Bates Motel Season 4 Episode 4 Review: Lights of Winter

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Norman's escape didn't do much for his freedom, but it did a hell of a lot in reinforcing desire to get help. For real this time.

The first 20 minutes or so of Bates Motel Season 4 Episode 4 were incredibly entertaining, because watching Norman being so flippant while at Pineview, so certain he wasn't crazy and in his knowledge Dr. Edwards was freeing him, lightened him up well beyond reality.

It was as if he was the first patient to ever experience such sensations and please and thank you step aside, because he's going home!

Alright, it was rather tragic in how sincere he was being, but it was great for us as viewers.

Caught Between Two Families - Bates Motel

It was interesting that Norman threw his hat in the ring with Julian to escape. When they got outside, which wasn't too difficult at all, Norman had no idea what to do. Julian just wanted to go to a strip club and Norman went along.

It was almost sad that Norman was worried about getting into a car with strangers and that Julian had to remind him they were the crazy ones, and I really thought Norman would break free when Julian gave him a wad of cash to keep him entertained while Julian went back to get the private treatment.

Instead, Norman stuck around, and one of the girls got to him. Doing whatever he likes to do worried me, and I imagined Athena with her throat slit (or a screwdriver through the carotid), but instead the threat of sex brought out Mother in a disturbingly different manner. 

Did you expect Mother to get her flirt on? Where did that even come from? Obviously inside Norman's head, but it's not like he ever saw Norma being flirtatious. She held back so long even Romero almost missed the signs. Norman as Mother as Norman was a lot more manly than Norman as himself.

Julian's ruckus not only probably saved Athena in the long run, but shook Norman out of his reverie, allowing him to realize Mother couldn't possibly be at that club, meaning only one thing. He has no idea what's real anymore.


But, the great thing about mental illness is you have brilliant glimpses of sanity and they disappear just as quickly. I don't expect tears and pleas of help to last for long. 

And it's not as if Norma doesn't have her hands full outside Pineview, anyway. First of all, she's ridiculously in love. She's in love with her big, tall man. How cute was that? And that breakfast? That was a lot of food. Women like Norma feed those they love. Awwwww.

The looks on both of their faces when they spotted each other at the lights festival was so mushy and romantic it was like we were watching a Hallmark movie. Then came a funnel cake and hot toddies (from which they walked away...I never!). 

But of course that wench Rebecca Hamilton is right in the middle of it. She laundered money for Bob Paris. She knows damn well Romero killed him and likely has the safe deposit box key. Romero didn't even know he had it until she told him he had it.

Now other law enforcement is on the case and Romero is lying about knowing's going to get really ugly really fast. And that doesn't even count Rebecca trashing the place looking for the key. Who would ever be so confident they'd find a small key in that big place, anyway? 

I'm guessing Rebecca is going to enlist the aid of someone else to help her, thereby spreading the secret not only of what she did, but what Romero did and there will be people coming at the newlyweds from all angles.

At which time it might be nice to have a bulldog like Norman around. Just sayin'. It's too bad he might want to kill Norma if he finds out she's married. What will he do when he discovers that little secret? 

There certainly is a lot more to come this season on Bates Motel, but this episode didn't really give a straight path like we felt with Bates Motel Season 4 Episode 2. This one feels like a misdirect.

Other notes:

  • The photo of Norman on Norma's dresser looked so much like Anthony Perkins.
  • Was that Alexia Fast playing Athena? I would have thought her role would be bigger.
  • Are they getting ready to write off Dylan, and Emma as well? Their story isn't just going nowhere (well, to Seattle), but distracting. What a shame.

Share your thoughts in the comments and watch Bates Motel online to catch up.

Lights of Winter Review

Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (28 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Bates Motel Season 4 Episode 4 Quotes

It's weird how people aren't together, and then all of a sudden they are.


Orderly: Norman, they're waiting for you in group.
Norman: Yes, well, I'm not going.
Orderly: Well, you're scheduled to be there. If you're not going, I'm going to have to confine you back to your room.
Norman: OK, Jacob, you obviously didn't get the memo because I am being released today. You can go ask Dr. Edwards.
Orderly: OK [lays hands on Norman].
Norman [pushes him away]: OK! Thank you! Well done! Bad idea! You have obviously no IDEA what's going on in this place! I'm. Being. Released. TODAY.