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S05.E10: The Cord

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He still had his memories. and with the loss of the "Mother" construct and realizing he killed his mother...his psychosis took him back to the last time he was truly happy.....when and his mother only had each other...when he and Norma first arrived in White Pine Bay to start anew.....

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It was so sad to look back at the pilot, to a time when Norman still had the potential for a healthy life away from his abusive mother...and then be brought back to the present, broken beyond repair Norman who has no chance at all left.  Norman and Dylan's final faceoff did relate back to their second episode fight when Norman came at him with a meat cleaver.  Poor Dylan, having to watch those two body bags be carried down the long, winding steps down to the bates motel.  I'm so glad that he and Emma got their survivors ending.  

I'm glad asshole romero and his OTT violence was done away with early on; it was never about him.  Norman came of age in a town ripped apart by violence, where his mother, brother, friends at school (bradley), the town sheriff...all murdered people, where a human trafficking ring and rival drug gangs that kidnapped and disappeared people were a reality; not a good place for someone already deeply traumatized by their childhood.  

I definitely didn't catch the Jaio cameo, and it is kind of ridiculous to only treat her survival to a 2 second reveal.   I could stand the Remo cameo because it related back to Dylan (and I was wondering if muffin boy would be with him...I think his name was hunter?)

Edited by Glade
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6 minutes ago, Glade said:

 I definitely didn't catch the Jaio cameo, and it is kind of ridiculous to only treat her survival to a 2 second reveal.   I could stand the Remo cameo because it related back to Dylan (and I was wondering if muffin boy would be with him...I think his name was hunter?)

I didn't catch that was her, I just noticed some Asian realtor showing the motel.  That was a cool reveal.

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1 hour ago, Bec said:

 

 

43 minutes ago, Gizmo321 said:

He still had his memories. and with the loss of the "Mother" construct and realizing he killed his mother...his psychosis took him back to the last time he was truly happy.....when and his mother only had each other...when he and Norma first arrived in White Pine Bay to start anew.....

 

I understand he has memories. But how do I know mother wasn't responding back to him?

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Norman tried to kill himself twice before this, only to be stopped by outside forces. I guess forcing Dylan's hand was the only way he could finally find his own twisted peace.

Thank goodness Dylan lived, though! Like a lot of you, I was talking to him from the time he rolled into the motel parking lot, scared he wouldn't make it out alive, upset for poor Emma, and dreading what was going to happen when he went in that house.

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1 minute ago, Living Dead said:

 

 

I understand he has memories. But how do I know mother wasn't responding back to him?

Are you referring to the scene of them in the car coming into WPB?

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2 hours ago, Dobian said:

Integration generally happens when a psychiatrist works with a patient to make it happen, it doesn't usually happen on its own.  A personality can go dormant for a long time, but it's still there and separate.  Most DID people don't want to be integrated, they are functional as multiple personalities, keep diaries, leave notes for each other, etc.  Of course, Norman was far from a functional DID person.  But I'm okay with Norma integrating back into Norman given the circumstances, it was necessary for the conclusion.

I agree, but I have heard of cases where integration of some personalities happened without the therapist's intervention.  True, the person was under care psychological care so framework had been laid, and the personality followed others in the same body who had been successfully integrated which freed them from a lot of that fear that they would die or cease to exist.   But, this was a work of fiction. And the source material had been written long before there was much information about DID, so...it worked for the show, I thought.

Edited by smorbie
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1 minute ago, smorbie said:

I agree, but I have heard of cases where integration of some personalities happened without the therapists intervention.  True, the person was under care psychological care so framework had been laid, and the personality followed others in the same body who had been successfully integrated which freed them from a lot of that fear that they would die or cease to exist.   But, this was a work of fiction. And the source material had been written long before there was much information about DID, so...it worked for the show, I thought.

Right. When Ed Gein was caught, they knew about his mother and they knew he was mentally ill but I do not believe DID was a diagnosis yet. I mean Psycho was written almost fifty years ago. The mental health field was no where near as advanced as it is today.

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1 minute ago, smorbie said:

I don't even remember, do people consider Gein a multiple?

Kind of, the official diagnosis was schizophrenia which in those days encompassed multiples. Complexity? We need a ruling on the field.

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Talk about going out with a bang!  That was fantastic. 

I cried like a baby when Dylan came to the hotel and confronted Norman.  I was worried he was going to kill himself afterwards, so I was glad to see him and Emma happy together in the end. 

No surprise about Romero.  Even if he had succeeded in killing Norman, I suspect he was planning on killing himself as well. 

Nice to see Remo again. 

So long Bates Motel.  I miss you already.

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Yeah, I think Romero was gone already.  he just didn't want to live anymore.

1 hour ago, Glade said:

It was so sad to look back at the pilot, to a time when Norman still had the potential for a healthy life away from his abusive mother...and then be brought back to the present, broken beyond repair Norman who has no chance at all left.  Norman and Dylan's final faceoff did relate back to their second episode fight when Norman came at him with a meat cleaver.  Poor Dylan, having to watch those two body bags be carried down the long, winding steps down to the bates motel.  I'm so glad that he and Emma got their survivors ending.  

I'm glad asshole romero and his OTT violence was done away with early on; it was never about him.  Norman came of age in a town ripped apart by violence, where his mother, brother, friends at school (bradley), the town sheriff...all murdered people, where a human trafficking ring and rival drug gangs that kidnapped and disappeared people were a reality; not a good place for someone already deeply traumatized by their childhood.  

I definitely didn't catch the Jaio cameo, and it is kind of ridiculous to only treat her survival to a 2 second reveal.   I could stand the Remo cameo because it related back to Dylan (and I was wondering if muffin boy would be with him...I think his name was hunter?)

Gunner.  And words cannot describe how stupid I thought that story line was.

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2 hours ago, Bec said:

I did wonder whether Emma called the sheriff (in which case they took their sweet time showing up) or if Dylan called the sheriff after he killed Norman. I guess it's not too important for us to know this little detail.

I feel like for me the only real sour note was Emma's reaction to knowing that Dylan was going in there.  I mean I feel like people I wouldn't even know I would beg not to go in there. And I know she didn't want to give him closure but it came off like she didn't care about him by not saying she loved him.   Had I not been spoiled and knew how it would turn out for Dylan I would have wondered if that was the end of their relationship.  

I thought Dylan was firm but gentle with the mother staying in the motel. It really could have panicked her had he worded it differently.  So typical of Dylan to be concerned for others first.  I wasn't sure what the point of any of that was though. Other than the son was named Dylan. For a while there I thought it was going to turn out to be part of a hallucination. 

I feel a little bad for Romero but he absolutely was a bad man. And his failure to really keep that town under control lead to Norma's rape and her basically being blackmailed by Zach Shelby... not to mention all the people he killed. I suppose he was supposed to be morally ambiguous but he sure was a lot worse than Sam Loomis. 

When Dylan spotted the blonde hair at the table and hadn't seen the face, I wondered if he thought he would find Madeline Loomis there and or dead. 

Since Dylan is now the only heir (and he kind of got cheated out of his inheritance anyway) he probably got the full proceeds from the hotel and house.  Nice college fund for his little girl. 

Originally when I thought I saw only one body bag coming out I thought that they gave themselves some wiggle room to have a sequel. Norman wasn't killed he was just injured. But when they showed the gravestone... well.

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1 hour ago, Living Dead said:

I understand he has memories. But how do I know mother wasn't responding back to him?

We saw Mother tell Norman that he knew everything and she couldn't protect him anymore and basically ride off into the sunset.

Undeterred, Norman tried another way to escape harsh reality: pretend that he's at a happier time when real!Norma was still alive. Even though he knows on one level that Norma's dead and he set up her body to act as her at dinner, he was hoping to live in that charade. Dylan wouldn't let him, and then he became suicidal.

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3 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

Kind of, the official diagnosis was schizophrenia which in those days encompassed multiples. Complexity? We need a ruling on the field.

I honestly don't know offhand. I don't remember Gein ever being diagnosed with DID. I think I would have remembered that. There are a number of disorders under the schizophrenic spectrum, and my first guess would be that he would have been diagnosed with one of those disorders.

I have a copy of the DSM-1 which was published in 1952. I'll look through it to see if DID was in there in one form or another.

Edited by Complexity
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Okay, I looked through the DSM-1 and found no reference to multiple personalities at all. Therefore, DID (by any name) was not documented as a psychiatric disorder at the time which means Gein could not possibly be given that as a diagnosis.

The DSM-1 is online for anyone who wants to look at it: DSM-1 (pdf)

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9 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

 

I'll miss you peacheslatour, as much as this show! But I can PM you, and I'm always on Supernatural!

Mick calls this place Pre-Wop! I posted there, on TWoP, and on Mighty Big TV!

I loved the ending. Thought it was perfect. Didn't mind the plot holes at all! Sometimes you just have to go with it. As Chuck says on Supernatural, endings are hard! You always disappoint somebody! I'm just glad Dylan and Emma got their happy ending!

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4 hours ago, BooBear said:

...

I feel a little bad for Romero but he absolutely was a bad man. And his failure to really keep that town under control lead to Norma's rape and her basically being blackmailed by Zach Shelby... not to mention all the people he killed. I suppose he was supposed to be morally ambiguous but he sure was a lot worse than Sam Loomis. 

When Dylan spotted the blonde hair at the table and hadn't seen the face, I wondered if he thought he would find Madeline Loomis there and or dead. 

...

What scene was that when Dylan saw the blond hair? 

I found it just and proper that Romero was one to die during the fight with Norman.   Maggie had asked Romero how Norma would feel about what he was about to do, and he said Norma has no say in it, "she's dead."  He was just out for revenge no matter what and on the road to his own demise.  I believe he also didn't really want so much to live any more. 

Edited by rollice
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4 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

Right. When Ed Gein was caught, they knew about his mother and they knew he was mentally ill but I do not believe DID was a diagnosis yet. I mean Psycho was written almost fifty years ago. The mental health field was no where near as advanced as it is today.

My stepmother is from wisconsion(where Gein was from) anyway apparently her relative was almost a victim of Gein.  

Edited by Stringey
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I liked this last episode too. I found it rather beautiful.  For a while there, it kinda felt like too much time showing Norman's dreams of him and Norma, but it fit in with a theme of a Cord running through their hearts and was even comical at times. 

3 minutes ago, Stringey said:

My stepmother is from wisconsion(where Gein was from) anyway apparently her relative was almost a victim of Gein.  

Whoa!   The neighbor must be thanking their lucky stars.  And Gein did some really bizarre stuff.

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I was hoping for a much more twisted ending with Norman alive in a living prison. To do that though I think Dylan had to die, and I'm glad he wasn't. I can't say the ending wasn't a natural progression of the show, however. The series stayed true from the start that Norman was a tragic figure. It was a good take on an iconic character. I commend all involved in the show.

I had to laugh that Romero was taken out 10 minutes into the show. 

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Regarding the F-bomb, it does get dropped now and then on "basic" cable. I believe it was used twice in the run of Breaking Bad (AMC), and at least once in ... mr robot? (USA). I think they just have to not push their luck. Like once per season? 

Oh, and Mad Men got at least one, in a later season, which I think was what caused me to research this a while back.

I remember when they couldn't even say 'shit', heh.

(Super weird, if you ever watched The Good Wife, the spin off series is on CBS's new attempted private steaming service. So it's weird seeing characters like Diana Lockhart, who originated on CBS broadcast, saying "Fuck!" with wild abandon.)

Edited by kieyra
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It was used a lot on Mr. Robot and worse. Mad Men used it a couple times too, hilariously iirc.

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10 minutes ago, ganesh said:

It was used a lot on Mr. Robot and worse. Mad Men used it a couple times too, hilariously iirc.

Why, do you mean ...

Spoiler

"You can't fuck your way out of this one!"

(Blonde realtor to Pete Campbell.)

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3 hours ago, BooBear said:

Since Dylan is now the only heir (and he kind of got cheated out of his inheritance anyway) he probably got the full proceeds from the hotel and house.  Nice college fund for his little girl. 

There was a big "reduced price" sign at that hotel, I don't know how much of an inheritance that will be. Who would buy a failing motel where a bunch of murders happened?

I'm going to say the unpopular opinion, I felt like this episode was a little slow/anticlimactic compared to the rest of this season.  I really like the ending and everything that happened, but something about it just felt off.

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13 hours ago, smorbie said:

 There was no such thing as Obamacare and marijuana was still the most illegal thing around.  

To be fair, they did legalize it on the course of the show. The timeless theme though was a good choice for the show and the setting. 

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I'm not gonna lie, I have been putting this off. Not because I didn't think it would be good, or I didn't want to watch it, but because I was dreading seeing this show end. I've really come to care about its dysfunctional characters and its general weirdness, and this episode just confirms its place among the best of TVs dramas of the last few years. I'm sniffling and heartbroken, but I'm also glad I finally watched it, because it allowed for a real sense of closure, without feeling that it was neatly wrapping up plotlines. We saw the natural end of several characters, while others leave on a positive note, even if we don't know what exactly will happen to them. It was just about the most fitting finale they could have come up with.

I hate that Norman ended up dying, especially after seeing the version of him from the first season again, a lovable, well meaning, dorky teenager, but Norman was right. This was always how his story was going to end. He was a classic Greek Tragedy, doomed by both outside circumstances, as well as his own flaws, mostly his inability to separate himself from his mother. In the end, despite everything he did, I really just felt awful for Norman. It was clear, by the end, that he was very, very sick, and wasn't in control of his actions when he committed his worst crimes. If it wasn't for his illness, he could have been a nice, basically normal young guy, who might be too close to his mom, but isn't anywhere close to dangerous. It was all just so preventable, if Norma or Dylan or anyone had just admitted something was very wrong with Norman years ago, and gotten him some help. Maybe it would have made things tough, considering his tendencies for violence when having a fit, but he could have still gotten better, and maybe both Norman and Norma could have had their happy ending. And, I suppose they did here too, but they couldn't have it while still alive. By the end, it was clear Norman was too broken for a happy ending without Norma. I hated seeing Norman die, but I'm also glad he seemed to find some peace at last. Even he knew he had to be stopped. We saw that when he fight off Mother to save Dylan, and called the cops to turn himself in. That was the real Norman, and I think that Norman has been broken for a long time.

I'm thrilled that Dylan actually survived! And he ended up with Emma and his daughter! That was unexpected, but wonderful. I've pegged Dylan for dead since he first showed up on the porch of the Bates Motel, so it was quite shocking to me to see him actually making it out alright. Well, maybe not alright, but alive and still with his surviving family. He broke my heart this episode, that final scene with Norman was tragic, but as I said, inevitable. I totally believe that Norman had no desire to kill Dylan, even in the worst of his madness, and just wanted someone he loved to end his pain and reunite him with Norma. I hope Dylan went on to get mountains of therapy after this. I mean, walking into your house to find your dead moms corpse propped up at the dinner table (so very creepy) by your insane brother, and then being forced to shoot said insane brother at his own request? That going to mess anyone up, especially someone who has already gone through so much.

I'm glad that Romero didn't kill Norman (Dylan doing it was for the best, as horrible as it was), but he still found Norma's corpse, and got some closure with her. It was sad seeing him go, especially as he just found Norma. Romero might not have been a really good guy, but I do think he loved her, and he had basically lost it at this point in his need to get revenge. Being beaten down and left in the snow is a nasty way to go.

We even got a Remo cameo! Never thought he would pop up again! Nice to hear things are going well for him. Maybe that crazy ass town will finally settle down.

Just endless kudos to everyone involved in this show. Writers, directors, actors, cinematographers, whoever came up with the music choices, everyone. Just a wonderful series that I hope becomes a classic. It deserves it.

Dream a little dream of me...

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6 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

Psycho was written almost fifty years ago. The mental health field was no where near as advanced as it is today.

And the public understanding of multiple personalities or DID was almost non-existent.  That's why the psychologist in the original Psycho needed about 5 minutes of screen time to explain Norman's psychosis.  His long monologue was always the weakest part of that movie for me.

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11 hours ago, editorgrrl said:

Just read the article. Very interesting and I guess my first guess was wrong. But still....yes he was a serial killer but there are certain things you can put on a tombstone. Something appropriate for Norman would have been something like May You Now Rest in Peace. I don't know maybe most people think that sounds cliche but it seems to fit. I get that many serial killers are evil and have no remorse but Norman was sick and was capable of remorse. I guess when you think about it  then yes Dylan loved Norman but he was still left to deal with the grief and anger of what his brother had become and at the end he just could not find anything appropriate in his head to put on the stone. Knowing now though the actual reason the writers left the tombstone blank(except for dates) it makes it even more sad.

Spoiler
Spoiler

 

 

3 hours ago, rollice said:

I liked this last episode too. I found it rather beautiful.  For a while there, it kinda felt like too much time showing Norman's dreams of him and Norma, but it fit in with a theme of a Cord running through their hearts and was even comical at times. 

Whoa!   The neighbor must be thanking their lucky stars.  And Gein did some really bizarre stuff.

Yes he was creepy. I heard though in reality he did not kill as many people as the souvenirs in his house would indicate. That most of the body parts and skulls belonged to bodies he dug up from cemeteries. I would need to google to find the number of people he murdered.

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4 hours ago, Stringey said:

My stepmother is from wisconsion(where Gein was from) anyway apparently her relative was almost a victim of Gein.  

Yike!  I knew a woman who had been stopped by Ted Bundy after his last jail break when he was fleeing to Florida.  She was young, blonde, and pretty and was walking out of a store in a southwest Georgia town when a man in a blue VW pulled over to chat her up.  Her got out of the car and began telling her he was lost and hurt and needed her help to get to the hospital.  He was trying to lure her into a car.  She just kept thinking something was off about him, but knew she wasn't getting into a car with a stranger, so she kept telling him she would have to find a phone and call her husband first.  Finally, someone else came out of the store and Bundy retreated.  It's scary to think how close she came.

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I'm glad that Dylan and Emma survived, and that they stayed together. Once I started the finale, I wondered if they would let Dylan live, and as soon as he said that the Sheriff didn't care about Norman, I figured that he would kill him. That was heartbreaking, "Don't make me do this" and his hugging him as he died. (And Norman's "Thank you.")

I'm going to have to watch it again, I was a bit distracted earlier - and watch it in the dark (watching it during the day, sometimes takes away from the feel of it for me). 

Re: the tombstone. I also thought it was sad that nothing was written for Norman, but that it was left blank out of respect for his victims. I also wondered how much it would cost, though, and would Dylan have that kind of money? My dad went through that with mum's headstone... and I still feel weird saying that. 

I missed the woman complaining about having to walk in the cold. That's hilarious. I did like "Norma" comforting her. It was both kind of sweet, and creepy. Freddie did a good imitation of her.  

Edited by Anela
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1 hour ago, Stringey said:

.... Knowing now though the actual reason the writers left the tombstone blank(except for dates) it makes it even more sad.

Or it shows how Norman's entire existence revolves around Norma.  All any passerby looking at the tombstone  has to know about Norman is shown on the Norma side of the tombstone.   "Loveliest Mother ... There's a cord between our hearts forever ...   Love, Norman."  
 

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7 hours ago, rollice said:

What scene was that when Dylan saw the blond hair? 

I thought when Norman gestured by the dining area Dylan was temped to go there because he could see someone with blonde hair sitting there. 

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2 hours ago, BooBear said:

I thought when Norman gestured by the dining area Dylan was temped to go there because he could see someone with blonde hair sitting there. 

Yes, I remember that scene now. Thanks!?  

She does look like Madeline. And Katie too. 

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I like how whenever Norma was shown in this episode, she was surrounded by sunlight or, when it was night, moonlight.  and the last scene with her, she was dressed in a white coat and looked angelic.   It's interesting that Romero also had memories of Norma in an angelic light.  And they both loved Norma, and they both were spared some misery through death.  That's where their similarities end for me.  

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I watched the after-program on Demand yesterday.  It appeared the cast really had a good time making the series.  I especially liked hearing Freddie speak.  And his laugh was adorable.  I can't recall ever seeing him laugh on the show.

I do know this show will stay with me for a long time, like no other has.

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8 hours ago, rollice said:

He would even wear their skin.

Yes. Norman Bates is not the only fictional character based on Gein. We also have Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs and Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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1 hour ago, Rustybones said:

I watched the after-program on Demand yesterday.  It appeared the cast really had a good time making the series.  I especially liked hearing Freddie speak.  And his laugh was adorable.  I can't recall ever seeing him laugh on the show.

I do know this show will stay with me for a long time, like no other has.

I always read how close the cast was.  I'm sure they hated to go their separate ways as much as we hated losing them.  I know Freddie and Vera refer to each other as best friends.

And, yes, Freddie has a great laugh.

8 minutes ago, peacheslatour said:

Yes. Norman Bates is not the only fictional character based on Gein. We also have Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs and Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

For all the effect he's had on the horror genre, poor Gein was a sad, sick story.  I know he did horrible things, but I have nothing but pity for him.

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8 hours ago, rollice said:

Or it shows how Norman's entire existence revolves around Norma.  All any passerby looking at the tombstone  has to know about Norman is shown on the Norma side of the tombstone.   "Loveliest Mother ... There's a cord between our hearts forever ...   Love, Norman."  
 

I get here what you are saying. From what i read though in the above article I thought they were saying the reason was because he was after all a serial killer and Dylan did not want to put something on Norman's headstone. There was a specific line in that interview article. My first impression of why there was no epitaph on headstone when watched was similar to yours. 

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10 hours ago, rollice said:

He would even wear their skin.

Inspiration for Leatherface.  Gein seemed to be a source for a lot of serial killer movie franchises.

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What makes a great tragedy is that by the end there is really only one way a story ever could have ended.  From the beginning you could see everything heading to this point.  To the moment where the cord between Norman and Norma finally got cut and Norman not being able to live with the loss.  By the end there was only one way the story could have ended.  

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2 hours ago, Stringey said:

I get here what you are saying. From what i read though in the above article I thought they were saying the reason was because he was after all a serial killer and Dylan did not want to put something on Norman's headstone. There was a specific line in that interview article. My first impression of why there was no epitaph on headstone when watched was similar to yours. 

The article also makes me wonder how long it'll take before Norma and Norman's headstone becomes defaced. I get the feeling that a lot of notorious killers get buried in unmarked graves or cremated in order to reduce the risk of grave site vandalism. And I also wonder if Dylan will ever return to White Pine Bay to pay his respects, or if he'll try to forever leave this part of his life behind.

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If there was anything Norma Louise taught her boys, it was how to cut ties and start anew.  I doubt Dylan will ever be back.  Emma's dad is in Seattle and Dylan has absolutely no family besides her and Katie.  Why would he go back?

As for the headstone, I hope the funeral home has security on the premises to keep the ghouls away.  And the more I think about it, Dylan is not the kind of person comfortable with expressing deep feelings.  It was Norman and Norma who could easily describe exactly what their emotions were all the time.  Dylan struggled with that.  I think if he had been responsible for Norma's side of the headstone, it would have looked just like Norman's.

Edited by smorbie
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So, question - do we believe Norman is really dead?

By that I mean, imagine a final scene like this:

The deputies carry Norman's body out of the house, followed by Dyan. He sits down on the steps. The sheriff walks up to him and says, "I'm sorry. I can't imagine having to kill your brother. Maybe it's... (pauses) Well anyway, I'm sorry." She turns and follows her deputies down to the vehicles. The camera slowly zooms in on Dylan's face. After a moment he says, softly, in a Norman-like voice, "Yes, it's too bad Dylan had to die."

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