Gone But Not Forgotten – Season Two, Episode 1 – original airdate 3/3/2014
My oh my, the time sure passes quickly. It seems like it was just a few weeks ago that we were watching the conclusion to season one of Bates Motel, which ended with Norman experiencing one of the most messed-up days in his messed-up life.
Remember that day? Remember how his mom told him that she had been raped by her brother when she was younger? Remember Norman going to the dance with Emma, but staring at Bradley? Remember Emma leaving, Norman getting punched in the face, walking home in the rain, being picked up by Miss Watson? Oh yeah, Miss Watson…
Season Two picks up right where the first season left off, with the death of Miss Watson. Norman is very distraught by her death, maybe a little too distraught? And whose pearls are those he is toying with?
Meanwhile, Bradley is driving drunk, takes a dive off a bridge (if she wanted to kill herself, why did she swerve out of the way of the truck in the scene just before she jumped off the bridge?) She survives the attempt, but spends a few months in a mental facility. When she gets out, she is obsessed with finding out who killed her father. And of course Norman is still obsessed with her, even though Emma is right there in front of him, wanting only to be loved.
Meanwhile, business is booming at the Bates Motel. We see lots of happy customers, while a Haim song plays on the soundtrack (nice choice!) But there is a big problem looming: the highway bypass, which will divert all the traffic away from the motel. Yes, this is the bypass, the one referenced in Hitchcock’s Psycho movie. The bypass that will be the undoing of the Bates Motel. Norma goes to a city council meeting, in an attempt to thwart the planned start of construction on the bypass, but she is treated rather rudely, and out comes her crazy. We get these glimpses of the strong, successful woman Norma could have been, if life had treated her a little better. She brings up the fact that the massive pot fields drive the towns’ economy, something that everyone knows but nobody wants to talk about. Bravo! But the deck is stacked against her in this battle. Vera Farmiga sure is owning this role, at this point.
Every time we see Norma and Norman in a scene together now, there is a cringe-worthy element. A simple driving lesson becomes very tense, and mother and son both explode. Are they arguing about driving, or something more? And in the tender moments, such as when Norma drapes her arm lovingly over Norman’s chest as she stands behind him, how can we not be creeped out by that?
Also, Dylan reconnects with Bradley, and gives her some information that may help her find out what happened to Daddy, and it involves Gil, the head honcho of all the illegal goings on. And the body count goes up.
Meanwhile Sheriff Romero and Norma both begin to suspect that Norman may have had something to do with Miss Watson’s death. Finally Norman tells his mom that he was in her house, and that he blacked out. Am I the only one who thinks its just a little too obvious that Norman killed Miss Watson? We all know where Norman is headed; he certainly is a killer. And he has Miss Watson’s pearls. Is there a slight possibility that someone else was involved in her death, or is it really that simple?