Bates Motel, Season 2 – “Plunge”

bates motel - norman in closet

bates motel - dylan and zanes sister

Once again, Bates Motel has managed to keep my interest. At times the show seems trivial and directionless, and just as I’d like to give up on it, it ups the ante just enough to keep me hanging on. Perhaps the genius of the series, giving us a slow development of White Pine Bay and the supporting cast as it offers a teasing trail of breadcrumbs to Norman Bates’ inevitable fate. And therein lies the challenge for the showrunners who have to develop a character when everyone knows where he’ll end up. Bates Motel is achieving this more successfully than Hannibal is, a show that faces the same character challenge. The reason Bates Motel likely succeeds is because it’s less pretentious than Hannibal is; it’s more storytelling than showboating, as beautifully done as it is on Hannibal.

In a lot of aspects, the stories of Dylan and Norma are far more interesting than Norman’s. Attribute this to the fact that we know what becomes of Norman or the fact that actor Freddie Highmore is painfully unbelievable in certain aspects.

While Norman took a backseat in last week’s episode, he was front and center this week, although plenty was revealed about other characters as well.

The Many Faces of Norma

Norma is an amazing character to watch, which has a lot to do with Vera Farmiga’s acting. She’s able to seamlessly take Norma from scared with a transparent strong face (as when she learned Nick Ford’s true nature and suggested that she doesn’t want to continue their working relationship) to a guarded, headstrong mother bent on protecting her son (as when she confronted Cody about drinking with Norman or when she sabotaged Norman’s driving exam) to being insecure and unsure of herself (as when she practiced and delivered her presentation to the mayor). And let’s not forget her ability to express borderline inappropriate affection toward Norman or to show flirtatious desires (such as her knowing look when Romero said he could see her through her bedroom window).

bates motel - norma

And yes, despite saying “Pine White Bay,” Norma got the Berman’s recently vacated seat on the city council. Clearly Nick Ford had a hand in this.

Drug Lord Dylan

Dylan didn’t have much going on in this episode, but his boss, Zane’s sister, definitely welcomed him into the business. Aside from the carnal interlude, she told him that she wants him to run things without Zane knowing it.

As stated, the majority of “Plunge” focused on Norman, and at least three major things happened with him.

Find out more about Norman’s blackouts after the jump…

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