'Bates Motel' S5E7: Inseparable & S5E8: The Body

★ ★ ★ ★

If there's anything that both of these episodes pointed out, it's how weird the family dynamics are on Bates Motel. Despite everything they've gone through, Dylan can't help but understand that everything that's happening is because of Norman's mental illness and that it isn't something he can control.

Dylan's dinner date with Norman was amazing to see unfold because Dylan is the only shred of normalcy left on the series who knew Norman before and after Norma's death. The look on Dylan's face when walking into the kitchen alone tells you just how far gone Norman is (if speaking to Dylan as Norma didn't do it for him). Bates Motel has gone above and beyond demonstrating the split between Norman and Norma and how it really looks outside of his head, so his kitchen fight was one of the highlights of the episode for the sheer amount of insanity.

Norma's character is increasingly becoming more and more erratic, which is saying a lot given how Norman is so quickly losing it. Never has Norma had to knock Norman out in order to gain control, which goes to show how much control Norman has over his own mind now.

Bates Motel: S5E7

Norman's self-aware relationship with fake Norma is probably one of the funniest portions of the series at the moment, and also one of the most dramatic. Norman punching his own mother is one of the most cathartically funny things to happen on the series besides Chick getting shot in the head during a monologue. It's the kind of dark humor the show has developed over the years that is more than appreciated when done right. Bates Motel may not have had the comedic timing right for Caleb's death, but it certainly did for these and for Sam's body dumping.

Speaking of body dumping, wonder how long it'll take for the cops to discover the rest of the bodies littered around town. That lake's been a popular dumping spot for a long while.

While Bates Motel is nailing beats between Norman and Dylan, Norma and Dylan, and Dylan and Emma, the weakest part of the whole season is that it just doesn't know what to do with Romero. It's obvious they've been saving him up for some big conflict, but his adventure over the course of the season hasn't added to the story and hasn't given the closure we'd need from that character. The segment when he finally reaches the motel with glowy Norma was… retractable. The staircase portion of it is a reference to another Hitchcock classic called Suspicion (I… think?) but it doesn't do anything to add to the story, sadly. Both of these episodes (and a lot of the season) are struggling to fill up the remaining time in what could have been summed up in maybe 6 crazy, action-packed episodes. Bates Motel has mastered the art of stalling, but you can tell when they're buying too much time.

Norman pinning all of the blame on Madeline could have been a smart move if the cops were as stupid as the ones in Dexter, but I'm shocked that she didn't just pin the blame on Marion Crane. One thing that it does show is how viciously Norma attacks other women for Norman's attachment to them. It's always great watching Vera Farmiga make sure that Norma is just as bad as Norman at keeping it cool under pressure and at lying.

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TelevisionFanboyContributor
Apr 13, 2017 5:59AM EDT

I am loving watching Mother take full control this season. The "my heart is only big enough for one" speech she gave Dylan through Norman was so depressing.
I also find it refreshing that they finally figured out what to do with Chick. Having him humanize Norman's actions to Romero was nice to see. His perfect enemies speech was overly meta, but the tone of it kind of revitalized the Norman/Romero feud.

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