Monthly Archives: April 2015

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S3ep4 “Unbreak-Able”

Original air date: March 30, 2015

We left Annika as she was dying from a gunshot wound and passing Norma a blood-covered flash drive. Seems more secrets are still under the surface in this town, and they’re secrets worth killing for. For the record, I’ve spent an entire week away from any spoilers about this episode because I didn’t get to review it on my normal Tuesday last week. I was out of town. If I can totally avoid them, anyone can! Also, I’m going into writing every review of Season 3 blind: watching each episode for the first time as I’m writing about it. That makes it more..visceral, I suppose. And exciting, if that’s possible.


In one way, I’m glad I had a week of that thing called real life to let my mind adjust to the shocker from Persuasion. The one that came out of Norman’s troubled mind, the idea that Norma might have been the killer from the start, that he never killed his dad. She did. Is it a real memory or a false hallucination? In the previous two seasons, I’d dismissed it as impossible that Norma could’ve been the murderer all along while setting things up to look like Norman did it during one of his black-outs. Maybe I was too quick in dismissing it.


Norman wakes up to sirens as the police and paramedics arrive. Sadly, they’re too late. And even more unfortunately, Romero witnesses Norma rushing Dylan and Norman back up to the house. Poor Norman’s still so unaware of what’s real and what’s not, but the last thing he needs to do is go around asking vacantly, “Did I do it?” Yeah, no one aside from Norma would ever understand that. The way he’s acting so much more detached from reality makes me so sad; I just want to hug him too–not for the first time.

Norma tells Romero exactly what happened. Great. Awesome. It IS the truth, so now Sheriff Bulldog can make like a tree and leave. Norman had NOTHING to do with her death. So now Romero can do something productive and go try to find the real killer. Yes, chaos swirls around the Bates family, Captain Obvious–but they still had nothing to do with this. Norma feels the same way, which makes me happy and rather hopeful.

“I think you blacked out again.”

I was waiting for someone to spy on Norma as she strips down to her underwear, but not this time. She had the flash drive hidden in her bra. Smart move, but then another frustrating roadblock: all those files are password-protected. For the record, almost half a million search results turn up for how to crack those. I was curious :) Anyway, Norman seems somewhat better in the morning–though still focused on why Annika came back to the motel. He tells Norma how he talked to Annika about how close he and Norma are. That’s very sweet, and kind of heart-breaking as he drops the unexpected “Do you still like me?” imageimage

And Norman’s now bringing in Dylan as one of the reasons things are different between all three of them. Apparently he saw his mother being grateful towards Dylan the night before. That reads to me as jealousy coming to the surface; I’m calling it like I see it.

Norma gets the same idea that crossed my mind: taking that flash drive to a computer whiz, but that also results in a dead end.

Turns out that Annika had been driving the car registered to Lindsey Davis, the girl found dead in the tidal marsh. It doesn’t surprise me too much that both were probably mixed up with the same bad people and ended up dead for it.

The part of the storyline with Caleb, Gunner and Dylan has been a little slow for me, but now it’s picking up a little. Caleb sees Norma down the street as she’s getting into her car, and he scrambles to stay out of sight. Well, it’s a small town and that was bound to happen. That look in his eyes: it seems partly sad and partly..something he watches her in the rear view mirror. Something that seems ominous. The story of Norma and Caleb is far from over; I have that feeling. image

Norman’s still preoccupied, not listening as Emma drones on about an upcoming history exam they have. I can’t blame him at all, even if the subject matter were less yawn-inducing. By the way, I love the Bates’ dining room decor; it’s beautiful! He claims he’s just thinking about how sad it was and how it’s been bad for the motel business. Then another really awkward moment: Norma happens to see Norman and Emma kissing passionately. I’m not ashamed to say this makes me squirm uncomfortably, for all the reasons you probably think and possibly even for some that you don’t. It’s also a little presumptuous for Norman to say it’s his house. I think he’s inviting a little smack-down there.

Romero gets stone-walled yet again by the president of the Arcanum Club, who’s also a dick for saying “It’s not two dead girls; it’s two dead hookers.” Money talks, even when an incriminating question comes up.

“Norman and I always had each other. But things just seem different now.”

Norma opens up somewhat to the psych professor when they go for coffee, which gives me a vaguely weird sense of deja vu because I wrote a (kind of) similar scene when I last worked on my fanfic–very different circumstances though. By the way, that diverging tale isn’t over, not by a long way.

I feel for Norma as she starts to cry over the loss of trust in Norman. I really don’t know how this could ever be fixed, not at this juncture. It makes me sad too. The admission of loneliness gets quickly forgotten however, as Norma gets home and catches Romero digging through Annika’s old room–I’m assuming without a warrant. She should make him go get a frickin’ warrant, but *sigh. I guess what I was hoping was going to happen would be asking too much…At the least, Norma should just clam up and tell him she doesn’t know anything else about the night Annika died.
Norma assumes she’s the one going on a picnic with Norman, but he’s taking Emma instead. Another instance of him becoming more distant from her, and it sucks–in my opinion. This is going to continue festering as a problem, and it’s going to explode at some point.

“Oh, so it’s all about you!”

And we’re back to something recalling Season 1: Norma insists Norman can’t sleep with Emma because of Emma’s illness. Unbeknownst to her, Emma slept with Gunner and was fine. But there’s once again this fixation of Norma’s on Norman not having sex. Norma then goes and confides in Dylan about the unbreakable flash drive, which is only going to add fuel to the fire when it comes to this rift between her and Norman.

Norman and Emma commit some ill-advised breaking and entering an empty cabin to get out of the cold. As they relax in front of the fire, she tells him how not being able to breathe is like being held underwater. Little does she know that Norman’s already experienced the underwater part first-hand, even if he may not remember it.

“I’m not worried about that today. Today I’m living.”

I can’t say I’m totally disappointed that they don’t have sex because of Norman telling her what Norma said about her. Yes, it is insulting to Emma, but it’s still for the greater good as far as I’m concerned. image

Caleb takes a nasty spill off the partially-built roof as he and Dylan have a fight over whether Norma might discover Caleb’s in town. Caleb’s excuse of “You wouldn’t understand!” about his raping Norma is starting to wear thin. What is there to understand, really? Seems pretty clear-cut to me. Why doesn’t he explain it if it’s so damn complicated? Annndd…Caleb can’t go to the hospital because there’s a warrant out for him. Not a shocker either. Turns out, he admits it was terrible in that house where he and Norma grew up. They were two kids raising themselves, and they ended up as close as any two people can be. It happened for Caleb as it can happen in real life: he fell in love with his sister. But she didn’t feel the same way once she figured out he had those feelings. Sometimes it’s reciprocal, sometimes it’s not. Instead of leaving it alone and moving on, Caleb forced himself on her. Love on his side was no excuse; it was still rape. Wracked with guilt, all Caleb wants now is a chance to tell Norma he’s sorry. It’s not going to be that easy. It never is.

Dylan finds an intruder digging through the motel office, and I’m sure glad he’s still carrying his gun. Now Dylan’s got the added burden of protecting Norma and Norman, even though he’s not always there. Add in more jealous anger from Norman over secrets being kept from him, and this is only going to push him more over the edge. So much that Norman certainly will not stay the hell out of it; he follows Dylan back to the farm and discovers Caleb’s there. Oh shit.
“Is this what you two’ve been whispering about?”

“Sorry,” is way too little too late, Caleb.

This episode seemed a bit long to me, with a few things taking some time to play themselves out. One frustrating bit: Norman’s vision of his mother killing Sam has been dropped for now. I truly hope it gets revisited in a future episode because it’ll be a huge disappointment to me if it isn’t. The growing rift between Norma and Norman is pulling insistently at my heartstrings, and I can only guess what might happen between them after he tells his mother about Dylan and Caleb.

Four out of five: