Whoever thought family relationships were the only ones being delved into within Bates Motel were certainly proven incorrect this week as we turned from the increasing tension between Norma and Norman to witness two certain couples light the fires of romance and add further depth to the ongoing saga of the Bates family. If that wasn’t enough to keep the kitchen at full steam, violence and danger would also play its part in furthering the credentials of this evidently expanding and unmissable drama.
Since we were dropped into the seemingly quiet little town of White Pine Bay with Norma and Norman Bates, we’ve been privy to a location that serves up its fair share of deaths and darkness as opposed to anything really heartwarming or even remotely positive along the way. Hitting the halfway point of its second stretch into prequel territory, Bates Motel finally served up on a silver platter not one but two blossoming relationships this week, but not without drama thrown in between the physical attraction.
Those under the spotlight and feeling the heat in the love department were the former will-they-won’t-they pair Norman and Emma. While clearly realising that their own connection remains more work and school-based than anything else, the two of them, after a fair share of hints, finally gave in to their desires with their respective love interests. Interestingly enough, both Cody and Gunner would provide these characters, despite their questionable current life choices (tattoos, smoking etc), the exact escapism our young figures would need.
Firmly busting the bubble of loveliness and tranquil surroundings, Norma and Dylan’s own ongoing predicaments would soon tarnish the memory of the lovestruck teens as White Pine Bay’s figureheads who tend to dance with danger continued their trend. Norma, determined to write off any chances of the business crippling bypass, would get deeper in with the mysterious and clearly influential MrFord, while Dylan was left to continue working under the unsettling and unhinged Zane.
With Bates Motel, the name of the game is weaving that sinister web of intrigue even further and widening its reach, in order to really nail down an audience’s attention and keep them hanging with anticipation. If any episode was to do just that then The Escape Artist was the one.
Admittedly, the romance edge of the episode presented something different, something unique, but it still added that extra depth that is helping to essentially carve our characters into what and who they will become. Coupled with these romances also come the people affected by such emotional connections; Norma the perfect person finding herself more maternal towards Emma than her actual son, of whom his relationship she disapproves. Such little details as these are certainly painting a grand picture for an increasingly engaging show.
Then there’s that dark edge that is omnipresent and always set to pounce week-in-week out. While we know that Norman possesses that blackout-inducing, violent streak inside him, the show cleverly holds back on the obvious and instead looks to bring out such atmosphere and themes through the other characters. In Dylan and Norma’s ongoing sagas we are definitely having our fair share of this and it undoubtedly makes for the show’s longevity and appeal.
As ever, the conclusion to this week as much as surprise as it was an exciting promise for further drama in the very near future. Leaving us with so many questions left to answer, the mid-point of season two is cementing Bates Motel’s place in modern television’s elite and long may this success continue.