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Bates Motel Recap: Meeting Marion


Dreams Die First Season 5 Episode 5

 writes: Since the middle of last season, Bates Motel has been hurtling toward the direct action of the Alfred Hitchcock film that inspired it. This week, we arrive at a key point in that journey: the arrival of Marion Crane, played brilliantly by Rihanna. Series co-creators Kerry Ehrin and Carlton Cuse instantly tweak audience expectations with her arrival, giving us more details about what she does for a living and her relationship with Sam Loomis than Psycho did. Don’t count on the these iterations of Marion Crane and Norman Bates interacting exactly like their progenitors. Wouldn’t you be a little disappointed if they did?

Before Marion’s arrival, Norman (Freddie Highmore) learns some harsh truths about the depths of his psychoses. He wakes up alone, and it seems like “Norma” (Vera Farmiga) is still gone, but something’s not quite right. Norman pukes, and notices some bruises when he takes off his shirt. What the hell happened last night? How drunk was he? And where was he? He runs downstairs to look for Norma, who’s usually cooking something, even if she is imaginary. She’s not there. He looks out the window, and she’s not down at the motel either. He’s alone.

Narratively, it’s the perfect time to bring Marion into Norman’s life. He finds a matchbook from a place called the White House Bar just before getting a call from Sheriff Greene (Brooke Smith) to come down to the station. When he gets there, Greene suggests that Romero (Nestor Carbonell) must have some unfinished business in White Pine Bay, and she basically accuses Norman of knowing what that business is. She also calls him out for not revealing that he went to visit Romero a mere 24 hours before he broke out. The escaped prisoner might be coming for him. “The thought has occurred to me,” Norman says.

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While Norman’s life is coming apart, Emma (Olivia Cooke) and Dylan (Max Thieriot) learn about what’s been happening in a series of revelations. Essentially, Emma learns that her mother is likely dead after finding an earring, which she first assumes belonged to Norma, but then realizing from Dylan that it likely belongs to Emma’s mother, who never checked out. She understandably freaks out, then orders Dylan to go for a walk. While he’s gone, she learns that her mother-in-law is dead too, finding the story about her suicide online. That’s a rough day.

It’s finally time to meet the legendary Marion Crane (Rihanna), introduced in Seattle with her boyfriend Sam Loomis (Austin Nichols) in a scene that echoes the opening of Hitchcock’s film, although with a modern twist. This Sam isn’t divorced, but Marion doesn’t know that. He’s been making promises to her. “We’re gonna have a big life,” he tells her. “You just got to give me time to make it happen.” At work later that day, she serves as a notary public for a transaction that involves $400,000 in cash, and then her boss asks her to take it to the bank. Remember how Psycho opens with Marion stealing a briefcase of cash? Boom. Marion grabs the money and heads to White Pine Bay to find Sam.

After revealing the horrible truth about Sam to Madeleine (Isabelle McNally) — that he brought a woman to Bates Motel for an afternoon quickie — Norman runs into an old friend … (read more)


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