Category Archives: Season 3 Episode Reviews

S3ep10 “Unconscious”

Original air date: May 11, 2015.

I’m going to warn you right now: this post is going to be on the long side.

Here we are again at the Bates Motel season finale, and I don’t know if I’ve had this much of a jumbled bunch of conflicting emotions about the end of any series’ season. The finales of seasons 1 and 2 mainly had me sad they were over and full of excitement for the next one 10 months later. This one, it’s a more complicated mix of nervousness, sadness, fear, excitement, hope, regret, and even relief. I’ll try to explain more, the best I can:

Relief, hope and excitement: These are mostly tied to this fan blog. This is the first season I’ve been going into and reviewing as I’m seeing it for the first time, and I almost feel relieved I won’t have to blog around the new episode’s air date anymore. The first two seasons: I’d already seen all the episodes several times, and I know these reviews for season 3 have a different vibe partially because I’ve been reacting to them in real time. I have a good handful of posts and other things I want to make and publish here over the next 10 months, and it’ll be so much easier around my own schedule. I’m going to spend very little time mourning the end of season 3, in reality. I’m going to throw myself into writing and this site, ’cause that’s what I do. So yeah, hope and excitement for that.

Fear and nervousness: I just want Norma to stay alive by the end of this episode. Not a whole hell of a lot to ask. If it had to be between her and any of the secondary characters, any of them could take a dirt nap far as I’m concerned. If that’s what it came down to.

Regret: Norman and Norma deserved better and deserved more, story-wise, in this season. My honest opinion and I’m not apologizing for it. Yes, I fall into that camp, and any of you dear readers should be well aware of that if you follow this blog (or my Tumblr) at all :) I regret the writers didn’t feel the need to delve more into Norman’s worsening spiral into madness, drove a wedge between him and Norma that was out of proportion with the supposed reasons for it, and spent so much time on the side stories that mostly meandered out after two to three episodes. *sigh I really hope that last trend doesn’t continue. For the record: I don’t regret anything I’ve done, fan-blog-wise. I tend not to do regret like that; I try to only regret things I DON’T do.

So that’s where I stand going into S3ep10 “Unconscious.” Interestingly, it was originally called “The Psycho” according to the Wikipedia episode listing. I take it as a somewhat hopeful sign that Norman will end up simply unconscious rather than completely lost to psychosis at the end of this season. At least that’s what I hope will happen.

In the beginning of “Unconscious,” Caleb’s leaving town and has left his guitar for Dylan. Bye-bye, Caleb. Try to stay out of trouble; you’ve got some good points, but some others: not so much. See ya. The shot of Dylan alone in the woods where Caleb used to be camped out is sad, though. I do feel for Dylan. Except for Emma, he seems more alone now than ever. And who knows how much time she’s got left..

Norma’s thinking of sending Norman to Pineview, similar to the mental hospital where Bradley spent some time in Season 2. Um, it wasn’t very effective for her…I have a feeling that situation would be even more explosive for Norman. That scene of Norma looking in on him sleeping would be sweet, if it didn’t carry a sense of foreboding.
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Bradley’s gone, apparently took off out of the motel room window to avoid being seen. Norman had to know this was still going to happen, regardless of what they did the night before. Time for her to move on. It’s terrible what happened to her, but it’s no longer his problem. It’ll just bring more trouble otherwise.

Norma meanwhile heads to Pineview, which looks like a pretty damn fancy mansion on the outside. It’s not bad on the inside either. Unfortunately, it’s going to take a doctor’s diagnosis, insurance and some pretty hefty pricing. Not easy or even feasible at all. Now I’m suddenly really in despair for Norman; is there no hope of him ever getting the help and treatment he needs? They need a miracle, or at least a guardian angel, for this to ever happen…

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Dylan and Emma aren’t getting much better news, between Caleb leaving without saying good-bye and the hopeful-but-scary idea that Emma will get the lung transplant she so desperately needs–even with being moved up the list. She ends up at Dylan’s cabin after taking off, scared of what could go wrong with the surgery.

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“You’re a freakin’ warrior.”

It does happen for these two, and I’m happy for them.

Bradley’s out of the motel but not out of town, as she robs and then trashes her mother and stepfather’s place–what was once the house she grew up in but has now been erased from. I have a feeling she’s going to get caught, either by a witness or by security cameras. And unwisely goes back to the motel room, with the delusion that Norman’s going with her. Um, he never said that about being afraid of Norma..

“I just don’t know how I can leave her.”

Yes, it was stupid–the whole thing with James. I have to give it to Norma for facing the scary truth, finally, about Norman’s blackouts that are getting worse. imageimage She doesn’t lie to him or hide it from him where she was, some honesty she could’ve used earlier in this season. It is the opposite of giving up on him, but he doesn’t see it that way.

When I think this couldn’t get any sadder or hopeless, Norma locks up the motel office by herself, on a very lonely-seeming night. Oh shit, here comes Romero. There’s just no getting rid of him, even after the spectacular fight where he said he was DONE with the Bates family and anyone else in this town. If only he’d stuck to that. But no, this HAS to be written in, even though there’s no logical reason for his change of heart. Ugh. So he’s not apologizing, but he’s sorry he couldn’t protect them, blah, blah, blah. Whatever. Doesn’t change a goddamn thing. But there’s a bright spot here: all Norma’s focused on and all she cares about is Norman. As it should be. Yeah, thanks for stopping by, now hit the road. Again.

Parris takes off to his boat after Romero tips him off about the DEA raid. The two of them have their own quiet version of a stand-off, and Parris isn’t going to be allowed to leave that easily. And he’s not going to be anyone’s problem anymore. Am I the only one who thought for a minute that Parris was going to shoot Romero? And the deepest, darkest part of my Jungian shadow-self would’ve smiled.

An even worse and more heart-stopping showdown is going on between Norma and Norman. Oh no, this is so awful the way he’s coming unglued and what he’s saying to her! They CAN’T separate; why the hell is Norma saying that?! 1,211 words in and I’m starting to cry. I had to stop and walk away for a little while, again. As if this wasn’t horrible enough, Norma knocks him unconscious and drags him to the basement. Echoing what she really did to his father, maybe?

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Norman wakes up with his hands and ankles tied up, locked in the basement. Dylan thankfully shows up after she calls him, only to find Norman’s escaped with Bradley. Norma gets the truth about Bradley being alive, and yeah they need to go find him–the sooner the better. I really hope that shitbox of a car doesn’t last long. As in not longer than five minutes. Bradley soon gets a first-hand experience with the version of Norma than surfaces in Norman. Awesome twist how he morphs into her while pulling open the car door! I do love that.

“Mother, what have you done?”

Bradley gets the same watery grave as Marion Crane. As will anyone who tries to take Norman away from his mother.

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“You would’ve died out there in the world. I would’ve died. There’s a cord between our hearts. Remember?”

If that cord ever breaks, both of them will start bleeding inside, bleeding to death. That’s more from that same Jane Eyre scene. Together forever. Now it’ll be 10 months until the real Norma and his brother catch up to Norman, standing on that boat ramp. Somehow, it’s enough. It’ll have to be. If you guessed I just went to iTunes and got that original version of “Be My Baby,” you know me pretty well by now :)

Well, I got what I wanted. Norma’s still alive. Bradley’s not, but..I have to say, largely collateral damage and I’m not surprised. It’s anyone’s guess what’s going to become of Norma’s and Norman’s relationship–what’s left of the shreds of it–when she finds him and discovers what he’s done. This finale ending isn’t as insanely heart-stopping as the season 2 finale. Then again, I don’t think much of anything could be. But I have to say it makes a valiant effort. The parallels to Psycho I are cool, and..I don’t really have much else to say about that.

I’m wracking my brain trying to sum up what I think of this whole third season, without rehashing what I’ve already said in past reviews. I still don’t think the two leads got the quite the storyline attention they deserved, but the finale did bring some redemption in this regard. I could venture some guesses about what could happen with the battle to get Norman into a mental hospital, but I think the show could get some of its edge back if that twisted off in an unexpected direction. And it does need some more of that intense-mother-son-relationship-edge back. Throughout the season, not left ’til the last half of the last episode. For its effort, “Unconscious” gets a respectable 3.75 out of 5:
3hearts

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This could be the point were I say good-bye until Season 4. But…I’m not going anywhere. Remember that I said I started this blog to keep myself from going psycho-insane myself during the 10-month wait. It works, and I hope it helps for all of you too. The world’s just more interesting with Norma and Norman Bates in it.