Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. But instead of a gargantuan tusked pachyderm, let’s make it a Barbadian bombshell with hypnotic hazels. Rihanna effortlessly delivers Marion Crane in the broad sense of the classic character: she’s seductive, elusive and totally committed to a better life with her beau Sam Loomis. She is preyed upon in the workplace and quick to fake sick to stick it to the scumbag who flaunts his cash as a pickup line. A&E’s “Bates Motel” owns the rest of THIS Marion Crane. Unaware that her boyfriend is already married, criticized for her lack of education and, most importantly, already a past guest at the Bates Motel, Rihanna brings a coy angst to a character who is redefined in this century. As show creator Carlton Cuse told Vulture, “Fundamentally, it was not going to be possible to make Marion Crane an empowered woman of 2017 if she just died in the shower.” (http://www.vulture.com/2017/03/bates-motel-casting-rihanna-marion-crane.html)
If Driver A is traveling south at a distracted speed while Pedestrian B is running north at an equally distracted speed, and the two collide, how revolting will it be to find that Pedestrian B is dead as a doornail? And so begins Episode 5, with Chick standing over the roadkill of Caleb, confirming what I (unsuccessfully) willed was not going to happen in last week’s review. I whimper yet part of me is relieved. An already simple and impetuous man, Caleb would not have survived a world without Norma and Dylan. He would have self-imploded – killed or been killed in a short matter of time. Upon being released from the basement, he cried, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go.” That decision was serendipitously made for him. Godspeed, Calhoun.
Did you ever get the feeling that you know something you’re not supposed to know? And then next thing you know, you’re in the thick of it….this secret cosmos you weren’t supposed to know about suddenly and openly playing itself out? So begins Episode Three, breaking down the fourth wall we have hidden behind until this point.
We pick up exactly where we left off with Caleb recovering from his bash upside the head and Norman still in his wig, frock and high heels. (Go, Freddie Highmore for working those pumps better than I ever could.) Our heart crumbles at the sight of Caleb, beaten both physically and mentally, as he regains consciousness handcuffed to a support beam in the basement. His blow to the noggin allows him to see his sister for a moment until she morphs into his demented nephew. Before the closing credits, we see the character of Caleb in all his glorious dichotomy. Bound to a pole through the majority of the episode, his physical strength is robbed from him and we are left with a weak, fragile man. He has always been incapable of accepting his relationship with his sister but his love for her is unrivaled. Enraged and unable to negotiate his release, Caleb drifts through dreams and flashbacks that are horribly intertwined with the reality of Norma’s death. Pure anguish personified. Norma-via-Norman visits Caleb and tells him that both her son and her brother are in love with her and therefore, the three of them cannot live happily ever after. This is the final push for Caleb who now no longer sees Norman’s face but that of his adoring sister. He professes his love while holding her hand and goes to a place beyond despair – a place with no sister, no son, no purpose.
To quote the esteemed Chick Hogan in the final line of this week’s episode of Bates Motel, “Holy shit.” We are pulled deeper into how the world of Norman Bates – and the greater White Pine Bay area – has been functioning since the untimely demise of everyone’s favorite mother.
Norman’s interactions with those outside of the home begin with a determined confidence. He boastfully visits an incarcerated Romero to flaunt that he’s alive and well. And despite additional threats from his stepfather, Norman manages to maintain those fluttering blinks that sweep the bridge between his sanity and psychosis. When he conveniently bumps into Madeleine at the coffee shop across from her hardware store, Norman appears to be engaged behind his semi-paralyzed grin. He declines Madeleine’s offer to set him up on a date but bounces back once he learns it will be a double date (or a ménage à trois?). Norman exhibits a never-before-seen machismo when he meets Madeleine’s husband Sam Loomis when they both immediately recognize each other in their roles as Hourly-Rate Room #1 Guest and Motel Desk Clerk. Norman maintains his bobblehead superiority even when Sam threatens to kick his butt if his wife learns about last week’s afternoon delight.
With three sparkling 2017 People’s Choice Awards in hand(Favorite Cable TV Drama, Favorite Cable TV Actor (Freddie Highmore) and Favorite Cable TV Actress (Vera Farmiga) Bates Motel returned for its fifth season on February 20th. At the San Diego Comic-Con last July, the show’s panel “officially” announced that Season 5 will be the end. We have known this for a while, with executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin professing their 5-season vision all along. And according to Ehrin, “It’s going to be cathartic as shit. Bring your tissues.” (Yahoo!TV)
“Bates Motel” returns to A&E Network on February 20th for its fifth and final season and a new trailer is available to let all the fans know what Norman has been doing in the meantime. If you are expecting a quick-cut montage, think again. The trailer is filmed more closely to single-shot format even though there are a few cuts throughout. This format shows us a great walk-through of the house and what has been going on since last season. Don’t expect much dialog either. In fact, there are only six words total. Regardless, the trailer can be best described as “chilling.” Check out the synopsis and the trailer below.
DVD & Blu-ray Releases: October 18, 2016
This week’s releases includes Bates Motel: Season 4, a special Limited Collection Edition Waxworks Compilation, along with several new blu-ray editions of older horror films, including Child’s Play, Salem’s Lot and Bride of Re-Animator. You can view the complete list of this week’s horror releases below.
Bates Motel: Season Four
Starring: Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore
Synopsis: As Norman (Freddie Highmore) continues to spiral out of control, Norma’s (Vera Farmiga) desperation to help her son amplifies. Growing increasingly fearful of him, Norma goes to great lengths to find Norman the professional help he needs. This further complicates their once unbreakable trust while Norman struggles to maintain his grip on reality. As Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) finds himself drawn back into their lives, he must ask himself just how much further he is willing to go to protect Norma. Watch all 10 spine-chilling episodes back-to-back and uninterrupted in Bates Motel Season Four.