Bates Motel Season 4 Episode 5 – TV Review
Well, Caleb’s stink continues to follow around Bates Motel.
Let’s be done with it, already, for fuck’s sake.
TL;DR Nosy Neighbour wants to kill Caleb, and he wants Norma to help him; she might; Romero reprimands Rebecca for trashing Norma’s house; Dylan interviews for a job in Seattle so he can follow Emma there; Norman puts all his crazy on display for Dr Edwards, and might get the help he needs.
God, no. We need to nurture out little psycho. Not cure him.
So we’ll start with Norma, who’s sad to see a prized stained glass window was smashed by last episode’s home trasher. She asks around town for someone’s help, and Nosy Neighbour, who I’m officially name upgrading to Chick, offers his services. He treads lightly at first, but eventually comes clean with his real motive: he wants to find and kill Caleb. And, having put together that Caleb likely raped Norma to conceive Dylan, he thinks she might be on board with that. Meanwhile, Romero dangles his protection from the snooping DEA over Rebecca to make her leave him and Norma alone. I don’t know if she’s gotten the message. Meanwhile, Dylan, encouraged by Will and Emma, goes to a job interview in Seattle. He uses his work in the drug trade as a selling point (sugar coated a bit, naturally), and it seems promising. And at Pineview, Norman is more receptive to Edwards’ treatment. Things get sticky when “Norma” visits Norman, and then Edwards figures out there’s more than one Norman hiding inside. Apparition Norma takes over Norman during a session, and Edwards, with a full understanding of Norman’s condition, can treat him.
Let’s see if Edwards will live out the season.
You know, I’m sad to say it again, but Bates Motel is continuing to pedal away from the change of status quo that made this season’s second episode so glorious
Norman’s therapy is interesting to watch, but it’s keeping him confined to Pineview; Norma is actually slipping back into Caleb drama, which is so one or two seasons ago; and Dylan and Emma have been stuck in the post-surgery bubble for five fucking episodes.
Let’s get a move on, everyone. The clock is ticking.
Why I hate this episode:
Really, Bates Motel? Caleb’s going to be central to the plot again? We got rid of him twice, already. Stop bringing him back.
And Norma’s contemplation of Chick’s proposal to kill Caleb clashes pretty hard with all the effort she went to last season to try to make peace with him.
I don’t expect Rebecca to stay down for long, but we’ve gone from her stalking Norma at a public event and then trashing her house, to her shrinking from Romero’s threats of the DEA and (kind of) giving him her blessing to be with Norma. This is White Pine Bay, bitch. You don’t have to be moderate. Use Norma as inspiration.
I didn’t really pay attention to what Dylan’s job interview was for, but I don’t think admitting that you were in the drug trade is gonna win you many points.
And Will’s suggestion to fudge the resume by saying he worked at the taxidermy shop is stupidly short-sighted. The interviewer instantly pokes the hole in that, as Dylan’s proclaimed leadership experience doesn’t jive with a tiny taxidermy shop. Duh.
Norman recants his accusations of serial murder against Norma, and Edwards receives a call from the state police confirming they didn’t find anything suspicious, so they’re dropping the investigation. What a wasted potential plot line.
Oh, and Norma doesn’t know anything about where Caleb is, so this whole Chick subplot is pointless.
But it’s not all bad:
Chick’s motivation for wanting to kill Caleb is solid. Not only did he get bashed and robbed, but his wife left him because of it, and took their child, too. Maybe Chick and Caleb will kill each other, and we can be rid of them both?
Norma’s reactions to Chick’s probes are, as expected from Vera Farmiga at this point, solid. First is when she talks about Caleb being her brother, and Chick seems to figure out the incest story from that. Norma is embarrassed and hurriedly leaves the conversation.
Then when Chick just straight-up says he’s assumed Caleb must have raped Dylan into her, she does her best to control her shame and ask him to leave. This is when he makes the murder proposal, and Norma does not give him a definitive “no.” Cool.
And Chick also seems like he could make a pretty decent stained glass window. He is a legit artist, after all.
Dylan and Emma are mainly still waiting for a chance to do anything worthwhile, but their lovey dovey-ness is charming. Emma candidly reveals that she asked the doctors how long she needed to wait before having sex. And when they do get into some heavy petting later, she shies away because she’s ashamed of her scar. Dylan encourages her to show him, so she does, and it’s gnarly, man. But then Dylan takes his shirt off (Mmm hmm) to show her his collection of scars. It’s hot and sweet.
Felix Gaeta from Battlestar Galactica is the interviewer for the Seattle job.
Norman takes advantage of being separated from the other characters and steals the show. He’s more receptive to Edwards now, but still get a little frazzled when Edwards needles him about his relationship with Norma. “Norma” then apparently comes to visit Norman on the grounds, and she gives him a pep talk. When Norman brings this up with Edwards, Edwards reveals Norma didn’t visit. This does not make Norman happy.
So Apparition Norma takes over and drapes herself over the lounge, making doe eyes at dear Dr Edwards. If it weren’t for the homicidal mania, she’d be so delicious.
Edwards even talks to her about Norman, and it’s crystal clear that they are distinct and separate personalities.
Post-blackout, Edwards consoles Norman about his lost memory of the session, and is now confident that he can treat him. Good luck, baby.
Romero is pretty vicious in threatening to feed Rebecca to the DEA wolves if she doesn’t back the fuck off. But he’s doing it for Norma, so I can dig it.
Rebecca doesn’t back off Romero, though, and confronts him later. She’s mad that he always told her he wasn’t the marrying type, but now knows he only meant he didn’t want to marry her. She does seem to have a moment of clarity during the exchange and begrudgingly wishes Romero well. But there’s still three million dollars of Bob money on the line, despite Romero’s protestations about not having the key, and I don’t think she’s going to give up on it that easily.