Cate Cameron
TV Show
Mystery ,
S4 E9
May 10, 2016 at 03:19 AM EDT

Uh… Happy belated Mother’s Day? With one episode to go on Bates Motel, the show has (possibly) arrived at the moment it’s been building to since the premiere: the death of Norma Bates. We still have one episode to go, but even though this is one of the minds behind Lost, Norma’s demise seems pretty final. But don’t count out Vera Farmiga not being a part of the show, deat or not — there’s always the possibility of a red herring, and Carlton Cuse tells EW Farmiga will very much have a presence in season five, no matter what. (I could be remember wrong, but I believe this was always the supposed case if she was killed off before the show ended.) Still, Bates pulled no punches tonight, and it pleases me — I expected to get this moment next week in the season finale, but this show is nothing if not well-written and well-executed.

Before we talk about the end, let’s start at the beginning. Our penultimate episode opens the morning after Norman freaked out at Romero and ruined The Already Awkward Dinner Party. Romero has slept downstairs, and when Norma wakes up, she thinks things will be better now. Sure, the night was really crappy, but now that the hurdle has been cleared of Norman knowing how Norma feels about her husband, everything will be okay. Romero is uncomfortable about Norman not being at Pineview, but Norma refuses to see he needs to be put back under supervision. Because, well, “we are two parts of the same person!” That means Romero totally doesn’t get it and he’s overreacting. Norman awakens in time to see Romero and Norma sharing an intimate moment on the way out, which should provide great therapy fodder, right?

Indeed, it does. While Norma tries to bridge a gap between her son and her husband on the way to therapy, Norman loses it at his doctor’s office. He goes off about how Romero only married Norma for money and insurance and how he never liked Norman and always wanted him out of the picture so he could encroach on his mom. His worldview is so skewed that he starts talking about how he knows Norma’s going to be hurt, detailing how she’ll react to various stages of their relationship progression. “Everyone will leave, but I will never leave,” Norman declares. I’m not sure how this doesn’t scream problem, but hey, at least this is the type of stuff you should be going to therapy for.

While Norman’s in therapy, Norma calls Romero, who again tells her he doesn’t think Norman being home is the best thing for either of them. Norma is appalled that his short-lived relationship status as her husband suddenly gives him the right to know what’s best for her son, even when Romero urges her to ask the doctor. But Norma, who literally won’t see the truth until that knife is inevitably coming down on her head, just thinks he’s not giving her son a chance. She even assures her son he’s No. 1 in her heart and soul AND mind in the car. Always so supportive, Norma!

Out of options and worried about the woman he really cares for, Romero meets Dylan privately, telling him he thinks Norman is dangerous. Dylan is hesitant to talk but eventually agrees, and Romero tells him he thinks Norman needs to be committed. They can do it behind Norma’s back as long as they have the signatures of two family members, and at first, Dylan is wary of hurting his mother in this way. But Romero is afraid something worse will happen if they don’t, and Dylan does want to help his brother, so he agrees.

NEXT: The world was wide enough

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