This review of Bates Motel Season Two will contain spoilers from Bates Motel Season One, therefore I will summarize Season Two’s review in one sentence if you haven’t seen Season One: I recommend you watch Season One, and if you love it then you’ll enjoy Season Two; if you just kinda liked Season One or are indifferent, Season Two is probably not for you. So there ya go, and now I’ll review this season spoiler-free for anyone who has seen up to the end of Season One.
When I’m talking about things this season, I may sound like I’m complaining, but it was a positive season, it just wasn’t as brilliant as Season One. Therefore, I will start out with the things that I enjoyed in this Season. I didn’t talk about him much in the Season One Review, because I think Nestor Carbonell really plays his role to the fullest in Season Two. He means BUSINESS. Also a nice addition to the crew this season was Paloma Kwiatkowski as Norman’s new love interest. She was a fun character to see interacting, not only with Norman but also Norma, Emma and everyone in between. Kenny Johnson shows up for two or three episodes (and he’ll be a main character next season) and I like the subtle, but creepy role he played.
But now let’s get into some Season One spoilers, mainly the plot of this season. At the end of Season One, as you hopefully know reading this, Ms. Watson was brutally murdered. But we don’t know if it was Norman who killed her or not… For the sake of this review, let’s say it was Norman. The season follows the guilt Norman faces after knowing he probably did it, and we don’t even know until the very end of the season if he actually did it or not. I say this anytime I pitch an idea, but I’m not by any means a pro at TV writing. That being said, here’s what I thought was going to happen: the mystery would run through the whole season, while in the meantime other plots are going on. That isn’t what happens, the murder of Ms. Watson just kinda goes away after episode 3 and doesn’t show up again until episode 9 or 10. Instead this season decides to focus on Dylan’s drug-trafficking business, as I thought it would, it’s a solid plot element. But you guys don’t understand, like this is the MAIN focus of the season. Because apparently Ms. Watson was involved in it, and as we know Bradley’s dad was involved in it. And I’ll tell you why this was such a problem for me. I said in my review of Season One that this show had such a cool story, such cool characters and such a definitive plot, it could be the next Breaking Bad. Well I immediately regretted that after Season Two wrapped up. Season One gave you an idea of where the show was heading, but Season Two jetted off in its own different direction from the story we were supposed to be told.
And that whole time paradox I was mentioning in my Season One review is WAYYY different in Season Two. I said in Season One, the town was really old-timey, so even if it was a prequel it was believable. Romero, in one of the episodes, has a brand new Escalade or something like that. They took out all of the old-fashioned elements and that took you out of the show a bit. Speaking of which…
This season is way too predictable too. This is a really minor spoiler, since it’s in the first five minutes of the season opener, but Bradley tries to kill herself. I was thinking, in like October, “okay, Norman has a new love interest this season, so they’re probably going to get rid of either Bradley or Emma; Bradley’s gonna be in Transformers 4, so I bet she’ll leave at some point.” Then a couple weeks later I was thinking back on Season One, and remembered, “oh yeah, she was a total wreck at the end of that season, she’ll probably try to kill herself.” It’s that level of predictability that’s just a bummer. At the end of Season One Episode Nine Norman finds Deputy Zach Shelby’s rotting corpse in her bed, and I could not wait until the season finale. This season I had none of that and it became a level of predictability like The Following.
It seems like I’m complaining a lot about this season, but like I said, it was a positive season, it just fell far from the grace that Season One had. I said I wished Season One was longer, but this season felt plenty long… Similarly, I could binge-watch the entire first season on a rainy weekend or something. This Season? I’m all set, thanks. So I can’t give it the ‘I’d Watch It Again’ rating, but I will say that it is still positive.
Ultimately, the charm of the characters and personal troubles are able to pull off the otherwise messy writing.
So guys, those are my thoughts on Season Two or A&E’s Bates Motel. It returns to A&E this March. Are you guys going to watch it, if you haven’t already? If you have seen it, what were your thoughts on Season Two? Let me know in the comments down below! And as always, thanks for reading guys.