By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)
The first season of Bates Motel focused on the relationship between Norma and Norman. This season the focus has shifted onto the growing distance between mother and son, all the while reminding the audience that Norman’s endgame is to (50-year-old spoiler alert!) become a serial killer. Norma loves her son too much while teenage Norman wants to exercise his independence and therein lies their conflict in “Plunge” and for the season.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
In its second season, Bates Motel has continued their formula of small town weirdness paired with cliffhanger endings and this episode delivered just that. Norman’s outburst at Cody’s home was one of the few times he hurt someone while not in his blackout state.
An interesting thing I noticed toward the end of the Bates’ family squabble on the side of the road was when Norman was walking away, you could see him untuck his shirt in the background. This could symbolize the oppression he feels at home with Norma, but when he leaves her he feels more free to be himself. This could also be seen in his choice of Cody as a friend or whatever their relationship is at this point. She allows him to be looser. Or I’m crazy and it was just Freddie Highmore tired of tucking in his shirt and decided he wanted to untuck.
Well, well. Don’t Cody and Cupcake boy make quite a pair? In that quad, there should be some serious significant other-switching – the two daredevils and the two squeaky clean kids. But, Emma being with Norman can only lead to her demise. If Bradley stayed on the canvas, there’s no doubt in my mind that Norman would have eventually attacked her or killed her. Keeping those two apart is serving as a way for Emma to stay alive. On any other show, where the endgame isn’t known, putting Emma and Norman together would be a logical move that would make the audience (and me) happy.
For a moment when Cody told the two boys not to treat Emma like glass, it felt like everybody could be friends and get along, but then the almost-drowning happened. It would have been nice to see Emma have some sort of female friendship with someone besides Norma. Even after the river incident, they seemed to bond when Cody apologized and then talked about Norman. I, much like Norma, still don’t like Cody, but her apologizing to Emma was a step in the right direction.
Norma winning the city council seat can’t be a good thing, especially when Nick Ford was the driving force behind her getting that seat. Is she really that naive to think once she wanted to move on from their relationship that he was going to let that happen? Sure, she doesn’t know who he really is, but the guy has a yacht. You have to think Ford is a ruthless businessman to have that much money, especially knowing the local economy.
The scenes between Norma and Romero continue to be the funniest to watch. And yep, that was the smallest of smiles when Romero walked away; very nice touch, Vera Farmiga. Another nice touch: Norma running down the hill and steps to “talk” to Cody. It had me laughing out loud.
What do you think Norman and Cody’s next move will be? Do you think Cody’s dad bit the dust after his fall? And the most important question, does anyone really care about Dylan and the drug lady?
Rating: 4 out of 5