On the face of it, a show that came into being with the hook that it was a prequel to Psycho really could have phoned it in and focused solely on the evolution of a serial killer. In its third season (despite *cough* a lack of Ian Tracey *cough*, we did have his son, Keenan) Bates Motel solidified itself as must-see TV for me. Here, in no particular order,Â are myÂ 10 reasons why.
10. Vera Farmiga is killing it
When we chatted with her on a press call last March, she was recovering physically and emotionally from the season finale, which was ninth level of Hell intense and involved her getting smacked all over the place. She is game for anything as Norma.
9. Freddie Highmore is killing it (heh)
It’s no easy task to make a psychopath sympathetic, but Highmore does it every week. Despite all evidence to the contrary that you should fear Norman instead of feel for him, Highmore makes you do both equally. He and Farmiga are great individually and scary brilliant together.
As hard as it is to makeÂ Norman sympathetic,Â amplify that a few times over with Caleb. We’d heard of him as the sibling who raped Norma when they were teenagers, which begat Dylan. His arrival in White Pine Bay, and his attempts to bond with his sister and his son opened a door on just how complicated things were for Norma and him when they were kids on their own, and just how broken Caleb has been ever since. Norma pushed it all down somewhereÂ so she could function, but Caleb wears his guilt and shame like a raw nerve. Kenny Johnson did amazing work.
7. Dylan and Emma
I genuinely love it when a show surprises me out of left field and thisÂ was a relationship I never saw coming. And then when it happened, I was all over it. I love, love, love Dylan and Emma being the only sane people in this sea of seriously WTFery, who find a friendship and solace in each other that initially sparks from how much they both want to protect Norman and realize that they can’t. Max Thieriot and Olivia Cooke sell the hell out of the unlikeliest first love story. More of this is season four, please.
6. Norma and Romero
Surprise #2. There’s always been a wink-nudge about these two, but last season, in the aftermath of Norman’s polygraph, and Norma getting way out of her depth with the thumb drive, she had to lean on him more than she wanted, and he started to feel something that literally made him dangerous and homicidal–not toward her, but in defense of her family–and he hated himself for it. I still love that the almost scene in his house remained almost. I don’t want these two to come together in a grudge sex scene. I want them to come together out of something softer, and real, that might actually last. Farmiga and Nestor Carbonell are so good together, whether they’re raging at each other or trying the best that two extraordinarily damaged people can to retain a teeny, tiny bit of normalcy.
I loved the return to the dark and stormy tone this season. Vancouver has been used so much in recent years, but not everybody uses it to its best effect. Bates Motel does, and I’m glad that despite the BC tax credits going to sh-t, they will be back there for seasons 4 and 5.
4. Seasons 4 and 5
We had to wait a while for the renewal, but when it came, we were told that TPTB would get to do what they intended–tell a five-season tale. They’re going back into production Monday for five months, which makes me think they’re shooting the full 20 (one a week), but I haven’t seen confirmation either way.
3. Bradley returns
I was so glad to see Nicola Peltz come back because we’d always had this lingering doubt about which parts of her relationship with Norman back in the first season were real and which weren’t. I felt bad that Bradley came home to Norman and ended up dead, but I understand TPTB’s choice in having a character with a history with Norman beingÂ the one to set him off on his spiral.
2. The Mercedes
When Norma has her brain fart in “Norman Louise” and sells her car, we know it can’t last because the Mercedes is as iconic as her wardrobe (which she also briefly abandons) and the hotel. It had to come back. That it was Romero who went to get it for her was icing.
1. It’s always interestingÂ Â
Even if I’m not feeling X or Y plot development i.e. I cared nothing about Bob or Chick (no offense to Kevin RahmÂ and Ryan Hurst), the show itself, and the performancesÂ and the location are the hooks for me. I’m going to keep watching. It helps tremendously that they shoot a tight ten-episode season. Everything they’re putting onscreen counts.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
John Griffin and Harold Perrineau Talk From on EPIX Season 1 Finale
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] How are we doing, #FROMily? In case you missed it this morning, the very good news is that that cliffhanger will be followed by a second season, which was gifted this morning ahead of the linear broadcast of the finale. I always legitimately appreciate when we…
Elizabeth Saunders Talks EPIX’s From
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the things that makes EPIX’s From such a fun ride is the abundance of Canadian cast members. Elizabeth Saunders, who plays Donna, is a favorite from her turn on the third season of Mary Kills People, which US audiences still have not been able…
Corteon Moore Talks From “Broken Windows, Open Doors”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight’s episode of From had us all in our feels as we learned through flashbacks about the Sophie’s Choice Boyd had to make to save his son, and back in the present as Boyd said his piece with Ellis before heading into the woods with…
Pegah Ghafoori Talks From “All Good Things…”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode] Tonight on From, Fatima’s anniversary celebration turned into a Colony House of horrors when a misguided Kevin let his monster bae in and she promptly killed him and left the window open for her crew. While the party devolved into terror and sent everyone running,…
Shaun Majumder Talks From “Book 74”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight on EPIX’s From, Father Khatri made a bold move, kidnapping Sara instead of turning her in, and then recognizing her as a vessel for some big messages. That startling realization speaks to him on multiple levels–as a man of faith, a man trapped in…
Avery Konrad Talks About Sara’s Struggle in From “Silhouettes”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Over the course of the season so far on From, we’ve witnessed Sara’s battle against the voices telling her to to do terrible things, and tonight we saw her unravel further, threatening the Matthews and lashing out in a moment of terror with horrifying results….
Hannah Cheramy Talks From “Choosing Day”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight, on EPIX’s From, the Matthews participate in the show’s version of the sorting hat, choosing where to call home–the town or Colony House. At the end of the episode, Julie makes the decision to split from her family and instead settle in with Fatima…
Ricky He Talks From “The Way Things Are Now”
[Warning: Spoilers for episode 102 of EPIX’s From.] Epix’s new series From is two episodes in and it’s already laying the groundwork for a seriously spooky season. Tonight’s episode demonstrated the careful balance of relief and horror that the show hits, with our characters’ worst fears realized, just not when…
Catching Up with Ted Lasso and Previewing Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] The not so dirty little secret about how I approach a new series is that I sometimes make a call based on the headspace I’m in at the time. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a show after the first season and then binge…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…