I have to give it up to Freddie Highmore. He completely brought his A game to this episode of Bates Motel, and I’ve seen enough police procedural dramas to say that with certainty. Highmore is able to have the red face and teary eyes one minute, then be totally calm and collected in the next. Norman is a character that must undoubtedly be difficult to play. Not only have past iterations been spot on, but Norman has the extra challenge of making Norman a kid, a young man trying to find his way into this despicable world he finds himself inhabiting.
As Norman comes under questioning about the death of Cody’s father, I can’t tell if his pressure changes are intentional, or happening because Norman’s psyche is in self defense mode, but the way he maneuvers his emotions in the police station is giving me pause. He seemed in total control during the incident with Cody’s father, even if it was a sort of self defense situation. Obviously, Romero doesn’t suspect Norman as a cold blooded killer, but his deputy does, and a nice little twist at the end of the episode will probably help propel the last 3 episodes of the season.
Cody’s gone, off to live with an aunt but that doesn’t mean she’s out of the picture for good. Hopefully, she comes back in some capacity because I was finally starting to come around to the character. Even so, now it leaves Norman alone with the only two women I’ve been invested in, Norma, and Emma. Emma didn’t seem to have much going on during this episode. Her boytoy, was absentee as far as I can recall. I hope that sooner or later Norman comes around to Emma, since she’s the most interesting teenage girl this show has to offer.
Norman’s other main concern is his increasingly overbearing mother. Who for whatever reason refuses to talk about or even acknowledge Norman’s intensifying blackouts. This season has done a great job of putting small wedges between Norma and Norman. Those wedges are starting to work together and causing a greater rift between the mother and son. Why she believes shielding him, or ignoring the problem will help, but I hope she wises up in the next few episodes.
As for the other son, Dylan has been doing some intensifying of his own. He has been stepped up by Zane’s sister Jodi to watch over Zane’s actions. Zane has been a loose cannon since he showed up, and his latest “brilliant idea” is only going to end one of two ways. Either Zane’s hit will be met with immediate reprisal, or Zane and all his boys (including Remo), got massacred. The ending of the episode left with a nice little doozy of a cliffhanger for not only Norman, but Dylan as well. As everything is beginning to escalate, this episode did feel like more of a setup than an actual knockout, but it moved a lot of pieces into place and I’m interested to see who wins and who loses next week.