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The Arrow Reviews: Bates Motel, Episode #7

Apr. 30, 2013by: The Arrow
100%

EPISODE 7: The Man in Number 9.

CHECKING IN: Everything that went down is swept under the carpet and a mysterious stranger (Jere Burns) rents a room at the Hotel and it's not to watch cartoons. On his end, Norman(Freddie Highmore) begins to exhibit further signs of being coo-coo for CoCo-Puffs

THE ROOM: The INSANE lastEpisode of BATES MOTEL felt like a season finale and this new entry pretty much came off as the beginning of a new season, even though it wasn't. Many of the events that were fueling the show thus far were "let go" to some degree in the name of the storyline running with other angles/subplots while tossing out new questions. I had mixed feelings about it but at the same time, I don't have the whole picture, so it's tough to judge. Although it kept with the rules of the show (this is a strange town that plays by its own rules, anything goes), I somewhat felt cheated by how they resolved the issues. I mean, I had a lot invested in the "Shelby (Mike Vogel) is crooked" and "Romero(Nestor Carbonell) is on the case" subplots and now they're both over in the blink of a blink.

In my world, Shelby would still be alive and Romero trying to nail Norma(no pun intended or maybe there was an unconscious one at play, only my shrink knows for sure)would still be a factor. On that, like I said before, I don't have the whole picture, so I got to make peace with the fact that what had me by the throat as to this show is over and now it's making way for a new beginning. One crucial question was sparked in my hollow noggin as a result of the surprising turn of events though:"What's the real deal with Sheriff Romero?" He didn't let all that criminal activity slide for shite and giggles. Lets remember that he was friends with scumbag Keith Sommers, who was an active element in the sex trade circus. I have a feeling Romero may be the head of that operation. He's in a perfect position to do so; he's the law. Who's with me on that one?

In terms of Norman, well he's evolving and it's pretty engrossing to witness. First he put on his big-boy pants and rebelled further against Mother but more importantly he started exhibiting some classic Norman-esque behavior which carved a smile on my face. I actually watched PSYCHO III (expect a review up on thesite soon, it's long overdue) before BATES MOTEL aired last night and I got a kick in first seeing a face twitching Norman (Anthony Perkins) talk in his mother's voice in the movie to then FINALLY see that jive echoed in the show by young Norman (Freddie Highmore). We're not at the"take mom's raspy voice" and calling girls "sluts" status yet, but for a bit there, young Norman WAS Mother, you saw it in his eyes, felt the threat in his body language and I dug how the show handled that crucial moment, which will of course be built on some more in the future. Norman is looooosing it, slowly but surely. A train wreck in the makings.

Norma's (Vera Farminga) unhealthy love for her son was displayed on a higher note here as well. I found her reaction to seeingNorman's school crush Bradley Martin (Nicola Peltz) mucho disturbing. She came off like a jealous ex-girlfriend as opposed to a concerned mother. Creepy! They winged that scene perfectly, helped of course by Vera Farminga's layered and unsettling performance. I adore how Farminga is able to switch from pissed off, confused, to numb so effortlessly and in a credible fashion at that. It makes for such a complex and well rounded character. You can actually see her brain work as she goes from one emotion to the next. Riveting! As for the Bradley subplot, it went the way I thought it would. Although it unraveled in a meatier manner than I had anticipated. Props to this show for often hitting the grey zones! Makes the going ons so much more gripping.

Lastly the sex trade storyline took on a new direction via a mysterious stranger (played by Jere Burns) that appears at the Motel. Problem was, I figured out off the bat why he was there and what was to come, hence I can't say that I was taken aback by the ending of the episode. So thus far this has been my least favorite episode of Season 1 thus far. It abandonned and resolved what had me hooked in too easily and its happenings were more predictable. That's not to say it wasn't solid or that I wasn't entertained, it's just obvious that the show is back to the set-up stage. It's re-loading its clip, so it can fire rounds of back-handing plot turns and zany revelationsour way once again down the road. So lock and load Bates and bring on the pain!

RANDOM THOUGHTS: I wonder how far this show will go when it comes to the Norma and Norman icky stuff? Do you think they'll ever make out or sleep together? Will theshow go all the way? I hope so, yet I hope not.

Why was Dylan looking at Bradley Martin that way? A- He wants to nail her. B- He knows something about her dad and about her? C- Something else. I opt for B... you?

10 bucks Norma will stuff Norman's dead dog in the next episode.

So who will killBradley Martin? We all know it's only a matter of time. Place your bets! I'll go with...Norman at this point.

Will Dylan (Max Theriot) last Past Season 1? I say yes. You?

RATING ON 10

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12:52PM on 04/30/2013

Not my favorite episode either...

Although I didn't dislike this episode, it was most certainly the weakest. From the way Romero (played by the always smooth Nestor Carbonell) just blew off EVERYTHING he had been fighting for since episode two basically. Like a "yeah, cool, you were honest, but let's not do that again" slap on the hand. WTF! I think the ONLY thing you missed in this review is the mixed signals from Dylan and Bradley. I really DON'T think we'll be seeing Dylan next season, because I hope, and hoped this episode,
Although I didn't dislike this episode, it was most certainly the weakest. From the way Romero (played by the always smooth Nestor Carbonell) just blew off EVERYTHING he had been fighting for since episode two basically. Like a "yeah, cool, you were honest, but let's not do that again" slap on the hand. WTF! I think the ONLY thing you missed in this review is the mixed signals from Dylan and Bradley. I really DON'T think we'll be seeing Dylan next season, because I hope, and hoped this episode, Norman would see the two together. And that'll be one of his first MAJOR tipping points we see. Maybe I'm just out of the box, who knows. But I do and don't like how Bradley was handled, it was too typical, but I'm glad they wrote it to where Norman just walks away, even after her apology. Bradley=done.
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1:42PM on 04/30/2013
Good call as to WHY Dylan was looking at Bradley, will add it to my review at the bottom, I have my theory.
Good call as to WHY Dylan was looking at Bradley, will add it to my review at the bottom, I have my theory.
+1
4:57PM on 04/30/2013
Agreed pretty much on all points. While it didn't match the previous eps as you say it's having a re-load before the home stretch & sometimes that's needed in most shows. As you also say we don't have the whole story. We are clearly heading for some more twists & revelations that require some set up - something sorely lacking in a lot of storytelling these days IMO. I just hope they have a clear season on season plan (similar to what the plan for Hannibal has) otherwise future series could run
Agreed pretty much on all points. While it didn't match the previous eps as you say it's having a re-load before the home stretch & sometimes that's needed in most shows. As you also say we don't have the whole story. We are clearly heading for some more twists & revelations that require some set up - something sorely lacking in a lot of storytelling these days IMO. I just hope they have a clear season on season plan (similar to what the plan for Hannibal has) otherwise future series could run out of steam. This isn't the type of series that should run & run. It's amazing television & storytelling so far, but to continue that standard they need that plan in place with a clear end end game in sight (even if we might not see it coming).
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10:28PM on 04/30/2013
I know they have a clear direction for Season 1, but Season 2 got sprung on them recently, hence they gotta come up with the rest ASAP
I know they have a clear direction for Season 1, but Season 2 got sprung on them recently, hence they gotta come up with the rest ASAP
2:28AM on 05/01/2013
Definitely with you on the Romero sex ring front Arrow. He let all of that shit slide off the stick way too easy for some good reason. Really having a tough time pinning down the whole Bradley/Dylan stare-down. They could end up playing the hookup/ jealous rage angle as MisterKropes said. After all, ''what kind of girl invites you over for sex after their dad dies.'' She definitely looked like she was into him. I probably missed something, but how did she know he worked for Gill? Norman going
Definitely with you on the Romero sex ring front Arrow. He let all of that shit slide off the stick way too easy for some good reason. Really having a tough time pinning down the whole Bradley/Dylan stare-down. They could end up playing the hookup/ jealous rage angle as MisterKropes said. After all, ''what kind of girl invites you over for sex after their dad dies.'' She definitely looked like she was into him. I probably missed something, but how did she know he worked for Gill? Norman going all mommy after she crushes him was definitely the highlight for me in what was a letdown episode overall.
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7:28PM on 05/07/2013

?

i didn't think that norma's response to bradley was jealousy & i don't think that she would have responded that strongly to any other girl. she mentions to emma how she knows bradley & i am convinced that she holds bradley responsible for everything bad that has happened to her. if bradley hadn't lured norman away from the house that first night, he would have been home to help her defend herself against keith summers.
i didn't think that norma's response to bradley was jealousy & i don't think that she would have responded that strongly to any other girl. she mentions to emma how she knows bradley & i am convinced that she holds bradley responsible for everything bad that has happened to her. if bradley hadn't lured norman away from the house that first night, he would have been home to help her defend herself against keith summers.
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