Norman hadn’t really met any girls before, except of course for momma. This relationship actually seems to make sense, because both have troubles at home, so they can relate to each other.
Norma meets up with Nick Ford (Michael O’Neill), about stopping the bypass, and he seems eager to support Norma, but only behind the scenes. Meanwhile Sheriff Romero has taken up residence at the Bates Motel, since his house was torched. Norma and Romero are very tentative in their scenes here, for two people who have such a shared history. After all, Romero shot and killed Abernathy, potentially saving Norma’s life, and binding them together in a secret. There is a hint in this new episode that there may be a potential attraction. In the episode’s best scene, Romero confronts Zane (Michael Eklund), and wallops the crap out of him. Moments like this I really love Sheriff Romero.
Dylan, still reeling from the news about his uncle daddy, comes off of a massive bender, only to be invited to lunch with Zane. He then proceeds to save Zane’s life when there is a drive-by shooting attempt. He should have let him die. The big reveal at the end of the episode is who the real kingpin is in the drug operation. And let’s not forget Emma, who is important enough now to have her own narrative thread away from the Bates’ family problems. She hooks up for the first time, with the dude staying at the motel. It remains to be seen what the ramifications of that will be. Good for Emma anyway, for pursuing her own happiness.