Bates Motel
What's Wrong With Norman?

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 5 USERS: A
Luminosity Entails Numinosity

Norman: "Mother!?"
Dylan: "No, man. Just me."

For the second time today, somebody takes the remote away from Norman to get his attention.

Dylan: "Can I give you some advice? You gotta cut that shit out. 'Mother?' It's just weird."
Norman: "Whereas I guess calling your mom a whore is perfectly normal?"

He notices the hospital bracelet around his brother's wrist and gets concerned a little bit -- when Norman fusses with it, the whole complex surrounding his hospital visit still being a monster of a thing nobody knows about -- Dylan pulls out a knife and cuts it for him. When you see Norman through his brother's eyes, it's so sad and delicate, like an unborn chicken baby. Made of twigs.

Dylan: "So how come Norma's not here doting on you? You're the fave, I'd expect some homemade chicken soup bubbling on the stove, or..."
Norman: "She's out, she should have been back hours ago, she hasn't answered my calls or texts and I'm getting really worried."
Dylan: "Noted."
Norman: "Well, I mean it's not like her to do this. I'm not just being aggressively Norman about it, she's additionally not being Norma. It's a two-party system. I can't even sleep, I tried to go to bed and I just... I mean, what do I do?"
Dylan: "You get the fuck out of this house once in a while, for starters. What she is doing, has done, to you -- it's not healthy. You need some perspective."

Norman considers this. You can look at the two of them on that couch, with the old owner's old black and white TV and just imagine them being real for a second. Or like, I already thought Dylan was a good idea, narratively and psychologically, but for a minute you can see how his need to be a man and Norman's desperate need for a man would collide in this way: Like another unwanted, unwelcome father figure, but one who -- being Norma's son as well -- actually makes more sense in the dynamic. Like maybe it will work out. Dylan thinks this too, although not in words. He flows, in the absence of Norma, toward his brother, and says the best line of the entire episode:

Dylan: "I'm sorry you tried to kill me the other night."

It's great because it sounds hilariously passive-aggressive, but really it's just the best way of addressing and describing what went down: Now that you've mentioned the whole "whore" thing, by the way, I feel bad that that happened and that I beat you down. But what is sort of brusquely tender in the moment becomes something entirely different.

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Bates Motel




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