Bates Motel Season 2 Review “The Escape Artist”

Bates Motel Season 2 Episode 5 The Escape Artist (1)

We’re about half way through this second season of Bates Motel, and things are really starting to fall in place with tonight’s installment “The Escape Artist”. Things are coming to a head between Romero and Zane, Norma is continuing her crusade against that new bypass, and Norman and Emma are taking a big step in their respective relationships. If only they would stop messin’ around and get in a relationship with each other, but for now we got these two new jokers to deal with.

I wasn’t a big fan of either Gunner or Cody at first, but they’re getting a little better as time goes on. My favorite exchange of the whole night, and possibly the entire series, was between Emma and Norman tonight when discussing Gunner. “He sells pot, you know?” “I know.” “Okie dokie.” Freddie Highmore has a very unique cadence to his voice, and his curt and forced “Okie dokie” was the funniest line reading he’s ever done. I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but hoo boy I was cracking up. Anyway, there was a really nice scene between Emma and Norma about Emma planning to lose her virginity, with Olivia Cooke being as adorable as always as she embarrassedly stumbled through her conversation with Ms. Bates. At this point I’m really just hoping that Emma’s heart is broken by Gunner in the least painful way possible. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, and my shoulder is always available to cry on, Emma!

The adorable miss Decody isn’t the only one with a budding romance, though. I don’t know if I totally bought this pairing before, but I’m starting to like Norman and Cody more and more. I’m not sure why she chose to be such a jerk to Norma, though. It made her immediately unlikable to both Norma and the viewers, and I was surprised that it didn’t turn Norman off either. You’d think that anybody against his mom wouldn’t be on his good side, but he didn’t seem to mind at all. It added a bit of explanation as to why she’s such a jerk to parental figures, but there’s plenty of people out there who have terrible home lives but don’t take it out on other people’s parents. Norma’s reaction to this new woman in her son’s life is understandably cold, as she tells her son to stop spending time with this woman. It’s clear that Norma was projecting a lot onto Cody, but I can’t imagine how she would react when she finds out that Cody and Norman slept together. By the way, did Norma ever find out that Bradley slept with Norman? Because she’d probably be even more upset if she found out that he was with Cody, what with her tattoos and smoking and all.

But wait, there’s yet another budding romance to discuss! Norma shared a nice quiet moment with Sheriff Romero as she cleaned up his cut from a fight with Zane. I don’t know if this will lead to anything romantic, but I do like that Romero has moved into the Bates Motel with his house being burned to the ground. Romero was always a bit shoehorned in before, appearing to be the only police officer in the whole town, so this is a much more believable reason to get him and Norma together.

Zane got a little comeuppance tonight in the form of the aforementioned beating by Romero. I’ve been pretty clear in my reviews of how lame I think Zane was, and I’m glad that both Remo and Dylan can also both see how much of a liability he is. He was so cartoonishly evil and goofy that you couldn’t buy anybody listening to him, let alone see him as the leader of a big drug organization. After Dylan’s cool shootout on the streets, we get introduced to Zane’s sister, who claims to be Dylan’s boss. I’m already more interested in her character than I’ve ever been in Zane, so I’m excited to see how this shakes out in the next few episodes.

Finally, we learned more about Nick Ford tonight, who wants Norma to oppose the bypass on his behalf. Maybe I just forgot, but has he even told Norma why he opposes the bypass? I mean, any reasons that he might be giving her are probably just bogus, as he clearly has some ulterior motives, but what are his reasons for pretending to help Norma with this? You would think that Norma would have a little healthy trepidation about getting into collusion with anybody in this town, so it was strange that she barely even questioned how easy it was to get that biological report and get the bypass delayed. She quickly finds out that she’s in league with some bad folks when that rude councilman gets killed, so I’m excited to see how she tries to get out of this one.

I’m really loving Bates Motel this season, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Random Thoughts:

– It’s a minor detail, but I liked that Norma heard that standard hold music when calling for Nick Ford. I hear that music all day at work, so it added a nice little layer of believability to the show.

– Did anybody catch that the name of that biologist who made that phony report was Bryan Fuller? The real life Bryan Fuller is the guy who created great TV shows like Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, and Hannibal. He’s also buddies with Bates co-creator Carlton Cuse, so this was a nice nod.

– I’m not suggesting that I possess any magical powers, but just one week after requesting more scenes with Olivia Cooke in her underwear I get both Cooke and Kwiatkowski in their skivvies! So I’m just putting this out there in the universe, but I’d love to win the Mega Millions this week!