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The Arrow Reviews: Bates Motel, Episode #7

04.30.2013by: The Arrow

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 last Episode 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 the site 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 seeing Norman'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 revelations our 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 the show 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 kill Bradley 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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