A prequel series to Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho had no right to work as well as it did, but despite a few forgettable subplots, the fantastically acted and deeply atmospheric Bates Motel has had a great run. As we begin the fifth and final season, the show is entering the territory it’s been marching towards for awhile. Picking up 18 months after Norma’s (Vera Farmiga) death, we find Norman (Freddie Highmore) lonely, but dutifully preserving his dearly departed mother in the basement of the house where he unsuccessfully tried to kill them both. Though we don’t have many details on what else the new season will hold, we do know that Rihanna has been cast as Marion Crane, famously portrayed by Janet Leigh in Psycho, and now we’re seeing some of the first images of what her take on the character will look like.
According to EW, who spoke with executive producer Kerry Ehrin,
Viewers will meet a very different, fleshed-out version of Marion when she arrives on Norman Bates’ doorstep. “We’re taking threads of that story and definitely using them so it’s recognizable, it’s just where we go with it is very different.”
Check out the new images below:
Ehrin went on to further say that,
“It’s this collision of Bates Motel storytelling and then Marion Crane showing up into that. He’s in a very fragile and lonely place, and Marion Crane is a charismatic woman, she’s super present when she’s with him and she’s very attractive — all those things are exactly what he needs right at this moment.”
Rihanna’s appearance is described as multi-episode arc, but there are a lot of things that have to happen before we get to that seminal shower scene. A trailer for the fifth season that was released and then taken down (I’m not sure why) showed Norman building a kind of castle for Norma, whose corpse he decorated like an ice princess. It was exceptionally creepy and very Bryan Fuller-esque in style, and after Bates‘ great fourth season, I hope that we get a fantastic finale to cap off this crazy ride.
Bates Motel returns Monday, Feb. 20 at 10 p.m. ET on A&E.