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Bates Motel - Dreams Die First - Review: Blurred Lines

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This was a messy one. With Dreams Die First passed the first half of Bates Motel's final season and while the episode itself wasn't really bad, it was mostly faulty storytelling at least one story. Dreams Die First was written by Erica Lipez and Kerry Ehrin, directed by Bates Motel's own, Nestor Carbonell.

The episode picks up the morning after Norman and Madeleine's date. Norman felt sick and discovered some weird bruises on his upper body. It was obvious that Mother did something last night but I really didn't expect the reveal that happened at the end of the episode. But before we discuss what Norman does as mother lets dig into the abstinence syndrome Norman was going through with "Norma" missing.

Norman was a mess and the writers made him even look like it. The always upstanding groomed Norman looked like a mess and it obviously felt like that. His search for "Norma" brought him to a bar where his car was stashed. Conveniently Madeleine called and offered to drive him to the bar. On the way to the bar Norman finally came clean about how he met Sam and how he feels she is desperate for attention. It was a strong scene especially cause of Isabelle's performance but it was more important to reveal that Norman still has a critical mind and that isn't just Mother who is judgemental of these girls.

After an awkward scene in the bar, while picking up his car, Norman encountered his old psychiatrist, Dr. Edwards. Another very strong and deep scene, touching deeper into the disturbed mind of Norman Bates. Edwards mentioned the coping mechanisms he built to protect him from the stress and there Norman confessed about knowing that he sometimes sees "Norma" and that sometimes he becomes Mother. Freddie as always was exceptional in those moments of self-reflection as he gives Norman the necessary fragility and balances so well between breaking down and fighting another day.

This event pushed Norman back to the bar, where he started to realized that it wasn't "Norma" who was at the bar the last night. It was him dressed up as Norma and hooking up with some random guy. Again Freddie delivered an impeccable performance as Norman's world was falling to pieces. I mentioned in a review for episode 2 I believe that Norman's sexuality wasn't clearly defined and that he might have some feelings for Romero. Seems like there is some actual substance behind that theory. I'm looking forward seeing where the writers will take this story and if there is some pleasure for Norman behind Mother's escaped or is it just Mother's need to went.

As for Rihanna's version of Marion Crane, I'm okay with it. She and Austin Nichols had a fair amount of chemistry and all her scenes felt mostly on point. The thing I have most issues with is Marion's story overall. She is a woman in love, who does something wrong and gets karmically punished by falling into the clutches of a psycho who eventually kills her. Feels a bit misogynist to begin with, but this is a just adaptation of the original story so can't blame the writers for it. Either way, I am excited to see Marion interact with Norman or Mother, whoever she encounters at the motel.

Now let us speak about Emma and Dylan. I really dislike convenient writing. I mean there has to be some level of convenient writing in every show, especially murder-mystery shows where clues have to pop up randomly. But this ear-ring popping up in a random drawer felt just faulty and lazy writing. The only good thing coming out of this whole crash and burn story was that Emma finally found out that Norma is dead and that she and Dylan will probably pack their bags and visit White Pine Bay. The confrontation between Emma and Dylan lacked a bit of substance cause it really felt like a pushy and accelerate resolution to such a big story within the two of the.

MIA this week Romero and "Norma", I imagine they are on their honeymoon somewhere far away from Norman's crazy mind. What were your impressions of "Dreams Die First"? How did you like Rihanna as Marion Crane? Did she hit the highs for you or are you truly excited for her impending demise or both?

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