The Past of Norma Begins To Surface From ‘The Vault’


After a few sessions with Dr. Edwards, the mother deep inside Norman beings to demand more while Norma works hard to keep a secret locked away from everyone she loves.

The following review of Bates Motel’s sixth episode, The Vault, contains slight spoilers. Don’t worry, you will be fine to read.

Directed by Olatunde Osunsanm, The Vault isn’t the most engaging hour of television I’ve ever seen but there isn’t much fat on this visual steak either.

While there’re three or four threads going on at the same time (Norman’s stay at Pineview, Romero’s other lover and the body of Bob Parks, Dylan and Emma’s supposedly happily ever-after situation, and Chick’s insistence that Norma come out with her dreadful secret with Caleb), the show shockingly doesn’t feel over-stuffed.

It’s true, i’d prefer the show to focus more on Norman, his inevitable decent into full Norma-mode, and not so many characters at once, but I never found myself getting bored watching The Vault.

I’m still standing. So go ahead, do your best you giant lame asshole!-Norma Bates

In an episode that begins to turn up the heat on both Norman’s intense sessions with Dr.Edwards (it’s always amazing to see Norman slip into Norma) and Norma’s past with Caleb, The Vault’s direction is a little lacking in the technical department. What can I say, I adore great camera work and highly-executed composition.

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The only shot that springs to mind, other than a few standard, but none-the-less effective composition, is the low shot thru the cricket arches (is that what they’re called?) when Dylan and Norman finally discuss who Emma has been being romantic with lately on the Pineview courtyard.

Speaking of, how crazy was it that Norman was so coy about Dylan and Emma being a couple now? Well, I suppose its not too shocking seeing as Norman has, and will ever have, one true love-of-his-life: Norma Bates.

As for The Vault’s acting, what more can be said about the excellence of Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore, playing Norma and Norman Bates respectively. Week after week, these two continue to turn in great work that arguably goes unnoticed by so many people. Norma’s interaction with Chick on the bridge and Norman’s breakdown to Dr. Edwards (as Norma) are two examples of fine acting from the great thespians.

Ryan Hurst, who plays Chick, also does an amazing job in the supporting cast department. The actor, who was also in the popular FX series Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014), really shines in his diner scene with Farmiga: I loved every minuet of it.

After seeing The VaultI had so many questions and I’m beyond excited to find out the answers. Will Dr. Edwards’ help Norman get better? Will Romero and Norma’s marriage end on bad terms? Will Caleb come back to fix what happened with he and Chick last season? These answer, and more, will hopefully be answered in the future. And I’ll be counting down the days till they are.

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The Verdict:

As much as I enjoyed The Vault, it’s not as solid as Goodnight, Mother, or even Lights of Winter for that matter. That isn’t to say it’s not another solid entry in a season of Bates Motel that’s shaping up to be one hell of a ride. While the direction is tame, to say the least, it’s not too flashy as well and sometimes that’s a good thing. All I know is, I’m having a good time with the fourth season. So, you guys ready for episode seven titled There’s No Place Like Home

The Grade: B-

Check out a preview of the upcoming episode below and i’ll see you Fright Fans next week.

Keeping up with A&E’s Bates Motel? Excited to see where the series goes after Monday’s The Vault? Tune in to Bates Motel at 9/8c Mondays, Only on A&E. Don’t forget to sound off below with your comments, opinions and insights so we can keep this Bates conversation going.