Let’s start with a fair warning: if you are not caught up on BATES MOTEL and want to avoid spoilers, then stop reading now!! In order to make my argument, I have to make specific references to events in the series.

Ok, so as everyone knows, Rihanna was recently announced as the new Marion Crane to be introduced during the final season of BATES MOTEL. The reactions 3874327798_2717acb2fd_zonly are of, let’s just say, of a strong nature. I anticipated seeing more reactions towards the fact that Rihanna is 100% a pop star and hasn’t dabbled too much into acting aside from small roles here and there. What I didn’t anticipate was the race card. Seriously? It’s 2016 and we have a black president. Get the fuck over it, people! What sparks my curiosity is how the conversation started with the possibility of having her on the show.

After the fourth season ended, the show runners made it clear that Marion would show up in season five, but would play a much bigger role than she did in the movie. Lists for ideal casting choices plagued the internet, but I doubt Rihanna was ever anyone’s guess. This could fall under the category of stunt casting, but it can work. Season five of AMERICAN HORROR STORY had lost series mainstay Jessica Lange and made the surprise announcement of Lady Gaga. It was met with a mixed response, but she ended up being a truly terrifying villain and even her a Golden Globe. However, Gaga’s known for her colorful onstage theatrics which made her a perfect match for the show’s flamboyant approach to horror.

BATES MOTEL made sure audiences were aware during the first season that this show would stand on its own and not be part of the same universe as any of the films or novels. While key players are involved, the mysteries and relationships were created solely for the series. It was obvious after the first that we were going to watch Norman turn into the killer we all know and love, it was a matter of when and how. Norma’s fate was set in stone as long as the series wasn’t suddenly canceled and season four stabbed loyal viewers in their hearts when things didn’t go as planned. Prior to the finale, Norma and Norman have a devastating heart to heart followed by a failed murder suicide caused by Norman. He survived thanks to Sheriff Romero, but she did not. In the finale, it is ruled as an accident although some are suspicious. Norman digs up his mother’s body and pleads for her to come back to him in some of the most emotional and fucked up moments on television. She does come back (in his head obviously) and promises to never leave him. I honestly wouldn’t be too upset if that was the series finale as we knew it was coming and their relationship was doomed from the start. However, the geniuses behind the scenes have more up their sleeve.

Yes, we knew Norman was going to kill his mother at some point, but any loyal PSYCHO fan knows she gets poisoned after being caught in bed with her lover according to the original story. This is why it was so shocking when it finally happens as it was not how we anticipated it. Not only that, but I feared this was going to be one of those asshole shows where during the next episode it’s like “just kidding! So and so is not dead!”

BATES MOTEL plays by its own rules and Norman is often tempted by the troubled ones. Rihanna, known for her I don’t give a fuck attitude, could have what it takes to be the woman who forces Norman to sit down and talk over milk and sandwiches. Her announcement drew a lot of confusion and it’s probably also due to the fact that we don’t know if she can act. I think this will benefit the new Marion as viewers can’t really compare her performance. The creators clearly want us fans to know this is not Janet Leigh nor are they going to try to duplicate her. It reminds of the route the GHOSTBUSTERS reboot went. By utilizing a different gender, this allowed a group of fresh faces to provide a different take on a familiar story for new audiences. It gives a new experience that doesn’t take away from the original. Have I mentioned how many people I’ve met that watch BATES MOTEL, but have no idea what PSYCHO is? At first I was shocked, then realized this was actually awesome. This means that this person and I are going to have two completely different experiences watching the show, which is part of why casting Rihanna is genius. BATES MOTEL is not PSYCHO and it’s not trying to be. This is a Norman Bates we haven’t seen before and new blood will help him shine to a fresh audience.

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