By Christy Blevins
The Season 3 premiere of Bates Motel leads into perhaps the most interesting, creepiest, and incestuous season yet. I mean when a show opens up with an 18-year-old son spooning his mother in the first minutes, what would be your first thought?
Dylan Masset, played by Max Thieriot, said it best in the opening scene with, “Norman’s eighteen; he shouldn’t be sleeping in the same bed as his mom.”
We open up the season with a promising look into Norman’s (Freddie Highmore) psyche and his transition into the Psycho character we all know and…love? This season will be playing into what people have expected all along and will possibly be the craziest season. The drug dealing and prostitution den story line seems to be sinking into the background as we focus more on Norman and Norma’s (Vera Farmiga) relationship.
As I previously mentioned, the episode begins with Norman sleeping in a bed with Norma. Side note (spoiler for season 2), this picks up in the summer after Norman tried to commit suicide last season. In the morning, Norma is seen making breakfast for Dylan ignoring the strangeness of Norman’s attachment and avoids questions and concerns from Dylan. To top this awkward encounter off, Norma soon gets a phone call alerting her to the death of her mother, and she’s fairly callous to the whole thing. Hmm…
We do find out later on however that Norma’s mom had suffered from mental illnesses herself, so that is possibly clueing us into watching Norman’s problems grow during this season. Leaving Norma’s story, we follow Norman into the first day of his senior year of high school. And nothing says a great day of school like having a hallucination of your dead ex-teacher whom you had sex with and then killed. So Norman runs crying out of school all the way home in the rain. Casual.
Norma embraces him when he comes through the door, and to everyone’s uncomfortableness gets, jealous? protective? when a young female comes in to rent a room and Norman becomes infatuated. This season is kicking up the notch on mother/son creepiness and it’s unfortunately just what the audience is looking for.
This young woman, Attica, rents a room at the Bates Motel, and as I mentioned before Norman is enamored with her. They connect when he goes to change a light bulb in her room and talk about her job as an escort and how they both have father issues.
This all leads up to the pinnacle moment of the episode when Norman finds himself spying on Attica taking a shower through her bathroom window. The audience feels his entrapment and his trance-like staring which just screams Psycho and sets the entire tone for the season.
All in all, so far this season has shots and allusions to the original Psycho combined with slight comedic reliefs, awkwardness, uncomfortableness, Dylan’s normal responses to things, and just a touch of genius. Though this episode may not be the best, it is definitely one of the strongest and more focused which will lead to an exciting season ahead.