“Norman, why do you care so much about who your mother might be sleeping with? Do you want to sleep with her?”
Thank you, James Finnigan, for asking Norman Bates the psychological question that needs asking on “Bates Motel.” The only problem? Asking the question took Norman’s obsession with his mother Norma to a whole new level.
It seems asking Freddie Highmore’s character that question in Monday’s (April 20) episode made him realize that, yes, he is physically attracted to his mother. And yes, that is why he’s so possessive of her. And yes, that’s why he not only is angry when she has relationships with men, but when women that he feels she disapproves of come on to him.
Except that realization didn’t make Norman address this as a problem and recover from it — he’s definitely too far gone for that. Instead he got even more possessive of Mother, and decided to come into her room while she was asleep and caress her bottom.
The physical elements of the relationship between Norman and Norma have been questionable for a long time now, though co-showrunner Kerry Ehrin insists that kiss between the two in the Season 2 finale wasn’t incestuous. But even though Norma is just emotionally close to her son, it’s clear that his mental instability is causing him to be unable to tell when he’s crossing the line — or maybe he knows he is, and just doesn’t care.
In last week’s episode Norman tried to become Norma, which is one way of trying to claim her all to himself. But that’s eventually not going to be enough. The possessive look on his face when she was sharing herself with Dylan, Caleb, Romero and Emma at dinner, combined with the way he stared at her body while she slept, prove that he is not going to rest easy if she continues to share herself with others in her life.
“The story is ultimately ‘how much can love conquer?’ You have these two characters who their relationship is fatally flawed, and that’s the essence of any tragedy,” co-showrunner Carlton Cuse recently noted to Zap2it. “And yet we’re hoping against hope that they can somehow stay together and keep what they have. That’s the dramatic tension that’s at the core of their relationship.”
It’s true; it’s hard not to root for Norman and Norma. But given the seemingly inevitable “Psycho” ending of “Bates Motel,” right now rooting for them means wanting Norma to send her youngest son as far away from her as possible.