HOLLYWOOD—In episode four of A&E’s “Psycho” prequel series, “Bates Motel,” the issue of trust has been tossed in the mix with the horror and suspense that the show has displayed consistently.
Last week, Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) sneaks into Deputy Shelby’s (Mike Vogel) home to recover the belt that was found on Keith Summer’s the night he was murdered by Norma (Vera Farmiga) to prevent Shelby from possibly blackmailing or using his dear mother. Though the opening replays the ending sequence of Norman sneaking in Shelby’s place, this time we see from a new perspective: Dylan’s (Max Thieriot).
After watching Norman walk alone, blank-faced in the dark to Shelby’s, Dylan follows Norman to witness him sneaking in the house. We resume to last week’s ending, where Norman finds an unconscious girl chained up in Shelby’s basement that resembles a drawing that the graphic pamphlet contained. Keeping the custom of grabbing hold of the viewer from the get go, Shelby begins to arrive home as the chained girl wakes up and pleads for Norman to help her.
With Shelby’s highly trained dogs howling, he enters the house as Norman is being sustained from escape by the imprisoned girl. Dylan does the unthinkable: he distracts Shelby to help his half-brother. Yes, Norman. Remember when just two episodes ago Dylan was pounding on Norman’s cute face? Turns out that last week’s bonding moment may have cooled things down for the two.
While Norman escapes, he is confronted by Dylan when he arrives home about what just happened. Norman simply denies that anything happened and heads to see his mother. Like the close pair that they are, Norman tells his mother what he saw and that he and Dylan alike don’t trust Shelby. Unlike before, Norma does not side with her boy and orders him to go fishing with Shelby so that they can bond.
Norma, who is continued to be questioned for Keith Summer’s murder by Officer Romero (Nestor Carbonell), finds herself in a heap of trouble when her actions come back to haunt her. While sleeping with Deputy Shelby may have killed some time, Norma is seemingly out of time when Keith Summer’s severed hand is washed up from shore, of course with traces of carpet from the hotel present.
At this point, a very important key to note is that Norman is seen experiencing some sort of trance, or often imagines things. Norma denies Norman’s theory of seeing a locked girl in Shelby’s basement, saying she found nothing when she spent the night at his house. She then reveals that Norman-for a while now-has always imagined things that are sometimes not true. Hmmm….sounds familiar right? If you remember the 1960’s Norman Bates, no further explanation is needed, but this factor will definitely keep playing a role all series long.
While we know what eventually becomes of Norman, we don’t know entirely yet how his relationship with Dylan will play out. Now that Dylan has helped Norman escape and has shown that he wants to protect him from Norma, the brothers have reached a new level of trust and bonding. Norman ends up telling Dylan everything that happened with Keith Summers and the troubles they are facing. In yet another surprise, Dylan agrees that he will help Norman in any way he can; and before getting mushy or gooey, that would make him seem anything but the bad boy he is, Dylan encourages Norman to spend the night with Bradley, (Nicola Peltz) one of the popular girls who noticed him first. Wonder what the sick and innocent Emma might feel about this….
Taking Dylan’s advice, Norman spends the night with Bradley. You would think Emma, the other potential love interest for Norman, would become upset. But no, guess who is infuriated and on the brink of madness? His own mother, of course, Norma. Her meltdown is short-lived though, as a huge bombshell occurs: Norma is arrested for the murder of Keith Summers.
Only on week four, the show continues its consistent streak of delightful, but grueling twists and turns that makes you want another episode ASAP. There is hardly ever a boring moment during the show, and one can never predict what will happen next because the show takes another route. This factor is what keeps viewers attentive and entertained at the same time.
Highmore, Farmiga and Theriot continue to deliver strong performances that perfectly displays the transformations their characters go through. Now that we are getting to know each character better week by week, the pieces of the puzzle slowly begin to come together in anticipation for the next chapter that ultimately drives towards the “Psycho” era.
By Carmen Herrera