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Visiting Hours Are Nearly Over at Bates Motel



Lynn drinks way too much coffee and spends way too much time watching TV.

It looks like this week’s episode of Bates Motel was mostly filler to keep us occupied until the series finale. The three roaming storylines (Norman and Mother, Dylan and Emma, Romero and revenge) finally came together, at least. But that’s about it.

Mother is still here instead of Norman as he works through more of his legal woes. He’s going to be processed and held in White Pine Bay until the pre-trial hearing is over and done with. The friendly officer who takes his finger prints thinks that he will be denied bail and not end up with a short sentence, which upsets Mother.

Mother waiting for trial like…

And hooray! Emma came to see Dylan! Such a loving and supportive wife. But before they can even get out of the snowy parking lot of the motel he’s staying in, Dylan tells her that her mother was murdered, and he’s pretty sure Norman did it. Don’t try to give her a little privacy or breathing room, Dyl, it’s TOTALLY ok to mention something so awful as soon as she sees you. Cool.

There’s some lovely old-timey tune playing as we watch the sheriff’s whole crew scouring the Bates property for evidence against Norman. They notice the house hasn’t been dusted or kept up, yet someone has been staying in Norma’s bedroom; then the sheriff gets a call on her walkie-talkie from an officer who dug up Audrey’s suitcase in the front lawn. That revelation is trumped by another officer’s discovery of a freshly dead Chick slumped over on a desk in the basement.

Poor Emma and Dylan discuss what happened with her mother and how difficult it’s been for Dylan to cope with what’s happened to Norman. The line “I never wanted to bring you anything but happiness” tears me to shreds, because FINALLY Dylan has found someone stable. He’s gotten his life together and is immediately dragged back into the fire. Emma goes to take care of funeral arrangements for her mother, then says she doesn’t know if she can handle being with Dylan if he sides with Norman. I mean, I get where she’s coming from; her brother in law possibly murdered her mother and it’s an awful thing. But leaving your husband for trying to find help for his brother? Come on, Emma. It’s not like Dylan is advocating murder, he just wants this poor kid to get the mental help he so clearly needs. Ugh.

Anyway, Mother/Norman (it’s growing difficult to know which term to use when talking about the character, thanks for bearing with me) meets with Julia to discuss what steps to take before the trial begins. She wants to pursue a mental defect/insanity defense because that’s Norman’s best chance to not face the death penalty. If he says he wasn’t in the right state of mind during the murders (which, honestly, he wasn’t) and then again during the questioning with Sheriff Greene, he can hopefully spend life in jail or in a mental health facility. Julia plays doctor here, and says that it’s likely Norman has Dissociative Identity Disorder. She believes entering a mental health facility would be a wise choice. Mother isn’t having that, though; she doesn’t want to “rot” in there.

After this chat, Julia heads over to see Dylan and update him on Norman’s situation. She stops by mid argument, with a distraught Emma and a Dylan who’s trying to keep the peace. Julia asks Dylan to come by during the pre-trial hearing and sit behind the defense so Norman can have a tie to the real world. He doesn’t have anyone else to rely on. This is the ultimatum for Emma, and she basically tells her husband that it’s her or his murderous brother. Tough decision.

Emma claims her mother’s remains and has her cremated. As she leaves the funeral home, she stops to see Norma’s headstone and has an emotional moment with the woman who was more of a mother to her than her actual mother. She cries, then takes the ashes of her biological mother and spreads them across the beautiful mountain view with less emotion than she had while seeing Norma’s grave.

Meanwhile, Alex “Oh My God Look at That Rugged Salt and Pepper Scruffy Face” Romero is lurking around town in the car he stole from Maggie. He goes to fuel up the car and briefly chats with a Nosy Nelly about the make and model of this vehicle. I thought this scene was going to lead up to something, like this guy saw Alex’s face on a wanted poster or something, but no. I guess he was just overly interested in the handsome man and his car? Unless he makes a surprise appearance in next week’s episode as a witness or something. That’d be neat.

It’s time for the trial hearing, and surprise surprise, Dylan decides to show up. He sits quietly in the back rather than behind Norman, but he’s still showing support…Until he hears details about the murders and leaves the courtroom. When he’s out in the lobby, he runs into Madeleine. Dylan apologizes about what happened to her and her husband. She says he has nothing to apologize for.

It’s a sweet, but fleeting moment, as she goes on to basically accuse Dylan of not stopping Norman. According to her, Dylan knew Norman his whole life and never did anything to stop him or get him help, which should be a burden Dylan has to carry for the rest of his life. Which…wow, rude. Girl, you know basically nothing about their lives, yet you’re going to treat Dylan like he was a personal assistant during the murders? Come on, he’s just trying to be nice to you when he doesn’t have to be.

Alex has cruised back to Maggie’s house and is trying to steal her Netflix account. I mean borrow her computer so he can find where Norman is being held before trial. This poor lady (who very obviously has A Thing for him, and who can blame her) is trying to stop him from doing something else he’ll regret. She’s trying to convince him to stay with her, lay low, and not act on the impulse to go after Norman. But Ex-Sheriff Eyelashes isn’t having it, and he runs right back out to go confront Norman at ye olde police station.

When will my reflection show….who I am insiiiiide

Before Alex gets there though, Emma goes to visit Norman. “He” says that he didn’t kill her mother, that he’s not that kind of person. But immediately she can tell that it’s not Norman talking and figures it’s his other personality. Mother says that Emma’s mom was a horrible person and that it’s better she’s gone. Emma meekly asks “May I talk to Norman?” But Mother says he’s sleeping until she tells him it’s okay to get up. So, Emma tells Not-Norman that she misses the real Norman, the one she was friends with years ago. It’s a touching moment, and it feels like Emma has finally let go of him.

When Alex finally gets to the station, he takes one of the clerks at gun point and makes her bring him inside. There are several other cops there as well, all of whom are taken as hostages (essentially) as he heads back to Norman’s holding cell. Alex shoots one of the cops who pops out of a doorway, but he’s okay I guess, since he’s getting corralled along with the rest of the gang. Mother (Norman) is shocked to see her man here, brandishing a gun and forcing them out of the cell and into his car.

Alex says that he wants Norman to take him to the place where he left Norma’s body. We see Norma’s reflection in the rearview mirror instead of Norman’s, which is a great shot. Alex doesn’t know that she’s taken over her son’s body, so I’m sure it’ll provide some interesting tension in the final episode.

Let’s hope that the series finale really delivers and doesn’t let us down!

Hey boo! Missed you!

Images Courtesy of A&E
Voted Thanks!
  • anon

    I really don’t think you’re being fair about the blame of Dylan. He, Norma, and Emma all hold responsibility for what has happened to Norman. They all ignored his mental disorder. Every single season we have seen each of them witness Norman disorder and yet they just cover for him instead of getting him help. Dylan and Emma both abandoned him for 2 years. They seemed to have never checked up on him. Norma made excuses and allowed Norman’s obession with her grow and grow.
    So Madeline’s point is a fair one. I took at it as telling the audience that nobody in this situation is innocent. Dylan did know. He knew for years that Norman was sick, that he killed his father, and yet he truly didn’t do anything for him. He allowed his issues with his mother block him from helping his brother.
    I think the over all point they were making with that scene is that they are all responsible for what Norman’s become. Nobody’s hands are clean. Norman might have committed the murders but his family enabling him for years has allowed this to happen in the first place.

    On to Emma, I think we need to keep in mind Emma loved Norman. Their relationship was one of the most important on the show. That’s why that scene between Emma and “Mother” was so powerful, because she loved Norman. Norman was her best friend, and to face a betrayal from him like this is of course going to deeply effect her. She too knows that both her and Dylan knew he was sick. So I think they is alot of guilt going on with Emma. The show has put both Emma and Dylan in an extremely difficult situation to deal with as a newly married with a baby couple. Saying she’s not sure if she’ll be able to cope was a human moment. No it’s not completely fair because both of them have enabled Norman, however right now they are going through a traumatic situation. She found out her best friend/brother in law killed her biological mother, also that he is a serial murder. Dylan is finally accepting the true extent of Norman’s crimes and mental illness as well. His own responsibility in it, and how to keep his relationship with Emma going. This is all traumatic and I think Emma clearly wants to keep her relationship with Dylan (The cuddle scene indicate that) but I think they were hinting at her not being able to look at him the same. So it’s realistic for to say that she didn’t know if they would make it.

    • Meg Whitlock

      Except when it comes to mental illness, no one can help you unless you want help. Norman wasn’t taking his meds. No one could have forced him to do that. Yes, Norma could’ve kept him in the institution longer, but it’s ultimately Norman’s choice to take his meds and let the therapy work, and he refused.

      • anon

        I think that’s a very negative view towards mental illness, Norman was making cries for help throughout the series that was ignored by his mother and Dylan.
        Also keep in mind that for a good chuck of the series Norman was legally a child and his mother could have enforced mental illness treatment during that time period.
        Instead Norman was repeatedly taught through both Dylan and his mother’s actions that secrets were the right course of action. That you should lie to the authorities and be wary of doctors. He helped both his mother and Dylan cover up various crimes. If Norman hadn’t been taught to fear doctors as a child he might have been more receptive towards treatment. In season 1 and 2 they clearly have Norma placing fear in his head over psychiatrists and their treatment. It was only in the Norma’s later seasons when she began to accept that Norman needed treatment.
        Also how did Dylan know if he was taking his meds or not, Dylan abandoned Norman when he needed help the most at the end of the last season. He apparently never called or reach out to his brother at all. Of course Dylan couldn’t force Norman to do what he didn’t want to do, but the last couple epsiodes proved that Dylan has a positive impact on Norman’s mental illness. It was because of Dylan that Norman wanted to seek treatment and finally informed the authorities. Dylan’s abandonment of Norman wasn’t right.

        • Meg Whitlock

          It’s not a “negative attitude towards mental illness.”

          What’s the first step in a 12 step program? Admitting you have a problem.

          How many therapists does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, but the lightbulb has to want to change.

          It’s a simple fact of therapy: it only works if you WANT it to. Norman never did, from the beginning. There’s only so much you can help someone before they have to take over and help themselves. That’s just Psych 101, friend.

        • Lynn

          “His mother could have enforced mental illness treatment during that time period” – that’s pretty much the entire concept of their relationship, though? That Norma was emotionally and psychologically manipulative with him his whole life and that’s one of the biggest factors with his illness. There’s only so much Norman can do to try and help/change himself when he’s always been instilled with the idea that seeking help is wrong, and lying always comes in handy.

          And I don’t think it’s abandonment, really, since Norma always tried to push Dylan away and out of their lives. Again, he can only do so much when he’s got troubles of his own, and he isn’t wanted from the getgo.

    • Lynn

      I think I am being fair with my opinions about Dylan, since, they’re opinions. He was mistreated and lied to his entire life, so can you really blame him for wanting to leave when he has the opportunity? Nothing was going to change with Norma and Norman since she was clearly complacent with the way she treated him. She convinced him that she would take care of him, that there was nothing wrong, and that everything would be okay when it wasn’t.

      It actually speaks to Dylan’s character that even after all he went through with his mother, his uncle, and his brother, that he came back to try and help Norman after all. Like Meg says below, there’s only so much that someone can do when there’s clearly mental issues and you cannot physically force someone to seek treatment.

      And Emma is in a difficult situation, yes, so her turmoil between Norman and Dylan is fitting. She lost one of her best friends (Norman) and is at risk of losing another best friend (Dylan). But saying both of them “enabled” Norman? How? That doesn’t seem to make any sense.

      This whole story is very twisted as we can clearly see, but Madeleine trying to pin the blame on someone who is grieving as well (granted, in a totally different way than she is) just isn’t fair.