Our weekly recap of what’s happening in the world of the 5th season of A&E’s Bates Motel
The fifth and final season of A&E‘s Bates Motel is in full swing. This weekly recap series will catch you up with the series and offer personal thoughts from this writer, who is an unabashed uber-fan of the series…
Bates Motel Season 5, Episode 5: Dreams Die First
This week marks the fifth episode and halfway point in this final season. It’s beginning to feel safe to say that each character’s position in the rest of the tale is settling into place. One of Bates Motel‘s greatest strengths is in its lack of absolute truths. That being said, with this episode we as viewers can now start to trim the fat and see the forest for the trees. This episode is nothing short of a heavy-hitter as it marks the first real appearance of Marion Crane (played by Rihanna) and a few extra special guests show up as well.
Norman is running out of excuses and places to hide to avoid facing the truth. The same applies to Dylan. When faced with situations like this where they should really just lay out their truths, they become snappy and irritable so to shut down any further prodding from their friends or family. It’s not an uncommon reaction for Norman, but it was a disappointing one to come from Dylan. Frankly, it sucked to see him revert to such a loutish tactic to shut down the “earring conversation” with Emma. I wasn’t a fan of Dylan and Emma (aka Dylemma) in their early stages, but now I don’t want to see their relationship erode. I also want to see them and their baby survive, which is questionable if they decide to check up on the family they left behind in White Pine Bay.
Just for the sake of comparison, I decided to watch a few random episodes from the earlier seasons this week. It was a really heartbreaking to see the difference in Norman. Even just superficially, he has gone from the conservative and carefully-curated young man into a clammy, twitchy, sputtering and disheveled mess. He can’t even keep up appearances which was one of the master traits passed down from mother to son.
Now let’s take a moment to talk about Rihanna and the Marion Crane character. There was a huge uproar when it was announced that Rihanna would play Marion Crane. For months people had been creating a “fantasy casting” list for who they would option to play the role. Nobody could have guessed that Rihanna would be the one to step in where Janet Leigh left off. But Rihanna lobbied for the role because she is a huge fan of the show and to be honest it shows. I tried to walk in with an open mind but memories of the film Battleship kept coming back and my apprehension grew. I am relieved to say that so far this modern take on Marion Crane is fantastic. This character is written into the story and is built so beautifully that it transitions into the story seamlessly. Marion has some updated tweaks from her previous incarnation. She is now a notary public employee working at R.A. Bloch, a cute little reference to Psycho writer Robert Bloch. Marion is also traveling with $400,000 dollars instead of $40,000 and her run in with the state trooper was a big highlight for me as the trooper was played by show co-creator Carlton Cuse! That was an unexpected treat to say the least!
Another unexpected treat was the return of Dr. Edwards. Actor Damon Gupton’s future on the show after last season was uncertain when it was announced that he would be joining the cast of Criminal Minds, but it was a relief to see him come back as he was the only genuine person in Norman’s life that was involved strictly to help him get better.
The episode ends with an interesting same sex tryst twist with Norman Louise having hooked up with a very good looking guy in a bar the night before.
Next week will apparently be Marion’s last. Does this mean we will see Rihanna in the infamous shower scene? Not necessarily, if this weeks happenings were to tell you anything, it would tell me that they really do have their own modern take on the old tale of Marion Crane, Sam Loomis and Norman Bates…