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TV Review: The Arrow's take on Bates Motel S2, Episode #10

May. 6, 2014by: The Arrow
100%

EPISODE 10: The Immutable Truth

CHECKING IN: Sheriff "King Shit" Romero (Nestor Carbonell) and Dylan (Max Thieriot) save Norman (Freddie Highmore) from the box he was locked in, Zane (Michael Eklund) is taken care of old school while Norman (Freddie Highmore) deals with his new self awareness in terms of being a "psycho"... badly...

THE ROOM:  And we check out of Bates Motel Season 2 with style and a couple of back-hands! Damn I loved last night's episode! First, it proved me wrong a couple of times which I always appreciate. It's nice to watch something that actually manages to surprise me. So yeah, although I didn't want to believe it, I now accept it: Norman killed Miss Watson (How/when did that second sperm sample get in there though? It bothers me) and teenage Norman is now aware that he also killed his abusive father. The lad's murderous side is out of the bag no matter how much Norma tries to push him to adopt her "repress everything" method of survival. And I can't wait to see how they build on that in Season 3. 

I had also had predicted that crazy haired Zane (Michael Eklund) would last the Season and I was wrong there again. I loved how Dylan and Romero took care of him action buddy picture style! It made for a mucho enthralling scene. I'm kind of going to miss Zane though. Michael Eklund was so out-there in the role! He was very entertaining to watch. On top of that, even Dylan's mounting love interest Jody (played by the lovely Kathleen Robertson) checked out! I kept waiting for them to do something interesting with her character and her courtship with Dylan all season, I guess not, she got nipped in the bud before that could happen. And it's probably for the best. That whole drug subplot was the show's weakest link until they tied it back to the Bates family in the last couple of episodes. And now with Dylan pretty much in line to be the drug ring top-dog of White Pine Bay  (hand picked by Romero in yet another riveting scene); I can only see that subplot get the kick in the ass it needed for down the road.  

Moreover, last night's episode was filled with emotionally charged scenes, demanding an A Game from its actors (who always deliver an A game, one of this show's main strengths, along with the clever/potent writing). The Norman wants to commit suicide angle, with his odd to-do list (nice touch with that stuffed sparrow), which culminated with Norma expressing her complete co-dependency on Norman was tragic, moving and creepy. The same went for the "way too long for its own good" kiss that mother and son shared together. Talk about making me feel uneasy! At the same time, if I forgot for a micro second that they were mother and son, it was a nice kiss between two people who depend on each other and love each other in a unhealthy way. I said "if" I forgot...lol! At the end of the day though a boy's best friend is his mother right? ;) 

But the scene that actually moved me the most was the one between Norma and Dylan, where once again Norma used her love as some type of reward, one that it seems Dylan finally earned. Vera Farminga was simply amazing as usual but it was Max Thieriot's performance that got to me here. His character's feelings were conveyed in an internal fashion yet I could sense everything Dylan was going through via his body language and his eyes. Wow. What a riveting showcase! Kudos Thieriot! On her end Emma (Olivia Cooke) seemed to be getting back in the spotlight a tad. They didn't do much with her this Season, stoner boyfriend subplot aside and I was sure the show was fading her out, but here, they pulled her back in, setting her up for more shenanigans to come in the next Season. Phew!

Lastly, I am sure I am not the only one that picked up the PSYCHO references on display. Like the scene with Mother in her rocking chair or that final frame which echoed the iconic final shot of Hitchcock's PSYCHO. I got fanboy waves washing over me when Norman looked straight at us at the end. Well played Bates Motel team! WELL PLAYED!

In closing, although the Bates Motel Season 2 finale didn't end with a cliffhanger as I expected it to, it did leave us with a new sturdy base, one to build on come Season 3. Season 2 was pretty solid on a whole if you ask me and you can count me in for the next one! Till then, see ya in Room #1 Bates fans! Lets party!

RANDOM THOUGHTS:  I keep feeling that Emma will die in Season 3. Am I alone?

Even though Norman passed the Polygraph test, I don't think Romero was fully convinced. What do you think?

I liked that Norma had bought tickets to Montreal, Canada, which is my home town. It made me smile.

I expect to see more of Christine (Rebecca Creskoff) and George (Michael Vartan) in Season 3 and I predict that they will become more prominent villains.

RATING ON 10

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+1
2:35PM on 05/06/2014

Excellent ep and review

Pretty much agree with your review. This was a great episode that was elevated even more by the acting. Glad to see I'm not the only one who loved the Norma/Dylan scene. When she first said she loved him in the hospital I thought it was simply going to be because he brought Norman back to her so their later scene was a welcome surprise that brought a new dynamic to their relationship.
While I am disappointed a lot of the supporting characters haven't been utilized as much or how I would
Pretty much agree with your review. This was a great episode that was elevated even more by the acting. Glad to see I'm not the only one who loved the Norma/Dylan scene. When she first said she loved him in the hospital I thought it was simply going to be because he brought Norman back to her so their later scene was a welcome surprise that brought a new dynamic to their relationship.
While I am disappointed a lot of the supporting characters haven't been utilized as much or how I would have hoped - in particular Jodi (Kathleen Robertson), George (Michael Vartan) and Caleb (Kenny Johnson) - I do feel with some retrospect a lot was being set up for most of the characters rather than full arcs being played out and confined to a season. A bigger picture definitely seemed like it was being thought of. I did expect more from Jodi before she bit it though but at least her exit was final rather than disappearing with no resolution. The rest we haven't seen the last of I'd bet.
Also glad the Nick Ford business was played out. A good character but in danger of outstaying his welcome. Again when he discovered Norman's link to Ms Watson I expected something more - maybe there still will be if he passed information on - to happen before he went. I agree the drug lord subplot is not the show's strongest point and I personally have little interest in it. Hopefully this will be dealt with more economically in future seasons.
For me it was interesting to note that while we know Norman passed the polygraph, we have no idea what he said to do that. Did he blame anyone else, did he actually answer as Mother but in a way the tester wouldn't notice?
I'm glad the series didn't have an obvious cliffhanger ending and left a more natural conclusion without finalising anything so you were still hooked to come back.
Oh and PS. I just had a total face palm moment reading the review when I realised I didn't immediately pick up on the rocking chair nod to Psycho. For shame.
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3:59PM on 05/06/2014
Good call on not knowing what Norman said during the test. I think after his internal mother said it was her, he just answered "no".
Good call on not knowing what Norman said during the test. I think after his internal mother said it was her, he just answered "no".
1:58PM on 05/06/2014

A satisfying end to the season

Finally, its looks like the dreaded drug-lord subplot is over, at least from a feuding-family perspective, although with Dylan the newly appointed ''big drug cheese'' of the town, there will surely be some bumps in the road for him next season I'm sure. Perhaps those bumps could come from ''Big Shit'' Romero himself considering he didn't look all that happy Normy passed his polygraph. Loved how Norman channeled his mother during the test, and that stare at the end gave me goosebumps! It
Finally, its looks like the dreaded drug-lord subplot is over, at least from a feuding-family perspective, although with Dylan the newly appointed ''big drug cheese'' of the town, there will surely be some bumps in the road for him next season I'm sure. Perhaps those bumps could come from ''Big Shit'' Romero himself considering he didn't look all that happy Normy passed his polygraph. Loved how Norman channeled his mother during the test, and that stare at the end gave me goosebumps! It certainly will be a long wait for season three, but we always have great stuff on this site to keep us happy until then. Love ya Arrow, keep up the good work, and here's to another season of Bates Motel in the books!

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4:01PM on 05/06/2014
Yup that stare was pure PSYCHO, a great way to end the episode! Happy you dug the reviews man, till next season bro!
Yup that stare was pure PSYCHO, a great way to end the episode! Happy you dug the reviews man, till next season bro!
+1
12:55PM on 05/06/2014

Loved your review!

Oh man, I've been waiting for this to come up I've been so excited. First without getting too mushy, I want to thank you Arrow for your Bates Motel reviews. It's so much fun watching the show itself, but reading your reviews afterwards is even more fun because I'm always bursting to discuss it and to hear your opinion as well as others who comment. So thank you for doing such a fantastic job of course as always. Fun fun.

Okay I'm stubborn but I'm still not 100% convinced he's guilty. I do
Oh man, I've been waiting for this to come up I've been so excited. First without getting too mushy, I want to thank you Arrow for your Bates Motel reviews. It's so much fun watching the show itself, but reading your reviews afterwards is even more fun because I'm always bursting to discuss it and to hear your opinion as well as others who comment. So thank you for doing such a fantastic job of course as always. Fun fun.

Okay I'm stubborn but I'm still not 100% convinced he's guilty. I do know he killed his dad but I'm just not sure on Miss Watson. I get what's going on with mother in his head and that's probably how he was able to pass that poly because he believed that she did it. But I'm just not convinced yet for 100% until they go deeper into the other semen sample, which I doubt they will. However, leaving it as they did, I realize, is probably all we'll ever know. I may have to finally give in one day.

LOVED Romero killing Zane! It was so satisfying the way it went down with him reminding Zane at the last second that he had told him he was going to burn him (or something like that). Love that Romero will play dirty and killed him rather than take him into custody. I myself don't miss that guy or his sister, and I do hope that things continue on the fast track for Dylan in this new role.

That scene with Dylan and Norma may just be my favorite of the entire series so far. Soon as Dylan's eyes teared up I was literally crying. It was beautiful and I loved how Norma had bought Dylan a ticket to Montreal as well. I hope this continues I've always felt so bad for him the way she treated him. Loving the turn around.

What a kicker finale. Norman realizing he's becoming "psycho" and the looks in his eyes really reminded me of the Norman he's going to become. I used to wonder how this transformation was going to take place as Norman was so sweet and likable, but they're doing such a good job you hardly notice it happening.

I did catch those Psycho references at the end and it was awesome! When Norman was looking down, I was just waiting for him to lift his head and give us that little grin. It sent chills through me. They've done such a fantastic job with this series I love how they've never forgotten just where it's leading too.

Random thoughts: I used to have this idea that Norman would fall in love with Emma and later she would die of her health issues, further messing him up. Now I don't know. She told Norma in season one that her life expectancy is around 28 years old I think? I remember Norma looking relieved to hear that she wouldn't be around forever, lol. I admit last night when Norman called her from upstairs to bring him something, he looked in that "creepy" zone and I kind of feared for her life. So who knows maybe next year she could end up dying, and especially with the movie career Olivia Cooke has going now. I want her to be around forever though.

Well, here's to next season I hope it gets here fast!
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4:06PM on 05/06/2014
Happy to hear that you enjoy my Bates Motel ramblings Glinda :)

Guilty or not, they better address the HOW and WHEN as to that second sperm sample. It would be clumsy for them to just let it go like that.

The sister was a bore but Zane was fun for me. I expect George and his sister to be next season's villains, with Caleb returning of course.

As for Emma, they either need to do something with her character and follow through or have her leave/kill her off. She was kind of wasted this
Happy to hear that you enjoy my Bates Motel ramblings Glinda :)

Guilty or not, they better address the HOW and WHEN as to that second sperm sample. It would be clumsy for them to just let it go like that.

The sister was a bore but Zane was fun for me. I expect George and his sister to be next season's villains, with Caleb returning of course.

As for Emma, they either need to do something with her character and follow through or have her leave/kill her off. She was kind of wasted this Season which is kind of a shame as I love the character. Well till next Season!
4:13PM on 05/06/2014
Agree! Good point it would be clumsy to leave it so I hope they do.

I forgot to comment I hope you're right about George and his sister. I really liked the encounter with Norma in the grocery. I like George's sister better as a villain than I did when she was so hooked on getting Norma out of the house and into everything. This will be interesting after the dinner with the Mayor.

I'll probably enjoy Zane on rewatch. I'm like that with villains I often just hate them at first and later
Agree! Good point it would be clumsy to leave it so I hope they do.

I forgot to comment I hope you're right about George and his sister. I really liked the encounter with Norma in the grocery. I like George's sister better as a villain than I did when she was so hooked on getting Norma out of the house and into everything. This will be interesting after the dinner with the Mayor.

I'll probably enjoy Zane on rewatch. I'm like that with villains I often just hate them at first and later learn to" love to hate them" and appreciate them as awesome characters. I hope Caleb returns too. So much potential there and that guy was creepy good.

Agree! They could do a lot with Emma and I hope they do. She's in my top 4 with the family.
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