TV Review: Bates Motel 3.1 “A Death in the Family”
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Bates Motel
Season 3 Episode 1: “A Death in the Family”
Directed by Tucker Gates
Written by Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin
Starring Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Theriot, Nestor Carbonell, Olivia Cooke, and Kenny Johnson.
Air Date: Monday, March 9, 2015, 8pm

If you are not caught up on Bates Motel, Season 1 and Season 2 ….spoiler ahead!

Last season, Bates Motel brought us ever closer to the character Anthony Perkins made iconic, the 1960 Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, with the ending of season 2 a direct homage. Freddie Highmore‘s Norman stared right through us. We also got to see the stirrings of the split personality that emerges in the later years.

This prequel has been able to maintain its own spin on Norman’s early years, while still staying true to the movie. Dylan (Max Thierot) finally found out that he is the product of Norma (Vera Farmiga) and her brother (Kenny Johnson, Sons Of Anarchy). It’s a wonder that Dylan is not the more messed up of the half-siblings. Having been a part of the not as interesting drug ring storyline with the sheriff (Nestor Carbonell), he still managed to become an endearing character to have in the mix. We all know that adult Norman Bates did not have a brother, so it will be interesting to see where this goes.

Bates Motel Season 3 Episode 1 “A Death in the Family” review: After the movie homage at the end of Season 2, the Season 3 premiere was a little quieter, but still excellent and eerie. The relationship between Norman and Norma continues to go down creepy lane. The opening scene reveals Norman spooning Norma in bed, and Dylan — spying it — tries to talk to Norma about the habit. “Norman’s 18. He shouldn’t be sleeping in the same bed as his mom.” Norma defends, then reluctantly agrees to separate. Norman is hurt, but listens, though this hurt is manifesting itself in a variety of lurky ways. It’s then back to the push-pull of love and affection and something more between them, while Norman also tries to figure out his attraction to other women besides his mother, which continues to bring out the crazy.

Vera Farmiga continues to be magnetic as Norma Bates. The other actors are good, but seem less so next to her brilliance.

Norma forces her younger son, embarrassingly so, to go back to school, which doesn’t go too well. He has some visions, and as you can imagine, they are not the best. Take a look at the promo pics. He runs home until he is drenched in sweat and Norma clasps him to her bosom in comfort. In another parent pairing, Caleb tries to hover around Dylan, who is none too happy. I just love Kenny Johnson so much. I hope he continues to hover.

Newcomer Tracy Spiridakos (Revolution) plays Annika Johnson, in her too short skirt and her too red lips to Norma’s chagrin and Norman’s delight. She checks into the motel and she is certainly noticed by all. I’m just wondering if she will check out.

Image Gallery

Bates Motel 3.1 Promo “Peep Hole”

Bates Motel – Season 3 Teaser – Becoming Psycho

The lines are blurring between Norman and Norma, as Bates Motel returns March 9th.

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