Still haunted from last week’s standoff with Chick and Norma, where Chick threatened to spill Norma’s incest secret to the world (and her new husband)? Don’t worry, so is Norma, who can’t sleep and has to stop herself from calling Caleb. She tries to put her effort into life with Romero, walking in as he’s getting ready for work and sharing a sweet moment. “It’s funny, isn’t it? After everything, we’ve finally made it,” says Norma, who just wants to be HAPPY. Because she finally is! It feels like a dream to have a good life, and a good husband who actually cares about her.
Speaking of dreams, Norman is having his own dream, reliving his own trauma of being trapped in the box again. He’s in another therapy session, and Dr. Edwards is asking if he knows what happens when he blacks out. You see, sometimes when you have traumatic life experiences as a child, they disappear inside you. He tells Norman the person he spoke to at the end of last week’s session wasn’t him, but a version of his mother. Norman wants to know what Norma said, and Edwards wants to know if Norman was aware he was slipping into Norma!Trance. You can see that Norman WANTS to say no (god bless Freddie Highmore’s acting), but he admits that he was. Edwards tries to get him to talk about his early life, which they haven’t talked about much, but Norman can’t seem to remember much. Just that his dad was gone a lot, he spent a lot of time with his mother… you know, his life was normal. Right. Totally normal. (I do like that this season has specifically shown Norman making the real effort to get help because, like Norma realizing what she needs and has missed in her life, it’s going to make it that much more heartbreaking when the inevitable end comes.)
At a diner, Norma is getting some therapy of her own, meeting Chick, who asks if he thought about their talk. He wants Norma to admit to her sins (a.k.a. sex with her brother) — it’s a nice, calm conversation while ordering food, like you do. He claims she can’t accept her past and wants to know where Caleb is. He just wants to do him justice, you know? He’s not a nice person.
Dylan comes to visit Norman, who asks about Emma. Before Dylan can admit that they’re kind of a thing, Norman picks up on it… and strangely, he seems okay with it. He even says he’s happy, before changing the subject to ask what Dylan remembers about their real dad. He doesn’t remember much, only that he wasn’t nice to Norma. But hey, that was then. This is now! Norman’s getting better, his brother is happy… we don’t have to constantly live in our pasts and be haunted by them, right?
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When Dylan comes home, he talks with Norma about Emma, while Norma tells him about how good things are going with Romero. Look, a real mature relationship talk between Dylan and Norma! It makes me so happy. Turns out they still haven’t told Norman about Norma’s marriage; Norma’s reason is because “we’re very close, and he’s fragile.” In Dylan’s view (and the view of the world), making people fragile doesn’t always end well.
The conversation quickly veers into the awkward when he tells Norma he’s planning to move to Seattle with Emma and her dad. Like, soon. As in a few days from now. He promises he won’t disappear, but it can’t be easy for Norma to listen to this and not feel like her son is choosing a whole new family. Before Dylan leaves, Norma tries to ask him about Caleb, raising Dylan’s suspicions if nothing else as this is the second person today to ask about his father figures. Dylan tells Norma to leave him alone, but gives her a breadcrumb of the motel name that he used to work at.
NEXT: A window into your soul