The Truth – Episode 6 – original airdate 4/22/2013
Over the first five episodes, this show has spun out a few different story lines, and several supporting characters around the core group of Norman, Norma and Dylan. This episode, written by Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin, pulls in to focus on the Bates family, their interactions, and response to crisis. I wanted to acknowledge the writers because this is an excellent episode, thematically providing just what this show needed at this point.
TV’s most dysfunctional family deserves a little bonding time. And what brings a family together like breaking and entering, and destroying evidence to protect a loved one from a murder charge, all while trying to stay one step ahead of a wacko cop who is involved in the sex trade, and probably a lot more besides? No matter what issues may exist between the members of the Bates family, they recognize the immediate danger presented by Deputy Shelby, and work together to bring him down.
Highlights of this episode include a very awkward hug between Norma and Emma, some great brotherly bonding on a boat, and Norma actually saying the words “I am sorry I didn’t believe you” to Norman, words that needed to be said.
This episode has the kind of tension that is usually reserved for season finales, building to a fantastic finish that has the viewer rooting, for the first time, for the entire Bates family. But it turns out that the showdown on the steps of the Bates Motel is not the end of this episode. Because we finish with a jaw-dropping flashback to how the series began: the death of Norman’s father. Only this time, we get a lot more information, which changes everything. All of a sudden lots of things that seemed weird now make a little more sense. There is also now a real family dynamic, and three characters that we sympathize with, even more so than before. Bravo to the show’s creators. With four episodes left in this season, I don’t know how any single episode can top this, but I can’t wait to see how they try.