I apologize for the lateness of this post. I’ve been on a tear rewatching Game of Thrones, watching/reviewing House of Cards and editing some recent (and future) podcast episodes. Nevertheless, I’m here now with my latest Bates Motel review and I’m just in time for tonight’s all new episode.
First of all, I’m disappointed that Caleb is apparently completely out of the picture. I was early hoping for some kind of “what the hell is the deal with your son!?” altercation between him and Norma. I guess it makes storytelling sense to write him out of the picture and keep him in the writers’ back pocket, given the information he has now.
I went back and forth this episode with my feelings toward Cody. She’s a dark and mysterious girl who’s got a troubled home life. She’s a bit antithetical to Norman but in some ways she’s great with him. Aside from having Norman kill her dad (which, let’s face it, they’re laying the groundwork for that pretty thick) I don’t know what the writers are planning with her. If Norman kills her, it would just be a retread of Miss Watson. If she kills herself (or tries to), it’ll be too similar to Bradley’s hasty exit from the show.
Norman and Cody aren’t going to have a happy ending though, that’s for sure. I think the moment I started to lose interest in Cody, however, was her scene with Norma. I had a hard time taking her rebellious attitude and sarcastic replies to Norma seriously. Aside from being unprovoked, it just seemed out of character, even for her.
The writers were clearly trying to establish her distrust of parental figures. The problem is that it seemed like the show was trying just a little too hard. Considering that later in the episode Norman tells Norma plainly that Cody doesn’t trust parents, it just seems like the Norma/Cody scene could have been toned down and a bit more subtle.
Elsewhere in the episode, Emma continued to be completely disconnected from the main storyline as her relationship with the weed guy moved forward. She provided some great comic relief when she asked Norma for sex advice. That scene actually showcased Norma’s maternal nature (in stark contrast to her scene with Cody). Norma is, by nature, a very awkward character. It was great seeing her go against that character flaw and give Emma honest and helpful advice.
Still, I can’t shake how disconnected this relationship plot is from the main storyline. I can only guess that the writers plan to kill the weed guy off to bring Emma full circle from her feelings about Bradley’s “death” earlier in the season. I expect weed guy to be a casualty of Zane’s little war he’s waging with Ford’s people within the next 2 or 3 episodes. And expect me not to care all that much considering I don’t even know “weed guy’s” name.
Speaking of which, I loved seeing Sheriff Romero kicking Zane’s ass in this episode. Even more so, I enjoyed Romero’s scenes with Norma. They have a really good onscreen chemistry and I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out. Norma naively consorting with Ford makes me all the more interested.
Aside from Amnesia IV being a weird name for a yacht, it’s pretty clear what Ford is doing with Norma. She’s an unwitting pawn in his greater scheme. By letting her be the face of the opposition, she’s also the one in the cross hairs. Even if she’s too blind to see that, she must know that Ford killed the Councilman. I wonder how she’ll react to that.
Finally, Dylan had a surprisingly badass moment this week. After saving Zane from a drive-by, he went into the middle of the street and fired into the oncoming car while facing two gunmen’s barrage of bullets.
I say that this was a badass moment for Dylan, but it’s also more indicative of his mental state now. He’s clearly mentally unhinged right now, after the family issues that played out over the last couple weeks. But does Dylan flat out have a death wish?
Regardless, Dylan’s actions got him some face time with Zane’s sister. The nameless woman in the hospital room is apparently the big boss of the organization that’s been alluded to since early season 1. It’s an interesting, if cheap, twist writing the character as a woman. If she is the head honcho, I wonder how careful the writers were with their pronouns last season.
What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments and make sure you check out all my other Bates Motel related posts. Also, follow me around the internet with the links below.