Bates Motel Season 4 Episode 8 – TV Review
That’s become, sadly, synonymous with Bates Motel’s fourth season.
TL;DR Norman returns to his loopy ways, but is yet to properly act on them; Norma starts untangling herself from Norman’s incestuous web; Rebecca is nabbed by the DEA; Dylan and Emma still continue to contribute nothing.
One half-hearted side glance at the Audrey gift sitting in Norman’s room isn’t enough, Dylan.
So Norman’s back at home, baby, and back to his Norma-coveting ways. But Norma’s got a new, more muscular man in her life, so she’s not as keen to have her gangly teen son sleeping in her bed, anymore. But she’s still attached to him enough to procrastinate about telling him that her marriage to Romero isn’t only for the insurance money. Due to the omission, Norman thinks himself quite in the right when telling Romero to jog on. Norma is squeezed between them, until ultimately coming clean to Norman and telling him to grow the fuck up an accept it. Norman’s response is, encouragingly, to almost put an axe through Romero. But I suppose we’ll have to stay on the line, because he pusses out. Meanwhile, Dylan and Emma get closer than ever, and do their farewell tour to Norma and Norman. And Rebecca gets picked up by the DEA at the airport. They know she laundered money for Bob, but they’re more interested in getting to the heart of White Pine Bay’s former drug problem: law enforcement looking-the-other-way-ness. So they pressure her to roll over on Romero.
I’m sure she’s rolled over on top of Romero plenty of times.
Bates Motel is lucky it’s built such a strong foundation for its fans. Myself included.
Because, like last week, this episode is mainly fluff that puts a bit of Psycho teasing just at the end to keep us coming back.
Get to the bloody point.
Why I hate this episode:
The Norma/Norman conflict is fantastic, but it’s not as tense as their tete-a-tete from episode 2. And the fact that now, at episode 8, they’ve gone backwards in intensity, only highlights what a waste of time the Pineview saga was. It was precisely filler.
I can’t believe Dylan and Emma are still so fucking useless. If Dylan had just gone a little bit harder on the Audrey thing, it’d be forgivable. But in eight episodes all they’ve done is, without any obstacles, constantly reaffirmed their relationship. And with Norman’s darkness pointed towards Norma and Romero, it looks like they’re going to survive White Pine Bay, after all, and move away in peace. That’s not very Bates Motel.
Oh, and my vibe about Rebecca was wrong, as she misses her Marion Crane moment and gets picked up by the feds, instead. Boo.
But it’s not all bad:
The big things may be a problem, but the little things are still very Bates Motel. A great example of which is Norman’s little peep hole moment. He and Norma are staying in (separate) motel rooms because the house’s heating is buggered. Sometime after Norma has admitted to Norman that she actually likes Romero, he sees Romero pull up to her room. So he sneaks into the adjacent room and digs a peep hole to watch them talk about him. And have sex. Now that’s the show I came to watch.
Norman’s response to Norma’s admission that she likes Romero (and this is like, not even love) is to vomit. Perfect.
The best part of the episode is the painfully awkward dinner Norma puts on for Romero and Norman at the end of the episode. She does her best to keep up appearances, but Norman is done with any sense of decorum and utterly annihilates the charade. He’s getting bolder.
He rightly points out that Norma is the one who made him so, so reliant on her; so purposely dependent. But that now she’s found a fresh dick with some insurance on the side, she’s going to abandon him. He’s got you there, baby. Norma isn’t taking that lying down, though, and hits back that Norman needs to grow the fuck up and deal with it. With murder, I predict.
He chops wood in frustration, and momentarily holds the axe up to Romero. Baby steps, Norman.
Dylan confides in Emma that he’s glad to be leaving the black hole of Norma/Norman melodrama. Pretty much.
Maybe the DEA will get to Romero before Norman does?
Oh, and I think we get the last true smile Norma will have for Norman. Probably ever.