So, this season of Bates Motel continues to develop nicely. As we get closer to the finale there’s definitely a feeling of finality in the air. Things aren’t necessarily starting to wrap up, given that we still have a few episodes left, but it’s very clear that they will be wrapping up soon.
My favorite thing about the episode, right off the bat, is the burgeoning relationship between Dylan and Emma. This is so, so much healthier than the Emma/Norman pairing. I can even get behind the combined name, “Dylemma.” These are the two nicest, most compassionate characters on the show and they have a whole lot in common. They do everything to try to make the people around them happy. All they want is to be a part of this family. That’s been the crux of Emma’s arc both in this season and the last, so it was pleasant with that in mind to see her father return. He’s not abusive, he doesn’t necessarily do anything to drive her away except be a little overbearing. But even that is understandable to a degree, given Emma’s condition.
Even after they spent some time together, I didn’t expect things between Dylan and Emma to develop so quickly. After all, they’ve had very few scenes together throughout the show. They don’t seem to know each other terribly well, but they have an immediate understanding of each other. I have to give the writers credit for pulling this off, because it shouldn’t work as well as it does. There’s such an immediate chemistry between them that it doesn’t necessarily need to take an overly long time to develop.
Sheriff Romero also had some more interesting things to do this episode. We finally get to see his vulnerable side, in a couple of different ways. Still recovering from his bullet wound, and a little drunk, he needs Norma to take care of him. Their relationship is beginning to develop a bit as well. Romero drunkenly admits that he finds her attractive and they both seem to shrug it off. But it will no doubt come back into play. On a deeper level, we go into Romero’s backstory and discover a bit more about his past and most importantly how that past affects the person he is now and the decisions that he makes. It’s so much easier to understand him now, the way he fights the nature of the town but tries to tow the line, by discovering that his father was a very crooked cop and Romero will do just about anything to not become that.
Norman himself was particularly fun to watch here. More and more he’s developing into the Norman Bates that we know and love, which is good for the fans but bad for everyone around him. It’s even sad to see this transformation begin, having been rooting for him since the beginning. That’s the ultimate tragedy of Bates Motel and the genius behind it: we don’t want bad things to happen to any of these characters, but we know where they end up. We know that terrible things are coming. And I think they’re coming very soon.
If you’ve been reading along, I’ve been speculating that a major character is going to die very shortly. In this episode, you can feel that in the air from beginning to end, that sense of dread and finality. The fact that the episode is titled “Last Supper” all but confirms it. I think the reason we have such a beautiful dinner scene at the end is because this is the last time we’re going to see this whole group together. It would make sense for Norma’s kind-of-sort-of-boyfriend-slash-therapist to go, since Norman came close to doing it in this episode. It would maybe even make too much sense, but I don’t think it would have enough impact. Whoever’s going to die, I think it was someone sitting at that table.
As much as I love them, as much as they might even be my two favorite characters on the show, I find myself wondering more and more if Dylan or Emma are going to make it out of this season alive. I hope thy do. It could really be anybody at this point. One of the beautiful, creepy things about Bates Motel is that it could technically keep going after Norma’s death. Vera Farmiga wouldn’t have to leave the show. As far as Norman would be concerned, nothing would be out of the ordinary. But the way Dylan and Emma have been developing leads me to wonder if one of them might be wrapping up their story by the end of the season.
Either way, I guess we’ll all just have to tune in next week to see what happens.