Monthly Archives: April 2015

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S3ep5 “The Deal”

Original air date: April 6, 2015.

This is it. After this episode, we’re at the halfway mark. It goes so fast and there’s such a long wait afterwards. For the record, this blog will continue on with plenty I have planned for it; that’s a main reason I started it in the first place! Unbreak-Able left me feeling pretty sad because it made it seem like it’s the beginning of the end for Norma and Norman. Yes, I’m more than well aware how the story finally ends, but I have every right to feel the way I do, all the same. That episode’s title likely refers to the “unbreakable” flash drive files, but I still believe their relationship is also unbreakable even as Norman descends further into madness. I’m going into watching The Deal hoping something will happen that will turn things around for them. Though it might be at the cost of their relationship with Dylan.

Dylan’s gotten drunk and slept it off in his car again, just like he did after he first learned Caleb was his dad. At least he hasn’t gotten sick and thrown up this time, though it still looks like a painful hangover. And he notices the attractive female bar owner who nicely tells him he needs to leave the parking lot. I have a soft spot for Dylan by now. I want to believe there’s a woman out there for him, somewhere, and I think he does deserve to be happy. But any chances of that are about to come crashing down.

Some jackass in a black car runs Norma off the road, in a brief but tense scene. I was afraid for a second she was going to crash a lot worse. That poor Mercedes has taken a beating throughout this season, but that’s the least of her worries.
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It’s that same evil-as-fuck dude with the British accent that was digging through the motel office and having a stand-off with Dylan. And he knows her name. Whenever anyone in White Pine Bay knows Norma’s name, having never met her, it’s always really bad. I do think the guy’s right about one thing: Romero can’t save her. Yeah Norma, I think you need to figure out how to save yourself from this one, somehow.

Here’s a new visual twist that recalls “Psycho”: Emma, not Norma, in the rocking chair and watching Norman sleep. A great way to show how she’s starting to take Norma’s place in his life. But nothing good is going to come of that; it almost goes without saying.

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“Your mom asked me to stay with you.”

The first thing Norman asks when he wakes up is if Norma was upset over his telling her about Caleb. Of course he had to tell her, Emma! I’m with Norman on this one. What Caleb did to Norma can never be white-washed or excused. Norman is sorry he had to tell Dylan, but then it gets more twisted. Norma doesn’t mention Caleb at all. There’s still the issue of the flash drive she won’t give up, dangerous criminals or not. The idea of blackmailing them sounds like a fool’s errand, and it sucks this seems the only option in terms of financial security in the future.

“Either she’s insane or you are!”

So yeah, it is bizarre that Norman supposedly told Norma about Caleb, and then she acts like it never happened. Did he or didn’t he? Regardless, Dylan’s going to jump in and tell her himself. Then we see Caleb looking at an old Polaroid of himself and Norma as kids. I just can’t bring myself to feel bad for him; he still crossed a line that can’t be forgotten and likely not ever forgiven. It doesn’t bother me that he fell in love with his sister. Longer-time readers of this blog know by now I have some background knowledge of that real-life phenomena and can look at it from different angles. I wouldn’t call myself an expert in it by any stretch, but I think it’s safe to say I know more about it than the average Joe on the street. Anyway, Caleb (and anyone else) by the age of 15 or 16 should know that rape is wrong. The home life the two of them had sounds awful, but all the same: she didn’t feel the same way about him, it was non-consensual and therefore falls into the category of rape and abuse. I still think Norma has every right to hate him as much as she does, and Dylan having him around is a betrayal.

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Since the car accident, Norma has to take the bus home from college. And rather predictably she gets a ride home from the psychology professor. He does seem like a nice guy, and yeah he is starting to grow on me a little :) He does admit he’s attracted to her a lot, and she thinks he might be able to help her–on a patient level, anyway. I think that is an ethically grey area in the psychotherapy profession, but all the same..

More of a concern though: Caleb seems to be losing it somewhat, taking his pain and rage out on a tree as he chops at it with an axe before collapsing to the forest ground. He’s not alone for long, as he has another run-in with the neighbor. They do seem to strike up something of a friendship, and Caleb gets a possible job offer if he wants to take it.

At home, Norman notices that Norma’s changed out of the blue-and-white dress he likes. The news of the car accident is another secret kept from him, and it seems he had a black-out when he thought he’d told her about Caleb. Now the black-outs are really starting to crack Norman’s experiences of what’s real and what’s not: something that makes me even more sad and afraid for him.

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“I’m here for you. I’ll always be here for you.”

Now we get to the infamous scene of Norman getting that dress and holding it to himself before stashing it under his mattress. What he could possibly be thinking on any rational level, I can’t even imagine. He probably isn’t. Maybe he just feels Norma’s become distant, keeping him out of the loop from so many things going on. I’d venture a guess this is just a way of feeling close to her again, a way that’s come through his increasingly-breaking mind.

When the hacker at the community college couldn’t get the flash drive files open, Gunner of all people manages to do it. I didn’t see that coming. Knowing your way around encrypted shit really comes in handy! Looks like someone hit pay dirt with transactions totaling $15 million. My guess would be the crime ring from the Arcanum Club. Dylan relays this to Norma, who still wants to use the $15 mil as blackmail leverage. Dangerous as it may be, I’m with her. They don’t need to involve Romero. He can’t do much that’s useful, far as I’m concerned. Meanwhile Romero himself runs across another corpse in a car by the side of the road.

“That’s not why I’m here.”

Yes, Norma’s had a great hard-knocks education in this crime-filled town. Her telling Romero exactly how she’s going to get some of that money is amazing! The best scene in this episode, and probably the best in this season so far! She’s not running to Sheriff Bulldog as a damsel in distress; thank god for that!! Norma Bates is finally going to get someone by the short ones in this town, and it’s about damn time! Romero does finally agree to go with her to see Bob Parris. I think the parting shot of the door being stuck was kind of stupid; it would’ve been better in my opinion if she was just able to open it, storm out and slam it behind her. Oh well, a minor flaw in what’s otherwise an awesome scene!

Another little fic coincidence: Norma says to Romero that he wouldn’t have an issue with her idea if she were a man. He’d be saying “Let’s do it.” The other Calhoun sister in my story wants to say essentially the same thing to him during an argument over the phone, but she stops herself because it would be too unprofessional as she’s also a law enforcement officer. I wrote that before Season 3 started. A bit of synchronicity there (!!) Okay, I gave you readers a little spoiler if you haven’t read it, but this was too cool for me not to point out.

Anyhew, the meeting with Parris: you could cut the tension with a knife, especially as Norma starts off not that aggressive and has some trouble getting to the point. The bypass comes up again as what she wants, or rather an exit from it to the motel, along with Bates Motel billboards. And a swimming pool. Sounds like a fair deal to me!

“So no more asks?”

Hell yes!! Well done, Norma!!

In this regard, things are starting to look up. This is Norma at her absolute best, and I have to say I’m starting to love this episode for this part of the story :) This is the first time I’m saying that about any episode of Season 3.

The problem of Caleb is still going on between Dylan and Norman, putting a damper on things to a certain degree. Norman wants to tell Norma with Dylan and help his brother out, but Dylan doesn’t want him dragged into this mess. Well, Dylan was the one harboring Caleb..

“I’m a man now. Not her little boy. And I want to be a good man.”

Norman does want to do the right thing, even with that part of himself he hates–that part that does bad things that he can’t help. The calm before the storm: Norma just sits there quietly, eyes welling up as Dylan tells her the whole thing from the day Caleb first showed up back in town. To say this has me on edge is putting it mildly; I could feel my heart starting to thump during this conversation.

I thought at first Norma was going to throw Dylan out, but she’s leaving herself, in a storm of hurried packing as Norman screams after her. With her gone, she’s ripping away a part of him.

This episode is incredible, left me breathless. Five out of five:

5hearts