Bates-Motel-meltdownIt’s become commonplace now for Bates Motel to focus as much on its world-building as it is to further the fortunes (and misfortunes) of its focal family in the Bates’. Over the past few weeks we’ve encountered the rather unsettling Nick Ford, the ruthless and aggressive Zane, and many more individuals finding themselves in the midst of involvement with the family. This week’s episode head back to the three-pronged Bates family assault as we experienced yet more memorable entries in the lives of Dylan, Norma and Norman.

Dealing with the aftermath of Zane and his crew’s assault on Nick Ford’s property, Dylan found himself firmly in the middle this week as he brought the raid to his boss’ attention, while also gaining the attention of the dangerous Nick Ford. A man whose involvement in the now fully fledged drug war is getting more and more intense by the week, Dylan is quite simply stuck between a rock and a hard place; his loyalty being tested to the limit.

Speaking of Ford, Norma is not too far away in terms of being in danger as she finds herself also embroiled in his dealings, having gained a seat on the local council and had the proposed bypass put on hold because of the local ‘businessman’. His latest threats saw Norma and her outcast son look to join once again as her worry over his situation would only be mirrored in Dylan’s mind, his warning shot to Nick that his mother be let out of it an indicator that he still feels deeply about family.

All the while this was going on, poor old Norman continued to head down a dark and despairing path in which he takes solace in his taxidermy and distances himself away from the woman he once held dear; his mother. Now more than often staring into a blank space, and appearing dismissive of his mother’s emotions towards him, Norman is slowly declining and certainly poses a huge threat as we head into the business end of the season.

With such high stakes for all the characters now leaving us teetering on a knife edge, Bates Motel has never been so endearing. From the fuelled drug war about to seriously gain momentum, to the huge breakdown between mother and son, we’ve come a long way since the early days of the show and things just get better and better.

It’s testament to the show’s strengths that even the lesser highlighted characters are starting to have an impact on events; this week proving that Sheriff Romero is still to play a huge role in Norman’s life for a certainty. Originally posing as a possible danger to Norman’s life, Romero has since shown that he could well be the father figure and protective individual that he needs to escape from the clutches of the authorities and ultimately being locked up. This week’s exchanges between the two brought brilliant emotion and also helped us as an audience really notch Romero up as a bankable character.

As for the likes of Nick Ford and Zane, these are the guys who help to add the zest and the spice to the show, their prospective sides guaranteeing there will be yet more bloodshed and slaughter to come for the murder-heavy show. Their influences on our main characters are forever fruitful and one cannot wait to see how both Norma and Dylan face the demons laying in wait on their paths to a healthier life.

Exceptional, nerve-shredding and utterly immersive, Bates Motel continues its ascent to greatness with another stellar episode. Providing many thinking points and an ever-declining Norman, this show will certainly have many gripping the armrests on chairs in anticipation for the final two episodes of the season.