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Bates Motel Recap: Episode 1.04 – Trust Me

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Bates Motel: Recap of Episode 1.04 - Trust Me - NormanHow do you feel about the small-town intrigue in the show? After what Norman saw in the basement last week, we hope to learn more about the town in tonight’s episode. That and more creepy mother-son bonding. It’s always a plus to watch Vera Farmiga and Freddy Highmore together.

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read any further if you haven’t watched the episode yet. This is a recap with specific details from this episode. Continue only if you have already watched it.

Related Story: A&E Orders a Second Season of Bates Motel

When we last left Norman, he went over to Deputy Shelby’s house to get the belt. On the way, Dylan saw Norman out in the night and followed him to the house. Observing Norman, Dylan saw the deputy returning to his barking dog. Inside, the deputy yelled out to his dog suspiciously and Norman heard him as the girl woke up. Before Deputy Shelby could react, Dylan rang the doorbell and distracted the deputy. Downstairs, Norman struggled with the scared girl but managed to escape out the window, with Dylan watching him.

When Norman got back to the motel, Dylan confronted him but Norman denied the whole thing plainly.

Norman came out to Emma’s house but her dad informed him that she had the flu. He even told Norman about Emma’s crush on him and asked Norman to be kind to her.

Norma met Deputy Shelby at a secluded area. After she got into his truck, he started to seduce her again to which she happily responded. They went to one of her motel rooms and had sex. After basking in their post-coital glow, as Norma came out of the motel room, Dylan surprised her. Awkwardly, Norma introduced Deputy Shelby to Dylan but the two men eyed each other suspiciously as the deputy and Norma drove away to get her car. Are you getting a evil vibe from the deputy?

Bates Motel: Recap of Episode 1.04 - Trust Me - Norman & Norma

While washing a window at the motel, Normal saw Bradley planting a cross at the ditch where her dad had crashed into. Norman put his arm over a crying Bradley and she leaned on his shoulder. Feeling the closeness, Norman instinctively smelled her hair.

Norma found Dylan putting groceries away in the kitchen. Dylan confronted her about her seeing the deputy and that he didn’t trust him. Norma looked a little pensive as she walked out.

Coming out of the DVD store, Norman saw Deputy Shelby and tried to avoid him but the deputy already spotted Norman and started to follow. Crossing into a darkened corner, the deputy surprised Norman causing Norman to drop his DVDs and laughed at Norman’s clumsiness. Deputy Shelby confessed that he liked Norma and insisted that he and Norman should get to know each other more. Norman just bristled at the deputy. Deputy Shelby told Norman that they would go fishing despite Norman’s protests. As he left, with a smirk, the deputy warned Norman to acknowledge him the next time they saw each other on the street.

Norma was reading up on White Pine Bay’s city council meetings when Norman came in to talk to her. Norman told her about the girl he found in Deputy Shelby’s basement and about the picture journal. When she asked why Norman went into the deputy’s house, he said that she told to go get the belt. She denied having done told him that and started hugging him. She told Norman that he sometimes hallucinated and that she would protect him. Norman left angrily. Sounded like there had been other hallucinations before?

At Deputy Shelby’s house, Norma got up from his bed while he was sleeping and went down to the basement. She was relieved when she didn’t find anything there. The deputy surprised her from behind. She playfully suggested that she was snooping because she couldn’t sleep and went back upstairs. The deputy switched off the lights behind them.

Norman found a bruise on his ankle from his struggle with the girl the other night.

Norman confronted Norma about her whereabouts the previous night. He was up late but she wasn’t home then. She tried to calm Norman that he was jealous. Norman confessed he didn’t like the deputy. When Norman brought up the girl in the basement, Norma angrily retorted she didn’t see anyone in the basement when she was there. Norman insisted he wasn’t crazy and tried to show her the bruise on his ankle. When Norman fought her some more, she finally lost her temper and yelled at him to get ready to go fishing with the deputy. She sighed as Norman stormed off.

Out fishing, Deputy Shelby tried to bond with Norman and that he wanted to take care of Norman and his mother. The deputy insisted a little too forcefully that they need to trust each other. When asked directly if he can trust the deputy, Norman lied through his teeth. The deputy seemed to have bought it. Their fishing trip was cut short by a phone call and Norman was visibly joyful for that.

At the docks, Sheriff Romero showed the deputy what the fishing boat caught. It was a severed hand with Keith’s watch. “Dumbass” quipped the sheriff. Hmm.. Who was he referring to?

Norman was happy that Bradley invited him for ice cream. She liked being with Norman and he was glad about that. Then she talked about the decomposing severed hand that the sheriff found.

Norman rushed home to tell Norma about the found severed hand. Before she could brush it off, the doorbell rang. Deputy Shelby asked Norma to go down to the police station for some questioning.

In the sheriff’s office, Sheriff Romero tried to intimidate Norma by telling her he would match carpet fibers found on the hand with the carpets that Norma pulled up that fateful night. He tried to illustrate that Keith was not a nice person and that he’d understand if Norma had killed him. Norma held fast to her denial and even manage to catch the sheriff in a slip up when he asked her where she dumped the carpet. She had the advantage now and then insisted that she couldn’t remember where the dump was. The sheriff had no choice but to let her go.

Norma and Norman drove to find the dumpster. Norman even “whatever”ed her and she wasn’t happy about that. When she checked the dumpster, the carpet wasn’t there anymore. Luckily there was a number she could call. At the county waste site, the gate was locked and Norma started to panic. Norman and Norm fought about not calling the police that night and she confessed that she stabbed Keith many times because she was angry.

Bates Motel: Recap of Episode 1.04 - Trust Me - Norman & Norma

When they were home, Norma continued to cry. Helpless, Norman ventured out of the house and came up upon Dylan at the motel. Dylan handed Norman a drink, which he tried to chug unsuccessfully. When Dylan sympathized with Norman that he had to deal with their mom all by himself, Norman told Dylan everything about Keith breaking into the house and raping Norma, about Norma stabbing Keith many times, about the belt Norman kept and hid in the house, and even about the girl in the deputy’s basement. Dylan told Norman that he’d help Norman. When Norman received a text from Bradley, Dylan gave Norman brotherly advice in dealing with girls. That was a nice brotherly bonding moment, wasn’t it?

At Bradley’s house, Norman hung out with her in her bedroom. She took his hand and made the first move on Norman and they had sex. Was that real or a hallucination? Now everything Norman did had become suspect.

Norma woke up but couldn’t find Norman. When she found out from Dylan where Norman was, they got into a fight after she slapped him. Was it me or was that struggle almost inappropriately sexual?

The doorbell rang (again!) and she rang downstairs thinking it was Norman. Sheriff Romero and his team was at the door placing Norma under arrest. As she was being handcuffed, she looked at Deputy Shelby coldly.

What happens next? What would Norman do next? Who’s angrier, Norman or Norma? Make sure to tell us what you think in the comment sections below.

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Video: The Shape of Water Q&A with Guillermo del Toro and Doug Jones at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre

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This past weekend at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, CA betwixt a double screening of The Shape of Water and the classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon, the former’s director Guillermo del Toro (and star Doug Jones) sat down to discuss the latter’s influence on the film, Gill-man sex, “one sock movies,” his career in the genre, and more with moderator Jonah Ray, and we were there to film a portion of it.

Our sincere thanks to American Cinematheque general manager Dennis Bartok for extending the invitation.

For more Cinematheque screenings, visit the official website here.

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The Open House Review – Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

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Starring Dylan Minnette, Piercey Dalton, Patricia Bethune, Sharif Atkins

Written by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote

Directed by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote


Mere weeks, even days, after effusively beating Netflix’s original horror content drum (The Babysitter, Before I Wake, Creep 2), I’m here to confirm that The Open House is emptier than an vacant bomb shelter. Cold, unappealing and thoughtlessly plotted to the point where “generic” would have been an improvement. From the moment we’re welcomed into Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote’s scripted imprisonment, it’s nothing but loose floorboards and busted plumbing. The home invasion genre has rarely been navigated with such little attention to detail, asking for our suspension of coherent storytelling early, often, and without earning the right to be deemed mindless genre fun. Not even Ty Pennington could save this extreme renovation disaster.

Dylan Minnette plays Logan Wallace, a track star and student who must find closure after watching his father fall victim to a fatal car accident. It is his mother Naomi’s (Piercey Dalton) idea to spend a little time away from their suburban home – escape those painful memories – so they retreat to her sister’s luxurious mountain getaway. The catch? It’s in the process of being sold and open houses are on the regular, so Naomi and Logan must vacate their temporary premises on certain days. It’s after one of these very showings that Logan begins to notice slight changes around the house, and he fears that an unwanted visitor may be in their midst. Guess what? He’s right.

To understand how little The Open House cares about conscious blueprinting, just read the poster’s tagline. “You can’t lock out what’s already inside” – right, but you could have prevented them from coming in, or checked the house to make sure they weren’t squatting, or explored numerous other possibilities to avoid this scenario. The mansion’s realtor allows prospective buyers to come and go but it’s not her job to make sure no one’s hiding in the basement? Naomi can’t even keep track of the *single* visitor she lets look around the house? It’s infuriating to see so many people neglect safety out of forced coincidence because the script couldn’t rationalize the killer’s entry any other way – a confounding strike one.

This is also a film that admits no reasoning for why its own murderer has targeted the Wallaces, or why he stokes a violent fetish when it comes to open houses. We never actually see his face, just his imposing handyman-looking attire, nor do we savor any kind of tangible backstory (his family died during their own open house and he suffered a psychotic breakdown – just give me *something*). His undefined form never demands curiosity like John Carpenter’s “The Shape” once did, because scripting is nothing more than bullet notes for basic horror movie necessities. Here he is, your bad guy – too bad he’s introduced without fear, handled without originality and unable to characterize beyond torturous kidnapper dotted lines. He’s just, you know, a guy who sneaks into open houses and kills – COMPLETE WITH A FINAL PAN-IN ON AN OPEN HOUSE SIGN WHEN HE MOVES TO HIS NEXT TARGET [eye roll into infinity].

Every scene in The Open House feels like an afterthought. “Ah, we need a way to build tension – how about a senile local woman who lives down the street and wanders aimlessly into frame?” Overplayed and in no way suitable to most her inclusions, but sure. “Oh, and we need inner conflict – what about if the breaker-iner steals Logan’s phone and frames him for later acts?” I mean, didn’t Logan canonically lose his phone even before Naomi’s mid-shower water heater issues – but sure, instant fake tension. “How are people going to believe the killer is always around and never blows his cover – think they’ll just buy it?” No, we don’t. Worse off, his cat-and-mouse game is dully repetitive until a finale that skyrockets intensity with jarring tonal imbalance. This closing, dreadful end without any sort of redemptive quality. More abusive than it is fulfilling.

If there’s anything positive worth conveying, it’s that Minnette does a fine job shuffling around as a character with severe sight impairment. The killer makes a point to remove his contacts as a final “FUCK YOU,” just to toy around a bit more, and Minnette frantically slips or stumbles with nothing more than foggy vision. Otherwise, dialogue finds itself ripped form a billion other straight-to-TV Logo dramas about broken families, no moment ever utilizing horror past a few shadowy forms standing in doorways after oblivious characters turn away. You can’t just take an overused subgenre and sleepwalk through homogenized beats…case and god-forsaken point.

Even as a streamable Netflix watch, The Open House is irredeemable beyond fault. The walls are caving in on this dilapidated excuse for home invasion horror, benefiting not from the star power of a temperamental Dylan Minnette. I have seen most involved players here in far better projects (Minnette’s stock has rightfully been skyrocketing, Matt Angel in The Funhouse Massacre, etc), but this is bargain bin theatrics without a fully formed idea. A nameless villain, doomed nice guy (Sharif Atkins), woefully unaware plot advancement – all the worst cliches found in one rage-quit worthy effort. Anyone who makes it through deserves an award…or a dunce cap.

  • The Open House
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Summary

Unless you’re irrationally afraid of cold showers, The Open House fails to deliver on a premise that can be summed up by no more than two lines of text.

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Michael C. Hall Buried in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary

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Now here’s an audio book we can REALLY get behind! Entertainment Weekly is reporting that former “Dexter” star Michael C. Hall will be narrating the first ever unabridged recording of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. Sometime’s audio is better!

Readers have been asking for this audiobook for a very long time,” Stephen King said in a statement. “I know the listening experience will be worth the wait with Michael as narrator.

We’re thrilled to finally bring Pet Sematary to King’s audiobook fans,” Simon & Schuster Audio president and publisher Chris Lynch added. “Michael C. Hall is a perfect match for this timeless story, which has long deserved an unabridged production.

The unabridged audiobook of Pet Sematary will be released by Simon & Schuster Audio on March 27. Speaking of Hall… you know he would make a pretty friggin’ good casting choice to play Victor Pascow in the upcoming Pet Sematary remake. Just sayin’.

BUY IT NOW!

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