What an amazing episode! And probably the best of the season thus far. If it’s not the best, it’s certainly the darkest, and it’s definitely the one in which Norman takes the biggest step toward the Norman Bates we know from the Hitchcock film.
I’ve said a few of those things about previous episodes in this season, but each time it’s true. This season is really advancing the story toward territory that we’re more familiar with, all while keeping it fresh enough to keep our interest high. But this episode, “Norma Louise,” was fast, full of action, full of drama, and kept you on the edge of your seat.
Picking up where we left off last week, we see Norma driving like a madwoman away from the motel and her two sons. Fed up with receiving calls from Dylan, who’s dealing with an out-of-control Norman, Norma pulls over and fires a few bullets into her phone, you know, instead of just throwing it out the window. As mentioned, Norman is flipping out because he can’t imagine a life without Mother, and this leads to an epic psychological break later in the episode where Norman “becomes” his mother, completely disassociated from himself. It’s a great scene that leaves Dylan speechless.
Then there’s the fact that Romero got shot and then while in the hospital Marcus pays him a visit, only to give him an ultimatum. That didn’t sit too well with Romero, who gets out of his hospital bed to gun down Marcus in his car in the parking garage, hospital gown and all. Yes! The badass Romero returns. Since Marcus was to become Bob’s dirty sheriff, we have to wonder how Bob will react to Romero’s actions.
And while Norma was out buying new clothes and getting sloshed in a bar, which only led to another scummy man trying to take advantage of her, Bob had someone tailing her. What he must think of her erratic behavior. At any rate, what Romero did to Marcus will surely shift Bob’s focus, but attaining the flashdrive will still be a top priority.
Then Norma went off to seek counseling from her professor friend, James Finnigan. Well, that just led to the bed, and in the morning Norma ran off to her sons with the notion that all parents do is give and give to their kids until their are but a stump for sitting on. Her interpretation of the classic Shel Silverstein book, The Giving Tree, is skewed and telling of her perspective of parenthood.
So, racing back to the motel, she all but forces Dylan and Norman to accompany her to visit her brother, and Dylan’s father, Caleb. And when she does face Caleb, he breaks down in tears and she collapses on him, giving the impression that she forgives him for raping her. It was a heartbreaking moment in the episode to watch and for the characters, all save Norman, whose eyes fill with rage at the prospect of another family member possibly rejoining the family. And Norman’s rage can only be fueled by the fact that Caleb raped and hurt his mother, which won’t sit well with the mother within him.
-It was humorous to see Dylan and Emma interact, but who thought that Norman was going to come up behind Dylan and hit him over the head as he “tapped” on Emma’s chest?
-Chick made a brief appearance and Caleb showed interest in the job prospect mentioned last week. We need more Chick.
-Norman’s dream sequences were frightfully disturbing, and that scene in which he killed the bird, wow! And the subsequent trance. I think this is the best I’ve seen Freddie Highmore in the Norman character.
-It was just amazing to see Norman in his mother’s dress, embodying her character, and being his mother.
-Is this the first time Norma has said out loud that Norman killed his father?
Rock Hard \m/