'Bates Motel' S5E6: Marion

★ ★ ★ ½

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you reintroduce a classic to a new generation.

Psycho fans have never had the opportunity to get that much gore in one shower scene and Sam Loomis' death was the twist we have all been waiting for. With him gone, it seems like Dylan will be replacing Sam over the course of the rest of the season. Dylan and Emma were always the wild card characters, given how they've been in Seattle this entire time, but their role in the endgame of the series is getting clearer by the minute. Unlike Sam, who figures out that Norman may have killed Marion, you now have Dylan and Emma putting all of the pieces together.

Norman's finally committed murder of his own free will. He didn't need Norma to help him ease the pain or forget what happened, he did all of it on his own. This is a stark deviation from Psycho's shower scene, where the movie has you thinking Norma's doing all of the killing because Norman was wearing his mother costume. Norman confronted "Norma" about their living situation and the fact that she isn't his mother, but instead a projection of her. It's all the more painful to watch her break in and out of "character" whenever needed and their final argument is so amazing to see unfold on screen. The same goes for those moments when Norma blips in and out of Norman's life and you get glimpses of how the house really looks instead of its fantasy version.

Bates Motel: S5E6

The only troubling thing about this reveal is that Psycho as a script begins to break down without Norman taking on the personality of Norma during his killings. Does this mean that Norman will be doing everything of his own volition from here on out? Will the Norma/n personality pop up again or is this sort of the last we see of his blackouts? Bates Motel doesn't have a problem with playing around with the original narratives and introducing a whole slew of undertones to mess with, but this is the first time they've gone completely against the original's interpretation of Norman. Bates Motel has done some ballsy things in the past, but this really takes the cake.

"Marion" had some issues with its pacing given the fact that it was trying to stretch a, maybe, 10-minute scene in the film into an entire episode, but it humanized Marion in ways that we haven't gotten the chance to see before. Her stopping by Sam Loomis' home (all praise Madeline for all she's worth, but the way) was a perfect send off for both of the characters and saving Marion from dying (once again) in a shower made sure to note that she and Sam weren't the focus of the series' endgame. It's a lot like how Hannibal handled Red Dragon in its remake of the twice-reimagined novel (just like Psycho). Bryan Fuller placed the spotlight on Will and Hannibal instead of the Red Dragon because, just like Bates Motel now, shifting the focus would have been deathly to the characters we have grown to know.

With the endgame of the series much clearer than it was before, Norman, Dylan, and Emma are going to have a blast wrapping up what's left of their time at the Bates Motel. Now that Norman's in full control of his actions, it's going to be interesting to see how he justifies killing anyone else who follows in this season. Poor Madeline's probably next on the chopping block given how quickly Norman's hacking through the new additions, but what will that experience be like for Norman?


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