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‘Bates Motel’ Recap: ‘Forever’

Published on May 9th, 2016 | Updated on May 18th, 2016 | By FanFest

How could Bates Motel get any more intense than this episode? ‘Forever’ proved to be one of the finest episodes of the season and what’s even better is that it served as a recommittment ceremony between Norma and Norman.

With Alex putting the pressure on Norma to see Norman for the troublesome soul that he is, the entire Bates-Romero family dynamic implodes. Now with Norman back in the picture, Norma is forced to make concessions that she didn’t even have to think about before. In doing so, she recognizes that Alex just doesn’t fit her idea of family which, up until this point, has always and only ever included Norman.

As Norma finds herself making excuses for Alex and his presence in her life, she comes to the realization that being married puts her in a situation where Norman must come second. The problem with that is she needs Norman to be front and center. This isn’t merely because he’s her son and has mental health issues that need to be addressed. It’s also because she and Norman are essentially trapped by each other.

Norma and Norman can’t exist as their true selves without the other present. At one point Norma even tells Alex that she and Norman are two parts of the same person. I would venture to guess Alex’s eyes were opened up just a bit wider by this statement and it prompts him to fight harder for Norma’s freedom.

So, what we have in this episode is two men (Norman and Alex) fighting to be able to claim Norma as their own. In this instance, Norman wins in spite of the fact that Alex tries to get Dylan on his side of the boxing ring. But Dylan isn’t (and has never been) an effective tool against Norma’s hard-headedness and she runs him right over with her unbridled love for Norman. She will stop at nothing to keep Norman close even if it means hurting her other child and putting doubts in Norman’s mind about Dylan’s intentions.

Ultimately, Norma chooses to part ways with Alex to save her relationship with Norman. Even before she makes the decision, Norman knows which route she’ll choose. He even gives Dr. Edwards a rundown of how the entire Norma/Alex relationship will break down. He’s seen it all before with countless other men and he’s always been there to pick up the pieces. It’s what he’s counting on and, sure enough, Norma runs to him the moment she severs ties with Alex. This is what Norman lives for.

In the end, once they’ve come to the obvious (to us) realization that they simply can’t be without each other, Norman and Norma reaffirm their connection. “We’re supposed to be together, aren’t we Norman?” Norma says.

But of course, they are. They’re two halves of the same whole…

With that idea in mind, Norman sets a plan in motion. He cranks up the furnace, shuts the vents, and gets into bed with Norma. And he waits for eternity to claim them.

But there’s a hitch: Alex shows up (sans superhero cape) and saves the day. In his panic to save Norma from certain death, Alex breaks down emotionally and Norman finally gets a glimpse of how much he truly does care for his mother.  

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