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Note to Writers of Other Shows: This is How You Write a Damn Love Story (Bates 3×09)

Image Source: A&E 

I swear if Norma and Alex don’t kiss by the end of this season; my TV will go flying out my window. How many times do their lips have to be almost touching for them to actually figure out they love each other? Bahhh. But before I write a page and a half on just one scene, let’s talk about some other aspects of the episode….

 

#Dylemma is Super Cute

Aww, the scene where Dylan went to go talk to Emma in her room was very cute and the admittance that she’s known about Caleb being Dylan’s father was so wonderful. Finally, there are some characters on this show that know how to tell the truth. I’m still not entirely sure Emma is completely admitting to herself that she likes Dylan. I think Emma is a super good person that doesn’t really want to hurt anyone….especially Norman who has become her best friend. But she’s spending her time leaving Dylan homemade brownies and worrying a whole lot about how she’s looks around him. And Dylan, when a girl comments on how bad she looks; you’re supposed to say she looks beautiful…..no matter what she actually looks like. It’s talking to women 101. And unfortunately they didn’t share a kiss even though the background music was indicating it could be a possibility. But don’t worry Dylemma fans, it could be worse….you could have to wait as long as Normero fans. Well, unless either Dylan or Emma die before they are able to kiss then yeah, that might be worse.

I do like that Dylan gave her father the money and tried to make it anonymous but damn, I would take the credit. He almost got his head blown off for that money. But just as sweet as that scene was, you know it may not turn out all lovely in the end. Caleb just sort of took that money from Chick after beating him senseless. By the way, there is no way in hell that Kozik could ever beat up Opie like that and that was all I was thinking about during that scene. Anyways, Caleb just took the money because “Chick screwed them over” which I don’t necessarily think is true. But he stole it….and know Emma’s dad is walking around with Chick’s stolen money. It’s also super convenient that Caleb is skipping town right after he (probably) started a war with Chick. From the moment we met him; Chick didn’t really seem like the person you’d want to mess with. So now Chick is going to come back with a vengeance and Dylan and Emma could get caught in the middle of it. Great, just great Caleb. Go away and stay away.

 

Caleb Tells Norma the Truth

Well Caleb finally spilled the beans to Norma about that super awkward encounter he had with Norman. Listen I’m not particularly mad at Norman for trying to check Caleb for raping his mom but I think we all had an issue with him turning into his mother to do it. We all looked at the scene this season…..you know the bathrobe scene in the kitchen and basically thought everything was going to go to hell and Norman is finally going over the deep end. But little did we know, Norman already dove off of the deep end in Season Two……oh and in Season One. Don’t you just love how Norman didn’t say anything when Bradley mentioned the night he told her he loved her? It’s because he didn’t remember anything and I whole-heartedly believe he was Norma in that moment.

Ah but I digress…..Caleb told Norma what actually went down that super creepy night and now Norma has no choice but to face what is happening to her son. All season, she’s been slowly coming to terms with the fact that Norman may actually need help. And Dylan! Pay attention! You’re the one who was spearheading this whole “let’s talk about Norman” thing. Please don’t leave your mother alone in the finale. I know you’re trying to get your flirt game on and Emma is really cute but don’t abandon Norma when she needs you the most.

 

That Conversation with Bob Paris

Bob Paris is quite possibly the best bad guy to set foot in White Pine Bay. He’s got a charming way about him and you just get the sense that he can get away with anything……like hunting women. (I’m still sticking to that theory). In the scene where Norma makes the deal with him about the bypass and the pool, you just know that it will not end there and it doesn’t. He has her followed, tortures James and pretty much turns Romero completely against her. He played Norma and he played Romero. Well done, sir. Not many people can say that they did that. But one of the most interesting lines of this scene was when Bob Paris said “You think I’m the bad guy but I think you’re much worse than me”. Of course everything that comes out of Bob Paris’s mouth is a complete strategic manipulation to get what he wants but it’s an interesting thought. She is in fact harboring a psycho killer though I’m not entirely sure she knows the extent of that yet. And we also got a nice chilling threat of Bob Paris asking Norma not to fall in her pool. I’m telling ya someone’s going in that damn pit. At this point I’m curious if it will be Bradley. Maybe Norman kills her and Norma has a convenient pit to fill. But let’s all be honest, we all know we want to see Bob Paris in that pit.

 

It’s All Coming Undone

In the first season of this show, we see Alex Romero as the calm, cool and collected Sheriff that has everything under control and this season has really put his hold on White Pine Bay to the test. Alex Romero has done some shady things to keep the people of White Pine Bay safe but now he just got played by Bob Paris big time. I think Romero’s strength before this season was that he really never cared about anyone too much. Things didn’t get complicated because he never let them get complicated. And after a season of falling head over heels for Norma; things are now complicated. Whether or not he admits it….the things Bob Paris told him got him insanely emotional so much that after he confronted Norma about it, he took the flash drive to the DEA. That decision really may not have been in his (or Norma’s) best interest and now, he might be the center of an investigation.

And man did that investigator mean business. She’s actually the first person to set foot in that Sheriff’s office that I feel may actually be a threat to Romero. In a very emotional moment, he gave away the flash drive incriminating his father and Bob Paris and probably signing a death certificate for Norma. Wow, that’s one crappy decision you’ve made. I just hope he can get his head back on right and deal with this whole situation the way that he always does but after that scene with Norma in his house, who knows what he’ll do next.

 

Bradley is a Goner

Okay so I really had to re-watch the entire episode before writing this segment. I mean, I always re-watch episodes before I write but I mean I really had to pay attention. Why? Because I really didn’t pay attention the first time around. I’m a little upset that it seems like the last two episodes of the season will focus so much on Bradley Martin. Now, I don’t hate Bradley. In the first season, I actually really kinda of liked her. She was a blonde beautiful popular girl in school that wasn’t a complete bitch. Her and Norman were actually quite lovely to watch together. But emo scary Bradley? Ugh. No thank you. There are so many other characters I would rather focus on at this point. However, I do understand that this plot is going to be crucial in Norman’s development. If he kills her and oh, I think he will….that will completely mean that “Norma” is starting to have way more control than we’d all like. Plus, if she’s the victim….it makes things better for Norma, Romero, Dylan and Emma. Yay! Go on Norman, you go ahead and kill Bradley.

Well, after watching this episode I do truly believe that Bradley is real…..I think. I feel like there were a lot of instances that seemed to show that she is actually there and not just a figment in Norman’s imagination. But at the same time, I still find it super hard to believe that he just happens to come upon her after running away from Vision Norma. This really could be a devil vs. angel on your shoulder scenario his mind is conjuring up. In any case, she tells Norman that she doesn’t want to be dead anymore and that she wants her old life back. They travel together to her house but she soon realizes that her mom has completely moved on. She has a new man in her life and the house is decorated completely different. Who could blame her? Her husband was murdered after having an affair and then her daughter murdered her husband’s employer and killed herself. I feel like I would need a fresh start too. I’m surprised she even stayed in that town. The one scene that I will admit really pulled on the heart strings was when Bradley saw that her room was turned into a gym. I know she’s supposed to be “dead” but that has to be tough for any child to see their parent completely forget about them (besides one picture in a living room) but this is all contingent on the fact that Bradley is actually real and physically there. Ugh this is so confusing.

At the end of the episode, we see Bradley make her choice about wanting to leave White Pine Bay and surprise! She wants Norman to come with her. If this really is Bradley, I must say I love that she does realize how much Norman’s done for her and how much she does care about him. They have a fairly tender moment with each other and finally begin to kiss. Okay so Dylan and Emma can’t kiss AND Norma and Romero can’t kiss? But these two? Oh sure, that’s just great writers. Thanks a lot. Well, this scene turned from a somewhat somber scene into a one way ticket to crazy town where Vision Norma or as the writers like to call her Borma (as in Bad Norma) is watching Norman and Bradley make out with each other. She encourages Norman to leave and go back to the house before he could actually have sex with Bradley. I must say two things about Borma; 1) she is very good at getting her point across and making her argument and 2) she always looks so damn fantastic in that dress. Get it girl.

So what will come of Bradley’s return? I have a feeling everything will come to fruition in the finale. My best guess is that Bradley will continue to ask Norman to run away with her and after the fact Norma will finally tell Norman he needs to get professional help. In fear that his mom has giving up on him he will leave town with Bradley but on the road to the outskirts of town, “Norma” will appear and kill Bradley before she can fully take Norman away. Norman and “Norma” (or real Norma) then buries Bradley in the pit. By golly, I think that’s a pretty damn accurate prediction.

 

Norma’s Decision

Throughout this episode we keep getting little tidbits of information that Norma has no choice but to face the truth about Norman. Hell, throughout the whole season we’ve been experiencing the show more through Norma’s eyes than Norman and I believe this season is truly about Norma finally coming to terms with who Norman really is. We’ve seen her get closer with Romero and Dylan in particular and see that there is a life outside of protecting Norman. She is internally struggling with “giving up on her son” (no matter what it actually is that’s how she sees it) and keeping her sanity intact.

Dylan told Norma about Norman becoming “Norma” and so did Caleb. Now she has two eye witness accounts from people she probably really does trust. She already knows about his blackouts and the terrible moods he’s been in all season long. And in that final scene with Romero, she even admitted (somewhat) the truth about what happened with Sam.

The scene that really sticks out to me is when Norma was cleaning up all of Norman’s taxidermy. She is doing literally everything possible in order to ensure her son’s safety. As much as Norma Bates is legendary for being a “bad mother”, I must say she really could earn a mother of the year award because of the lengths she’s willing to go in order to make sure her son won’t be hurt. But the chilling moment in this scene is when Norman expresses the possibility that he didn’t actually kill Sam….and that it was Norma all along. Gasp. This poor woman has dealt with so much because of Norman and now it’s going to get worse. Norman’s mind is telling him that it is in fact his mother who does these terrible things. He is slowly but surely convincing himself that he is innocent in all of this. In his mind, his mother is the evil villain but he protects her because he loves her. And that is the exact way that Norma views Norman. Coincidence? I think not. He is completely mixing up his delusions of who is actually responsible for these terrible things with reality and that is one of the most dangerous things that could happen.

It all seems to come down to Norma actually making a decision about Norman’s future. All signs do point to the fact that Norma will in fact make the right decision but you can never tell. Her love for Norman is so strong that she may settle for just protecting him than helping him. And these two things are not the same in her eyes. This is why it is crucial that Dylan and Romero have her back at this point. I have an awful feeling that Dylan will be too wrapped up in other parts of his life that he will leave Norma to make this difficult decision by herself. Like she always has had to do before. She needs someone to lean on and it’s terrifying after such an emotional season where she’s finally depending on other people that said people won’t be there.

 

That Scene

We all know what my favorite moment of the episode will be and now I will go into a crazy and lengthy explanation of why. Not only are Norma and Romero quite possibly the best damn characters on this show but Nestor and Vera are such amazing actors. The chemistry between them has literally made the writers change their storylines in order to give them all of these electrifying and passionate scenes with one another. These two are completely captivating no matter what their scenes with each other entail but this really pushed their storyline over the edge.

On the surface, Norma and Romero have always been competing for control. Given her history with Norman, Norma is very good at getting her way and making things work for her and her family. At the same time, Romero is the same exact way. He is used to running everything in White Pine Bay the way he wants to and he never lets anyone get in his way. Many scenes between the two deals with them giving each other snippy and almost always harsh comments to let the other know that they are in fact in charge of the situation. They desperately need to be in control.That was no different in this scene. Even in the beginning of this scene they both told each other that they hate the other. Ah, it’s a fine line between love and hate isn’t it?

Well, the difference between these two characters is their emotional reactions to situations. Norma has an emotional breakdown almost every other episode and I don’t really mean that in a bad way. She completely deserves to have a good screaming and crying session with all of the shit that she has to deal with. If I had gone through the amount of stuff she has; I’d be in an insane asylum banging my head against a padded wall. But Romero is completely different. You don’t see emotion come from him. He is stoic and very guarded. The fact that he called her beautiful two episodes ago was one of the most shocking things he’s ever said. Romero admitted that he thought Norma was beautiful? Damn, you know he’s drunk. Well, the problem with their current situation is that now the walls that Romero has to guard himself are coming down and Norma’s walls are going up. The closer they get to one another, the more Norma realizes that she needs to protect Norman. No matter how much she trusts Alex, she will never betray her son. She already told one man the truth and it blew up in her face big time. And all of these walls she is now putting up really hurts Romero. Do you know what it takes for Romero to be sweet? He relied on her when he was drunk, ate dinner with her family and went out of his way to get her old car back. In Romero’s world that basically him saying; “Hey miss, I’d really like to spend the rest of my life with you”. As soon as Romero found out she confided in another man but refused to tell him the truth, he actually got hurt and reacted in maybe not such a great way giving the flash drive over to the DEA.

Well after seasons of all the bickering, Romero and Norma fell in love with each other. There wasn’t a particular moment when it happened; it just happened. Norma is completely torn between protecting her sons and fully giving into Romero and trusting him with her and her son’s lives. Romero is torn between living the life he’s lived all this time and putting Norma and her sons before anything else. Given their control freak nature, it’s proven to be quite a difficult decision to make.
Well, Romero gave the DEA the flash drive and Norma was crushed. As much as she realized he was upset with her, she never thought he would betray her like that. Now that he doesn’t have the flash drive anymore, what’s to stop Bob Paris from going after Norman or actually killing Norma? The one man she really thought she could trust just betrayed her in one of the biggest ways imaginable. On the other hand, that’s exactly how Romero felt when she lied to him on her front porch. God, this is so tragic.

Well after that little information came out, the scene exploded. Romero was the most heartbreaking part of the scene for me. After Norma asks him how he could do such a thing to her, he genuinely looks a little upset and possibly realized that he made a mistake (damn you Bob Paris!!). Even before when he just looks exhausted trying to keep the whole town together….it does seem like quite a hard job to put on one man’s shoulders. But as Norma tries to leave, he grabs her and pins her to the wall demanding that she tells him the truth. For the audience, this was a huge moment. This is the first time we see Romero actually release some sort of emotion. Tears are welding in his eyes as he watches Norma over and over again try to take the fall for Norman. She is finally honest with him. The words don’t necessarily come out of her mouth but it is clear that Norman killed Sam. Then, bam! Norma loses her shit. She starts smacking the living crap out of Romero. Now this part of the scene could be taken many ways. She could be furious that Romero betrayed her. She could be furious that he finally got to see her emotionally naked or she could just be getting out her frustrations of dealing with Norman all this time. I happen to think it’s a little bit of all three. Romero lets Norma smack the shit out of him and allows himself to be her punching bag. He then pins her back to the wall and they share one of the most gut-wrenching, sensual and heartwarming moments. There were so many emotions that came out in that scene and in the final seconds, you see both Romero and Norma completely vulnerable with one another. They spend the final moments of the scene breathing into one another possibly really giving into the other one until Norma realizes once again that he betrayed her. She storms out and Romero looks like the most crushed human being ever.

There has been so much tension between Norma and Romero that it had to boil over at some point and this is not only my favorite scene of the episode but my favorite scene of the season. These two actors knocked it out of the park and really went for it. Nestor and Vera both decided that they didn’t want the production staff to hide any of the violence they had towards each other. They needed to show how much their character loves the other by how furious they get when they are forced to be honest with the other. When asked why in the hell Romero and Norma did not kiss in that moment Kerry Ehrin said “They still have huge trust issues. And they’re starting to peel away a little bit of that. With two people like this, when they finally do cross the line……it’s going to be so fucking amazing…..it makes me cry just thinking about it.” Me too girl, me too.

 

Looking onward to the finale, there are so many things that need to be tied up. The show has released an official synopsis:

 

“Norma (Vera Farmiga) hits a breaking point with Norman’s (Freddie Highmore) issues; Emma (Olivia Cooke) has a surprising reaction to seemingly positive news; Romero (Nestor Carbonell) seals his fate in the town by finally choosing sides; and Caleb (Kenny Johnson) makes a decision that will uproot his new life.”

 

It seems like my prediction with the Norma/Norman/Bradley situation could actually be coming true. And because of the wording, I am very nervous about Emma. What do you mean “seemingly” positive news? That’s what you get Dylan for giving her stolen gun money! Honestly, Dylan, I love ya and all but think!!! And boo, I thought there was a slight possibility Caleb would be gone for the finale. Oh well, maybe Caleb kills Chick Hogan or Bob Paris which might land his behind in prison. Maybe he’ll try to kill Norman. I don’t really know….he’s kind of all over the place and not very predictable. And for god’s sake, if the side Romero chooses does not somehow include Norma, I am literally going to lose my marbles.

Though it does seem like Bradley is the most likely victim for the finale…..I can’t really say anyone else is particularly safe. Well, except for Norman. We know he lives. But other than that, all of the other characters seem to be in some deep shit. Emma is possibly going to have a (I would assume) very dangerous surgery to fix her life threatening disease with stolen gun money. Dylan and Caleb were the main culprits in said stolen gun money. Norma has little to no value to Bob Paris anymore and Romero may put himself in the line of fire for that reason alone. Plus, who knows who could be in the wrong place at the wrong time if Norman snaps? Which I’m assuming he will do. The episode is titled “Unconscious” for goodness sake. I don’t know if that is referring to Norman or Norma (seems like she might be in some trouble once Norman pushes her down the stairs). But I really hope it’s not Norma. I’d be pretty pissed if Norma spent the entire finale lying on the floor asleep. Just saying.

 

Best Quote:

Norman: But you know who really doesn’t look so good in all of this? You, mother. Now don’t take this the wrong way okay? I will always love you. You are the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and you are the last thing I think about at night. And I have always taken your word for it when you tell me that I do these things I can’t remember. But I’m not the one rummaging around in the basement. I’m not the one sleeping with their therapist. You can see how these things can get confusing, mother. It makes me wonder.

Norma: Makes you wonder what?

Norman: How do I know it wasn’t you who killed my father?

 

Chills, just chills.

 

Best Moment:

#Normero…..See Above.

 

Worst Moment:

It’s really hard to choose given this was such a solid episode. As much as I would like to say something with Bradley and Norman, I do believe their whole storyline this episode is very important. I guess I’ll go with when Dylan took the gun money. I love that Dylan is doing whatever he can to save Emma but I just have a really bad feeling this is going to bite him in the ass.

 

Side Notes: 

  • When shooting the Bradley/Norman make out scene with Borma creepily watching, Freddie Highmore could not stop laughing and it took forever to get through.
  • When asked about the upcoming Norma/Romero scene; Vera Farmiga claimed “Floyd and Manny got nothing on us”
  • After shooting the same emotional fight scene, Vera Farmiga’s hand was bruised while Nestor Carbonell’s face didn’t have a mark on it. That man must exfoliate regularly.
Which character won't survive the finale?

 

One thought on “Note to Writers of Other Shows: This is How You Write a Damn Love Story (Bates 3×09)

  1. So many incredible moments in this episode, but I have to agree with you – that scene with Norma and Romero literally took my breath away and made my heart stop beating for a moment. Such brilliant acting and so much powerful emotion was exploding when these two dynamic characters took the spotlight. Woah. That’s all I can say. Your prediction for the finale is chilling, not because I know what’s going to happen, but because I never would have thought of that, but it seems so correct! I’m so nervous about the finale. :/

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