Bates Motel recap: Til Death Do You Part
Norma and Romero tie the knot, and Norman realizes therapy is definitely not for him
You thought we had to wait two months for a Bates wedding? Not in White Pine Bay.
Although we open on a clearly guilty Norma staring at Norman’s empty bed and feeling upset about what she’s done, we quickly cut to her meeting Romero at City Hall for their wedding. It’s kind of hysterically awkward — neither of them know what to do. They are clearly not comfortable being intimate, despite their underlying feelings. Norma’s so intent on rushing the wedding that she completely forgets she even needs a ring (fortunately, Romero has her covered, in a super sweet moment).
And then, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Romero and Norma kiss. And no, this isn’t a dream, or one of those “almost” moments that have happened over the past four seasons. It’s a real, long kiss. It’s a moment that’s been built up for a long time, and man, does Romero go for it, catching Norma off guard with how passionate he is. And he’s so into making this believable that I can’t not think there’s not real passion there. It makes me sad when I realize I already know how this series will eventually end, because I just want Romero and Norma to be happy together.
Romero assures her she’s doing the right thing with Norman, and, well, let’s hope. Norman is currently getting a tour of Pineview from a nice woman trying to give him his orientation. Norman’s not interested in yoga or tours, though. He wants to know how long he’ll be there, and he’s told that’s up to Dr. Edwards. Edwards asks Norman if he’s been in therapy before, and Norman’s actually pretty honest about his therapy history…but he also noted that his mother had problems and “that took precedence.” He didn’t like going. And he thinks therapy is silly, anyway. He doesn’t want to be in therapy because he still believes he’s there only because Norma put him there, and he’s STILL obsessed with Norma being the ultimate problem. Dr. Edwards really has his work cut out for him. I hope they give him a pay raise rather than a knife to the throat.
Norma calls Pineview and finds out she can’t speak to or see Norman for 72 hours, which no one told her. Romero arrives with his stuff (“I’m gonna need a key”) and while Norma is hesitant to have him move in, Romero tells her it has to look real. She needs to commit to this. And he’s a public figure, after all, which means word will get around town soon enough. But Norma’s freaked out about Romero being in the house, and Romero tries to make things less awkward by offering that they go out to dinner. His friend, who heard that he got married, offered him a table at a swanky restaurant and dinner’s on the house. “This is the third time I’ve been married, and I’m never going to be good at it,” Norma tells her new husband bluntly. Romero, for his part, seems unaffected by this drop of information.
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They do end up going to dinner and after a few glasses of wine, Norma loosens up. “Alcohol makes it all so much easier,” says Romero, speaking the truth. “I can see you’re going to be a great influence,” Norma responds, also speaking the truth. This is actually Romero’s second time being married, since he was married while he was in the Marines. Norma opens up a little more about her history, and very candidly, too — in fact, this is probably the most open Norma’s been about her life without being on edge. The emotional moment is dashed when Norma asks who he sleeps with, because she want to know… I mean, they’re just “married,” they’re not really married. (Not that Romero will tell.) The night ends with Romero bringing a tipsy Norma home and THIS is the relationship and show that I want from these two. He tucks her into bed and jokingly says “goodnight, Mrs. Romero,” to which Norma yells, “I’m keeping my name!” Who says feminism isn’t alive and well?
NEXT: May you always be satisfied
The next morning, Norma comes down to see a note on the kitchen table: As a wedding gift, Romero is finally filling that pit. When Norma goes down to check it out, one of the workers gives her an earring they found — an earring that belonged to Emma’s mom. It’s unclear whether Norma realizes what she’s holding or not, and what that possibly means (Vera Farmiga’s facial expressions are so amazing because there are always about 10 different emotions happening in one short moment).
Meanwhile, Romero goes to his own home and finds the woman he’s been sleeping with waiting there. She asks what’s going on with the boxes and starts kissing him, before Romero tells her he got married. She’s not happy with him, but she asks about Bob Paris, who she says took off right before the DEA raided his house. (Yeah, “took off” is one word to use.) She’s worried that she’s in danger because they’ve seized his bank accounts and all of his records, but Romero assures her she’s safe and then takes a bunch of money out of his hiding place. He brings it to Norma’s basement — when she finds him, he says he’s hiding a bunch of money there. The best lies are the ones that are made with truth, right?
Dylan finally tells Emma he’s thinking of getting out of the weed business (and Emma’s smile is so big!). But before Dylan can fire Gunner, Gunner decides to take off himself. As Dylan calls Emma to complain, Chick (Ryan Hurst) shows up. We all remember Chick, right? Apparently he’s got a bone to pick with Dylan, since Caleb left him for dead after that whole incident where Chick sent Dylan on a deadly trade that almost cost him his life. Dylan doesn’t know where Caleb is, but something tells me that Dylan’s not getting out of danger so easily… I knew that Dylan’s happy, reformed life was too good to be true. When he gets home, Norma tells Dylan that she and Romero got married. The thing is, Norma doesn’t believe Romero actually likes her (I believe otherwise). But she’s also worried about Norman; we all know this is taking precedence in terms of her emotions.
At Pineview, Norman sits by himself to eat and is interrupted by a guy named Julian (Marshall Allman), who sits down across from him. “I’ve never seen someone look so pissed off at a turkey pot pie,” Julian says. Well, you haven’t been lovingly fed a turkey pot pie by Norma Bates, Julian. Norman doesn’t say that, though, he just tells him it reminds him of “someone I know.” Julian’s excited he can make friends with someone his own age. Julian’s in Pineview because his parents think he’s annoying, and this is not really a good conversation to be having with Norman, not that Julian knows that.
Norman meets for another session with Dr. Edwards and asks why he can’t just get some meds for his blackouts. He tells him he never wants his mother to be upset… she’s the most wonderful person in the world, and that’s why he’s here. Dr. Edwards asks the simple question: If he loves her so much, why is he angry at her? Norman breaks down, going off on a rant and talking about Norma as if HE’S his mother. It’s amazing to watch Freddie Highmore’s slow, nuanced descent into Norma, which is somehow more chilling even without the visual additions of the robe and mannerisms.
He bolts from Dr. Edwards’ office, and Norma arrives, asking to see her son. Dr. Edwards has to allow it, so Norma meets with him and tells the doctor that “we’re very close… maybe it would be good for him to see me.” Does no one know how bad it is to indulge this relationship? Apparently not, because Norma is allowed to see her son (she smartly takes off her wedding ring before she talks to him). This is a different reunion than the one in the psych ward — Norman is less clingy — he’s angry, which makes their whole exchange tense. Norma apologizes, but Norman won’t have it.
“I’m actually afraid of you right now because you’ve put me in this horrible position,” he tells his mother, before saying he can’t forgive her. This is probably worse for Norma than being denied her son’s presence, and she comes home dejected. A concerned Romero asks what happened and Norma starts crying, unable to hold her emotions back. She tells him what happens with Norman, and as Romero comforts her, they kiss passionately, unlike the beginning of the episode. And does kissing lead to other things? Only if Norma’s sure… and yes, she is.
While Norma is actually having a good moment for once, a distraught Norman, on edge from his mother’s visit, makes a scene trying to get into Dr. Edwards’ office. His antics get him locked up, but Edwards comes to see him, anyway. A completely calm Norman says he needs to tell him something: “I have reason to believe that my mother is insane and might be killing people.” A surprised Edwards says that this accusation warrants being reported by the authorities… does he know that? Oh, yes, Norman knows.
Norman definitely knows.
- “You can skip this part. We know all this.” Norma Bates, always the romantic.
- “I’d rather stick hot pins in my eyes, but thank you,” is probably the most polite way to tell someone you don’t want to participate in something. I might have to try that in my own life, but I doubt I could make it sound as pristine and curt as Norman Bates.