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 6: Marion
This week’s episode is indeed titled Marion, so I think we can all guess where this is headed, right? Marion is, of course, played by Bates Motel super fan Rihannna, but her story isn’t the only one that gets some traction here. This episode was also a great document of the growth that Norman has made. Growth is not always a good thing though, and in Norman’s case it is as scary as it is heartbreaking.
King of gas-lighting and philandering Sam Loomis has his greasy ways exposed. So with his “secret” wife now known to Marion, sh*t is about to really hit the fan. I heard that Rihanna played a drinking game when she watched her appearance in last week’s episode. This week, every time Marion says “sh*t”, take a drink. It will amount to 3 in the first 20 minutes alone!
What Rihanna lacks in affectation in her dialogue (I find her delivery quite monotone) she more than makes up for in emoting with her face and body language. Anyone with vision knows that Rihanna is a stunning looking woman but I have never known her to work so hard on her visual expression. It’s great to see. She put in the work (work, work, work, work, work, work… sorry, I had too!) and it shows. The decision to cast her was one that caught everyone off guard and there was a lot of very vocal opposition to it. It was a bold move, and I think it has paid off and showed the naysayers what’s what.
Dylan. Poor Dylan. In many ways, the most tragic story is his. This is a boy who is the by-product of incest and rape and because of this, he has been ostracized from birth. He is the family punching bag in every capacity. Like Norman, we have watched him grow up over the past 5 years and it actually looked like he was going to come out of this unscathed. Well, maybe not unscathed, but he wouldn’t be murdered, which is the general outcome for those that have any interaction with any Bates family member. Now that Emma has told him about the death of Norma and Dylan has made contact with Norman, I am beginning to worry that Dylan will suffer the same fate as so many others before him.
Earlier, I spoke about Norman’s growth. Last week, Norman sat down with Dr. Edwards (Damon Gupton) who said something that stuck with him and he started using his mantra: “Sometimes I see mother when she is not really there, and sometimes I become her.” Norman grapples with this concept and of course “Norman Louise” is there to make sure he doesn’t win. If Norman succeeds in telling himself that she is dead and that this continued interaction is only in his head, then she dies and cannot manipulate him any longer. Ever the master manipulator, mother won’t let that happen. She pulled out all the stops this week: from trashing the kitchen she just gave him sh*t for not keeping clean to physically prying open his eyes so he couldn’t help but acknowledge her presence. Ultimately, evil wins the battle and she gets Norman to admit that she is real and that they need to take revenge on abusive horrible men. Just like they did with her late husband Sam Bates, and now with the husband of her look-a-like Madeline Loomis, who is also named Sam.
This takes us to the moment everyone has been talking about. THAT scene. The infamous shower scene. This is a great example of where Psycho and the world of Bates Motel collide. To those that wanted to see Rihanna do her very best Janet Leigh, you will be disappointed as Norman showed her the ounce of kindness it seems no one ever has and spared her. Instead, we find Sam Loomis trying to wash himself of all of his sins in the shower of what was Marion’s room at motel. To the haunting tune of “Crying” by Roy Orbison, Norman yanks back the curtain and manically stabs Sam Loomis to death in what was one of the most gratifying and beautiful deaths I have seen on television. Gorgeously shot and executed by the entire cast and crew involved.
Did I expect them to just remake the shower scene? Of course not. That’s not what this show is about and never has been. This show stands on its own and builds its own story on the foundation of these iconic characters that we are already familiar with. Aside from the performances, that’s the true genius of this show and the legacy it will always hold.
With four more episodes left, there are still some loose ends to tie up. It looks like Marion is gone and Sam is dead so it may be the perfect opportunity for Romero to appear and take on the monster that Norman has so tragically become.