It’s strange to think that Bates Motel’s second season is already half way over. At five episodes in, season two has gotten itself into a beautiful and fast paced rhythm. I won’t say it’s because Bradley left the show, but ever since that episode things have been moving at hefty pace. Characters are moving into place, feuds are beginning, unwilling partnerships are entered into. Sometimes I forget this show is even connected to Psycho.
As Bates Motel continues to forge its own unpredictable path, things have been getting more and more interesting. I wouldn’t say that everything in the show works, but the writers have definitely been giving the show some more thought and depth before moving forward. Not only do we have Norman’s obvious descent into madness, but we are also being treated to a pretty damn entertaining crime show as well.
“The Escape Artist” marks another strong episode into the Bates Motel canon, as all of the characters seem to be colliding more often. Norma, in her attempt to stall the new bypass, inadvertently gets mixed up with the city’s most powerful drug lord. Norman continues his odd new romance with Cody, a character that I’m still not completely sold on, though she is at least getting some backstory and attempted depth. In a lot of ways, she’s sort of perfect for Norman, knowing where he ends up. On the other hand, as his mother warns him, she’s not the kind of girl to get involved with. Likewise, Emma continues on with her new relationship that is pretty much the only stray plot line in the episode. I like Emma, and the fans seem to like her a lot, too. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get a whole lot to do on an episode to episode basis and this seems like the writers trying to ramp up her story.
Dylan had one of his more interesting encounters during tonight’s episode. At this point, with no one left to trust but his “co-workers”, Dylan is on the brink. He is confused and reckless and he is getting deeper into the shady business in which he finds himself. The end of the episode introduced a new character. One I won’t reveal here, but someone who promises to put a fun new twist on things. As Dylan gets more involved with the drug trade, Norma does likewise. As she continues to rub shoulders with the town’s elite, Norma seems to be going for the ignorance is bliss route this episode. That may not be terrible for now, but it’s only a matter of time before her new acquaintances pull her in further than she wants to go. I’m willing to bet it will eventually lead her to crossing paths with some of Dylan’s new friends as well.
On a side note, Sheriff Romero had yet another badass week as he came to call for reckoning on those who wronged him last episode. Romero is getting more to do lately, and with all the wild cards coming in on his city, we never know what he might do next.
Week after week, Bates Motel has worked itself into tightly woven melodrama. It may not always offer up the deepest motives or subtexts, but Bates Motel continues to create its own brand of strange dramatic storytelling. We only have five episodes left this season, which is a bummer. Right now, though, I’m anticipating episodes more and more each week.