Alice Rush reviews the fifth episode of Bates Motel season 2…
This week on Bates Motel sees a lot of romance in the air for our main characters as well as turning up the heat on the pressure cooker that is White Pine Bay.
After Norman’s visit to Caleb last week which resulted in him having a blackout and Cody taking him home, the pair spend more time with each other this episode and the spark between them grows. We learn about Cody’s unstable home life and Norman confides in her, leading them to have a romantic dalliance in a tree house. Norma doesn’t approve of this, however, because she sees Cody as a troublemaker and she warns him against her. For the most part Norma’s controlling actions of Norman are down to her wanting to make sure he doesn’t inadvertently hurt anyone, however in this situation it seems her motherly disapproval of Cody could be the straw that breaks Norman, setting their relationship up for an explosion. It’s refreshing to see Norman have the chance to break away from Norma for some time and having a romantic interest, however after the way his last romance with Bradley ended I’m sure it not going to be a straightforward relationship, especially considering their equally dysfunctional family lives.
Emma too has her own romantic storyline this week as her flirtation with the cannabis dealer she met at the beach party escalates this week leading them to sleep together. Emma has always felt to me like an underused character, as she seems to be one of the only characters who thinks logically and with her morals and it’s a shame she spent so much of the first season merely pining after Norman. This week she gets more of a chance to shine, and in a touching scene confides in Norma that she’s worried about losing her virginity. For the audience, however, we know what an equally worrying and horrid subject this is for Norma, thus the scene is both touching and uncomfortable, a truly Bates Motel style of filming.
As for Norma she begins to make strides this week with her plan to stop the bypass. She meets with the mysterious Nick Ford, who we know to be Ms Watson’s father, and he says he will support her behind the scenes, as he cannot be openly against it. Giving her a case which enables her to halt the installation of the bypass and the promise he will deal with Lee Berman, a city councillor who is for the construction, Norma feels on cloud. She may want to choose her allies more carefully it seems, however, as Romero not only strictly warns her from associating with Ford but later tells her that Berman has been found dead. Just as it seems everything that happened in the previous season was behind her, Norma is once again being dragged down into the seedy underbelly of White Pine Bay, except this time there is a complication; Dylan too is caught in this drug war.
Having moved out of the family house Dylan resorts to sleeping at his work and is later invited out for food with Zayn, who turns up after a run in with an angry Romero who swears to take Zayn and the business down. The violence doesn’t stop there, as an attack is planned by what can be assumed the rival drug gang and Dylan is run over defending Zayn. We are then introduced to a brand new character, Zayn’s sister who reveals herself to be the head of the business.
It seems that the writers have definitely put a lot more effort into building up the world of the town after quite an establishing first season, however I am still waiting for the real drama to kick off, as whilst this episode was okay it did lack a bit of excitement and punch. I’m hoping that now Norma is embroiled within this nasty business, Dylan is becoming more reckless, and Norman more unhinged the tension dial will be turned up a few notches in the coming episodes.