Recap by: Lady Bastard
Bates Motel: Season 4, Episode 10 “Norman”
Synopsis: Alex spirals from revenge to arrest; Dylan is cut loose; Norman waits patiently for Mother
Summary (with immediate SPOILERS): Alex watches on while Norman is taken away in an ambulance. Norma is dead. A detective shows Alex his wife’s final note; Alex keeps the ring rebutting that the note is evidence, not his mother’s ring. Alex tells the detective to question Norman when she suggests an attempted murder suicide. Norman is quickly discharged from the emergency room. Alex attempts to escort Norman from the hospital but is verbally attacked by his stepson and told he is not allowed near the house or the funeral. Alex slams him against the wall and vows to prove Norman tried to kill Norma. Alex visits the morgue under protest and pulls Norma from the cold drawer. He slips the ring back onto her stiff hand and declares his love with a kiss.
Norman kicks the snot out of the flat screen TV he fumbled down the stairs just as the detective arrives to question him. He tells her that his mother was very upset and was leaving her manipulative husband because he tried to make her to choose between him and Norman. The detective offers to let herself out as Norman picks out a lovely blue dress to bring to the funeral home. Norman meets with the funeral director and asks, as an amateur taxidermist familiar with the process, to not have his mother embalmed. He is allowed to visit mother in the prep room while the director’s goth daughter is making up Norma. Norman gets affectionately close to his dead mother and tugs the ring off her finger in view of the grinning daughter. Norman plans the funeral alone and is the only one in attendance. As he tearfully reads his eulogy, Alex shows up. Norman asks him to leave and then hands him the ring he pried from Norma’s hand. Alex clocks Norman to the ground and continues to beat on him until the officiators intervene. When the director threatens to call the authorities, Alex responds, “I am the police, dumbass.”
Dylan calls Norman, unaware of Norma’s death. He offers his unconditional love for Norman even though he must break ties with their mother. Norman thanks Dylan for his support but tells him that they, too, must say goodbye forever. He hangs up without telling Dylan the news.
Alex visits the shop of the tech who serviced the furnace at the Bates home. He grills him about the diagnosis of the furnace and whether or not Norman was present when he warned that the old furnace was “lethal”. When Alex pins him to the counter, he finally admits Norman may have heard. After crashing Norma’s funeral, Alex storms into his office ignoring the mandatory family leave assigned to him. He pockets a stashed gun and on the way out, is confronted by the DEA who arrest him for perjury. He is taken away for lying about having relations with Rebecca.
The rest of this recap is my “opinion” about Norman. His delusional processing of Norma’s death was such a letdown. As disconnected as Norman can be from reality, he’s not an idiot. Dead is dead and he knows it. And he knows enough that Imaginary Norma can’t appear if he’s medicated so he dumps his scripts down the toilet. He spends the entire episode “waiting” for his mother to tell him “the plan”; insisting to his not-dead dog Juno that she’ll eventually reappear; digging her up from the cemetery and dragging her home because how could she possibly jump out and yell, “Surprise!” if she’s six feet under, huh?? Norman has glimpses of acceptance and sorrow but then they’re doused with ethereal piano serenades and a flash of wide-eyed Mother smirking from the mortuary slab. I get that killing his mother can be the ultimate nudge off the psychological cliff, but we know Norman better than this.
Norma finally “returns” to Norman, as beautiful as ever, surrounded by the lights and sounds of Christmas. It makes him happy but it makes me sad. Norman was a stranger to me in this episode and it makes me sad. Norma being only a corpse or hallucination for the final 10 episodes of this series also makes me sad. What didn’t make me sad, however, was casserole-toting Chick Hogan’s response to seeing Norma’s cadaver on the couch: “You do what you have to do but you understand she’s dead, right?” While I judge Norman from afar, Chick doesn’t have the heart.
“Keeping the Creepy” Score: Norma is dead. The scorekeeper is dead. See you next March…