Normally I try to stay clear of major spoilers during my episode reviews, but tonight’s episode “Shadow of a Doubt” had multiple happenings towards the end I want to discuss. If you haven’t seen the episode yet and want to keeep the surprise factor. I recommend you watch the episode before reading this review.
This week, Bradley did the single best thing she’s ever done in the entire time she’s been on the show. She leaves. Picking up basically where last week left off, we find Norman trying to help Bradley and Bradley being her normal difficult self. He agrees to harbor her in the basement until such time as he can drive her safely out of town.
Unfortunately and obviously, though, her actions have some pretty dire repercussions. Since Gil was the big boss around town, a new man named Zane is sent in to take over the area. Remo doesn’t care much at all for Zane or his ways, and while Zane represents a very stereotypical mob-like character, his presence and immediate actions of retaliation are going to open Bates Motel up to a much more action oriented story line. Basically, the assumption is that Gil was killed by the rival drug family, but of course we all know the truth. A “war” has now been started and White Pine Bay is the battle ground.
The episode was a pretty standard one in terms of structure. All the different parts moved as normal. I was thinking lately about how the show seems to be distancing itself slightly from the source material, which to me is not a bad thing at all. The show is based on Psycho, but I don’t exactly like to compare Bates Motel to it because lets face it. It could never live up to Hitchcock’s masterpiece.
That said, Bates Motel is doing a great job of establishing its own world, characters, and situations totally its own. Of course, we know where Norman Bates is going to end up, but it’s up to the writers to determine how he gets there and I for one am loving the slower nature of Norman’s descent into madness.
Norma is definitely beginning to suspect her son may have some mental issues and I’m sure some kind of counseling will take place in the future. For now, Norma is still trying to hold onto Norman for as long as possible. The scenes involving them trying out for a local play got both melodramatic and oddly beautiful. Vera Farmiga in particular has been bring her A game to the role and when she goes from tears to singing that lovely song I felt a small smile creep upon my face.
The acting and characters have always been the center of Bates Motel’s success and as long as the actors maintain that level of excellence, no amount of melodramatic writing or direction could derail the chemistry. Bates Motel is back and it may very well be better than ever!