Bates Motel Season 5 Episode 4: “Hidden”
Directed by Max Thieriot
Written by Torrey Speer
Created by Anthony Cipriano, Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin
Starring Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Nestor Carbonell, Olivia Cooke A&E
Air Date: Monday, March 13th, 2017, 10pm
Warning! Spoilers below for the last 2 episodes of Bates Motel!
Tonight on A&E’s Bates Motel, star Max Thieriot (Dylan) stepped behind the camera, and directed his first episode of the hit series, as we near the midway point of the final season. Last week saw the strange yet touching relationship between Norma(n) (Freddie Highmore) and Chick (Ryan Hurst) build. Chick has become almost a guardian for Norma(n), guarding both secrets and in the physical sense, KO-ing Caleb (Kenny Johnson) and locking him in the fruit cellar. When a crisis between Norman and Mother (Vera Farmiga) set Caleb free, he fled but was taken out by Chick driving down the road. Chick; always in the right place at the right time for the Bates Family. Meanwhile, Romero (Nestor Carbonell) escaped custody, but was left wounded en route back to Norma(n). Onward to Psycho we go…
Spoilers for tonight’s episode of Bates Motel below:
Caleb is dead. Norman wants to call the sheriff, but Chick and Norma do NOT agree. “You have things in the basement!” It’s really interesting and subtle, the differences between how Chick talks to Norman and Norma(n). He’s much quicker to be direct with Norman. He volunteers to ditch the body, but don’t wait up and he’ll make the chicken later… I LOVE Chick. And right after I say that he gives Caleb a viking funeral! Quoth my wife, “He’s so weird.”
As Romero runs off with a gut shot, new Sheriff Jane Greene (Brooke Smith) shows up and is alerted of his escape. She arrives at the Bates house to tell Norman about him and Jim Blackwell (the attempted murderer who Norma(n) killed and dumped in the lake). Freddie Highmore is so plainly awkward. He totally mirrors Anthony Perkins this season. He goes to visit Madeleine Loomis (Isabelle McNally) at her hardware store, and it’s ridiculous how much of a doppelgänger for Vera Farmiga she is.
As Chick readies to move in, Norman intercepts him and takes control away from Norma(n) sending Chick away, and he does not seem too happy. Considering that Chick knows Norman is blacking out, “becoming” Norma, killing people, and then think, who is really the crazy one on this show!?!? Romero calls in a phony emergency to steal med equipment from an ambulance, and treats his gory wound in an even gorier scene.
The sheriff returns to the motel to examine the guest registry, and Norman hovers over eagerly chewing gum and you SWEAR you’re watching Psycho. The stammering, the nervous twitching, he has this character down perfectly. It’s hard to imagine this was the little kid from Finding Neverland, and the only positive thing from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake. Now I can’t imagine him as anything but Norman Bates. His complete meltdown fight with a raucous Vera Farmiga in the woods was another in a series of great scenes. Every time Norman thinks he can break free of Mother, he realizes how much he needs her.
Speaking of needing people, turns out Norman needs Chick as well, and he goes asking for help ditching Blackwell’s car. Chick agrees on a Hannibal Lecter-esque quid pro quo deal. Chick wants insight, Norman needs help. Chick gets what he wants; great stuff for his book and confirmation that he has a friend in Norman. Norman tells Mother off and goes to see Madeleine… who is wearing Norma’s old dress. “It felt like second skin.” Interesting choice of words. She’s adorably awkward; it’s sad. They would make a great couple, but you know, the whole psycho thing. Their cake making resembles more pottery making from Ghost, and soon they are kissing passionately, until Mother is there and Norman freaks out and flees back to the motel.
I can’t praise the acting enough on this show. Psycho is hallowed ground in film history. For Freddie Highmore to be this good and convince viewers he is this character known worldwide nearly 60 years, is mightily impressive. He was born almost 7 months to the day before Anthony Perkins passed away in 1992. Maybe there’s something Hitchcockian to that, maybe just coincidence. Kudos to Max Thieriot on a fantastic directorial debut. Dyl-Emma has been absent the last few episodes and it’ll be curious to see what Dylan’s reaction is once finding out about Caleb’s death. I know I’m not alone in hoping Dyl-Emma make it out unscathed from the path of Norman’s rage. Just six more episodes left in Bates Motel, and it’s still one of TV’s best shows.
Bates Motel returns next Monday night at 10:00pm ET only on A&E.