The people over at A&E really know how to make a fanboy happy and they did not disappoint with their latest episode. As we are now in full on PSYCHO territory, familiar moments and even lines of dialogue will bring a smile to all the Norman Bates fans out there.
We began with Marion checking into the Bates Motel and getting herself booked into room one. She’s there to meet up with her boyfriend Sam, who is at home with the wife that Marion is unaware of. This is one of the many creative choices I love that the show decided to take, as Marion can’t exactly be described as the other woman as the only thing she is guilty of is falling in love with the wrong man. Sam Loomis is definitely painted as the villain in this domestic drama that Norman has gotten himself involved in. Luckily, Sam gets a taste of his own medicine as Marion finds out about his secret with that not so subtle help from Norman. Marion pays him a visit at home and busts his windows. Bearing witness to the whole event is all the confirmation Madeline needs to kick Sam out.
Marion returns to the motel and decides it is time to start over. She’s already stolen the money in the last episode and knows there is no turning back without extreme consequences. She shows Norman her gratitude for all his hospitality and pushing her towards the truth. Her simple hugs triggers something in Norman and he is now more self-aware that eve and knows that she needs to leave before Mother takes care of business. She leaves without any issues and drives off to a new beginning. But wait, what about the most famous murder scene in movie history?
With Madeline knowing the truth and Marion leaving, Sam thinks he can finally show up at the motel with open arms. He stumbles into room one and sees the belongings she left behind. Norman notices him pulling up and Mother reminds him of all the awful things she went through with his father. Not only that, but the comparisons are on full display between his dad and Sam. This only fuels all the tension building up inside Norman as he spent some time trying to push her out of his head. Norman knows she isn’t real and is only a manifestation he created as a coping mechanism. He wants to be sane and lead a normal life, but she literally screams her way into his life and refuses to let him let her die. Norman decides to act on his rage, walks into room one, and stabs Sam in the shower, recreating the shower sequence from PSYCHO with many of the same shots. It was an exhilarating and bloody homage that I completely was in love with.
As the season inches closer to the series end, the writers are hinting at Dylan’s return to White Pine Bay as he learns about Norma’s death. He calls Norman and refuses to believe that she killed herself. Dylan knows better and will do what it takes to get the truth out of Norman. I am anticipating this as the brothers always had some great scenes together earlier in the series as their dynamics were unconventional. Without Norma trying to protect Norman (while alive at least), Dylan can approach his brother without restraint and who knows how far Norman is willing to go to protect the truth even if it’s threatened by his own blood.
There’s nothing more I love from a final season than the feeling of escalation. The stakes are higher than ever and every episode feels crazier than the last. Rihanna as Marion was refreshing as this variation was more of a reimagining that was helped by taking her story in a different direction, throwing the audience in for a surprise. Sam’s death feels the beginning of the end and the consequences are for sure going to bite Norman in the ass.