“Bates Motel” has continually managed to satisfy, mostly because this is a show that has always managed to understand one thing needed to have a successful cable drama: Pacing. Are there times when you want to see more happen in an episode? Definitely, but the most important thing with this story (at least to us) is that something always does happen every week, regardless of if it is good or bad.
Let’s start off with the Norman Bates Creepy Moment of the Week: Him rolling in the bed with his mother for a second when he learned that she had gotten a spot on the council. Then, she made the fateful comment of “I told you moving here would be the best thing that we ever did.” The moment that she said that, you knew that there’d be trouble.
That trouble came mere minutes after Norma said this line, as Emma called her up and, with some new information, informed her of her son’s blackouts. This is, how shall we say, a game-changer for the character. Norma suddenly used this information in order to take away Norman’s drivers license opportunities (bummer for him), and then the two had a very awkward car ride home … at least at first. It was more like a “Norman gets out of the car” ride, as he tried to find a new way to assert his independence / his leg muscles.
Save for an almost-violent confrontation between Norman and Norma in the car, the latter part of this episode seemed almost like it was going to end with a holy (bleep) moment for the ages. Then, there was the shock: After a confrontation with Cody, her father died by catapulting his way down the stairs. (At least, we’re assuming he’s dead.) It’s yet another crisis for Norman to deal with, and yet another sign of the growing monster within that makes this show so fascinating. You want to root for these characters, but then you know that there is something terrible waiting at the end of the tale. Grade: A-.
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