Culture of Pop

Bates Motel Season 5 Review: 5.2: The Convergence of the Twain

Bates Motel season 5 delivered another solid episode this week. Like last week, the best moment was the end. In this case, Chick walked in on Norman Bates while he was fully assuming Norma Bates’ identity and attacking Caleb Calhoun.

The most likely scenario for next week is that Norman will kill Chick to protect his secret. But, Chick is a strange enough guy, with enough of a survival instinct, that I’m hoping he’ll form a surprising alliance with Norman. That could be an entertaining direction for the rest of the final season.

That cliffhanger was perfect, but there was more to love about this episode. The little details of the imagined version of Norma are fascinating. For instance, she’s learning French to fight boredom. And Dylan Masset and Emma Decody’s relationship continued to feel like both an oasis from all the darkness and a time bomb. After all, it seems like a given that the suffering everyone experiences on this show will eventually catch up to them.

Norman chose to see Alex Romero and tell him that he knows he tried to kill him. He did this despite the fact that his subconscious (Norma) knew it was a bad idea. In a scene between Alex and his lawyer, he showed renewed determination to get out of prison and “take care of” Norman.

The mystery of what Sam Loomis is up to is, at the moment, not as interesting as the rest of what’s happening on the show. But, it’s nice to have a new plot thread to keep this season from feeling like it’s simply tying up loose ends. I’m interested in where it’s going.

My one issue with this episode was the scene in the bar. Norman went for a drink while he believed he was Norma. The scene primarily utilized Vera Farmiga, rather than Freddie Highmore. I hate this decision, since it robs us of fully understanding the reality of Norman in this state. Next time, I’d like to get the perspective of a bystander who’s seeing Norman like this.

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