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 winding down. 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 9: Visiting Hours
This week’s episode was one that caught me off guard. It centered around Emma Decody (Olivia Cooke), who has been on the show since the beginning, yet she is the only character I have never really connected with. Emma Decody has always been in my eyes the only strike against the show. I have always had issues with how the character is written and how her battle with Cystic Fibrosis has been handled. So it really surprised me how profoundly emotional I became watching her come to terms with the handful of tragedies she had to handle this week.
The episode was directed to perfection by Olatunde Osunsanmi. I must say that visually this was one of the most beautiful works of art I have seen. Starting from the top when we see an army of police, investigators and forensics specialists going over the Bates property and inside the house, to the show stopping scene of Emma’s mother being cremated to the sounds of Crimson and Clover. It was truly one of the most heartbreaking yet stunning moments in television history. A moment I will never forget and that had me weeping as if I was in Emma shoes. The lyrics to Crimson and Clover that played as we watched Audrey’s coffin descend into flames were particularly poignant. “Now I don’t hardly know her, but I think I can love her,” Emma never really got to know her mother and neither did we as viewers. Emma saw Norma as the mother figure in her life so it was especially tragic to watch Emma mourn the deaths of the biological mother that abandoned her, and the woman that filled that role in her life. Being a mother herself now, I think that the impact was even more deafening for her and as a result of trying to take in all of this loss and grief Emma acted out in ways we have not seen. She lashed out at Dylan and upon learning that her mother died by Norman’s hands she was angry enough to want to kill him. That volatile rage was quickly quelled when she was face to face with Norman when she went to see him in prison. It was here that she realized that she was also facing the death of Norman. She realized that Norman is not here anymore and that was another set of emotions and loss for her to deal with. On top of that, she realizes she is speaking to Norma, but not the mother figure Norma that she held so close to her heart. She is speaking with a manipulative monster who has suffocated her friend Norman and that is just another loss and betrayal to add to the pile.
There was a moment with Emma and Norman Louise that has haunted and hurt me since I saw it. Hell, I am sitting here still completely destroyed by Emma saying to Norman Louise “can you tell Norman I miss him.” Looking at her looking at the body that is Norman, but the spirit and mind that is Norma and saying she misses him was so powerful and so very Emma. Emma has an empathy that is beyond human and something that we all should try to tap into.
This takes us to the end of the episode where we find Norman still in jail, awaiting his trail and potentially the death sentence. This begs the question: Will the death sentence come from a judge and jury or from the hands of Alex Romero? Romero has been itching to kill Norman since Norman killed Norma, which in turn made Romero feel like he has nothing to live for but to avenge Norma’s death. Romero broke into the jail, took all his former peers hostage and ended with getting his hands wrapped around the throat of his target, Norman.
Next week is the show’s final episode and it looks like it will be a wild west showdown between Norman, Romero and potentially Dylan. Will any of them come out of this alive? Only time will tell.