Bates Motel Review: 3.6: Norma Louise


Bates Motel season 3 continued last night with another stand out episode. Of course the obvious water cooler moment was seeing Norman in full-on Norma mode. That was a good, creepy scene, and Dylan’s reaction was stellar. But, for me all the really great moments from this episode came from Norma herself, accept no imitations.

Norma was absolutely heartbreaking this episode. Her speech about The Giving Tree was one of the best moments of the entire series. The ending in which she turns and demands to go see Caleb was great. Norman and Dylan immediately realized it was a bad idea, but there was a sense of justice to it since they had driven her to this point. I felt terrified for Norman and Dylan, but my ultimate sympathies lied with Norma.

This was also a big episode for both Dylan and Emma. Although Norma and Norman are fascinating to watch, in many ways Dylan and Emma are the characters we’re most invested in because we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen to them. They provide a sense of hope. Of course, Emma’s illness affects the extent of this sense of hope, but there still might be some way in which she can get a sense of safety and be okay during her remaining time. She and Dylan growing closer and closer, bonding over being outsiders. It’s nice seeing this relationship form. When things get really bad with Norma and Norman, it would be nice for Dylan and Emma to, at the very least, have someone they can talk to about the situation who understands.

I was uncomfortable with Dylan apologizing to Caleb for Norma refusing to see him, just like I’ve generally been uncomfortable with how much Caleb has won Dylan over this past season. Those feelings were made even worse by the ending and I’m not sure what to make of it.


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Pop Culture Spin Managing Editor Lenny Burnham is a writer/comedian in New York City. He hosts the podcast The Filmographers.

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