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Bates Motel - Final Season - Speculation/Food For Thought

PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:56 am
by DarthLocke
I, Norma

As the final season of Bates Motel is officially set off of the panel at this years SDCC, I continued to wonder what it is I felt I needed from the final season and all the ways it could be achieved.

When season four ended it was announced straight away that Marion Crane, the object of Norman's desires featured in Psycho and whose shower scenes with actress Janet Leigh continue to penetrate through decades of pop culture would be a character in the final season, I was pretty smitten.

"The obsessive love of Norma is what the show is going to be based on. It’s the heart of what drives it. That is going to be hugely important in Season 5. - Ehrin TV LINE Interview May 16, 2016

But for me, it was all about using the character as a love letter to Norma. After all, the film Psycho never shows us who Norma Bates was. It was only through Marion that gave a window to the nuances of whom Norma could of ever been and is easy to see the Bates Motel writers put some of those nuances into their version of Norma and echo aspects of her through new characters of their series.

At the beginning of Psycho, as Marion drives across the country before reaching Bates Motel, there is a somewhat long voice over of people conversing that all serve to tell us briefly about the recant life of Marion Crane. She left a guy at the alter and took all of his money AND, given the contrast as to how happy the character appears as she's driving, it's easy to presume this a bit of a manipulative character with some criminal tendencies, but the dialogue also briefly mentions something else. Marion has a sister.

With Norma being dead, it was hard to imagine how the writers might get this love letter to Norma to shine through, and not because Vera Fermiga wouldn't be on screen all the time, she would more ardently be playing her alternate version that only exists as the figurehead of Norma's psychosis, but because that character had only ever been the worse parts of whom Norma Bates was.

One easy solution might have been that everything that transpired in last few season four episodes was a dream or apart of Norman's delusions, but in effect that could be seen as too easy of a solution or even clunky writing thinking about something also like a Witness protection program, where suddenly Norma shows up to save the day.

But going back to Marion and knowing she had a sister out there, --and thinking about how Bates Motel continued to push the unconventional dynamics of what family could be, it hit me like a ton of bricks that, what if Marion was Norma's twin sister, who was unknowingly put up for adoption?

To me this made so much sense! To show the audience a third (if you don't include Norman playing her) incarnation of the woman fans lost, only to serve as the best parts of Norma Bates in it's final hours and as a psychological thriller, the fated irony of it would be a great layer that Psycho never managed, could be a great joy. It also should be noted that the name Marion has all of the same letters in it, as the name Norma, but with a leftover "i".

But this theory quickly died the moment Marion Crane's casting announcement hit SDCC. The well-known pop-singer sensation Rihanna was cast as Marion Crane.

Besides being a blow to a much-liked theory, the casting itself gave a knee jerk reaction. And it wasn't that a non Caucasian actress was cast in this role, but rather that Rihanna is such a contemporary icon with a forthright public persona, I was afraid it might take away from something. Bates Motel had fought so hard to keep the contemporary aesthetic to a minimum and instead did it's best to embrace the vintage qualities of Hitchcockian Era of films, but also in and of itself, the antiquity of things presented in Psycho.

I tried to imagine Rihanna playing some vintage version of herself to lend it back to Marion, but I just couldn't see it and really questioned if that is something the writers really wanted, wouldn't they have just cast somebody else? And really, maybe Bates Motel is also story about the struggle with change.

When I think of season one Bradley Martin and what her life gets demoted to or, even more so, that scene from last season where Ramero brings the big flat-screen TV in and see how out of place it really felt in the middle of the antique/vintage aesthetic of The 1900's Summers' house, it is way more easy to see the battle and ultimately the metaphor for both the idea that some changes needed to be made, but also the preservation of something unchanged that never should of been lost with the death of Norma.

So I thought again for while, should Rihanna still represent some facet of a more contemporary world how again could we get this love letter of Norma??

One way would be to let Marion Crane be way worse than the film character. If she were serial killer too, but one with no rectifiable conscious! There might be an opportunity for the alternate version of Norma that serves as the figure-head of Norman's head-space to become more like the version we lost, because she would be rooting for Norman to kill for a very different reason, than they had previously killed for. It would be about the existential threat of saving Norman from becoming a victim of some other psycho!

But then I also caught a TVLine interview with some of the Bates Motel cast post their comic con panel. Nestor Carbonell presses EP on the casting of Marion Crane's sister...

I had thought since Marion was cast and it wasn't Vera, that there would be no good reason to bring Marion's sister into play, so I had totally dropped the notion, but again, this struck a chord.
The kind of chord where you think that maybe there's a door behind a door!

So again, what if everything I had conceived is true, but now it is Marion's sister that is Norma's unknown biological twin? This would really push the envelope even further on loyalty and family dynamics, especially if this third version of Norma would stop her own non biological sister for the sake of one (and her family) that she never knew she had?!

It's not that I expect a happy ending for Norman either, especially since I think Ramero will be gunning for him whenever he gets out, but I could envision something bittersweet such as Norman getting re-institutionalized, but this other Norma-look-alike maybe come to visit him, bring him food, ect all part of being some exchange/deal made.

Granted, I could easily be trumped again with another casting announcement and may just have to hope at the very least that alternate Norma can change for whatever reason, but one other tiny little window of hope I have about this comes also from season 3. At the beginning of the season fans learned Norma's and Caleb's mother had passed. Norma was to inherent, but she chooses to not to.

We came to understand why Norma would detach herself from her father and even for a time, her brother, although that situation changed and help to serve as a bit of a healing process for both Norma, but also Dylan, --But we never really knew why it was she wouldn't have embraced her mother. We never really understand the distance Norma put between them. We also know that Caleb then comes to be the one who deals with the house, but we never see a scene of him doing so. We don't know what happens to all of their mother's belongings. But, if there was ever a lost story of a woman who maybe had twins and one was thought to be dead or was secretly placed for adoption, whether it would be because her husband demanded so, or because she was hoping that should could of spared one of the two lives, a life of abuse and misery, then maybe some proof of it's existence would have been in her house...

Anyways, just some food for thought with some opinions... :P

Re: Bates Motel - Final Season - Speculation/Food For Though

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:16 pm
by DarthLocke
So An Update with some spoilers.

As I was theorizing, it didn't make a lot of sense to me that they would try to make a "love letter" to Norma, with out a character coming close to reflecting her in some noticeable way.

So actress Isabelle McNally (House of Cards) has been cast as a semi-unknown character called, Madeline Loomis. As the article notes, Loomis was the surname of Sam Loomis, which was Maraion Cranes love interest, whom she left at the alter in the film Pyscho

TVLine has learned exclusively that Isabelle McNally (House of Cards) is set to recur as Madeleine Loomis, a warm and kindhearted woman who bears a striking resemblance to a young Norma Bates (Vera Farmiga). It’s not clear how exactly Madeleine will figure into Season 5, but her last name suggests she will somehow be connected to the arrival of Rihanna’s Marion Crane. In the original film, Marion’s boyfriend was named Sam Loomis. And, as we reported ... d=29078810

When I first heard they were casting Sam, I had wondered why they would do that, when it seemed like Norman's father was suppose to be Bates Motel's version of that character. Why have juxtaposing Sams?

But back to the casting itself, TVLInes Guess is that she is Sam's Wife and Marion is the other woman, which is possible of course, but I actually think it would be a greater parallel to Norma, if Madeline was Sam's brother and perhaps there is juxtaposition Norma and Caleb's relationship or that each woman represents an aspect of Norma fighting for what's right for Sam...

However, she seems young and the article is trying to coin her as a "doppelganger", so I have to wonder if these casting calls are part fictitious? If so, then perhaps Madeline is actaully a younger Norma Bates and we are having flashbacks... :hmm:

BTW, I would love that and think it would serve the ending very well. Boardwalk Empire did this and really gave an emotional jolt to the end of the series and the end to the character assessment of Nucky Thomson.