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TV Review: The Arrow's take on Bates Motel S2, Episode #3

03.18.2014by: The Arrow

EPISODE 3: Caleb

CHECKING IN: Norma's brother (Kenny Johnson) pops up and his presence causes a ruckus, Norma makes new highbrow friends and Mack-Daddy Norman finds a new hot/rebellious chick (Paloma Kwiatkowski) to latch on to! And that's just the tip of the ice-pick! Busy times in Bates Land!

THE ROOM:  All right, now that's more like it! Bates Motel's second Season took two episodes to warm up its engine but put the pedal to the floor in last night's episode, bringing me back to what I love about the show: set- ups with potential to go all kinds of wrong, focus on its warped characters and zany plot twists. And boy did I get my fill of those sure to be blood filled pastries with this entry!

The biggest kicker was definitely the arrival of Norma's brother Caleb. Knowing of his history with Norma, as revealed in Season 1, the shit hit the fan as hardcore as I thought it would! Norma lost her shit (Vera Farminga, owned it...AGAIN!), it prompted conflict between Norman and Dylan (Poor Dylan, all he wants is a daddy figure and he gets THIS) and they then came at us with quite the whopper of a revelation.

Not to sound like a smart ass, but I predicted that big reveal last year, it totally explains why Norma keeps Dylan at arms length. I knew it! On that, the possibilities are endless as to where this plot line will go. I will say this, it sure will muddle things that Kenny Johnson who plays Norma's brother is one charismatic mofo. My gut says this nice guy/victim thing is all an act (Costa Rica my ass!), but hey, with this show, who knows! NOTE: Max Thieriot truly shined in this episode. An internal yet very telling performance. Kudos bro!

Speaking of charisma, it was swell to see Michael Vartan's debut here! To be honest, I didn't recognize him at first. That relationship and Norma's tie with new bestie Christine as played by Rebecca Creskoff can go in so many directions. But if I go by the usual Bates Motel M.O. though, it will all go down the shitter! I am looking forward to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes! And the same can be said about Norman's new gal pal Cody (played by Paloma Kwiatkowski), yes the one that has DEAD written all over her!

I expect lots of BS to come with that relationship, her expression when arriving home spelled PROBLEMS TO COME! Finally, Emma got to shine here, there was more focus on her plight and I dug where they went with it i.e. she got hammered, driven by shame and her disgust with people around her. “I want you to make bad choices with me” she said. Can't wait to where those bad choices will lead her! Lets get her laid already! Olivia Cooke was amazing as usual in the role and I hope Emma stays in the forefront of the show for a while. I dig her!

All in all I don't have a single complaint about last night's episode; it did what Bates Motel does best! Serve up tantalizing set-ups, focused on its complex charaters while landing a couple of uppercuts my way! It's finally ON like Donkey Kong with Season 2! Let the ride begin! YES!

RANDOM THOUGHTS:  Is it me or am I sensing lesbian possibilities between Christine and Norma? Maybe it's just my dirty mind talking...

Will Norman ever wake up to realize that Emma is the ideal girl for him? Probably not; he likes the "bad girls".

I loved how Norman dealt with the "gay advances". He took it way better than I thought he would.





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