Bates Motel: Marion
March 28, 2017 8:38 PM - Season 5, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Marion Crane checks in at the Bates Motel.
posted by kittens for breakfast (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
FINALLY WE REACH THE INFAMOUS SHOWER SCENE, only not! This is why I love this show and the liberties it takes with the original material, while honoring it nevertheless. You thought it would be Rihanna. But Rihanna (or even Madeleine) would become the type of victims where we would have no reason to feel even modest sympathy for our little psychopath. Sam? His murder is wrong (what murder isn't?) but the show has already manipulated you into thinking, "well, good riddance." Norman is most compelling when there's a shadow of moral ambiguity. A throwaway victim like Sam allows the focus to stay on Norman. Norman's first conscious murder. Can't blame the blackouts anymore.

Also. Where is Chick? Too busy tapping away at his typewriter to realize all this great material he's missing? (And how did Chick become one of the best characters on this show next to Norma and Norman?) I feel like Chick is the ambassador for the viewer at home. He's popping up in Norman's life for the material, the entertainment. His interest is real but reserved, like anyone else who thinks they're immune while watching shit go down. His reactions are often ours.
posted by nightrecordings at 5:34 PM on March 29, 2017 [3 favorites]


Beautiful and well-executed (heh) revamping of the Marion Crane plot, and such a lovely vindication of like every helpless objectified female victim in every slasher movie since the one that started it all. Hitchcock must be turning over in his grave, ha.

I really love how the last two episodes have forced/helped/whatever Norman to face and accept what's really going on with him and weirdly empowered him, albeit in a gruesome dangerous way. And now all these forces are converging on him: current sheriff, Madeleine, Dylan & Emma, Alex Romero. Should be a crazy riveting ride to the finish line.

Also, gotta love that Vera gets to play a whole new character at the moment -- not Norma or Norman's creepy caricature of Norma, but Norman's alter ego partner in crime who just happens to look like Norma.

Of course the biggest question is: will there be an Arbogast?
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:34 PM on March 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

(And how did Chick become one of the best characters on this show next to Norma and Norman?)

That pretty much automatically happens to any character Ryan Hurst is hired to play. Also, I would still have sympathized with Norman if he had killed Marion or Madeleine because he is just so unspeakably messed up and broken -- but I'm so glad that I got to cheer for him instead as he did everything possible to get Marion the fuck out of that motel safely, while also providing Norman's Practical Tips for Fugitives!
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:39 PM on March 29, 2017 [4 favorites]

Oh, and also loved loved loved how the Marion storyline was effectively demoted to the *secondary* one -- Norman making his realizations about Norma and their power dynamic was, as usual, the important one.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:48 PM on March 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

I wasn't familiar with Ryan Hurst's work until this show (I missed the whole Sons of Anarchy train) but I need more of him in my life! I kind of wish Chick would just show up in every show. Ever. Even if it's just a cameo. Chick spends time quietly observing the characters of _________ show. Slowly nods head. Tilts head. Presses "record." Asks seemingly innocuous but probing question, after question. Heads to typewriter. Like the eccentric little armchair anthropologist that he is.

Also, yes, two thumbs up to subverting the helpless objectified female trope and going instead for the preppy looking successful white guy who [only looks like] he "has it all" in life, but is in fact totally helpless and vulnerable.
posted by nightrecordings at 7:05 PM on March 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

Also re: if they'll have an Arbogast type character: I get the feeling this might be what they're doing with Sheriff Greene?
posted by nightrecordings at 7:12 PM on March 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

This episode took me a day or two to fully process. I loved it. But I'm not sure where this leads us. Norman is not Dexter all of a sudden -- Sam really sucked, and killing Sam doesn't lose Norman any of our sympathies, but Norman is still the murderer of several women whose only crime was being in the same room with him alone. Does he know consciously now what he did to Blair Watson, Bradley, Emma's mom, Norma? What does this recognition of his Mother self mean, especially considering it totally does not mean Norman is no longer killing folks?

It's exciting to see a familiar story veer off in an unexpected new direction. That said, I don't know that Norman killing Sam has anything like the dramatic punch that Norman killing Marion would have had. Of course, we already have that story; it's Psycho. I imagine everyone watching had anticipated an arc of tragedy that we now won't get -- or at least not the way we expected it -- but really, subverting expectations is the only way Bates Motel could do in 2017 anything like what Hitchcock did in 1960. I really don't know where this is going, and that's thrilling.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:31 AM on March 30, 2017 [3 favorites]

Ho. Lee. Shit. That was amazing and perfect. Rihanna gets in the shower (amazing work covering up her tattoos, btw) and I start chuckling to myself. "They are doing the exact same shots from the movie" I say to my wife, who hasn't seen Psycho. "Yeah, I'm sure I've seen this scene before in clips." she says, sad that she is about to see her favorite celebrity stabbed. We both literally sit up and yell when Marion Crane GETS OUT OF THE SHOWER. The tension as Norman begs her to leave is palpable. "Go! Go!" my wife actually says to the TV. Sam shows up in the motel room. "He's going to kill Sam!" My wife says, almost as a joke. And then Sam notices his wine-covered shirt. Yes!

They are absolutely killing it in the final season. Bravo, Cuse and Ehrin.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:57 AM on March 31, 2017 [2 favorites]

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