Bates Motel, Season 2 – “Shadow Of A Doubt” (But The Subplot Is So Damn Good)

bates motel norman

bates motel norman

I hate unrealistic dialog. The episode opens with Norman going down to the basement, where he has put up Bradley for the night, and demanding that she tell him why she needs his help. Tell me, what high school student says, “You’re putting me in an impossible situation” or “I need to know what you’re doing makes sense”? Isn’t that sort of dialog reserved for daytime soap operas? Then again, Bates Motel is pretty melodramatic.

From the top of the episode, given the age-innapropriate dialog and Freddie Highmore’s annoying physical quirks and nails-on-a-chalkboard voice, I was pretty much turned off. Yup, less than two minutes in and I’m like, “This is stupid.”

But then my hope for the episode was turned around when Norman nearly smiles with bountiful pride when Bradley does tell him what she’s done and why she needs his help. But, he did fall back into being a whiny little bitch at the audition for the musical as he walked out on his mother.

Norma got the idea to audition while she was at the library checking out books with titles such as Dissociative Amnesia to help her learn more about Norman’s blacking out. While a normal parent would take their child to a psychiatrist, Norma remains true to her character and her distrust of head shrinks as she endeavors to help and/or protect her son.

After Norman storms out of the audition, because it’s taking too long and he needs to be meeting with Bradley to help her escape, Norma trumps him with an almost childlike outburst of sorrowful fear. And that’s her charm or quirk, which is to be able to easily swing from controlling mother to nostalgic mother (as seen when she tries to persuade Norman to audition with her) to flirty mother to crazy mother.

Despite Norman’s infantile behavior, he was able to hatch a plan and prepare for Bradley’s exit from White Pine Bay, showing us that he is able to, or learning to, think and plan for nefarious tasks. His reward for helping Bradley was a note from her thanking him and saying that he was the only person she’s ever “known.” She might feel that way, but does anyone really know Norman? Does Norman know Norman?

All About Blair Watson

If you’ve been watching Bates Motel closely, then you know that the Norman/Norma story is pretty minor when compared to the subplot that’s quickly building. Yes, everyone is connected, but let’s take a quick look at this “other” story.

bates motel blair

Bradley’s dad was having an affair with Norman’s teacher, Miss Blair Watson, whom we suspect tried to seduce Norman, sending him into blackout heaven and leading him to kill her. Blair was also Gil’s girlfriend. Gil was a high-ranking drug player in White Pine Bay until Bradley killed him because he killed her dad for sleeping with his girlfriend. This has sparked the beginnings of a war between two drug syndicates, the one we know and the other called the Ford Family, which has something to do with Blair’s dad, Nick. While visiting Blair’s grave, Norman snapped a picture of him and showed it to Sheriff Romero, who’s aware of, if not entrenched in, the drug business. Romero confronted Nick, who said that “they” (meaning the Fords) had nothing to do with Gil’s murder. Meanwhile, a man was arrested for Blair’s murder because his semen is a DNA match, indicating he had sex with her and that he has a prior record (we did see him flushing drugs just before his arrest). However, his was not the only semen found in Blair, which indicates someone without a record had sex with her too, which could mean Norman. Dylan has been caught in the middle, finding himself choosing between his drug employer or helping Bradley.

At any rate, there’s tons of potential for this season. What do you think so far? Where do you think we’re going?

Rock Hard \m/

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