Bates Motel Season 4 Episode 4 – TV Review
My cheers were too soon.
TL;DR Norman goes for a walk on the wild side, but ends up realising his mental imbalance and submits to treatment; Norma and Romero’s happy marriage is intruded upon by a jealous Jaime Ray; Dylan decides to move to Seattle with Emma, giving us a flicker of hope that Norman won’t end up killing them.
I’m sure it will be quickly extinguished.
So Norman’s still resisting his Pineview cage, and luckily Julian, a young man who befriends Norman, knows how to slip out. Julian’s been locked up in Pineview for four years for a reason, though, and Norman starts seeing the wheels fall off of his new friend. But not before they hit up a strip club, wherein Norman enters a trance and becomes Apparition Norma again. Julian causes trouble, and Norman ends up on his way back to Pineview and ready to accept Dr Edwards’ offer to help. Meanwhile, Norma and Romero enjoy their new, wedded arrangement. But that doesn’t last long, as Jaime Ray Newman’s Rebecca causes a variety of problems: she wants to steal three million dollars that Bob stashed away, and wants Romero to get her the key to the safe deposit box (she correctly assumes that Romero killed him); the DEA is also getting suspicious of her as Bob’s money launderer, which could cause trouble for everyone if they come snooping; and Rebecca clearly isn’t as chill with Romero’s marriage as she said, as she (apparently) trashes Norma’s house. And it’s done with a little more malice than someone merely looking for a key would use. And over in Dylan and Emma land, Will has decided to move himself and Emma to Seattle for better medical care, and so Emma can go to college. She invites Dylan, and he agrees to join them.
All these hope spots are making me fucking anxious.
It’s another mostly benign episode this week, again paling in comparison to the epic episode 2.
And with Norman agreeing that he’s broken and he needs treatment, episode 2’s changes have effectively been undone. Norman is no longer convinced that Norma is a murderer, and he now agrees with her decision to force treatment upon him.
The only way to redeem this is for the bodies to start emerging and for Norma and/or Norman to get caught.
Which would be pretty great.
Why I hate this episode:
The big omission this episode is any action by authorities to investigate Norma over Norman’s accusations of homicide. Because the bodies are there (Audrey’s, at least, is somewhere nearby).
Norman’s submission to the treatment feels like it’s just going to delay the inevitable.
Why was Apparition Norma cool with a stripper/prostitute, but she was so eager to bash Bradley’s brains in for being a temptress?
Why was the stripper/prostitute cool with Norman just casually putting a screwdriver from his pocket on the table in their private booth?
Oh, and Dylan and Emma feel like a distant afterthought. And I’ll feel pretty ripped off for Emma’s sake if Bates Motel does just ship her off to Seattle like that.
But it’s not all bad:
The scene where Dylan accepts her offer to join her in Seattle is too adorable. It’d be a shame to not mine the heartwrenching drama of Norman killing them, but I also wouldn’t mind seeing them make it out alive.
Norma also visits Emma this episode, and it’s so lovely. Emma encourages Norma to take this time away from Norman to be free of her maternal duty and just live.
And Norma is certainly living. She does her best to keep it cool, but she’s obviously smitten with Romero (who, sexily, isn’t at all bothered about hiding his happiness from her. Sploosh). It feels so right to have them comfortable together after all this time.
But that’s where Rebecca comes in. She’s a regular Ashley Marin with her plan to rob Bob’s safe deposit box. And I like that she’s assumed Romero killed Bob and therefore has the second key (the box needs two keys. As the bank manager, she already has one). Romero doesn’t confirm it, but he implies that yeah, he did.
And what she was looking for in his house was the key, which Romero does have: it’s taped inside a passport Bob hid in his stacks of cash.
But playing Steal From The Dead Guy with Rebecca might be a bit risky at the moment, as Romero receives a call from a DEA agent who’s following Bob’s money trail, and it’s leading him to Rebecca. Will Romero extend the same protection services to Rebecca as he has with Norma? Should Norma be jealous?
Rebecca certainly is. She’s got those crazy eyes.
Also suffering a case of crazy (well, psycho) is Norman. He finds himself repulsed but captivated by the strip club, and is coaxed by one of the girls to a private room. When she starts getting physical, he has flashbacks to Miss Watson’s seduction, and Apparition Norma takes over. Bates Motel uses the same technique as the season 3 finale to show Vera Farmiga swapping in for Freddie Highmore, and it’s cuckoo cool. Watching Apparition Norma hungry for puss with her legs spread is a sight to behold.
She also gets blue balls when the stripper is distracted by Julian’s yelling. What a twat block.
When switching back to Freddie as Norman, we get to see him sassy and wearing the stripper’s boa. Which is utterly delicious. And he tries to fight off the bouncers as they besiege Julian, but he is thoroughly destroyed by one punch. Because Norman is a fucking twig, remember?
Oh, and Apparition Norma may be a devil, but actual Norma is nothing less than an angel.