Alright! Who’s ready to check back into A&E’s Bates Motel? I can tell you that this girl was definitely ready for the season three kickoff after a strong second season (and you can read about that premiere here). When we last left Norman, he was barely scraping out of a jam and acting a little crazy…but, hey, what else is new? Haha. Anyway, let’s get down to business and discuss the particulars of this season’s Bates Motel premiere!
What I liked:
- Norman (Freddie Highmore) and Norma (Vera Farmiga). Severely creepy though they may be, let’s face it: these two characters have one of the most interesting relationships on television. Period. Highmore and Farmiga are absolutely perfect in their roles, and they have deliciously twisted chemistry. It’s a mother-son bond that always has this disturbing edge of sexual tension. It’s like a slow-motion trainwreck—messed up to watch, yes, but also impossible not to watch.
- Dylan (Max Thieriot) trying to go straight. I really, really like Thieriot in this role, and I think his character’s arc last season was one of the best things about the show, so I’m very interested in seeing where Dylan winds up by the end of season three. Despite everything that’s happened to him, he clearly wants to be a good guy, and at the beginning of this episode he makes that pretty clear. But the odds are stacked against him. Poor, sweet Dylan! You just have to root for the guy.
- All Norman’s creepy moments. This episode includes a few big ones—and, no, I’m not just talking about the stuff with his mom (which is pretty much a given). A new guest comes to the motel, and Norman’s creepy behavior during one moment in particular might bring to mind a certain iconic shower scene from the movie that inspired this show…That’s all I’m saying. 😉 Oh, and Norman also closes out this episodes with an especially “uh oh” moment that is awesome.
- Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) being Sheriff Romero. So far, he’s been kind of an enigma on Bates Motel, but I love that about him. You can never really be sure whose side he’s on; you can only be certain that he’s a badass, and you never want to mess with him. He’s up to his usual mysteriousness here, and I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble he stirs up (or prevents) throughout the season.
- A very satisfying scene between Norman and Emma (Olivia Cooke). Their relationship has definitely had its ups and downs over the past two seasons, but Norman finally says something to Emma that I’ve been waiting to hear for awhile, and it was very sweet. We’ll see how long the sweetness lasts before something comes along to mess it all—oh. Whoops. Something might have just messed it all up. Guess we’ll see…
What I didn’t like:
- The fact that Dylan is willing to have any kind of interaction with his…erm…we’ll call him his “father.” For those of you out of the loop, let’s just say it’s a complicated relationship—so complicated that I find Dylan talking to his father about anything at all pretty unbelievable. The story with Dylan’s father is interesting, but right now I don’t think his actual interactions with Dylan are all that great. If it’s going to be a focus this season, I’m hoping that livens up a bit. There are definitely some…um…conversations to be had there.
- Not enough Emma. There’s never enough Emma! To be fair, Cooke does seem to be a rising star, so maybe she’s being written in less for a reason, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Because Emma’s a great character! However, between Cooke’s increased fame and something Emma says in this episode, I’m a little worried about her future on the show…Fingers crossed.
- No bro time for Norman and Dylan. Some of my favorite moments over the last couple of seasons are when Norman and Dylan are just hanging out and being normal brothers. Well, as normal as they can be, of course. This episode doesn’t really give them any time together at all—normal or otherwise. Shame.
The Potential: With two solid seasons under its belt and lots of momentum going for it, I think this season of Bates Motel could very well end up being the best yet. There are so many interesting threads and characters woven into the show’s story that the possibilities are endless—which is a testament to the writers since almost everyone knows exactly how this ends. After all, we got our major spoilers about Norman Bates more than 50 years ago. 😉
My Grade: A-