Bates Motel Wiki
Bates Motel Wiki

"Nice Town You Picked, Norma..." is the second episode of the first season of Bates Motel. It aired on March 25, 2013.


Dylan immediately begins causing trouble; the Bates are drawn into the secrets surrounding White Pine Bay.



Tension arises at the Bates' residence when Dylan, Norma's son from a previous relationship, arrives in need of a place to stay. Outside the house at the bus stop, Norman, Bradley, and her friends witness Bradley's father get into a car accident. When they open the car door they discover he is badly burned. It is discovered that someone intentionally set Bradley's father's workshop on fire. Near the car accident Keith Summers' truck is found abandoned, arousing suspicion from Sheriff Romero.

At school, Norman is partnered up with Emma for an English project. Emma comes over to Norman's house and explains to Norma that she has cystic fibrosis, making it impossible to breathe without help from her oxygen tank, and that her life expectancy is 27.

While working on the project in Norman's room, she finds, and later analyzes, the contents of the sketchbook Norman has found. She then asks Norman if he drew them in which he replies, no. She then asks if she can read it and he says yes. She puts it in her bag and they continue to work on the project.

Dylan meets a man who is an employee of Bradley's father, the man pays for Dylan's drink and Dylan notices that the man has many 100 dollar bills, he asks how he can obtain that much money in such a small town. Dylan and the man travel to the man's friend and the man's friend asks Dylan if he knows how to use a gun, Dylan replies 'Yes'.

In an attempt to distract the police, Norma goes with Deputy Shelby to a town social event. At the social event, Deputy Shelby suggests that the wealth the residents of the town have was earned through illegal means. He also suggests that the town is run by their own rules, an 'eye for an eye' policy, meaning they don't abide to the federal law, but by their own created law.


Meanwhile, at home, Norman fights with Dylan after Dylan makes disparaging comments about their mother. Norman attempts to kill his half brother but Dylan sees it coming and punches Norman in the face. Dylan later persuades Norma into letting him stay by threatening to talk about her late husband, Sam.

The next day, Emma and Norman go to the location depicted in the sketchbook. They end up stumbling upon a massive marijuana field and are chased away by two men with guns. As the episode ends, Norma sees a body hanging upside down, burning on fire, in the middle of town. Many of the townspeople witness the spectacle as well.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]

Also Starring[]


  • This episode was watched by 2.84 million viewers.
  • Dylan has Norma listed as 'The Whore' as a contact on his cellphone. In both the novel and movie Psycho it is revealed that she taught Norman that sex was wrong and that all women except for herself were whores.

Episode Guide[]

102 Episode Guide 1

Dylan, Norma's son from her first marriage, shows up at the motel early one morning. Neither Norma nor Norman are happy to see him. Dylan has arrived because he lost his job and has no money.

As Norman and Bradley wait for the bus to school, an out-of-control car tears past them - it's Bradley's father. They run to the car and open the door to find him, horribly burned and barely clinging to life.

Later, Norma and Sheriff Romero survey the scene of the accident. Norma is horrified when Romero tells her that the man was intentionally trapped in his warehouse and set on fire. Another deputy makes a discovery nearby: Keith Summers' abandoned truck.

Norman gets paired up for a class assignment with quirky classmate Emma Decody. She invites herself over to the motel to work on it without giving him time to object.

Norman goes to the hospital with flowers for Bradley, but her boyfriend Richard intercedes. Norman gives Richard the flowers, then quickly leaves.

That night, Dylan meets a crying tough guy, Ethan, in a strip club. Ethan explains that his boss got in a bad accident and is probably not going to make it. When he flashes a wad of cash, Dylan asks where he makes that kind of money.

Dylan arrives home in the middle of the night to find Norma waiting up for him. Dylan accuses Norma of cheating on his father with Norman's father. They fight, until Dylan asks her where she got the money to buy the motel. She tells him that she got the money from Norman's father's insurance. Dylan smiles knowingly as he says good night and goes to bed.

The next morning, Emma stops by to work on the project with Norman. Norma makes things uncomfortable by asking Emma bluntly about her Cystic Fibrosis, and her life expectancy. Dylan and Norman are mortified, but Emma takes it all in stride. While Emma and Norman work on their project, Emma discovers the "manga" that Norman found hidden under the carpets in the motel. Emma is asks to borrow it.

That night, Sheriff Romero and Deputy Shelby stop by the motel. Someone witnessed Norma and Keith Summers arguing in front of the motel. Norma tells him to get a warrant. The next day, Norma spots Deputy Shelby in town. They have coffee together and she expresses her concern over the way Romero has been hounding her. Shelby tells her not to worry about it, and invites her to "the Woodchuck," a community lumberjack festival.

Meanwhile, Ethan takes Dylan to a boathouse to meet his boss, Gil. He asks Dylan if he knows how to use a gun and, just like that, Dylan has a job. Dylan returns home and finds Norman making dinner. Dylan's gets a call from Norma, and Norman notices that the display says the call is from "The Whore." Norman becomes furious and attacks Dylan, who quickly subdues him. Norman seems to go into some sort of trance before picking up a meat tenderizer and trying to kill his brother with it. Dylan evades the attack and knocks Norman to the ground.

At the Woodchuck, Shelby explains to Norma that the town isn't what it seems. He says there are other ways to produce an economy, and suggests that the happenings in town aren't strictly legal.

Norma returns home and finds Norman with a huge black eye. She resolves to kick Dylan out. She leaves, and Norman gets a text from Emma that says, "Meet me at my shop -- Important!" At Emma’s, Norman is confronted with a menagerie of stuffed and mounted creatures, as well as an eclectic selection of antiques. He finds Emma at her computer. She has translated the "manga" and discovered that it tells the story of a sex slave operation that is bringing Chinese girls into White Pine Bay. She convinces Norman to help her investigate, and steals a kiss from him as well.

Back at home, Norma tells Dylan to leave. He asks how her husband, Sam died. He says he spoke to someone at the insurance company who thought Sam was a nice guy, which made him wonder what would happen if he told them what life with Sam was really like. Norma agrees to let him stay.

The next day, Norman and Emma trek out into the forest in search of a shed depicted in the manga. As they explore, they come across a huge marijuana field. Emma isn't particularly surprised to find it, but then two armed guards chase them through the woods. As they run for their lives, they pass a shed that looks just like the one in the book, but there's no time to stop. They barely make it back to Emma's car and speed away.

Back in town, Norma is driving when she hits a traffic snarl. Down the road, she sees Shelby directing traffic. Behind him, hanging from a yardarm by the water, is a burning body.

Production Notes[]

Emma Decody, played by Olivia Cooke, drives a little orange bug in the series. One day, a member of the transport team had to move it - a 6' 2", 200lb member of the transport team. It took a solid 5 minutes for him to get into it, and he eventually had to be pried out with a can opener.

102 Episode Guide 2

Tiny car, big crew member.

Wondering how Mike Vogel, who plays Deputy Zack Shelby, made sawing through that log look easy? Property Master Terry Weaver explains how the scene came together. "For that scene we hired professional lumberjacks to put together an entire show for our scene. The head lumberjack, Darren Dean, was at the other end of the cross-cut saw with Mike. Mike was basically along for the ride as Dean did 90% of the work. Sorry Mike! All the other lumberjacks in the scene are professional competitors in the sport in BC and throughout Canada."

Emma's shop is chock full of fascinating stuff. Where did it all come from? Weaver says, "On behalf of the Set Decoration department, I know they went to a local taxidermist and basically cleaned out his shop to dress the set."

102 Episode Guide 3

Some of the wonders inside Artful Artifacts.

The shed that Norman and Emma spot while being chased through the woods wasn't created for the show. It actually exists. Weaver says, "The shed is famous. It is historically known as 'The MacGyver shed.' It has appeared in numerous shows since then."

If you're curious what was on the note for Bradley that Norman hastily hid in his pocket at the hospital, you'll have to keep wondering. Weaver says, "That note was a card that he had bought from the local florist where he also purchased the flower for her. What did it say inside. I can't tell you!"


Song Title Performer(s)
Pony Ginuwine
Standing Still Jewel
Santa Monica Everclear
Amie Pure Prairie League
This Guy's In Love With You Herb Alpert



Promotional Pictures[]

Behind the Scenes[]

Season 1
#101 "First You Dream, Then You Die" #106 "The Truth"
#102 "Nice Town You Picked, Norma..." #107 "The Man in Number 9"
#103 "What's Wrong With Norman" #108 "A Boy and His Dog"
#104 "Trust Me" #109 "Underwater"
#105 "Ocean View" #110 "Midnight"