Sometimes it’s good for a parent to let go, and let their child make their own mistakes in order to learn and grow. But there could be occasions on which sometimes a mother might just need to knock her child unconscious and take the wheel, to get things back on track.
Tonight’s “Bates Motel” (Apr. 10) was the latter.
In “The Body,” Norman’s (Freddie Highmore) confession for the murder of Sam Loomis (Austin Nichols) has landed him in an interrogation cell at the White Pine Bay sheriff’s station, being questioned by Sheriff Greene (Brooke Smith). For the few minutes that Norman has to himself, he’s legitimately trying to be helpful to the sheriff’s investigation — and requesting his meds, to keep his head clear of his encroaching mother.
But it doesn’t last long — as soon as he’s alone, Norma (Vera Farmiga) shows up with the energy of feral cat. She can’t quite comprehend what or why Norman has done what he’s done, but nonetheless, Mother is going to take care of it. She’s not mad, she insists — but she does need to take over from here. After forcing Norman to cough up the pills he’s just swallowed, Norma unceremoniously knocks him unconscious on the seat of the holding room toilet, so that she can fully take over… And that’s when the fun really begins.
Now fully under Mother’s orders, Norman regains a sense of control over the situation, speaking in a more confident tone with Sheriff Greene, with just a touch Norma’s folksy charm. In every angle possible, we see Norma and Norman sitting almost side by side, Norman talking directly with the sheriff while Norma’s reflection looms behind him. It’s no longer Norman with his mother precariously by his side: The two have truly become one.
And so we inch toward the end. With only two episodes left in the series, this is Norma’s final push to keep her darling boy out of a mental hospital and get him back home where the both of them belong. Together.
For a brief moment early on there is a look of controlled desperation in Norma’s eyes, wondering just how she’s going to get them out of this jam. But as she’s going over the charges with the lawyer Dylan (Max Thieriot) has managed to hire, the solution presents itself perfectly: She’ll pin Loomis’ murder on Madeleine (Isabelle McNally), her rival and double, and get rid of multiple messes at once.
While Norma is doing her best to frame Madeleine for the death of her husband, another surprise death is occurring back at the Bates home: Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell), having made his way back to the hotel, finds an unlikely guest in the basement. Chick (Ryan Hurst) is back, working on his book in the cold cellar where Norman kept his dead mother.
Surprised at the strange man’s presence, Romero tries to get Chick to explain just what exactly is going on. In eccentric Chick fashion, he dances around his bond with Norman and what he’s been going through, and how Chick is there to preserve their story in writing. Instead of trying to get anything further from him, Romero simply shoots Chick in the head and leaves his body hunched over his typewriter.
Already a fugitive, this move makes one thing very clear: Romero is at the end of his rope as well. He’s not planning on going back to prison, or running from the law for the rest of his life. He’s here for one thing only, to take his revenge on Norman — and he’s willing to die in the process, maybe hopes he does. When you’re saving the world from a monster, and/or avenging the person you love, other things fade away.
The final scene is of the sheriff’s doing a sweep of the woods and finding the body in the well, right where he told them it was. With a slight smile on her face, Sheriff Greene returns to Norma’s holding cell, informing him that he’s officially under arrest for murder — and not just Sam, but the would-be assassin Jim Blackwell (John Hainsworth) and Emma’s (Olivia Cooke) mother Audrey (Karina Logue) as well.
…So what’s Mother’s plan now?
“Bates Motel” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on A&E.