This week’s episode of Bates Motel was a mostly fantastic episode. We’re used to seeing things get progressively worse on this show, so it was striking that this episode gave us Norman Bates and Norma Bates closer than we’ve ever seen them to self-awareness and healing. After Emma Decody suggested that Norma take some time to focus on herself, she actually took this to heart and attended a festival with Alex Romero. Meanwhile, Norman ended the episode by telling Dr. Edwards that he’s sick of not being able to trust his perception of reality and that if he can help him, he’ll cooperate– a stark contrast to the last episode ending with Norman completely convinced that his mother is the one killing people.
Only one part of this mostly excellent episode stood out to me as a misstep. When Norma was getting intimate with a stripper, they chose to replace Freddie Highmore with Vera Farmiga for quite a bit of the scene. This felt distracting, silly and gratuitous.
Other than this, the episode was great. Norma and Alex’s scenes continue to delight me with their awkwardness. Norma not knowing what to do with herself except cook a lot of breakfast was absolutely adorable.
Norman’s friendship with Julian is also intriguing and I hope there’s more of it. The way Norman seemed to genuinely like him and trust him enough to follow his plans was surprising and enjoyable.
There was also a sweet scene between Emma and Dylan Massett where she asked him to move to Seattle with her and he said that of course he would. This relationship is so nice and really adds to the tension of the show as we wait for the other foot to drop.
The plotline with Alex having access to Bob Paris’ money is much less intriguing than the other things going on the show, since it’s not derived from character and emotion. But, it could be interesting to see what it all leads to.