HOLLYWOOD—Well, after five long seasons “Bates Motel” finally arrived at that climatic moment that fans of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, “Psycho” have eagerly waited for. Yep, the moment where Norman Bates meets Marion Crane and commits a dastardly deed inside a shower, however, there was a big twist in play for viewers! Taking on the iconic role made famous by Janet Leigh was singer Rihanna. Yes, I did indeed have reservations about the singer taking on such an iconic role, but I get that the writers were hoping to take the show in a new direction, and bring a few twists along the way.
Rihanna appeared in two episodes, “Dreams Die First” and “Marion.” The latter introduced the iconic character who, unlike the movies has a bit more sass to her to say the least. However, considering I just saw the 1960 classic, which appeared on the TCM network over the weekend, it was easy for me to spot those classic lines from the movie version intertwined into the TV version.
Both episodes were packed with some heavy stuff. Emma and Dylan finally discovered after 2 years of being off the map, that Norma is dead. Dylan was stunned by the news, as Emma did her best to comfort him. I love the con element between Marion and Sam; a big difference from the sordid love affair that was depicted in the movies. Man, Freddie Highmore, certainly gives Anthony Perkins a run for his money portraying such an iconic and disturbing character. His acting ability is fantastic!
The shows ability to build the suspense for the climatic shower scene was not as tense as one expected in my personal opinion. The entire notion of Marion actually hearing Norman’s mother was cut, and the SHOWER MURDER of Marion was MIA! What the hell? The series introduced a new plot point as Marion revealed details about her lover Sam Loomis, which seemed to throw off Norman who was a bit jealous. He revealed that Sam has a wife, Madeline, who Norman is seeing! Marion didn’t take the news well and called Norman on his bluff by visiting Sam’s home. Marion drove to Sam’s place and got confirmation of her lover’s secret life he kept hidden from her.
Ok, we have a new element of crazed chick, as Marion went mayhem on Sam’s car destroying it with a tire iron before driving off. Norman was completely stunned to receive a phone call from Dylan inquiring about Norma’s death. Dylan was not buying Norman’s theory that Norma killed herself. Norman was teetering on the verge of exploding, just as Dylan’s rage intensified.
Norman did his best to maintain his sanity, just as ‘Norma’ unleashed madness in the kitchen. I swear the writer’s ability to deliver this twisted dichotomy of two people, acting as one creepy, insane and nearly impossible for the viewer to take their eyes away from the TV screen. In a surprising twist, Marion who would have escaped certain death returned to the Bates Motel, unaware of the dangerous time bomb ticking inside Norman. Game-changing moment to see Norman resist his urge to kill by ushering Marion to escape before he snapped!
Well, things have indeed taken an interesting turn as Sam Loomis returned to the Bates Motel, only to discover that his lover has disappeared. Norman peered from a distance, as it was apparent that Norma was egging him on to take action against the cheater. Watching ‘Norma’ break-down the psychology, of Norman’s alternate identity was intriguing to say the least, and she constantly pushed him to allow his dark side to emerge to take action.
We returned yet again to that iconic shower scene, but instead of Marion being in the shower, it was Sam, and Norman went psycho on Sam who recreated a scene that so many audiences have come to idolize with horror cinema. Interesting, because I suspect Norman to be dressed in Norma’s clothing, but nope, it was all Norman who took that butcher knife and brutally murdered Sam.
Ok, I totally thought I had an idea of where “Bates Motel” would be headed, but it appears the series is planning to keep the audience on edge delivering twists and surprises we never expected to see and I like it. “Bates Motel” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on A&E.