Previously on Bates Motel, “Refraction”
The highlight of this episode should have been someone besides Norma or Dylan finally seeing how ill Norman is, but it wasn’t. Dr. Edwards officially diagnoses Norman with Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.) and told him that when he blacks out, he’s actually walking around as his mother, interacting with people as Norma. Later, in a session, Norman recalls being under the bed when his father raped his mother. He reached from under the bed to hold Norma’s hand through the ordeal. This might be the event that caused his mental break and would explain his inappropriate sexual feelings for Norma and why Norman as Norma tries to eliminate any woman who shows feelings for him. While all of this is a huge development, it was Norma, battling her instincts to sabotage something good in her life, that made this episode captivating.
Chick makes his demand clear: Either Norma helps him find Caleb, or he will tell everyone that she had sex with her brother and gave birth to his child. This will damage not just Norma’s reputation, but her new husband’s as well.
When Norma asks Dylan if he’s heard from Caleb, he warns her to leave it alone. Everyone is in a good place: She’s happy with Romero, Norman is in therapy, and he’s moving to Seattle to be with Emma and start a legitimate job. He begs his mother not to do anything that would jeopardize their happiness. Still, Norma does call Caleb. He’s genuinely happy to hear from her, and explains that leaving was to protect Caleb. He’s pleased to learn everyone is doing well, and tells her that he loves her. Is this enough to keep Norma from turning him over to Chick? The audience isn’t sure at this point.
It’s after she confesses her love to Romero, and he returns it, that I thought she was definitely going to give in to Chick’s threats. She wouldn’t risk losing this happiness or hurting Romero for Caleb. Yet, that’s exactly what she does. After she yells at Chick and kicks him out of her house, Norma confesses the sexual relationship, the rape, and Dylan’s parentage to Romero. She tearfully tells him to pack his bags.
“Okay,” he replies, “where are we going?”
Of course, Romero wasn’t so forthcoming with his own secrets and demons, like the fact that he killed Bob Paris and does, in fact, have the key to the safety deposit box, but it really wasn’t the right moment for that. I’m just pleasantly surprised that Norma was honest and admitted that it’s her love for him that drove her to go against her typical self-destructive ways.
Bates Motel S4E6 = 10/10