Did Agnes Kill Norma Dellacorte In ‘Palm Royale’? Is Real-Norma Dead?


Apple TV’s Palm Royale portrays Palm Beach as a sanctuary for the rich and affluent. Locked up in a luxurious lifestyle, the wealthy socialites chose to remain ignorant of the American War taking place in some faraway Southeast Asian country. They don’t read anything except for the gossip column of Shiny Sheet, so they keep an eye on their competitors and pull them down as soon as the opportunity arises. And Norma Dellacorte was no different.

Spoiler Alert

Until I watched the last episode of Palm Royale, I didn’t quite understand how such a feeble-looking lady kept the secrets of the entire town and blackmailed them into giving hefty donations to her prestigious Beach Ball event. Well, Norma wasn’t like the other ladies of Palm Beach. She was different or, as one can say, cunning. Norma had the talent to sympathize with people’s misery, which put her audience in such a vulnerable position that they often ended up sharing their secrets with her. That’s exactly what Norma did with Mitzi when she found out about her pregnancy with Douglas. But while Norma kept notes of people’s lives in her prized Rolodex, she too had a dark secret, which we only got to know in the last episode of Palm Royale.

So, the Norma whom we have been seeing on screen for the entire time was not the real Norma. Instead, it was her boarding school roommate, Agnes, who had killed Norma years ago and wanted to inherit her father’s money. The last episode of the series made it quite clear that Norma’s roommate, Agnes, died soon after the death of Norma’s father. And as the episode failed to mention any mother, it would be safe to assume that she was dead, too. In that scenario, no one actually knew what Norma looked like, as she spent most of her childhood and life at the Swiss Boarding School. Whether Norma’s death was intentional or accidental, Agnes, like a true opportunist, turned the tides in her favor and arrived in Palm Beach to become the heiress of a plastic-and-mouthwash company. So, what gave her in? It was the fact that Agnes was diabetic at a young age—a deficiency that she couldn’t leave behind. Robert, the bartender, had been taking care of old Norma for years, and he knew her entire medical history to connect the dots.

As soon as Agnes arrived in town, she took charge of Norma’s family business and fired the entirety of its board of directors to helm the ship on her own. It is important to point out that even though Agnes was an outsider, just like Maxine, she was talented. She tripled Dellacorte’s revenue, which, in my opinion, the privileged Norma would never have been able to achieve. However, in this perfect Rags to Riches story, there was only one loophole, and that was Norma’s lover, Axel Rosenhips. At the boarding school, the two lovers used to constantly exchange letters, which both Maxine and Ann Holiday had found in Norma’s room. So, how did Agnes tackle that threat? According to Axel himself, Norma had cut all ties with him after she came to Palm Beach. Axel is an unreliable narrator himself, so I am not exactly sure if he ever met Norma face-to-face or just saw her with her friend Agnes and got confused between the two. Additionally, Agnes cut Axel out of her life because he knew too much about the real Norma and might have suspected her sooner or later. For Agnes, the safest thing to do was to distance herself from all the lovers, especially Axel. 

Agnes chose to remain lonely throughout the process just to enjoy the life that she had always dreamed of. In the process, Agnes not only lost her identity but also herself. It is one of the things that differentiates Maxine from Agnes, where the former didn’t want to lose her identity to be welcomed into the Palm Beach society. Unlike Agnes, Maxine never shamed anyone for being an outsider, while the likes of Evelyn and Agnes forgot the past they came from just to mold themselves around the new society.

At the end of Palm Royale season 1, Agnes, as Norma, tried to convince Robert to marry her. It was the only way for her to throw Douglas and Maxine out of the Dellacorte mansion and protect her cherished throne. But Robert, being the nice guy, didn’t desire Norma or her wealth. Robert just cared for her because he was a nice person. But people like Agnes can never understand such selfless acts in life because, for them, everything is transactional. Agnes’ lack of empathy was quite evident from the scam she was running. Yet, if someone wanted a live example of the same, it could be seen in the closing shot of Palm Royale Season 1, where no one else is merrier than Agnes watching Robert slowly bleeding to death. Robert had become a real threat to Agnes’ perfectly designed facade and he could have exposed her to the world, but fortunately, he was shot before he could pose any threat to Agnes’ house of cards. But trust me, karma is indeed a real thing in life, even if Maxine doesn’t believe in it. Someday in the near future, it is going to hit Agnes very hard and make her realize how lonely her life had become because of her lust for some materialistic comfort and luxury. Robert was the only person who genuinely cared for Agnes, and now she has lost him too.

In the second season, if Robert survives, he will most likely side with Maxine to expose Agnes’ true face to the world. In the aftermath of such revelations, the entire Dellacorte property will go to the closest heir, who is none other than Douglas Simmons. However, I would really love to see Maxine get all the inheritance because she is the only person who deserves it all. So, how Maxine and Robert bring down Agnes will be a difficult but entertaining journey to follow in the next season of Palm Royale, and I cannot wait for it to hit the screen.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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