There’s something to be said about capturing endearing moments on screen. It’s these experiences that help catapult something so simple into a memorable piece of art. Dylan may have not been part of this episode, but Max Thieriot had plenty of creative input in this fourth episode playing the behind the scenes role of director. Sitting in the coveted chair for the first time, Thieriot utilizes this position by not only capturing some of the best acting from the cast, but providing homages to PSYCHO that will give die-hard fans a huge hard on.
We last left off with Chick accidentally killing Caleb by hitting him with his car. They decide it’s best to not get the cops involved to dispose of the body themselves. Norman thinks it might be time to start separating himself from Chick and that doesn’t seem to go so well for Chick. Chick is still keeping observations on Norman and his interactions with Mother, so much to the point where he is convinced that he can turn it into a bestseller turned movie. (Hint Hint)
Meanwhile, Alex is wounded from a gunshot wound and somehow is able to walk around without being spotted as a wanted fugitive. He finds a payphone to make a false 911 call in order to steal supplies from an ambulance. He manages to find his way to Maggie, an old friend who I don’t recall meeting before.
Fans of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS will be delighted to see Brooke Smith as the new sheriff in town. As Sheriff Greene, she brings a too smart to be fooled attitude that White Pine Bay needs. While I love Alex, he was not the best sheriff and was too personally involved with those who probably should be behind bars. Greene, on the other hand, has a fresh outlook and knows there’s nothing to turn your back to when there’s a missing person whose sole destination was the Bates Motel. It doesn’t help that this disappearance coincides with authorities searching for Alex. Greene makes it well known to Norman that she’s completing a full investigation and will not turn a blind eye.
Going back to endearing moments, Norman really has some great chemistry with Madeline Loomis. I still find it fascinating that BATES MOTEL has given us a whole new character in the form of someone we knew about in the movie, but never met. She really encompasses everything Norman loves in his mother and her cheating husband only makes her appear more vulnerable to Norman. She invites him over to dinner where they proceed to bake a cake afterwards in a very tense scene that reminds me of the best of first dates. It made me happy to see Norman happy, but the moment was shattered when he begins kissing her and sees his mother standing behind her with visions of Madeline’s throat being slit. Luckily, it was just a vision, but Norman knows something isn’t right.
He rushes back to an empty home and Mother’s whereabouts are unknown. Now, it is clear with this episode that Norman believes she isn’t just alive, but has faked her own death and is causing the murders. It was questionable to me how far Norman’s delusions were spiraling and am glad that it was finally cleared up for me. Things are really going for the deep end though as Norman loses it on her and knocks her down, bringing out a fear in her eyes that causes her to step away from him.
Next week, we are promised the inevitable visit from Marion Crane and will be interesting to see what angle BATES MOTEL goes with her stay.