Norma and Norman Bates are off to a fresh start in the town of White Pine Bay where strange occurrences take place. Mother and son try to settle in peacefully after buying a motel and spacious home. Unfortunately, this fresh start is far from cupcakes and rainbows and White Pine Bay is a town full of dirty secrets. Think Twin Peaks only not even half as bizarre.
The series starts off with a slow pace but keeps busy with character development. It’s interesting to witness the events that slowly unravel the threads of Norman Bates’ insanity. I have seen all of the Psycho films but it’s hard for me to remember the bits that reach back into Norman’s youth. I want to say that I remember his mother being an unholy cunt. Bates Motel hints at her having emotional problems and a shady past but for the most part, the audience sympathizes with her. It’s obvious she cares deeply for Norman but some of her actions are straight up bizarre. For instance, Norman wants to play sports so she throws a fit, “I will do everything myself like I always do.” We are given access into the details that shape Norman Bates into one of the most notorious serial killers of all time. The acting is what makes the series work. Vera Farmiga was a wise choice as she’s terrifying, charming and manipulative. Freddie Highmore brings sympathy and light to the sinister Norman Bates that we have all come to know and love. The boy has some big shoes to fill. Lets see how he progresses. I was ecstatic when I heard Nestor Carbonell (LOST) was going to take on the role of the bitchy Sheriff Romero. What can I say? I love LOST and his portrayal of Richard was beyond amazing. I cannot wait to see how far he’s willing to go.
The Bates appear to have another addition to the family, Dylan Bates, Norma’s son and Norman’s half-brother. This ungrateful little shit goes around demanding money and a place to stay while referring to his mother as a whore and beating the crap out of Norman. I am interested to hear more on this boy’s back story and why he carries such hatred for his mother. After the third episode, I learned that there’s no use investing feelings for any of these characters. They simply cannot be trusted. Not even the police.
Norman doesn’t have a hard time making friends upon his arrival. The popular girls, who are actually nice, take an interest in him right away. There’s also Emma who suffers from cystic fibrosis but is still perfectly able to help Norman uncover one of the town’s darkest secrets. The previous owner of the property has no problem sharing his ill feelings towards the Bates and he eventually attacks Norma. Why do men always think women want their penis? I got news for you, we don’t. “You liked it,” he tells her. People like this have no place in the world.
This may be A&E but the murders are still grisly. So far we have gotten burning bodies and a brutal stabbing. The writing is damn good and the pacing helps to shape the colorful characters, all spinning in a web of deceit, secrecy, and murder. There are plenty of subplots to keep the storyline interesting for future seasons. The directing is superb with beautiful shots and cinematography. Already knowing Norma and Norman’s fate doesn’t cripple their route and we are still given the element of surprise.