Bates Motel 2.07 Review: “Presumed Innocent”

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by Autumne Montague

Last week’s episode of Bates Motel ended with quite a thud…the thud of Cody’s father’s body after being pushed down a set of stairs by Norman. Norman had gone to confront Cody about her telling Emma about his blackouts and ended up in a struggle to protect Cody from her father, which resulted in him dead and Norman in police custody. Norman is understandably very nervous and keeps insisting that it was an accident. Norman’s oblivious to the idea that anyone could think that he would actually kill anyone on purpose, so he’s more concerned with how Cody is doing than with what is happening to him. The naivety is strong with Norman.

Norman’s photographed, has his DNA taken for testing, and is questioned alone by Sheriff Romero. In fact, he insists on his mother not being there. For what I bet is the first time, Norma is literally shut out of Norman’s life. Seeing the door close on Norma was fantastic and hopefully foreshadows that Norman will begin to take more responsibility for himself and not be so influenced by his mother.  That struggle would be epic to witness.

George comes by the station to offer his support, legal or otherwise, and when Norman spots his mother in an embrace with George I get that weird spouse-like jealousy vibe from Norman again. I say again because Norman was very weird about his mother going on a date with George in an earlier episode. He obviously has a problem when his mother’s affections are directed elsewhere, even as he struggles to free himself from her smothering and suffocating ways.

Eventually Brennan’s death is rules as accidental and Norman is off the hook. Norma is of course ecstatic but Norman is preoccupied with something else. He keeps insisting that Norma doesn’t believe him when he says that this was all an accident. Norma had begged first Norman, then Cody not to mention Norman’s blackouts when questioned by the police. She is absolutely terrified of these blackouts becoming common knowledge. She knows exactly what Norman is capable of during his trances.

Norman, who has a right to know in my opinion, asks her about his blackouts and she responds by screaming that she will never speak about them and that he is never to ask her about them again. Norman knows full well now that he goes into these states and Norma keeping him in the dark is only going to lead to worse things happening. So far, she hasn’t done such a great job on her own of keeping him in check; maybe bringing Norman into the know would help him anticipate and control his blackouts. Norma has her own peculiar reasoning system. In this episode, she mentions that Emma is a good girl and that Cody would ruin Norman’s life. There’s no doubt that Norman’s view of women has been highly influenced by his mother.

Sheriff Romero seemed a bit off this episode. He tried to comfort Norman during questioning, he seemed almost annoyed that there was a rush put on testing Norman’s DNA, and he personally informed Norma that no charges were going to be filed against Norman. He seemed downright reluctant to fully pursue this investigation which is odd for him, especially with anything having to do with the Bates’. He’s practically resigned, not surprised, when Norman’s DNA turns out to match the same DNA found on Miss Watson.

Dylan’s story gets a little more airtime this week, but seems so disconnected to the rest of the show. Zane lets Dylan know that he knows his sister is keeping tabs on him. Zane is planning something and keeping Dylan and Remo in the dark until Dylan confronts him about what he’s doing. Zane confesses that he’s going to raid Nick Ford’s warehouse, to which Dylan vehemently objects. Zane knocks him out and Remo joins the rest of the guys as they break into the warehouse where lots of gunfire ensues.

Watching this episode was like watching two shows at the same time. Dylan’s story seemed to crop up at random times and I would forget about him completely sometimes.  I know that Dylan is the connecting thread but until Zane mentioned Nick Ford, I didn’t feel a real link between the main stories; I hope the show is still open to exploring the ramifications of Norma’s brief interactions with Nick Ford, as things with Ford definitely appear to be heating up. This may be the beginnings of an all out drug war in little picturesque White Pine Bay.

I seriously thought that we were going to get a scene of Norman wrapped up in a blanket in a throwback to the last scene of the movie Psycho, but I’m glad that we weren’t. The allusions to the movie have been spot on so far and not over the top and I hope the writers keep it that way.

[Photo via A&E]

Paul Tassi In addition to writing for TVOvermind, Paul has contributed to major publications such as Forbes. He's a video game expert as well as TV and Movie guy.
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