“Bates Motel,” the famous remake and prequel of the well-known Alfred Hitchcock film, “Psycho,” aired the first episode of its fifth and final season on Monday, and it was very “Psycho.”
It has been about 18 months after Norman’s fateful decisions in the forth season finale, killing his mother, Norma, and he has finally reached the final stage of psychosis, living in the reality he created for himself. He is now the manager of the hotel and his blackouts have gotten worse. We see that Dylan and Emma finally have a happy life away from the motel, Norman and Norma. Whether or not it’s going to last remains to be seen. When Tvline.com asked the showrunner Kerry Ehrin the reason why Dylan and Emma are so blissfully unaware of Norma’s passing, and whether or not they would find out, she said, “It (Their awareness Norma’s death) definitely comes into play. I can’t tell you exactly when, but it’s a big part of the story. When Dylan left at the end of last season, he changed his number. Also, there’s really no responsibility of anyone to call next of kin as long as one relative knows of the death, which was Norman. And Norman didn’t want to tell him.”
The newest character introduced was Madeleine Loomis, who owned a cozy hardware store, and became Norman’s new friend. The other new characters include Sam Loomis and Marion Crane from “Psycho.” One might assume Madeleine and Sam are married because of their last name and the wedding ring on her finger but it hasn’t been confirmed yet.
The episode had some references to the movie, “Psycho,” and even the TV show itself, which spoke volumes to the legacy it had created. We all know Rihanna is reprising Janet Leigh’s famous role, Marion Crane, from the movie, “Psycho,” sometime in the season, but the show introduced her boyfriend Sam Loomis first as a shady guest looking for a room for a few hours. Instead of a nice boyfriend through Marion’s eyes as in the movie, “Psycho,” the shady characteristics of Sam in the show added to the creepiness of the town full of drug dealers and gangsters and became the kind of criminals Norma had always tried to protect Norman from. Several scenes in the episode referenced to the show itself, such as the scene in the pilot episode where Norman and Norma disposed Keith Summers’ body into the lake, the several times Norman blacked out in the therapist’s office, and even the dead dog Juno, which has become a go-to sign of Norman’s insanity throughout the series.
Other than the upcoming “Psycho” character appearances and plots, this season will deal heavily with Norman Bates facing his inner demons, more so than the last season. Since Norma is no longer in the picture, the motel officially becomes his hunting ground. In order to understand the motive behind the killings, it’s important to note a conversation Norman had with his therapist in season 4 episode 5, when Norman transformed to his alter ego and told the therapist that Norman “is a very weak, confused boy, easy for people to take advantage of.” He told the therapist, “If you want to know what’s really wrong with Norman, you should talk to the person who knows him best.” When the therapist asked, “And that’s you?” he answered, “ Of course it is, I’m his mother.” This need for his mother to protect him continues to be the primary drive for his alter ego to murder different people.
This episode was an exciting start to “Bates Motel’s” farewell season. Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga continued to give realistic and astonishing portrayals of Norman and Norma. The rest of the cast was excellent as well. It would be interesting to see how the show remade the different events and characters in the film, “Psycho.”
“Bates Motel” airs Monday nights on A&E at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Written by: Curtis Han, RM Entertainment Contributor