Bates Motel
First You Dream, Then You Die

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 13 USERS: A
The Cord of Communion


Heading up a seaside highway, lush and green and perfect. The thing about a narcissist, about a lot of people actually, is that it's hard to tell where you end and somebody else begins. When you have to talk louder than anybody else just to be heard -- when you're a woman like Norma Bates -- it's sometimes easier to just demand that the world put itself in order. She's not wrong. But sometimes, say, she'll put words in his mouth. It's a fun game -- her words, coming out of his mouth. For now, that's fun.

Norma: "This is the part where you say Mother, this is beautiful. I'm so happy we're moving here. You are so smart to have thought of this."
Norman: "Mother, this is so beautiful. I'm so happy you're [making me move] here. You're so smart to [force me to do things I have no say in]."

She laughs at him, she likes his spirit. She parks their old wagon and tells him to close his eyes. When he opens them, she's arranged on the hood of the car, laid out like a supermodel; blooming over her, filling his vision, is a motel. Eight rooms, it looks like, arranged all along a parallel. And behind the building -- you've seen it, you know what it looks like -- is a house as big as the sky.

Norman gets worried -- this isn't the first of her big ideas. But it might be the biggest. All she ever wanted was a home.

Norma: "Oh, it's not crazy, it's not! We own a motel, Norman Bates."

It was a foreclosure, so it's fully furnished. Plastic on everything, but it's there. A little old world, full of little old things. There's been so much said about the style, but it really is something: A dusty sad place, new life bursting up through the cracks of somebody else's dead dream. We're only borrowing this life. You think you own a place in the world, but you don't. Not really. It belongs to the men. She got this because one of them made a mistake and the other dogs circled and barked and threw him out. That's the only way you can, by exploiting some other fool who did it wrong. The world doesn't just hand you things.

But this world, now is like a lake in the middle of a concrete world. The motel to sustain them and the house to call their own. Her name, a woman's name, on the papers. Out there, a man's world; in here, Norma's. And down the hill a bit, little cages to keep them in, when they visit. It's the perfect economy: A world away from men, who only visit to give her money. Like having a million husbands to clean and cook for, but they don't come in the house -- into this holy place -- and they eventually leave. And Norman remains.

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Bates Motel




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