Bates Motel Season 4 Episode 9: “Forever”
Directed by Tim Southam
Written by Carlton Cuse & Kerry Ehrin
Starring Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Nestor Carbonell, Olivia Cooke A&E
Air Date: Monday, May 9th, 2016, 9pm
Last week on Bates Motel, it was Norma (Vera Farmiga) who was the “unfaithful” one – to her new husband, to her son. Norman (Freddie Highmore) came home and Romero (Nestor Carbonell) had temporarily moved out, so she could ease Norman back in. There is awkwardness and tension between mother and son. Dylan and Emma (Max Thieriot and Olivia Cooke) went over for one last night before moving to Seattle. They all went to get a tree together, but Nora and Norman fought. He created a peephole in one of the motel rooms to spy on his mother and her husband. Rebecca got picked up by the DEA.
Bates Motel 3.9 “Forever” review: Alex stayed over and slept on the couch. They argue about Norman. He just doesn’t feel safe leaving her alone with Norman. Norman tries to pretend to be calm, but is irate and shares his anger with Dr. Edwards (Damon Gupton – who is completely fabulous). He talks himself down like he usually does, and lets the doctor know that Romero will leave once she starts in on her Norma way.
The Seattle group is packing to move. Emma gives Dylan an earring she found in Norma’s closet. Dylan’s look speaks volumes. He goes to meet Romero.
Alex: “I don’t think Norman should be out of the mental institution.”
Dylan: “You’re preaching to the choir.”
He wants Dylan to sign the commitment papers, but he’s not ready. He wants to try to talk to his mother first. We all know how that will go.
He confronts Norma about the earring. She immediately lies and he calls her on it. “You’ve never been a real mother to me.” Her response is to ask about the earring.
He hugs his brother and says goodbye. This is a really sweet moment between the brothers. Highmore retains an air of innocence about Norman that is genuine. Dylan tells him to check himself back in to Pinewood. Will he really get to escape death?
Norma and Norman share a very gentle moment – and is exactly the minute I think everyone is going to die.
Rebecca is freaking out at the DEA. She agrees to wear a wire to set up Romero. He is too smooth, Rebecca. She sits down next to him, and he figures out the wire immediately. I knew he would never fall for that.
Norma confronts him and he’s out.
Norman finds Emma’s mom’s suitcase. And opens it and remembers… something. Finding the robe means either he knows he killed Emma’s mom, or he thinks his mother did. He buries the suitcase.
She comes home and tells him she broke up with Romero and cries. He comforts her and seems genuinely sorry. She writes a note to Alex returning the ring. Mother and son talk in bed.
Norman wants to move away and start over. “Why are we both broken, Mother?”
Norman: “We are very charming people.” It is a loving, wonderful moment for the two of them. “Forever.” It is a little creepy – him singing to her to sleep, but it is how their relationship always has been and always will be. He turns on the furnace and closes all the vents except the one where they are sleeping. This scene was well-paced and intentional. Reminded me of “slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch…”
Romero goes there and finds them… It is too late.
She is dead. Or is she? Can we go a finale episode plus one whole season without live Norma? We know it is not the end of Farmiga as she also plays a version of Norma in Norman’s head, but she looked so still… so gone.
Do I have to wait an entire week to find out what happens?
This episode was bananas. The entire cast is golden, but a special shout-out to Nestor Carbonell for his raw grief over Norma.
The season finale of Bates Motel airs next Monday night at 9:00pm ET on A&E.
Bates Motel: Alex Asks Dylan for Help (S4, E9) | A&E
Alex appeals to Dylan to sign commitment papers to return Norman to Pineview in this scene from Season 4, Episode 9, “Forever.”