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TV Review: Bates Motel S4, Episode #10 (Norman)

EPISODE 10: Norman

CHECKING IN: Norma (Vera Farminga) is dead, Romero (Nestor Carbonnell) wants vengeance while Norman (Freddie Highmore) reaches a new PSYCHO low. 

THE ROOM: Much like many of you, I was holding my breath as the BATES MOTEL Season 4 finale started, hoping, that our beloved Norma (Vera Farminga) wasn’t dead; and in a bold yet earnest move – she was... for good... in “real life” that is. She’ll always live in Norman’s mind; hence the INCREDIBLE Vera Farminga will still be on the show, but as a “vision” and a corpse. Personally, I would have preferred that she had passed on nearer the end of the show’s run itself. I mean Norma was such a huge part of this series; it will be odd to go on without her.

So get ready to go full PSYCHO for the upcoming Season 5 (which is supposed to be the last season - wise move - go out on top)! It will be interesting to see how it will go down, especially when taking into account that I presently hate Norman with a passion. Yup I just couldn’t shake my loathing of the character as I clocked this finale. I despised him for having killed Norma, for breaking up the romance I waited 4 seasons to happen (Norma and Romero of course) and witnessing a grief stricken Romero (Nestor Carbonell owned it hardcore... wow) crumble emotionally didn’t help my sympathy factor towards the culprit behind it. Basically; Norman and Romero weren’t the only ones in mourning; I was too.


Damn you Norman...damn you...

On that, even though I wanted to throw Norman out of the top window of the “Psycho House”, that didn’t change the fact that Freddie Highmore was simply astounding in the role (once again) and he completely sold Norman’s descent to a whole new low of madness. The inner struggle between Norman accepting the truth (s) and that part of Norman lying to him constantly to protect himself from it was ingenuously handled and made for a moving and tragic watch. Yes, even as I reviled Norman I still felt bad for the lad. This season finale was a huge leap towards the Norman Bates we know oh so well via the PYSCHO film series. I wonder if Highmore will incorporate Anthony Perkins (who played Norman in the films) facial tics in his performance down the road? Time will tell.

Set-up wise; I dug that little thing they did with Dylan (Max Thieriot) – him not knowing that his mom is deceased right now, means he will find out in the future and not take it very well. Dylan much like Romero, is very much aware that Norman is dangerous, thus I expect him to be all over him (also driven by Emma’s mom disappearance). Moreover; I was actually scared for Romero in this episode. I knew they needed him out of the way for Norman to have the room to go bonkers 200% in Season 5. So for a second there I feared they might kill him off too. Thankfully; they got Romero out of the way by arresting him instead, so he will live to fight another day. Look for Romero to eventually get out of jail and seek revenge and then die in Season 5. Should make for a visceral subplot!


It's PSYCHO time!

Finally, Norman stealing Norman’s corpse (that gluing the eye lids moment was disturbing) laid out the base for the next season to echo PSYCHO big time. Norman alone in the house with ghosts, Norman booking rooms, Norman peeping on sexy customers, Norman killing when he gets a boner... I'm seeing all of this coming! And I’m excited to see how they go about it. NOTE: I wonder if Mother will ever get that raspy “Mother Voice” she had in the films? It wouldn’t make much sense (being that Norma died at a young age)... but hey who knows!

Any negatives? Well I didn’t fully buy that the law assumed Norma’s death was a murder/suicide and that they let Norman (who just came out of the nut house) off the hook that easily.  I expected more suspicion on him and a more intricate procedure for him to be released. But that’s just me. On the whole; Season 4 of BATES MOTEL was solid all around and this finale left enough raw meat on the table for me to be pumped to dig into Season 5. I’m not sure if I’ll be back writing about these again for that last round; so if I don’t, enjoy your last stretch in BATES LAND! The “No Vacancy” sign is ON... for now...

Random Thoughts: Nice touch with Chick reaching out to Norman at the end like that. The first time I genuinely liked the character.

Was I alone in cheering when Romero punched Norman? 

Will Marion Crane and a shower scene show up in Season 5? I say yes!

Seriously... where the BLEEP is Caleb?

RATING ON 10

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