TV Review: Bates Motel Season 1 Episode 2
So, this is I Just Hate Everything’s 300th post.
Kinda makes you think about your own mortality.
Which I guess is perfect for Bates Motel.
TL;DR Dylan arrives, Norman finds out about the motel’s sordid past and the town’s criminal underbelly, Vera is fabulous but doesn’t do much.
But I only come for her. Rude.
The plot this week is mainly the Norman show. It begins with his older half-brother Dylan arriving to stay (following his frosty phone call with Vera last time), who is a typically douchebaggy older brother type. Their animosity eventually expresses itself in a “fight,” which is really more of a curb stomping for Norman. Lol. Norman gets some girl time this episode, too. First with Bradley, whose father is found badly burned, we suspect in some kind of attack by criminals. He later spends time with Emma (sick chick) who discovers and deciphers the book he found last episode. It’s a tale of some Chinese sex slaves. They go to the woods to find proof, but stumble upon a pot farm. Meanwhile, Vera has a bad time with Dylan. She tries to force him to leave, but he implies that she killed her husband for insurance money. She also chats up the Deputy, trying to make herself look less guilty to a suspicious Sheriff Guyliner. And Dylan finds work as a petty thug (presumably for this small town’s roaring drug trade).
Imma give Bates Motel some points for setting up something new and compelling. The whole “everyone in this town is rich because of drugs” thing came out of nowhere, but I like the concept. Hopefully it doesn’t completely suffocate the show in a desperate attempt to imitate Breaking Bad.
My only real complaint about this episode is that Vera’s role is reduced. Last week she was cuttin’ dudes up. Now she’s flirting with the Deputy on a cutesie coffee date.
Needs more stabbing.
Why I hate this episode:
Not much to report, thankfully.
There’s a scene at the end where Vera drives through a commotion in town. There’s a dead guy who is strung up and on fire. It took me a while to figure out what was going on (if my deduction is correct. I’m not sure): after Bradley’s dad gets burned at the start of the episode, there’s a comment about how the crime will be repaid. So I guess this strung-up guy has incurred the retribution?
Also, the police are on the scene, so why haven’t they put out the fire? I know it’s more dramatic to have Vera looking at a burning corpse as she drives past, but it’s weird.
Norman brings flowers to the hospital for Bradley. But Unattractive Popular Guy intercepts and ruins that shit. Rude. And ugly.
Emma isn’t even a little bit freaked out by The Book. What?
Despite struggling immensely to perform a low-effort hike, Emma manages to push herself through a full sprint to escape the pot farmers. What?
Vera forgot to get rid of the guy she killed’s truck, which the sheriff finds near the motel and instantly suspects her. Silly girl.
Norman and Emma study The Tyger, going so far at to blatantly point out the whole “God makes evil things” aspect of it. Subtle.
Oh, and the whole pot farming thing is totally ripping off The Beach.
Reasons to watch:
Dylan is refreshingly reckless. He’s openly aggressive towards Norman and Vera. And he doesn’t waste any time hitting up the local strip club, which leads him to finding a shady job. Quick work.
There’s also a tender, vulnerable side to him. When Norman angrily asks why he’s even staying, Dylan admits that he has nowhere else to go. And even though he has to blackmail Vera into letting him stay, you can tell he’s not a total bastard.
His fight with Norman is the highlight of the episode. Because it’s fun to watch Norman get flattened. But the second half of the fight, where Norman restarts it by trying to fucking murder Dylan (see pic below), shows off that nasty streak he will become famous for. Creepy.
Emma, despite her far too trusting attitude, is sweet. Vera brazenly (obviously in an attempt to unnerve her) asks her what her life expectancy is, and Emma simply replies with the truth. Bitch be classy as hell.
Vera doesn’t forget to add in some incest tones this episode. When she’s deciding on outfits to wear on her “date” with the Deputy, she changes tops right in front of Norman. He acts embarrassed, but Vera don’t give a fuck: “I’m your mother. It’s not weird or anything.” You go on thinking that.
Vera also gets best line with this lovely, maternal address to Dylan: “Listen, Dumbass.” To be fair, Dylan is guilty of the same thing. He has Vera listed in his iPhone as “The Whore.” He learned from the best.
He bemoans the hipster, artisan town residents. And is aware of their narcotic income.
Norman and Emma find proof to validate the stories in The Book. Spooky.
Oh, and Dylan does have one seemingly good big brother moment. When Vera begins interrogating Emma, he tries to get her to stop. It’s a fleeting sympathy.