Bates Motel: The creepiest thriller on television

A&E hit a dark goldmine with its series Bates Motel. Season 4 is currently airing on A&E Mondays at 8 p.m. The show’s IMDB rating is 8 stars and it is well deserved. The show stars Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates, Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates, Max Thieriot as Dylan Massett, Nestor Carbonell as Sheriff Alex Romero and Olivia Cooke as Emma Decody.

The series depicts the teenage years of Norman Bates, the main character from the 1960 cult classic film “Psycho.” The name alone provokes curiosity in a new or avid watcher of the show.

The series gives a full view of life inside the Bates Motel and how Norman killings started. Norma’s oldest son Dylan rounds out the tension wielding dynamics within the family. There’s also an in-depth view of Norman’s protective side as he befriends Emma, the high school outcast. Norma’s relationship with Sheriff Romero and the different shenanigans she gets into also are featured.

I personally love this show. Season 4 has just begun and I’m currently catching up on all four episodes. I believe that as someone who has been watching the show since its inception, I know what makes Norman tick. Knowing this makes the moment all the more suspenseful. It is an on-the-edge-of-your-seats guessing game to predict what the victim will do to provoke Norman into killing.

Earlier seasons showed how Norman had unexplained blackouts and the only explanation would be a dead body in his vicinity. He doesn’t recall the events, but there are hints of violence in his memories. Norma would also be in his subconscious.
Norman’s killer mindset is riddled with morals. Highmore’s portrayal of Norman is so concrete, the viewer is immediately sucked into the sadistic nature of the character. Norman is manically possessive of Norma and becomes jealous when she dates or even shows affection to his brother, Dylan. The dynamics between brothers in the earlier seasons was very eerie, such as the clever way Norman subtly preys on Dylan with love and jealousy. Norman is a ticking killer time bomb ready to explode the moment Dylan betrays him.

Dylan, on the other hand, loves both Norman and Norma. He’s very protective of them, especially Norman, because he feels Norma is the cause of his weird behaviors.

Season 4 kicks off with Norman missing and he wakes up in a field of trees talking to Norma who’s nowhere in sight. The scene in the open field was intuitive on the director’s part, fully capturing Norman’s awakening from a blackout into his now delusional reality.

Finally, this is also the season where Norman fully transcends into becoming Norma while he kills. The transformation causes Norman to believe Norma killed a lady at their hotel.

The biggest scene of the new season occurs when Norman and Norma face off before he gets institutionalized. The emotions of the characters were conveyed in an intense psychological paradox. As Norma, Farmiga demonstrates a mother’s weariness after years of enabling her son, finally accepting his manic behavior as reality. Highmore’s look of contemplative resolve had a resounding effect on the intense moment between mother and son.

“I have reason to believe my mother might be insane and might be killing people,” said Norman Bates, accusing Norma of his crimes.