Things are really looking up for everyone on Bates Motel. Norma and Dylan have found love, Emma has a sparkly new set of lungs, even Norman is finding some peace. Everyone is, if not exactly happy, getting pretty close. It’s wonderful! And terrible! Surely this cannot last, can it?
“We’re all doomed in the end, right?” is the casual piece of flirty cynicism Norma threw out to Romero towards the end of last season. And if we go according to Psycho, then yes, you are all doomed in the end. You, especially, Norma. A mere half season later Norma and Romero are blissful newlyweds, saying “I love you,” making out like teenagers, and being all swoon-inducing awesome. So either this is the most excruciating build up to the other shoe dropping, or maybe, just maybe, a few of these troubled characters might just make it out happy and alive. But is that possible? Let’s take a closer look.
Emma (probably mostly happy)
Emma is the most likely to make it out of White Pine Bay alive and healthy. She’s already halfway there, including distancing herself from Norman. She’s happy with Dylan and, even if that doesn’t last, we know wise-beyond-her-years Emma can roll with a break up. She’s on her way to college and a brand new life. There is that unfortunate situation with her mother being murdered by Norman/Mother. Maybe no one will tell her? Possible. But a murdered Audrey Ellis is like Chekhov’s gun, expect to see her again before the season is out.
Dylan (chances are slim)
Dylan has terrible luck, a terrible origin story, and zero safety net. He’s super happy with Emma, but everyone in his family has a way of sucking you right back into their orbit of crazy. Seattle may not be far enough, Dylan. Don’t stop until you hit Canada! On the flip side, Dylan is due some luck and maybe the writers will find it in their collective heart to cut everyone’s favorite brother a break.
Dr. Edwards (sorry in advance, doctor)
I am so worried for Dr. Edwards! He’s totally doomed, right? He even called it himself in this week’s episode (“The Vault”). He says “Mother” appears to protect Norman from danger, in which he includes himself. Don’t give him any ideas, Dr. Edwards! Also take a look at how he’s lit, Norman is often in full light and the doctor is half in shadows. Something ominous is coming his way. His one possible chance? It would be hard for Norman to kill him in the hospital and get away with it.
Alex Romero (I’m so nervous, you guys!)
Look at the dapper suit and bright smile! Who’d want to hurt this handsome gentleman? 1: Probably a lot of people. 2: Norman. He’s not going to be happy his late night movie cuddlefests with Norma are a thing of the past. Just look at Norma’s reluctance to even mention her new husband; Alex, you in danger, girl!
Romero’s safety mostly concerns me because of how it will affect Norma. She’s finally found someone who makes her happy, who’s good to her, who literally knows all her secrets and doesn’t care. He bought her a coffee maker and filled in the pit. This is love! Would Bates Motel get rid of Romero just to add one more tragedy to Norma’s already impossibly hard life? Yes! Yes, I think they would. It’s gotten so bad, that I hold my breath everytime he shows up.
Norman (definitely doomed because, well, Psycho)
The writers have repeatedly said that they’re not writing Psycho. Bates Motel is inspired by, but not a prequel to, the movie. That’s obviously true, given the current time period. But time is a slippery thing in this world. Norma and Norman, from their home to their clothes, to music and movie choices, often exist in a world that seems both far away and of the past. Indicative of the bubble they share? Sure. But also, a big nod to the source material. This isn’t Psycho, but Norman’s world is. I don’t see how he’s going to escape that fate.
Chick (Doomed. Good)
How did this annoying minor character become so pivotal this season? And I’m not sure if his blackmail scheme with Norma is over. She called him on is bluff and all he did was give her a very creepy kiss on the cheek and leave. Is that it from you Chick? Back to the woods you go? Maybe he’s done with Norma, but he’ll likely be hearing from Romero sooner than later. People who threaten Norma Bates don’t tend to live long in White Pine Bay.
Norma (wildcard, fingers crossed)
Oh, Norma. I worry about you most of all. The original Norma Bates didn’t end up so well, so we’re either watching her march towards that inevitable fate, or maybe Bates Motel will reward her for all her suffering. Maybe? Probably not.
This season in particular seems especially menacing towards Norma. With break ins, bitter ex-girlfriends, and Chicks all over the place (and even Norman posing a few threats himself), pulling out a happy ending would be an unexpected hat trick. Norma even predicted shed one day break her neck falling on those stairs, so now I have stairs to worry about too!
All this is why her newfound happiness with Romero is fantastic and awful and nerve-wracking. You just want them to really pack that bag and get out of town. Quick, before Norman/Chick/Caleb/Rebecca/The FBI/Fate catches up to you.
(Bates Motel airs Monday at 9EST on A&E)
*all images via A&E