Justin: Welcome back Fright-fiends! Icons editor-in-chief Jerry and myself are checking into the BATES MOTEL again to tag team review the second episode in the series titled “Nice Town You Picked, Norma…”
So, there is a lot going on in this episode. It introduces new characters, sets up quite a few side plots, and gets down right weird. How’d you feel, Jerry?
Jerry: Well before I get into that, I’d like to address something very important. Last week, I mentioned an appreciation for MY SOUL TO TAKE. After being told that I wasn’t the only person around that appreciated the movie, I thought it’d be fun to write a “IN DEFENSE OF” article on the movie, so I re-watched it..and I’d like to formally apologize for ever saying anything positive about that shitfest.
Justin: You just broke the hearts of the seven fans that exist of MY SOUL TO TAKE!
Jerry: Now BATES MOTEL…this week was interesting. I have about an 85/15 opinion of this week’s episode. I loved 85% of it and the other 15% made me say “what the hell??” quite a few times. It was intense as hell, and hot damn is Vera so good in it, she steals the show as far as I’m concerned. However, in my 32 years of being alive, I never once imagined that I would find myself seeing Norman Bates run from machine gun toting, pot farmers!
Justin: I would be completely ok with singing praises for Vera Farminga in every paragraph, for every future review. She really is the best part about the show. Even though it was completely weird, she convinced me that Mother’s undressing in front of their sons is totally ok. But yeah, BATES MOTEL got a little FRIDAY THE 13TH ’09 on us there a minute with the pot field. Just goes to show this town has a bevy of secrets, one of which may lead to the owners of that erotic manga book Norman found…
Jerry: Totally, and I understand where the show’s going with the town’s dirty secrets, but I really hope that the creepy town doesn’t end of overshadowing what the central story is about: the journey of Norman. It’s a risky venture for the show, because while it’s interesting, I feel like the show is completely enthralling when it deals with Norman and Norma. I’m not sold on the town stuff yet. I did love the stuff with Dylan coming into the picture and pretty much creating havoc in the Bates home. I had a smile from ear to ear seeing Norman about to snap when Dylan called Norma a whore, and holy shit, was that scene between Norma and Emma awkward as hell?
Justin: Absolutely to both accounts.
The opening scene with Norman flick his flashlight on & off on the notebook like a strobe-light was a pretty demented little nuance. The arrival of Norman’s brother Dylan is most welcome and led to some excellent moments, like the one you mentioned. Seeing Norman sort of snap into a killers trance made me grin like hell. It’s creating a bit of a shakeup for Norma & Norman’s relationship, and it’s actually interesting drama. Norma’s jealousy was in full force this episode as well. So much that it led to her nonchalantly switching tops in front of Norman, despite Norman’s behest. But his loss is our gain because good lord Norma is a fox!
Jerry: Yeah, seriously! That scene was my favorite for many reasons, the most of which is that we saw the side of Norman that is completely in love with his mom, in a different light than was show in the pilot. While the pot growers and the scene with Norma blasting Jewel and Everclear made me scratch my head, the rest of the episode really impressed me with how much character development it had. It also showed just how intense Sheriff Romero could be. The scene with the sheriff and the deputy questioning Norma was another great one. I wonder how long it’ll drag out until one or both of them will have to go, leading to my next question: who was the burning body at the end?
Justin: Your guess is as good as mine, but that was wild and unexpected.
Jerry: I mean, there was the “eye for an eye” line that the deputy mentioned.
Justin: Right, law enforcement seems to be just as involved in the seediness as anyone else. I actually looking forward to see the layers of the town peeled back to reveal some sinister shit. Even though Norma is a killer herself, she seemed repulsed by the fact that the town sort of lives by a discrete immoral code. And here we go with the TWIN PEAKS reference again, but this episode would fit right at home in that universe.
Jerry: Totally. It reminded me of TWIN PEAKS a lot this week. I could watch Norma and Norman interacting with each other for hours. Their chemistry is great. I’m on board for sure, I just hope they stay the focus of the show. Another element that made me smile, was the taxidermy hobby of Emma’s father. Quite a nod to the original film
Justin: Ah, missed that! Very nice. Overall, quite a solid episode in my opinion. Shit got weird, many questions were raised, and Norman began to mildly display some homicidal cracks. BATES MOTEL has a fan in me.
Jerry: Me too, most definitely
Justin: Alright Fright-readers, tune in next week for another tag team review of Episode 3 titled “What’s Wrong With Norman”. Until then, keep the horror alive!