The Ninjabot

About Last Night– Bates Motel. “First You Dream, Then You Die”

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm by Jess Hicks

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Welcome to the eagerly anticipated premiere of A&E’s Bates Motel! As usual please leave now, or forever hold your peace, if you wish to avoid spoilers.

Last night was a cavalcade of TV for me but what I was most looking forward too was the series premiere of Bates Motel. I had my reservations about this series, mainly the fact that it is set in present day and well the whole  Bates killed his mom when we was 12 thing. However, I still needed to watch it and thankfully, I enjoyed it.

We start off with Norman discovering that his dad has been accidentally been killed in his garage. Norman rushes around trying to find his mom and eventually discovers her in the bathroom getting out of the shower. When he tells his mom that there has been an accident we see a look on Mrs. Bates’ face that makes us think maybe she had something to do with it.

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Flash forward six months and we see Norman and his mother arriving at their newly purchased motel and house. This is where we start to get a weird feeling about Norman and Norma’s relationship; she just seems a little too cuddly with her son. After settling in they meet a disgruntled man who claims to be the rightful owner of the motel and spits some threats at the Bates’.

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After meeting some girls on his first day of school (Norman is a ladies man?) he gets invited out to “study” with them. Norma quickly shoots that down in her traditionally overbearing style and Norman sneaks out anyway to go “study”. He quickly realizes the girl’s were lying and heads to one of the coolest high school parties ever. Seriously, it’s like a rave. Unfortunately for Norma the disgruntled man comes to pay her a visit and attacks and rapes her. Norman gets there just in time to knock the man out but when he leaves the room his mother stabs the man to death.

I really enjoyed this episode despite it’s clear diversion from the original movie but then again we never get an in depth look at Norman’s background so the series does kind of have some free reign in the subject. The strongest player in this so far is Vera Farmiga as the over bearing Norma Bates. She does such an incredible job making you hate her but at the same time making you feel bad for her. The clearest example of this is when Norman wants to join the track team at school. He comes home late and she guilts him about how she spent all day cooking for him and he doesn’t bother to show up on time. When he presents her with permission slip she is upset but claims she won’t be the bad guy who tells him no and she will just do everything by herself as usual. At that moment I hated her but when she is attacked by the man she becomes a very sympathetic character.

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Freddie Highmore, despite letting his accent slip, is a great pick for Norman Bates. He isn’t too well known so he can really jump into the character. However, he just doesn’t seem awkward enough to be Norman but then again this is about how he becomes what we know him to be. I can’t complain too much about that since no one can play awkward momma’s boy as well as the original Norman Bates, Anthony Perkins.

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I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season, they seem to be doing well with the characters and they also have an interesting sub-plot involving a journal of drawings that Norman finds while ripping carpet out of the motel. The journal is full of drawings of girls chained to walls in, what looks like, the motel.

Overall I like the look of the series, though it is set in modern times it still manages to capture a retro look to it at times. Hopefully the rest of the series holds up!

Bates Motel airs on A&E Monday night’s at 10pm.

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