Bates Motel
First You Dream, Then You Die

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

Norman: "Not as a sport, no."
Miss Watson: "Listen, I realize I'm going to have to go the extra mile here, so I'm gonna tell Coach Carpenter you'll try out. Is that okay?"

Bradley Martin lives in the concrete world, but she moves. Miss Watson looks at him, at the length of his body and calls him a runner, so he can try that. He can see what the world is like. Miss Watson watches him thinking. (Miss Watson, of all the Canadian actors here, is the most memorable to me: She played the most important and my second-favorite, member of a certain cult aboard the Galactica.)

Miss Watson: "Norman, I see that you lost your dad recently. I know how hard that must be. So please know that you can come to me if you have any issues or questions -- about anything -- because I'm here for you. Okay?"

In the moment that she touches his hand, looks at his body, tries to replace Norma, he can hear it. It doesn't speak in words yet, but he can hear it. He runs. Not as a sport, not as a game: It's concrete.

AFTER SCHOOL

Norma's in a quiet mood. Sitting at the table, dinner covered over in tinfoil, waiting for him. He knows the answer for this one: The biggest smile, the biggest needs. The hunger to be nurtured.

Norman: "Wow. Dinner smells great, Mom!"
Norma: "I've been waiting. Alone, in this house. Making it beautiful. Making a home."
Norman: "I was late because I was trying out for track team. It was Miss Watson's idea..."
Norma: "The hell is that? Is she pretty?"
Norman: "-- I got on the team, if you sign this permission slip I can..."
Norma: "Practice every day after school, track meets on Saturdays... you realize we just bought a hotel? A world?"

He knows this one, too and tries to jerk the slip back out of her hands, smiling hugely, apologetically: Not a problem, forget it happened. Forget this, turn off the light, let's have dinner.

Norma: "No! I'm not gonna... be the mother who tells her kid he can't be on the track team. It's fine, it's okay. I'll just do everything myself. The way I always do..."

It's unsubtle enough that he jerks around, tries again for the slip, begs her to sit down and eat dinner: He didn't think this one through, it was just an idea. Wings are good. Home is better. He already has the roots he needs. But she's made the point; she's poisoned it for him, forever. She signs the slip, loose and bristling now and heads out angrily for groceries. Ashamed and cornered at the table as she vanishes, he shouts her name; her name is Mother.

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Bates Motel

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