Steampunk Granny Reviews Bates Motel S02 E1: Gone but Not Forgotten

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Are you wondering how our diabolical, bat shit crazy Bates family is doing since the shocking first season finale. Some things never change.

White Pine Bay

Four months have passed and we find the Bates family attending the funeral of Miss Watson (Keegan Connor Tracy). The teacher was murdered. Did Norman (Freddie Highmore) kill her? Although our little Norman was ‘Hot for Teacher’ I don’t think he was really prepared for the after school activities Miss Watson had in mind for him. Norman claims he can’t remember what happened after she gave him a ride in her car, but why does he have her pearl bracelet. He tries to visit her grave whenever possible, which puzzles dear old mom. Norman still loves to play with dead things and has worked his way up to doing taxidermy on beavers. I’m guessing he’ll finally work his way up to people.

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Norman’s love interest, Bradley (Nicola Peltz) isn’t doing too well and has been locked away after her attempted suicide. She is endangering her life by investigating the events leading up to her father’s death. When Norman visits her after she is released, he tried to made amends and offer friendship and support, but it isn’t Norman that Bradley wants.

She wants Dylan (Max Thieriot), who is still living home.  Dylan’s room and board money is unwelcomed in Norma’s home. She doesn’t like drug money. She’d rather kill for her money. When Bradley tries to hit on Dylan, he refuses knowing that Norman has a crush on Bradley. Dylan is such a good brother.

Norma (Vera Farmiga) has a new hairdo and is looking positively stunning. Her roach motel is all spiffed up and business couldn’t be better, which explains her stylish clothes and her happy go lucky attitude. Her only concern is for Norman and his constant visit to Miss Watson’s grave. The good news is that my favorite character, Emma (Olivia Cooke) is still a major player and working at the Motel.

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Graveside Visitation

Norman, on one of his many secretive visits to Miss Watson’s grave, spots a stranger paying his respects at the teacher’s gravesite. Who is this man? Norman is spotted while taking the man’s photo on his smart phone and the man chases after him. Since we’re not absolutely sure that Norman did kill Miss Watson, this opens the theory that her death may have been caused by someone else. After Norman shows Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell), the man’s photo, the Sheriff tells Norma. I still don’t have a fix on this sheriff. Is he one of the good guys or not?

Bypass to Nowhere

Oh my god! This town and its residents are wacky as all hell. White Pine Bay makes its living growing and selling marijuana and you have these straight laced biddies trying to censor a book from the school library. Norma shows up at this meeting to protest the building of the bypass that will destroy her booming motel business. The council treat her as nothing more than a pesky insect. Welcome to the real world, Norma. Greed always wins.

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Conclusion

Norman finally tells his mother what really happened the night Miss Watson offered him the ride home. The teacher made him uncomfortable, dirty, but it wasn’t much of a revelation because he still doesn’t remember if he killed her. Bradley finally learns the reason for her dad’s murder. She asks Norman for help, but this might get him killed.

I enjoyed this episode more so because of Norma Bates. She has a new attitude and it shows in her looks, clothing and survival instincts. Vera Farmiga has used her talented acting skills to make Norma Bates seem more alive, if not frighteningly normal. And we all know what that means. Norma is most dangerous when acting normal or like one of the townsfolk, and I have a feeling the town council will soon learn this, the hard way.

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