In the What's In A Name series we defined Norman as the embodiment of our universal desire to connect and be connected with. His desire for family, and the ways Norman negotiated and fulfilled that need by assigning those around him a place in the family he created for himself, is something we have witnessed him do time and again throughout the series, for example, his many "cousins."
When Norman proposed to Rita in Higher Ground, he committed to creating a new family. But, as everyone knows, you don't just marry a person---you marry their family, too. As a consequence, Norman committed to blending their families, starting with him blending into Rita's. This is where things got tricky, because until this point, Norman created associations and assigned roles to people in his life. Now, Bill and Sunny needed to assign a place for Norman. It's the space between realizing this truth, and his numerous attempts to find his place, that Norman spent Home Again navigating.
Blended bifocals wasn't the greatest introduction for Norman, so he got right to work endearing himself to the Haywith's by demonstrating his knowledge, and getting to know them, in an effort to connect.
Clearly, his first priority was repairing the rift caused first by the glasses, then by the missing ring, a circumstance which he eventually tries to explain. In between, Norman tried to crack a joke about the Jukebox, and demonstrated his knowledge that New Mexico is "the land of enchantment." Neither effort gained much traction.
Norman tried to show them around the DLO and explain about their work in an effort to help Bill and Sunny get to know him a little better. Norman even tried to throw out a fun fact about the museum of barbed wire, and ask about where Rita got her memory. Throughout the course of their visit, Rita even tried to laud Norman's professional skills, specifically his "special handling" abilities, and knowledge of postal regulations, to endear him to her parents.
But before we get to Norman's "works," it's important to remember that when they returned from the farm that day, the POstables encountered Bill, Sunny and Joe singing "Blowin' In The Wind," which Norman recognized as the song Rita used to sing to Hudson. Perhaps Norman's closest connection to Rita's past---and, by extension, Bill---sharing this knowledge with Bill should have been the real key to making a connection. However, this, too, failed to gain Bill's acceptance or approval.
Perhaps sensing that it would require more than just words to make headway with Bill, Norman tried a different approach. Norman not only milked a cow and presented the product to Bill with the declaring he knew Bill "liked healthy things," he also milked a cow named Petula, a reference to a '60's music icon, in the hopes one or both of these things would resonate with Bill. As with his words, however, Norman's works did no better job of securing Bill's approval or acceptance.
And, when it comes right down to it, we shouldn't have been surprised.
If we recognize Norman as a manifestation of our very basic need as human beings to be loved and accepted by others, then what Norman is walking through in Home Again is basically a reflection of our actual response to this kind of situation. So often when we encounter situations in which there's someone who doesn't like us, it's our first instinct to focus our attention on that one person who we can't seem to sway our way---even exhausting ourselves to do it. Norman does the same here with Bill.
Sunny is one of those people. While Norman was busy focusing his attentions on Bill, he missed the acceptance he was looking for, which was staring him in the face the entire time---literally.
Grounded with a more complete perspective thanks to Sunny, Norman was not only "ready to surprise [Bill]," but perhaps to even surprise himself.
Once jumpy, nervous and visibly awkward, when Norman encountered Bill in light of his new understanding, Norman appeared calm, confident and demonstrated a maturity and clarity he had yet to exhibit. That maturity came through in the way he proceeded to include Sunny and Bill in his re-proposal to Rita, which incorporated the perspective only recently imparted on him.
At the same time, through this experience, Norman, Bill, Sunny and Rita created a new memory in this moment as a soon-to-be blended family. But it wasn't the last memory they would make together, nor the end of Norman's experience of his "new family."
The next evening at Bistro Ramon, Bill gives Norman the keys to the RV. This is actually a much more profound act on Bill's part than is readily apparent. By giving Norman the keys, Bill entrusted a piece of the family legacy to him. It is so much more than a honeymoon present---it's evidence of a father (in-law) completely and willingly grafting his son (in-law) onto the family tree. This is a more deeply-rooted and complete answer than the simple acceptance and approval Norman was originally seeking.