After a well-received first season of Bates Motel, A&E is airing the second season, starting March 3, with a Bates Motel: After Hours talks show premiering after. The series continues with the same dark, mysterious tone and will explore the disturbing mother-son relationship between Norman Bates and his mother Norma. As the relationships are explained, the murders and cover-ups also continue while they try to find out what is wrong with Norman.
The first season of Bates Motel began airing last March and developed a strong following. The idea behind the series is to explore how Norman Bates was as a teenager, as a sort of prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic thriller, Psycho. Following its most-watched premiere for a show on A&E, Bates Motel has earned a list of award nominations for best actress in a drama series, best actor in a drama series, best new TV series and best horror series.
Set in the small, woodsy town of White Pine, Bates Motel revolves around a dysfunctional family trying to get a fresh start. Norma, played by Vera Farmigas, buys a foreclosed motel with money from her husband’s insurance policy.
Viewers soon found out that there is much more to the story though. Drama follows her and her two boys. They cannot seem to avoid trouble, no matter where they are. There is also a strange and disturbing relationship between Norma and Norman, played by Freddie Highmore. As the season played out, viewers were left to wonder who was really the psycho, him or her.
Appearances are deceiving. Norman seems like the shy, innocent boy next door, but he is anything but that. If not psycho enough for killing people and helping his mother cover-up murders or for consoling her and vowing to never leave her, he is fascinated by animal taxidermy.
Season two of Bates Motel brings new details about the disturbing mother-son relationship, as well as her relationship with her older son, Dylan. Their relationship is explained through back-story so viewers get insight as to why they have a strained relationship and why he is angry with her.
The show goes into more detail about the problems surrounding drugs and Norma’s fight against the proposed bypass that will take traffic away from the town and her motel. Bates Motel also picks up where it left off in season one with more on what happened to Miss Watson, Norman’s teacher. The plot reveals that there is more to her than a teacher who is well-connected with her students.
Norma seeks a normal life, continually talking about “starting over,” despite having covered-up one murder after another. Her abusive brother shows up at the motel too, which makes her goal virtually impossible. She continues to protect Norman, not knowing exactly what is wrong with him. Season two will delve into the psychological problems he has and why he blacks out.
The after-show, Bates Motel: After Hours, will air after the season two premiere with host Carrie Keagan. The show seems to be setting it up similar to the The Talking Dead and how it boosts ratings for The Walking Dead, including how it is encouraging viewers to use Twitter hash-tags relevant to the show. The show will undoubtedly open discussion about the disturbing relationships in the Bates family and the multiple cover-ups surrounding the murders they commit.
Editorial by Tracy Rose