This week’s Bates Motel was the last episode before the season finale next week, so things are getting even more intense than usual.
The standout scene of the episode was the scene in Norman’s workshop. Norma is still desperately trying to protect him from prosecution, but Norman only gets angry at her, grabbing a couple of knives and accusing her. When he grabbed those knives, it was a harsh reminder of where this is all going. They’ve always done such a great job of painting Norman as a well-intentioned, likeable person that this moment was more jarring than it rationally should have been. We all knew going in what Norman would eventually become, but it never felt fully real until last night. Norma stood up for herself and brushed it off like it was just another fight with her son. As she yelled at him about how she doesn’t care if he doesn’t like her, I was reminded of the scene early in season one when Dylan confronted her about her relationship with Norman and she said, “Norman likes me. He just does. It’s the normal arrangement between mother and son.”
Bradley Martin also returned this episode. I think the most key moment that Bradley provided was when she told Norman that he could get away with things because he seems nice and innocent. I don’t think he’d ever heard that articulated before, or thought it for himself, and I’m guessing the realization that this is something he can use to his advantage is going to stick with him.
Emma and Dylan continued to be the characters providing a sense of hope. Dylan gave Emma’s father money to get her organ transplant. It’s one of the most hopeful moments of the series, but of course this is still Bates Motel so we’re just waiting for the other foot to drop.
The scene between Norma and Alex Romero was also fascinating. When Alex kept demanding that she tell him the truth, that she finally say out loud all the things Norman has done, it was obviously painful for her. But, although it hurt, it also provided what she’s always wanted and deserved: one person saying that she’s not crazy and that she’s not always the one in the wrong.