After a night of highs with Bradley, Norman is sent crashing down to earth as he discovers that Norma has been arrested. His sense of guilt is not made any easier by a petulant Norma who doesn’t want anything to do with him and later throws a hissy fit after confronting him about being with Bradley while she was ‘rotting away’ in jail. Yeah, this isn’t the healthiest of parent/child relationships.
Dylan once again comes to Norman’s rescue, welcoming him to the “dog house” and offering him a way out from Mother with an invitation to live with him once he gets his place with the ocean view sorted out. Dylan represents a sense of hope for Norman but also uncertainty. Could Norman really cut the cord and leave Mother, is it even possible at this stage?
Either way the much-touted battle for Norman’s soul is well underway as Norma senses Dylan’s desire to turn Norman against her. But while that may be the case, Dylan has a point about her addiction to drama and I’m beginning to wonder how coincidental it is (certainly on a subconscious level) that she was drawn to a town that fuels her apparent need for mayhem.
In some respects, I was perhaps a bit hard on Shelby last time out, his intentions for Norma (however self-serving) seem genuine enough after he risked his career to steal the evidence and essentially get the case against her dropped. But with Norman and Emma finding the girl from his basement, our drama queen’s gratitude towards the deputy will surely be tested to the limit.
I found it interesting that even with the girl sitting right in front of her eyes and Emma acting as a second witness, Norma still refused to believe Norman’s tale of events. Part not wanting to believe the worst in Shelby, especially now, and part Norman’s history with seeing things that aren’t there, but I found her reaction telling.
In her defense, Norman wasn’t exactly pleased to learn that Shelby was behind her case being dropped so perhaps there was additional reason to doubt him, but it’s interesting that the the poor girl took a back seat to her own concerns. On a character level, her preparedness to overlook human trafficking because it’s inconvenient to her at this moment in time, however brief that reaction may or may not be, says a lot about Norma and her priorities. Will she claim some redemption points by revealing Shelby for what he is? Time will tell.
With Dylan taking mortal retribution against the guy who killed Ethan, even though he barely knew him, he now has something else in common with Norma besides their affection for Norman. I’m curious to see how this thread unfolds alongside the deliciously knotty Norma/Norman drama.
- Perhaps I’m going too far with the whole ‘Norman sees things that are not there’ thing, but with him constantly checking his phone and the fact that Bradley hasn’t replied to him makes me wonder.. did they really hook up? And then there’s his ‘memory’ of events, which could work in either direction.
- If they did ‘hook up’ (and they probably did), it’s interesting (and slightly troubling) to see Norman’s obsessive nature manifest when leaving a message for Bradley. It could be explained as ‘awkward teen’, but I can’t believe the intention behind that scene wasn’t to partly foreshadow a certain trajectory. Again, what’s cool about this show is that its various scenarios all seem to hold intriguing potential.
- I felt a bit sorry for Emma when Norman told her about him and Bradley. I guess Norman is being (awkwardly) “decent” but Emma’s reaction was interesting — wounded yet defiant in her belief that it was just a hook-up and nothing more. Looks like she’s not giving Norman up without a fight, question is, is she right? It will be interesting to see how Bradley reacts to Norman when they next meet up.
- Dylan murdering Ethan’s killer was certainly an interesting beat. While the two barely knew each other, I liked the bond they were forming (go figure, one of them dies) and felt there was enough within that to make his death impact Dylan in that way. One thing’s for sure, he’s his mother’s son.
- I’m conflicted over whether I really liked the staging of the final scene or whether it was too awkward. Ultimately, it’s probably a mixture of both, as while it could have been slicker there’s just so much to enjoy about Norma’s ‘seven stages of denial’ reaction.
- Did you notice the LOST Easter Egg in this episode?
9/10 Seriable Stars
To be continued…