Review: Bates Motel 2.01- “Gone But Not Forgotten”

Bates Motel is back for season two, and we pick up right after the shocking season one finale. If this is your first time watching, prepare for the creepy weirdness that is Bates Motel.

Norman (Freddie Highmore) has rushed back home to his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), after a not-too-clear interaction with his now dead teacher, Miss Claire Watson (Keegan Connor Tracy). What happened at her house? Did Norman have something to do with her murder, or is there more to the story? Norman is inconsolable as his mother tries to get answers. But, we will have to wait to learn the truth.

Meanwhile, Bradley (Nicola Peltz), who is trying to find the truth about her father’s death, looks to be emotionally unstable. She is drunk, crying, and driving in the rain. Oh, look, a bridge! Bradley decides to jump off the bridge in an attempt to commit suicide. Cut to: Opening Credits.  I can’t help but think this season is going to be an interesting one… albeit, a long one.

****SPOILERS BELOW****
 

It is now four months later, the Bates Motel is thriving, Norma is happy, Emma (Olivia Cooke) is still working at the motel, Dylan (Max Theriot) is still working in the drug trade, and Norman is still grieving over Miss Watson. He even casually caresses her necklaces — how did he get those? Bradley survived her suicide attempt and has been in a mental institution, but she is finally getting out! Hooray for us all!
Bates Motel - Season 2

Norman wants driving lessons, but Norma is a bit of a back-seat driver. I was cracking up laughing at the bickering between the two as Norman attempted to pass a truck on a one-laned road. Things take a dark turn as Norman decides to stop at the grave of Miss Watson. Norma doesn’t understand why he is so fixated on “just his teacher.” Hmmm. I wonder why that could be…

Norma also discovers that a new road is being built in town ahead of schedule, thus making the Bates Motel obsolete. She is furious and she plans to protest. I love Norma’s guns-blazing, no-holds bar approach to life. She will not have her business venture be demolished. She even ventures into a town hall meeting where she loses it. “You’re a dick!” she yells at the presiding judge. Once again, I love Norma.

Will Decody (Ian Hart) tells his drug protegé, Dylan, to tell Bradley to stop snooping around about her dad. This show does not shy away from the precarious issue of pedophilia. Will has an attraction to teenage, Bradley, and it feels icky. Just like the season one finale’s reveal of Miss Watson’s inclinations towards Norman, it’s just altogether perverse.

Norman continues to make trips out to Miss Watson’s grave. He stupidly fumbles with his camera phone as he takes pictures of a sinister looking man standing over her grave. The man sees Norman and a small chase ensues. C’mon, Norman, try and be a little more stealthy please! Who was the man though? Hmm.

Bates Motel - Season 2Norman then visits Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) and voices his concerns about the sinister man and the murder of Miss Watson. Sheriff Romero, however, seems to think it more odd that Norman has such a fascination with Miss Watson. He brings his concerns to Norma, who expresses her frustration again over how Norman behaves. Sheriff Romero seems to be the only character on this show who shows an inclination towards using logic and reason. But I’m sure he’ll do something stupid soon…

Norman visits the troubled Bradley to tell her that he is always here for her, no matter what, but she rebukes him. She still wants his brother, but she has other things on her mind… like heading over to Will’s house to “seduce” him. The whole scene is gross (a teenager and an old man!), but also predictable as Bradley pulls out a gun she found in her dad’s box earlier and shoots Will in the head.

Bates Motel - Season 2Bradley then appears at Norman’s bed (how did she break in!?) and accepts his offer of help. UGH. Of course, stupid Norman is going to help her. I’ve always had a minor problem with Bradley and hopefully the show doesn’t focus too much on her troubles this season. Let’s get back to Norma and Norman’s relationship. It’s the heart of the show! The secret drug trade or Bradley’s family troubles aren’t things I need to see.

So, what do you guys think of the way the second season has started? Do you think Norman killed Miss Watson? What is going to happen with Bradley and her new murder rap sheet? Will things escalate between Norma and Norman to a new psychotic level? The season preview shown at the end promises an exciting season, so we shall see.

Comment below with your thoughts, questions, concerns! Does anybody else think Freddie Highmore is doing a terrible job at concealing his British accent? It sounds like he is eating a bag of muffins every time he talks! Think about it next time you hear him speak!

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Post Author: Ben Fleck

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