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.