Bates Motel
A Boy & His Dog

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 7 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
A Most Stormy Life

Norma's agenda is to get onto the City Planning Committee with his help, so she can shoot down this highway thing that's been hanging over her head but to which -- until Shelby died -- she couldn't turn her full attention. Now my guess is that she is doing this out of a friends-help-friends thing, like, she's not even trying to pressure Romero out of anything other than the goodness of his heart and the fact that they are suddenly best friends. Romero sees it differently, and honestly I think he might be right, but it just suits my aesthetic more that she would be this deluded.

Romero's agenda is quite different: He doesn't want to see this lady, or talk to this lady, or do this lady favors because first of all his ass his dirty -- if we didn't know that before, we'll know it by episode's end -- and second of all he didn't cover up Shelby's murder as a favor to her. Both of which things are of course stupid obvious, but both of which too you can see Norma Bates being confused about: Men are objects, to be rejected from the home unless they prove of use. Some of them have belts you need, or carpet fibers, and others are your kids when it suits you. And while this is a sad and broken perspective, it's one men have spent her entire life teaching her.

For as long as he spends staring at her, and she spends digging herself deeper and deeper, when it goes to shit it goes fast: "Are you trying to say that you have something on me? Is that it? Because if you did, that really wouldn't be good for you, okay? I mean I might have to burn you down to the ground, you know? Don't ever try to intimidate me. Don't walk into my office and ask me for political favors based on nothing. You and I have no connection. We're not on the same playing field. Don't ever assume that we are. You don't know what you're doing. Go home, Mrs. Bates."

She gets that lady-on-the-bus hurt feeling in her eyes -- that Actual Schizophrenic confusion that Farmiga somehow always nails -- because she honestly didn't see that coming, but it's still weird and sad even after seven episodes to see her grasp this eminently awful fact once again, that even the safe places aren't safe. Like when Dylan was like, "You know I'm still moving out and/or kidnapping your son, right?" when she thought he was onboard for her whole shitshow.

And you know her ass isn't even out of the building before Principal Hudgins calls to tell her about Norman flailing his way AWOL. It is, of course, very exhausting probably to be around Norma or to be in her orbit, but one thing we don't really consider very often other than in these recaps is how fucking exhausting it must be to actually be Norma. Home's infested with sex murderers and constantly disappointing children, this cop station has never done right by her, school is always up her ass, that one lady at the restaurant was a total cooze, Norman's this close to killing people and having seizures all the time... Good Lord. She needs a nap, but where could she even possibly go to take a nap?

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Bates Motel

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