TV Review: Bates Motel S3, Episode #4 (Unbreak-Able)

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

EPISODE 4: Unbreak-able

CHECKING IN: Norma’s (Vera Farminga) attempts to find out what's on the USB-stick which Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbone) is now seeking. On his end, Norman (Freddie Highmore) uses Emma (Olivia Cooke) to try to make his mom jealous. Another cozy stay up at the Bates Motel!

THE ROOM: The heat was ON in this week's BATE MOTEL. Then again when is the heat not on with that   warped family in that crooked town? Exactly! God bless em! The messed up relationship between more-psycho-as-we-go Norman (Highmore) and his momma Norma (Farminga) was in the spotlight and then some! Lets see if I got this straight: Norma is jealous of Norman and Emma, hence is now getting closer to Dylan. Norman is jealous of Dylan and Norma's strengthening relationship, so he uses Emma to make Norma jealous. Emma aside, these are all family members we're talking about here – they're related – think about that for a second… man this show is out of line I love it for it! 

The good son!

Keeping to the "all in the family" theme of the show, the character of Caleb (Kenny Johnson) really got to shine this week. I have been going back and forth as to the earnesty of the character but in this week's episode he sold me 100% on his guilt and his pain as to his past with Norma. Don't get me wrong here, I still don't trust the guy, I never have, and now I trust him even less knowing that there's a warrant out for his arrest but there was something very "human" about him this week. NOTE: I know a lot of people don't care for the Caleb subplot, but I dig it the most! His nuanced relationship with nephew/son Dylan, his uncomfortable past with his sister/lover Norma, the aura of mystery that surrounds him… I think he makes for great television and Kenny Johnson is simply amazing in the role. 

Speaking of amazing, Max Thieriot knocked it out of the park. The episode focused on him lots and he once again proved what a strong actor he is. Thieriot's final scene with Norman was simply heartbreaking and almost had this tough guy tearing up like a man-child, I said almost, there were people around me, I got a rep to live up to ya know! 😉  What about Norman you may ask? Well the lad has officially entered " scary mofo" zone (Freddie Highmore is getting to stretch with the role this season – he's killing it) and it seems that every character around him (except Emma) knows it in terms of their reaction to him. Norma is gonna blow up by the end of this season and at least one body will hit the floor. Mark my words!

They put the "D" in dysfunctional!

Lastly the Bob Paris angle added potent threat to the narrative while Sheriff Romero's (Nestor Carbone)  investigation was compelling to witness. Nestor Carbone was magnetic as usual and his scenes with Vera Farminga were captivating. Man those two work great off each other! Any complaints? Just one really. I felt like the writing cheated us a bit to force the plot to go in the direction (s) it needed to go. I mean Norma should have told Romero about the USB stick. Dylan and Norma, knowing that Norman is a  fruitcake, should have told him what they were talking about behind his back, instead of letting it go that far. Yup, some of the actions here felt trivial but on the whole, even with its flaws in tow, the episode was highly engaging, the actors all top notch as usual and you bet your bootie that I'll be there next week, tub of Popcorn in one hand and a kitchen knife in the other! BATES MOTEL keeps on giving!

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Why do I keep thinking Caleb has something to do with the dead hookers? I know I'm off  base with it but I keep going back to that idea.

I stand by what I said last week, that USB key will in fact help Romero keep his job down the road.

Vera Farminga looked great in a bra. It had to be said!

Joshua Leaonard was kind of creepy in this episode. Intentional? Or am I tripping balls?



Source: Arrow in the Head

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