Bates Motel: Norma’s downfall is near

James Dittiger / A&E
James Dittiger / A&E

Monday night’s Bates Motel, “The Deal,” featured Norma Bates in all her glory. From her complicated—and close—relationship with Sheriff Romero to her deep connections with her sons, Norma proved again she is the heart and soul of Bates Motel. 

The downfall of Norma Bates will be one of the most respected things I will see on television. It’s a slow downfall—a strong willed woman like Norma isn’t going to go down without a fight. Yet, this downfall will be incredibly well acted, well written and an immense pleasure to watch.

From Day 1 Norma has been trying her hardest. She moved to this town for a fresh start—to escape her husband’s death with her teenage son. She wanted to buy a motel and start her life over. Norman would go to school and she would run a motel. Norma would see her life as the picture perfect scenario that she dreamed about.

And if it were a perfect world, White Pine Bay would not run on a drug ring. Norma would buy the motel and it would be the bustling business that it was in the beginning of Season 2. Norman would date Emma and they would work at the motel together. Norma would fall in love with Sheriff Romero. Her life would be what she dreamed—and what we can clearly see if we remove all of the show’s insanity.

Yet, when she first moved to White Pine Bay, Norma was given a motel that needed remodelling. She was attacked and raped the first night by a man she did not know. She killed that man. Norma hid him in her new motel. She buried his body with her son. Later, Norma watched as the motel she once dreamed of slipped away because of a new bypass. She saw Norman fall into insanity and Dylan fall privy to a drug business. Norma did not get anything she wanted or worked for.

However, Norma Bates handled it all. She found a way and she is still continuing to find a way. This week, she marched over to Sheriff Romero’s house, almost at her breaking point, and demanded he take her to see Bob to make a deal. Norma has the USB drive that contains vital information to the illegal business in White Pine Bay—information that could get her killed. Everyone knows that nothing good will come out of this, but Norma did not budge. She has had enough. She does not have the money to get Norman the help he needs and to keep her business afloat—all of which would return her to that picture-perfect scenario mentioned before.

She told Romero everything that has happened since she moved in (and pulled at the heart strings of every Nomero fan out there). Norma accused Romero for treating her differently because she is a woman—which she was partially right to do. We know Norma is a firecracker and that she does need some protecting—being a woman or not—and Alex is trying to do that. Yet, Norma is not as fragile as we may think. She has survived a lot on these past three seasons. She isn’t ready to give up just yet.

We know the fate of Norma Bates. We know her outcome. But we have never seen how she reaches that point. Based on the chills I received when Vera Farmiga confronted Sheriff Romero, this will be one downfall to watch—and one for the Emmys to take note of.

Bates Motel airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on A&E.