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TV Review: Bates Motel S4, Episode #2 (Goodnight Mother)

EPISODE 2: Goodnight Mother

CHECKING IN:  Norma (Vera Farminga) and Norman (Freddie Highmore) come to a head, Sherriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) tries to back-up Norma during her hard times while Emma (Olivia Cooke) tries out her new lung!

THE ROOM: I’m going to be honest with you, after the first episode of Bates Motel Season 4, I thought: “Do I still want to follow this show?” I mean don’t get me wrong, the episode was okay and I love Norma, Norman and company, but the first episode made me think that I’d be in for more of the same and that maybe the overall storyline would just repeat itself as opposed to going forward. Well, I stand corrected with this second Episode entitled GOODNIGHT MOTHER as it kicked my ass all over my padded room while launching the main narrative into an all new direction.


Norman has turned to the Dark Side!

The ante was upped on pretty much every echelon here, setting us up for delicious drama to come I am sure! For starters, Norman’s shaky “state of mind” (i.e. fruitcake) was explored even further and the lad has definitely become one hell of a scary character (with Freddie Highmore going for the gold with his intense performance). There are pros and cons in terms of that. On the upside, Norman now scares the shit out of me. He’s no longer a kid (dude is much bigger) and the fact that he is CONVINCED that his Mother is the one that is out of control and not him made him all the more frightening (as he actually thinks that what he is doing is the right thing).

On the flipside, I am losing every shred of sympathy I had left for Norman. Early on in the show, he was a victim, then a troubled teenager but now he’s a psychotic young man, one that is beyond helping and that now casts a dark cloud over every character on the show as he can whack any of them at any time. He's a full on threat and I am starting to hate the lad. Time will tell if that’s a good thing or not. They went much further when it came to Norma and Norman’s “close” relationship as well. There was a scene here that saw Norma try to seduce Norman for him to drop a gun and for a second there I totally forgot they were Mother and Son. They came off as lustful lovers and once I remembered their relation, I called myself on being somewhat hip to the scene. What can I say, Vera in seducing mode = hot stuff!


Searching for a dead body. Another day at Bates Motel!

Moreover Romero’s affection for Norma also went higher on this round with the help he gave her and the “marriage proposal” he agreed on.  The chemistry between Vera Farminga and Nestor Carbonell has never been more palpable. I relished their scenes together and the closeness their characters seem to be achieving. Last but certainly not least; the Dylan (Max Thieriot) and Emma (Olivia Cooke) subplot, although brief in terms of run time, was endearing – a ray of light in what was otherwise a very dark episode. 

Add to all that some inspired directing choices (loved the Norman POV flashbacks in terms of what happened) and an ending that sets up a whole new stage in terms of what can come and you get Arrow  eeled back in like the fish tha the  is. This episode was bleak, bold and moving all at once. A game changer really being that Norma has put her foot down and said "enough"! LOVED IT!

RANDOM THOUGHTS: With the amount of skeletons Norma has in her closet, I get the feeling that Norman heading for the nut-house will back-fire on her.

That family that just checked into the Bates Motel... will they die or will they live? Place your bets!

Was I alone in thinking that the Turkey pot pie looked damn yummy?! Hook me up with that recipe Norma!

RATING ON 10

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