Recap by: Lady Bastard
Bates Motel: Season 4, Episode 9 “Forever”
Synopsis: Alex and Dylan team up to protect Norma; Alex tells the DEA to go to hell; Norman is determined to be with his mother forever
Summary (with SPOILERS): Alex tries again and again in vain to convince Norma that Norman belongs back in Pine View. She reassures him that Norman would never hurt her. Norma tries (unsuccessfully) to convince Norman and Alex separately that they can all come together and work things out. Norman shares with Dr. Edwards during therapy that Norma married Alex because she was lonely without him. He also declares that once Alex realizes how crazy she is, he will leave and Norman will have to pick up the broken pieces like always.
Dylan and Alex meet and agree that Norman is dangerous and should not be home. Alex asks Dylan to be the second of two family signatures required to involuntary commit Norman. Dylan says he will try again to speak some sense to Norma first. Dylan asks Norma about an earring Emma found in a borrowed sweater; she pretends it is hers but admits its Audrey DeCody’s when confronted. She flippantly dismisses any significance. Dylan loses it and shouts that Norman is sick and needs to be hospitalized because of what might (and has already) happened. Norma yells that Dylan has always been jealous of his brother. He replies that Alex also thinks that Norma is blinded by her protection of Norman and tells her that he’s done attempting a mother/son relationship. In response, she asks for the earring. Unsurprised by her motive, Dylan leaves and encounters Norman in the driveway. He hugs him and begs him to check himself back into Pine View. Norma catches up and cold-stares Dylan away. Back in the house, she tells Norman that they’re all wrong in their opinion about him, including Alex.
Rebecca and her lawyer meet with the DEA and request no jail time in exchange for getting Sherriff Romero to admit he killed Bob Paris. Wearing a wire, Rebecca cozies up to Alex at the lunch counter and embarrassingly fails to get him to admit anything. On to her from the start, Alex leans into the mic in her blouse and tells the DEA to go to hell after everything he’s done for them to bust the drug scene in White Pine Bay.
Norma goes to Alex’s office and berates him for secretly meeting with Dylan. He insists that he did it out of love and concern. She tells him that she will never trust him again and storms out. Norman comes across Audrey DeCody’s suitcase in the attic containing the strangulation scarf, a chunk of her hair and Norma’s dirty blue robe. Norman puts it on and is (presumably) troubled by thoughts that his mother killed Audrey. He promptly buries it in the backyard. Norma returns home, beyond saddened about her breakup with Alex. Norman hugs and consoles her. At bedtime, Norma writes a heartfelt note to Alex and stuffs it in an envelope with her wedding ring. Norman comes in to find her sobbing on her bed. They comfort each other with talks of making a fresh start together in Oahu. Norman sings her to sleep with an island lullaby. Once she’s asleep, he lights the furnace in the basement and closes all vents except for the one in Norma’s bedroom. He crawls back into bed with her. Alex decides to visit the house and lets himself in when no one answers. He encounters Norma and Norman unresponsive in her bed then develops trouble breathing. He smashes open the window and carries Norma to another room, returning to drag Norman to the floor next to his mother. Alex begins CPR and his immediate tears turn to heaving wails when she remains unconscious. Norman coughs and awakes to see a sobbing Alex hugging and kissing Norma’s limp body.
Opinion: This episode kicked so much ass that I researched the director. Tim Southam directed this AND episode 2, which equally rocked my world. If anyone with influence is reading this, PLEASE ensure Southam is on the docket for the final season. The sharp twisting of relationships (Dylan and Norma, Alex and Rebecca) coupled with the return of Norma and Norman’s warped symbiosis was fantastic. And the performances (Vera Farmiga’s desolation, Max Thierolt’s anger, Nestor Carbonell’s grief) are some of the best we’ve ever seen.
“Keeping the Creepy” Score: 6 – Talks of running away together, spooning and humming, stroking and kissing of hair…reversal of roles. The “creepy” is back but with a dose of melancholy.