Site Migration

The server migration is still pending. Check here for more info.

Carnivàle/Norman Balthus

From The TV IV
Jump to: navigation, search
Reverend Norman Balthus
Actor Ralph Waite
First Appearance [1x01] Milfay
Last Appearance [2x12] New Canaan, CA
Series Billing Main Cast
Episode Count 24

Season 1

Reverend Norman Balthus is Justin and Iris Crowe's surrogate father. The two children were orphaned when their mother died in a train crash in the California Siennas, and Balthus, who ran an orphanage in Stockton, took them in after the accident. He and his wife Rose (d. 1927) raised the two children as their own. Norman was highly respected within the California Methodist Church, and he helped Justin throughout the younger man's ecclesiastical career.

Initially, Norman was Justin's mentor, but that role began to change after the Dignity Ministry burned down. Norman had been sent to deliver an ultimatum to Justin from the Methodist Church, demanding that Justin close down the Ministry and return to his assigned parish. When Justin returned from his sojourn, Norman was conscious of the change that he had underwent. He grappled with the thought that Justin might have been possessed, and this state of mind was only worsened when Dolan implied that Justin may have burned down his own church.

After a particularly disturbing incident at the church, where the Holy Water on Justin's forehead turned to blood, Norman confronted Iris that the possibility that Justin might need an exorcism. Iris was aghast, and refused to entertain the idea. Justin, aware of Norman's suspicions, used his powers to force the man to relive his greatest sin. Sure that the vision would break Balthus, Justin was shocked to see that Norman's greatest sin was harboring Justin and raising him as a son.

Consequently, Justin realized that he was a creature of evil and begged Norman to kill him. Norman, undoubtedly overwhelmed by the immediate revelations, found that he could not bring himself to kill Justin, and fled from the scene.

Season 2

At the exact time that Ben is murdering Professor Lodz and that Justin is delivering his sermon, Norman collapses due to a stroke on the steps of the California Methodist Church. The stroke puts him into a severe coma, rendering him unable to move or speak but able to see and hear. Justin, as his surrogate son, is given charge of him, and Justin brings Norman into his house to care for him, designating Iris as his primary caretaker.

During the first half of the season, Justin is fond of taunting and torturing his former mentor with horrible degradations and afflictions. On various occasions, Justin psychically coerces a maid into having sex with him in front of a motionless Norman, telekinetically rips a tooth from Norman's mouth, and watches in amusement as a now-partially-mobile Norman struggles futilely to feed himself without any assistance.

Intent on ending Justin's control, Norman and Iris form a secret partnership. Both are committed to Justin's downfall for different reasons, even though Justin was once family to them. Their plan involves revealing Justin's nature as an avatar to the world, but they plan to choose the right time. As part of this coalition, Norman manages to use his slowly-returning mobility to steal a gun and fire a shot at Justin during a sermon. The shot misses and Norman, who is still partially comatose and unable to defend himself, is savagely beaten by a furious crowd. He is only saved by Justin, the man he just tried to shoot, who orders the mob to stop.

Justin gradually becomes aware of the alliance, but openly derides it at the dinner table, labeling the two conspirators a "a dried up old spinster and a pathetic delusional cripple." Still, when Justin reveals to Norman that a "carnival hides [his] foe," Iris and Norman plot to bring Carnivàle into New Canaan, Justin's massive, heavily guarded encampment. As such, when Ben infiltrates the Crowe house, Norman silently directs him to Justin's room upstairs.

Ben leaves before he finds Justin, but Norman sees Ben soon after, when Justin brings his mentor and Iris to Carnivàle. While Justin forces Iris to ride the ferris wheel with him to ferret out Ben's trap, Norman is taken to Ben's healing tent. As Justin forces the wheel to a stop, drained by Ben's psychic attack, Ben turns his attention to Norman and begins healing the partially crippled man.

Finally cured of his debilitating coma, Norman rises from his wheelchair and commands Justin to stop. Justin, on the other hand, is not in the mood, and slices Norman open with his sickle, thus severing his last link to humanity.