Bates Motel has finally caught up to where Psycho began and introduced Marion Crane, played this time around by Rihanna.


Rihanna is taking over the role originated by Janet Leigh, but the show writers made sure she made it her own. “We talked to her before she signed on about how we were going to make the character different than Janet Leigh’s. And she embraced that. And that’s part of the reason she signed on,” said Carlton Cuse. “She was clearly a fan of the film, though. I’m sure she had watched it before we even spoke to her,” added Kerry Ehrin.

The character is of course more modernized to fit the time period of the show, having $400,000 in her suitcase instead of $40,000. The writers also confirmed that for the first scene with Marion Crane, she is played by a Rihanna body double, due to her busy schedule. “We decided that if she was going to be on the show we wanted to give her a real part,” explains Cuse. “But we were fighting with how much work we could get done with her. And she showed up and she worked like a dog for a week.” Ehrin clarified, “thirty-three pages in five days.”

In a separate part of this episode’s storyline, we learn subtly that Norman is gay, or at least seeing other men. He finds a book of matches with the name of a bar on it, and calls to see if mother is there (despite the fact that we all know she’s dead). The bartender says she was at the bar the night before, and left with a man, so her car is still in their parking lot.

“We don’t define it,” says Cuse of Norman’s sexuality. “But we suggest that this is kind of what’s been happening in the couple of years that have passed since Norma has died.” When he wanders back to the White Horse Bar, a few men recognize him, and say his “new look” is good on him, bringing up the question of how often Norman goes to the bar, and how often he dresses as Norma.

“Sometimes I see Mother when she’s not really there; sometimes I become her,” he repeats to himself in the car. He tells Dr. Edwards this, whom he runs into randomly in the episode. Though he continues by assuring the therapist that “that doesn’t happen anymore, I just miss her.”

Norman also, in the last episode, found himself making out with married love interest Madeleine. But it turns out that Madeleine’s husband Sam is also having an affair – with the fire-haired Marion Crane. The episode ends with a familiar view, of Marion’s car pulling up to the Bates Motel and seeing a neon sign that reads ‘VACANCY.’

See the preview for next week’s episode below.

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