A&E’s ‘Bates Motel’ continues its stretch to the series finish line with a heavily ‘Psycho’ inspired outing. Welcome back Tenants.
The following review of Marion contains spoilers. I’d check into the episode before reading our take. Enjoy Motel Hellions.
As those around Norman get closer to the truth, the troubled youth gets further down the path of destruction. But when Marion Crane checks into the motel, Norman begins to further lose his grip on reality. And if he gets any deeper, there’ll be no one left to check in on him or check into the motel. Welcome to Marion.
It’s hard to be lonely. But it’s also hard to love people.. – Norman Bates
Last week, quality began to slipping in Bates Motel’s final season with Dreams Die First. While solid in aspects of performance and filmmaking, the narrative began shifting its focus and loosing steam. Sadly, it’s getting worse with Marion.
When viewing both episodes, I began to ask myself: Where is Alex Romero? What about Chick and his ongoing crime novel? Why are we building on lesser stories points and neglecting the entire Season 5 foundation. After pondering for a moment, the answer hit me like a ton of motel bed sheets.
Marion Crane and Norman in ‘Marion’ – Courtesy of A&E
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Simply put, Bates Motel showrunners are sacrificing their story in order to honor (or ape) Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic Psycho. The momentum built in the fourth season is now all but gone so we can basically have a remake of the immortal 1960 film.
And I know what some will say. “Joey, I love Psycho. There’s nothing wrong with this.” And Bates Buffs, I understand your point of view. No one was more excited than I when the inclusion of Marion was announced. But sacrificing plotting for this is extremely harmful.
And don’t get me wrong, there’s greatness in Marion. Written by show creators Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin, the acting is beyond top notch (Freddie Highmore, Vera Farmiga and Max Thieriot ) and the Psycho stuff is great in its context— especially the shower swerving of Marion not dying. And moments like the argument between Norman and Norma are some of the best the series has ever given. But when looking at the season as a whole, there’re missteps. Here’s hoping these improve in the last outings of the A&E series
So, will Norman ever be caught? Who will be the one to bring this Nightmare to an end? What irreversible damage will be done before it’s too late? You’ll have to check into Bates Motel to find out.
Phil Abraham‘s Marion is a solid outing but stampedes on the series’ plot momentum. While the Dylan stuff is great for once (plays into the Norman story), the Marion stuff, while great on its own, does little for the over all narrative. It’s still a decent outing, but the Bates Motel showrunner could be doing an better job mapping and adhering. Still, Bates Buffs and Psychos will find it pleasing.
THE GRADE: B