Monday night gave audiences the long-awaited season 4 premiere of A&E's hit series, Bates Motel, and fans were treated to some huge progressions in story and character development in one 45-minute-long episode. Let's take a moment to look at these moments and discuss the biggest of them all.
*OBVIOUSLY, MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!*
1. Norman has officially lost it.
The first few minutes of the episode show Norma and Dylan frantically searching for Norman after he escaped from Norma and ran away with Bradley in the season 3 finale, only to have his Norma personality kick in and kill Bradley and hide her car in the bay. They're both clearly distraught over the unknown whereabouts of Norman, but when we finally see his state, we realize their fears are justified.
He wakes up in the middle of a field with blood on his head, mud all on his face and clothes, shoes off for some reason and speaking to an invisible "Norma." After enough black outs over three seasons, Norman has finally hit the point of no return, and is clearly going full-blown multiple personalities and having all-out conversations with Norma.
Even later in the episode, he dresses in one of Norma's robes (again) and as we see him view himself in the mirror, we see that from his perspective, the reflection is of his mother.
2. Emma is finally going to get better!
After struggling with her cystic fibrosis for most of her life, and with Dylan getting the money together this last season, events were finally transpiring to get her better. The season finale finally put these events into true motion, Emma going to Portland to get the transplant needed to save her life, and after plenty of waiting in the lobby of the hospital, Emma's father and Dylan were treated to the fantastic news that though they were going to keep her under watch for 24 hours, everything is going according to plan, "textbook" as the doctor put it. Dylan even paid Emma a little visit as she recovered, providing her with some humor to help her with her pain.
3. We've met Emma's mother...
Throughout the show, the identity and location of Emma's mother has been discussed in passing, appearing to be a sore subject for the young Bates Motel employee and her father. Well, that mystery has come to a close, as she made an appearance first at the hospital to visit her daughter during her surgery. Her and Dylan had an awkward introduction in the lobby, as he introduces himself after overhearing her say her name, only to have Emma's father scold her mother and tell her to leave and never come back. Emma's mother clearly did a toll on her daughter and ex-husband after leaving from the inability to handle living with Emma's sickness, and her introduction in the show clearly illustrated this.
4. And there goes Emma's mother.
Just as quickly as we get to know Emma's mother, we get to know how she looks in death. After being told by Norma not to talk to Norman or her again, due to her leaving Emma at such a young age, she still persisted and knocked on the door at the worst possible moment: during a Norman Bates blackout.
Dressed in Norma's robe and talking to Emma's mother as though he was his own, he eventually snaps from her leaving Emma and uses her own scarf to strangle her to death. Without even getting to really know Emma's mother or see her redeem herself, it sort of begs the question "Why even introduce her at all?" Now, this not unusual for this show to do, taking menacing or unlikable characters and killing them before any real progression happens with them, so it'd be interesting to see where the writers are going to take this plotline for the rest of the season.
Overall, the premiere was great in its character development and further progression towards the original film, and promises big things for the upcoming season.