Bates Motel Season 2 Episode 2 – TV Review
Vera Farmiga sings.
Do you need more?
TL;DR Bradley flees town with Norman and Dylan’s help; the drug wars start to heat up; Sheriff Romero arrests someone for Miss Watson’s murder; sadly, it isn’t Norman; Norma auditions for a musical.
And does a goddamn brilliant job. It’s Norma. It’s expected.
Bradley’s murder of her father’s supposed murderer is the hot topic this episode. The guy’s death mucks with some existing friction between that drug operation (the one Dylan works for), and a rival drug operation. Which is led by Miss Watson’s father. Obv. Tensions fly and Gil (the guy Bradley killed) is replaced by a crazy poser who executes a random thug to send Nick (Papa Watson) a message. Romero, meanwhile, finds Gil’s murder to be a slice of bullshit too far and decides to crack down on something. So he arrests some stoner turd whose semen (although, among others) was found on Miss Watson. Despite some sparring, Romero charges him with her murder. Meanwhile, Norma is still on the “get Norman to do things that aren’t death related” spree. She takes him to an audition for South Pacific, but things get ugly because Norman is late to help Bradley leave town, and Norma found Miss Watson’s pearls under Norman’s bed earlier. Norma puts her pain to use by selling the shit out of her audition. And Norman calls in Dylan to help Bradley. He does, and she gets on a bus.
And Emma gets left out in the cold again.
Bates Motel still continues to look promising to me. All I’m really worried about is Bradley’s departure, though I expect it to be shortlived.
And the drug war stuff could threaten to engulf the rest of the plot. Season 1 did well in keeping it as background noise for the real plot, but given its prominence in the first 2 episodes of this season, I’ve got my Bitching About Change hat at the ready.
Why I hate this episode:
Bradley also dyes her hair to a deplorably boring shade of brunette. How dull. Apparently her blondeness was the only thing I liked about her. I’m shallow like that.
Norman makes a scene at the audition and embarrasses Norma. 12 years dungeon. No trial necessary.
And we don’t get to see Norman do his audition.
Which is probably for the best. Although their at-home pratice session was adorable, good God Freddie Highmore can’t sing.
Norma is doing some research into blackouts and trances. Oh, so now you care about that? About a season and a patricidal backstory too late, honey. Not that anyone expects good parenting out of Norma Bates. But still.
The guy Romero arrests for Miss Watson’s murder kinda comes out of nowhere. Apparently he’s a big time scumbag who Romero has wanted behind bars for a long time. And exactly how many guys was Blair Watson having sex with? How did she have the time?
The reason she was so loose is apparently a daddy issues thing. I do not approve.
Norma doesn’t appear to be that suspicious of finding Miss Watson’s pearls under Norman’s bed. I think she’s still hanging onto the possibility that he didn’t murder her. Wake up.
Oh, and while Norma nails her audition, her version of Maybe This Time doesn’t hold a candle to Kristin Chenoweth’s (just pretend Rachel isn’t there) from Glee. Back in the days when Glee wasn’t the rotting, aborted foetus it is now.
But it’s not all bad:
Norma nails that audition, though. And she even does it a cappella. Your move, KrisChen.
The director at the audition is moved almost to tears, so with any luck, we’ve got more Norma singing scenes to come as she prepares for and performs the role. God willing.
Bradley’s finally coming around to thanking Norman was a big win for me. I couldn’t stand the rubbish way she treated him post-coitus last season. She leaves him a note saying he’s the best person he’s ever met.
Points to Bradley, Norman, and Dylan for actually pulling off her flight from town. Well done, team.
Gil’s replacement in Dylan’s drug operation is a bleachy guy named Zane, who happens to be the big boss’s brother. Dylan’s partner says he’s a Scarface wannabe, which Zane proves when he unnecessarily wastes the rival operation’s thug. Zane believes Gil was murdered by them. I wonder how Nick will respond to this “message.”
Romero appears to have a cordial relationship with Nick (who was aware of his daughter’s wayward ways). But Nick says shit’s gonna fly if things keep going unchecked in town. Ooh.
He’s also our Mystery Mourner from last episode. So that explains why Romero dismissed Norman’s photo.
Best line of the episode goes to Norma. Norman has just received a call from Bradley’s mum about her being missing. Norma isn’t the best at upholding her feigned sympathy:
Norman: “Bradley Martin’s been missing since last night. No one knows where she is.”
Norma: “I’m so sorry. That’s terrible. Why is she bothering you about it?”
Emma is still in the background (her only appearance in the episode is to deliver the news that someone has been arrested for Miss Watson’s murder), and I can’t say I mind. My only quibble is that for an otherwise main character, she’s getting shafted with a lot of shade. Her annoying, breathy time will surely come.
The episode ends with Norma’s brother (the one who used to force her to have sex with him) on his way to see her. I hope Norman knifes that shit up.
Dylan suggests Bradley make a suicide note to cover her tracks. Smart.
Norman gets mildly flirted with by a checkout girl. He blows it by accidentally talking about how everyone dies eventually. He’d be wise to stick to the 2 girls he’s already got on the go.
Oh, and I better be on the money about Norma’s singing future. It seems like such a waste if they don’t have more.