HOLLYWOOD—A&E’s hit series “Bates Motel” instantly caught my attention last year and became a guilty pleasure for me. Not only was it exploring the back story to one of the greatest villains of all time, Norman Bates from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” but it did so in present time. If you thought the movie “Psycho” was creepy, it has nothing on this twisted series full of stellar acting from Oscar-nominee Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates, but also her son Norman portrayed by Freddie Highmore.
The second season opened with “Gone But Not Forgotten” saw Norma receiving news that Ms. Watson (Keegan Connor Tracy) had been murdered. She was a bit skeptical about Norman’s story, which means mommie dearest suspects that her son may have played a role in his teacher’s death. Norman was an emotional mess at Mrs. Watson’s funeral which cast suspicion on the troubled youth. Season one gave us more of a slice of Norman Bates as the nice guy, this season we are starting to see the character’s dark and disturbing side to surface more. It’s haunting because everyone around him knows something is off, but they are afraid to confront it.
Norman’s one-night stand Bradley (Nicola Peltz), attempted to commit suicide by jumping into the river after discovering the love notes that her father secretly kept hidden. If you thought Bradley was a goner, think again, as the troubled youth found herself institutionalized. She has become quite disturbed to say the least, putting herself in the position to nearly blow her head off with a gun.
Emma (Olivia Cooke) has become more apart of the Bates family assisting at the motel during a huge spike in business. Dylan (Max Thierot) stepped up to the plate and decided to help his mother out by paying rent, but Norma was skeptical of accepting the funds because they were drug related. Norma and Norman attempted to bond during a driving test, and she unleashed a bit of anger at the fact that her son has continued to mourn his dead teacher. While at her grave he spotted a mysterious man, that Norman felt compelled to tell Sheriff Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell) about. Sheriff Romero began to suspect Norman as a guilty party. His conversation with the man in charge only raised more questions.
Norma took her fight to the city council to express her views of the new bypass that is going to harm her business. It was a classic moment to see our heroine unleash a bit of rage and a bit of truth to the residents of White Pine Bay. Farmiga is indeed a top-notch actress. Dylan unleashed a bit of truth of Bradley that her father was sleeping with Ms. Watson and was involved with another power player. It appears he is a bit concerned about the teen, but understands the bro-code, by staying away from the girl that Norman has eyes for.
The mother-son relationship is beginning thanks to Norman revealing that he was at the home of Ms. Watson the night she was murdered. He begin to offer details of what transpired that rainy night, and that he felt his teacher was attempting to seduce him, causing him to panic. The episode culminated with Bradley taking a high risk to get the goods on why her father was murdered. This placed her in a sticky situation where she was forced to ask Norman for her help. The bigger question is rather Norman actually delivered on his promise. “Bates Motel” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on A&E.
By LaDale Anderson