Richard's friends laugh at him, but he's gotten the download from Bradley by now and drags them away from the scene: "He's new, all right? He's not used to the food yet." (Making Richard Slymore the William Katt -- the semi-okay boyfriend of the compassionate Amy Irving -- and not the John Travolta -- the, well, John Travolta -- if you see what I mean. For now, at least.)
Emma Decody arrives, a quirky cutie-pie with cystic fibrosis severe enough that she totes a glammed-up oxygen tank on wheels with her: "Make sure you're done, don't try to cut it short just because it's embarrassing..." Once he's done, she produces a mint for him and he stares at her.
"I'm kind of an expert on vomiting. I have CF, so I've been on meds my whole life. Some of them give you any number of hideous side effects, puking being one of the more pleasant ones. Do you have some sort of chronic illness?"
He says no -- he's not exactly wrong -- and she seems crestfallen for one hilarious second, before she remembers to introduce herself. Turns out they are in Miss Watson's Language Arts together, although he didn't notice the first couple days. She makes sure he's okay, and then chirps sweetly at him and walks away. She's awesome, which he immediately groks; she's more accessible than the girl who only sorta likes him. He clocks that too.
They carry the dude to the car and then out to a boat. It is serene, this lake in the concrete world. He rows them to the exact center and she goes dark again. Taking words, this time, from his mouth.
Norma: "I suck."
Norman: "Blaming oneself is a common response to the trauma of..."
Norma: "Hah! No, honey. I mean us. Today while you were puking I had a whole scene to myself where I discovered that they're building a new bypass on the far side of town. A new main road. I suck because I bought us a motel that nobody will ever know is there."
Norman: "Strange that the real estate agent wouldn't mention that..."
Norma: "Is it? Because I'm pretty sure we got it at auction and he was unloading a toxic asset, and I'm pretty sure it's his entire job to stay quiet and hope we're dumb enough not to figure things like this out, and most of all I'm positive of the fact that everybody is the worst."
Actually she says "suck" a few more times, which at first I thought was a script hiccup that shoulda been caught but then I thought, suck being their family's go-to negative word makes a gruesome, smart kind of sense. Everybody has a mother, but only one specific type of person sexualizes breasts -- they, too, had a mother -- but in Batesworld you never have to stop sucking, etc.: "Everyone I have ever known has sucked. Except you."