If last week’s season 2 premiere was anything to go by then Bates Motel is likely to bring yet more thrills and spills than ever before. With Norman’s state of mind ever-elapsing and Bradley also heading towards a downward spiral, the repercussions of last week’s episode would be fully felt in the latest entry into the show’s run, entitled Shadow Of A Doubt.
Following Bradley’s murder of Gil, tensions in certain corners of the community were rightfully mounting, and the likelihood of gang warfare creeping in by the second. At the heart of this possible danger, Dylan was reminded that the drug business he is currently deep into is filled with death and destruction, as the threat of a war reared its head.
Elsewhere, while Dylan had non-family affairs to cope with, Norma continued to coax in an air of normality into Norman’s life, suggesting the pair take part in a community theatre group. With Norman’s psychological problems slowly getting out of hand, and the mystery of his teacher’s death still looming, his mother may be the only one who can save him from the dark corners of his mind.
Slowing the proceedings down compared to last week, Bates Motel still maintained its cutting edge this week, as we took to both sides of the good and evil coin. On one side, Vera Farmiga’s Norma, attempting to bed in the doting mother role into Norman’s mind, while Dylan looked to handle the escalating situation regarding the murder of Gil and those involved with the aftermath. On the flip side, we once again saw Norman struggle to deal with his inner demons and often heading down a path that leads to nothing but disaster.
This is where Bates Motel excels; in its exceptional portrayal of events unfolding and those who are involved. Every action has a reaction and a consequence, and none could be more applicable than in White Pine Bay. Like the Hitchcock movie of the same name as this particular episode, this was an entry into the Bates saga that offered plenty of suspense and echoed the 1943 film (a favourite of Hitchcock’s) in presenting an individual – in this case, Norma – ultimately concerned by the psychological state of a person close to her. It’s a great link in to the world of the renowned director and only echoes the care and homage being paid to such a film-based property.
We may only be two episodes into this second stretch of Bates Motel but we are already being laid the foundations for what is likely to be an improvement on our introductory leg of the Norman Bates journey. Packed with exceptional atmosphere and a real depth in its story and characters, the next episode cannot come any sooner.