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TV Review: The Arrow's take on Bates Motel S2, Episode #2

03.11.2014by: The Arrow
100%

EPISODE 2: Shadow of a Doubt

CHECKING IN: Bradley (Nicole Martin) plans her escape out of town with Norman (Freddie Highmore), Norma (Vera Farminga) drags Norman to audition for a musical while a suspect is arrested for the murder of Miss Watson.

THE ROOM:  Bates Motel continues to slowly but steadily set up its board for a new and warped game of Psycho chess. Much like the first episode of this Season, I can't say I was bowled over by this entry but I was engaged throughout nonetheless. Although I dug the new murderous/chain smoking Bradley, I was content to see her subplot resolved this quickly. I doubt this is the last we'll see of the lass though, she'll be back to shit disturb shit again at the right time in my opinion. It was obvious to me that the show wrapped up her story-line quicker than it usually does to make room for the more edgy stuff that is coming our way. Hey, I'm all for it!

Now, the two most interesting bits for me in terms of this episode were:

1- Norma bringing Norman to audition for a musical. Not only was the scene fun to watch, it also reiterated the "manipulation games" that Norma plays and the firm grasp that she has on her poor son. Their dynamic is beyond unhealthy and one day Norman is gonna blow a fuse! Like full-on Psycho style! And I won't blame him one bit. Kudos to Freddie Highmore and Vera Farminga for once again displaying their characters odd bond via endearing chemistry and potent acting chops. Moreover, the scene put on display (once again) just how much Norma is broken inside and needs attention to temporary Band-Aid that ailment. It seems that the only thing that makes her happy is getting acknowledged. I feel for her. She's such a tragic character. And what makes it worse is that she comes off as a good person deep down inside. She just has a very limited toolbox. NOTE: Norma's musical number was the tits! I found it mucho moving. I wonder if that was Farminga's voice? If so, she's a damn good singer!

And 2- I relished how Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) hustled in this episode and watching how he handled things reminded me of who "I think" this man is. The dude can't solve a murder so he pins it on some shlep. Why? Cause he's an a-hole? Nope, because he's all about keeping order in his town, whether it's legal or not. And I like that! He's an unethical character with a strong code of ethics within the world he lives in and the rules he lives by. I hope to see more of Romero as we clock forward. I would love to get to know him even more! With the new guests who will be checking into future episodes, I have a feeling I will. New characters usually means new murder (s) hence Romero will be on the scene! 



Other than that, the mysterious stranger at 'Miss Watson's grave was identified (he doesn't look like a very nice man) and a new scum bag was tossed our way in the guise of a "hotshot" thug looking into Guill's murder. I don't think both characters will last too long, they both have bullet in the face written all over them. Then again it's Bates Motel, so who knows? On that, both gents don't do much for me thus far so if they check out early, I'm all for it (I miss Jake Abernathy... now that was a memorable villain). What I am excited about though is what's to come! I'm talking Norma's "deviant and violent" brother and Michael Vartan aka Norma's new love interest showing up. Yup I expect Episode 3 to crank it up a notch! Can't wait!

RANDOM THOUGHTS: I predict that Romero and Norma will sleep together by the end of this Season. Why? Just a hunch. I hope it happens, all kinds of BS would unravel after that!

Did Norman kill Miss Watson? I used to think "nope" but for some reason this episode made me change my tune and I now I think that he did. Where do you stand on that one?

Will Michael Vartan be the first non violent, psychotic or abusive love interest Norma ever had? We'll find out soon enough...

RATING ON 10

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5:51PM on 03/11/2014

Nice review! Enjoyed it.

I also enjoyed reading both comments below and agree with all of you pretty much other than the fact I just loved this episode and didn't think it was lacking. Very glad Bradley's storyline is all tied up.

Loved Norman and Norma singing Mr. Sandman but wow, Norma does know how to manipulate him well. He's brought to tears of frustration running out of the auditions and she still manages to turn it around and make it about herself. Well played these two actors are top notch. Love them.
I also enjoyed reading both comments below and agree with all of you pretty much other than the fact I just loved this episode and didn't think it was lacking. Very glad Bradley's storyline is all tied up.

Loved Norman and Norma singing Mr. Sandman but wow, Norma does know how to manipulate him well. He's brought to tears of frustration running out of the auditions and she still manages to turn it around and make it about herself. Well played these two actors are top notch. Love them. I'm starting to think that Norman is guilty of killing Miss Watson too but not 100% on that.

We can only hope Michael Vartan is a decent, non violent normal guy, but then again, how many normal guys would stick around too long with a woman fixated on her teenage son like she is? Will be interesting. I can't wait til next week!
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4:54PM on 03/11/2014
Another ho-hum offering this week for sure, but I do think the poop is going to hit the fan very soon and all the setup we had to endure these first two weeks will make the payoff even better. The musical audition was pretty classic ( I believe that really was Vera singing). I also had a really good laugh when Norma made Norman sing ''Sandman'' with Bradley listening in from the basement. Chic must have been like WTF? They also did a really good job of making Norman look more like the prime
Another ho-hum offering this week for sure, but I do think the poop is going to hit the fan very soon and all the setup we had to endure these first two weeks will make the payoff even better. The musical audition was pretty classic ( I believe that really was Vera singing). I also had a really good laugh when Norma made Norman sing ''Sandman'' with Bradley listening in from the basement. Chic must have been like WTF? They also did a really good job of making Norman look more like the prime suspect in the Watson murder. (this one is back to being 50/50 for me as well) Still waiting for Norman to dig her corpse up considering his fascination with dead things! Definitely Looking forward to episode three as well as your take on things next week Arrow!
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3:26PM on 03/11/2014

Another good review!

And another pretty good episode. I agree about how fast they tied up the Bradley storyline, at least for now. There wasn't too much they could do with it so I'm glad they are putting it on the back burner for now. The main strength of this show is the interactions between Norman and Norma, the way she manipulates Norman when she isn't getting her way it tragically pathetic and creepy as fuck. Such great chemistry between the actors. BTW, loved that last shot of Norma peeping through the window.
And another pretty good episode. I agree about how fast they tied up the Bradley storyline, at least for now. There wasn't too much they could do with it so I'm glad they are putting it on the back burner for now. The main strength of this show is the interactions between Norman and Norma, the way she manipulates Norman when she isn't getting her way it tragically pathetic and creepy as fuck. Such great chemistry between the actors. BTW, loved that last shot of Norma peeping through the window.
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