“Meltdown” is a surprisingly apt title for this week’s episode of Bates Motel. Multiple characters have meltdowns and the overall tone of the episode is one of suspense and intensity. In a lot of ways, this may be my favorite episode of the season so far. Everyone was on the top of their respective games this week, and with just two episodes to go, things are only going to get crazier.
Zane’s little stunt at the end of last week is basically starting a full scale war between the two families in White Pine Bay. Nick Ford comes to Norma and demands she arrange a sit down for him and Dylan. Norma, who is estranged from Dylan at this point, doesn’t want anything to do with either man. It’s a bit annoying how blatantly evil Nick Ford is as a character. The man has no charm, no manners. It’s no wonder Norma doesn’t want to help him. If he simply flirted a little and wasn’t such a dick all the time I bet she would have happily arranged the meeting for him. Unfortunately, every show needs its big bad character, and it doesn’t seem like Bates has a whole lot of intention of fleshing him out. That being said, he is effective and I hate him, so I guess he’s doing his job.
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Speaking of jobs, Dylan is starting to fit more comfortably into his, as he gains more and more confidence that his decisions are the correct ones. He isn’t wrong, Dylan understands the importance of waiting. The eventual sit down between Dylan and Nick was the first of a handful of intense scenes in “Meltdown”. Nick essentially wants Dylan to kill Zane, which isn’t a terrible idea considering his unpredictable nature. Still, Dylan knows to keep his loyalties and, even though repercussions come at the end of the episode, I respect Dylan for holding his ground.
My boy Sheriff Romero is starting to get more frustrated with the world around him. He has maniacs killing people, drugs being a main source of the town’s income, murdered school teachers, and right at the middle of everything seems to be a member of the Bates family. Romero continues to try and piece together what really happened to Miss Watson. One of the semen samples found matches Norman Bates, which is undoubtedly going to lead somewhere, especially with Romero’s high strung deputy pulling at the coat tails so often. Norman’s insistence on avoiding the subject with Romero certainly isn’t the brightest idea, but he’s never been the best at thinking on his feet.
Likewise, Norma needs to get better at thinking on her feet as she sort of fumbles around the episode failing to comprehend all the crap going on in her midst. Towards the end of the episode, Norma and Norman have one of my favorite scenes in which Norman calls out his mother’s bullcrap tactics. He is finally picking up on her emotional manipulation and I think we will see this explored heavily in the future.
I’m not sure how many of the plot lines are going to be resolved by the end of the season, and in just two episode. Hopefully, some of the stuff being set up here is going to carry over into season 3. Most of the main stuff will continue on, but I also can’t imagine how much could get cleared up in just two episodes. As the weeks go on, my anticipation grows. I can’t wait to see next Monday’s episode, and the finale just one week after. Bates Motel is finally starting to play to its strengths, and all these set ups are bound to pay off soon!
Grade = B+