Since its conception, the A&E thriller Bates Motel has been making that oh-so-precariously awkward climb to its inspiration and reason for existing: Alfred Hitchcock's seminal classic Psycho. Its prequelized nature has allowed for many liberties to be taken, but the fifth and final season is making a big change that completely messes with the Psycho storyline and possibly the infamous shower scene, and it involves the casting of Isabelle McNally as Madeline Loomis.
The name Loomis undoubtedly sounds familiar to Psycho fans, as it's the surname of Sam, Marion Crane's lover, whose alimony payments to an ex-wife kept him too broke to wed Marion. Madeline didn't exist in the movie, which is already a big change, but the key point here is that actress Isabelle McNally bears a resemblance to Vera Farmiga, who of course plays Norma Bates. And, if you'll recall, the seemingly mild-mannered Norman killed Marion in the tub because of her resemblance to his mother. So...
Within the Bates Motel-iverse, the role of Marion Crane went to singer Rhianna, who does not share too much of a resemblance with Farmiga. (And McNally isn't identical above, either, but wait for makeup magic.) When Rhianna was cast, speculation turned on its head as it became unclear how she would justifiably become Norman's eventual victim. And now, because of Isabelle McNally's casting, it suddenly becomes even more unclear how things will go down, since TVLine didn't have further details. But if Madeline is meant to be Norman's stand-in for Norma, then that non-clarity will be amazing to watch as the climax approaches. Madeline should invest in a knife-proof shower suit.
Bates Motel Season 4 came to a close after blowing people's minds by already killing Norma off with Norman handling things far from admirably. Vera Farmiga will still be around in Season 5, but as that viciously titillating devil on Norman's shoulder, and it'll be outstanding to see Norman fantasizing the two characters as the same person.
To be the boo-worthy devil's advocate for a second, it's possible that Isabelle McNally will be asked to dye her hair blue for the role, and will have to apply a giant (fake) face tattoo that can't possibly remind Norman of Norma. And maybe the shower scene will get transformed into a bath and Marion Crane will have nothing to do with it. And maybe my toenail clippings will be accepted as legal tender.
Bates Motel sadly isn't a fall drama, so we can't start looking forward to it returning to A&E for Season 5 until next year. But there is a lot left to debut in 2016, and you can find all of it in our fall premiere schedule.