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TV Review: Bates Motel S4, Episode #1 (A Danger to Himself and Others)

EPISODE 1: A Danger to Himself and Others

CHECKING IN: Romero (Nestor Carbonell) gets rid of Bob Paris (Kevin Rahm) corpse, Emma (Olivia Cooke) gets her lung transplant Norman (Freddie Highmore) is stuffed in the loony bin after he’s found talking to himself and Norma (Vera Farminga) tries to get his ass out of there.   

THE ROOM: And we’re back! BATES MOTEL left us last year with Bradley Martin (Nicola Peltz) deader than a door nail (For good this time...I hope!) and Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) having whacked that dick-wad Bob Paris. Now I didn’t expect the latter subplot to go much further than that (and it didn't) but I was intrigued as to where the show would go after they had Norman commit such a “personal” murder. Well I got my answer fairly quickly; it’s going pedal to the floor! 


Just bang already and get it over with!!

It seems that now, Norman can go cross-dressing happy and become “Mother” quite quickly and easily. Shit, we just started the new Season and he already has a healthy kill by strangulation under his belt. Bold move! I have no idea how they will sustain this zany game for the bulk of the season. We’ll see! I so esteemed the way they communicated Norman’s transition from he to “she” i.e. a powerful slow push-in gapped with Freddie Highmore’s potent internal performance. SWEET! Speaking of style, the bulk of the episode-looked lush (dug that areal shot in the prologue) with powerful imagery (all about Norman’s crazy dream) giving the whole an added kick in the butt.

What about Norma (Vera Farminga) you may ask? Well our favorite damaged-goods mother was on fire in this opener (and they again gave her the best lines of dialogue). When she wasn’t passionately pleading with Romero (great scene) in the name of Norman she was flirting left and right to TRY to get what she wanted. Personally, I really loved that this episode threw the “Norma hasn’t been a dilligent parent to Norman” curve ball her way and I am curious to see how they will handle said subplot, specially now that the powers that be recognize that Norman is fruity and want to keep him in an institution.


Dead woman walking!

The episode rounded itself out with the Dylan (the affable Max Thieriot) and Emma (Queen Olivia Cooke) thing, with our girl finally getting her lung transplant. I’d be happy for the character and her man if my gut didn’t tell me that this whole spiel will result in Norman not taking it well and Emma/Dylan being in mortal danger. But that’s just me! Hopefully she'll get to enjoy that new lung for a long time!

Any negatives? I’m not going to lie, the strong sense of familiarity played against this episode for me. For three seasons I’ve felt that the show had a clear direction i.e. it was going somewhere. But as I was watching this season premiere, I kept feeling that I had seen all of this before that the show was threading the same ground all over again but just more heavily. It remains to be seen if a new and fresh direction will be taken or if we’ll just have a rinse and repeat type of season. On the whole though this was a well put together and gripping episode from start to finish. The stage is set once again! Let the games begin!

RANDOM THOUGHTS: The "lovey-dovey" vibe between Norma and Norman was even creepier now that Norman looks like a man. Was I alone in catching that kiss on the lips when they were re-united in the hospital? Brrr...

It was nice to see Romero NOT falling for Norma's shite for a change. Stand your ground haus!

Emma = DEAD by he end of this season. Agreed?

Where's Caleb at yo?

RATING ON 10

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