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TV Review: Bates Motel 3.2 “The Arcanum Club”
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Bates Motel Season 3 Norma Norman

Bates Motel
Season 3 Episode 2: “The Arcanum Club”
Directed by Tucker Gates
Written by Kerry Ehrin
Starring Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Theriot, Nestor Carbonell, Olivia Cooke, Kenny Johnson, Ryan Hurst
Air Date: Monday, March 16, 2015, 8pm

If you have not started season 3 of Bates Motel yet, do not go any further as there are some serious spoilers!

Last week on Bates Motel 3.1 “A Death in the Family,” the death in question was the death of Norma (Vera Farmiga) and Caleb’s (Kenny Johnson) mother, a mother Norma claims to care nothing for. Caleb tries to get closer to Dylan (Max Thieriot) now that the incestual secret is out in the open. Dylan just wants to open his medical marijuana farm. Here’s hoping he can stay legit. Norma and Norman (Freddie Highmore) are spooning. Gross! And after humiliating him by forcing him to go to school, Norma relents and lets her son stay at the house for homeschooling. A pretty girl Annika (Tracy Spiridakos) checks into the motel and gets driven out of sight by Norman after he asks Emma (Olivia Cooke) out on a date.

Bates Motel 3.2 “The Arcanum Club” review: Norma goes to give Annika fresh towels and to check on the window shade (for creepers), but there’s no answer.

Emma: “Maybe she got up early and went hiking.”
Norma: “She doesn’t strike me as a hiker.”

Norma is frightened and Farmiga is so talented that she makes you feel her fear even though we already know who Norman is and what he is capable of. She knows it too, but knowing it inside and not wanting to admit it is not the same. Highmore is increasingly better, transforming from frightened boy to psychotic man minute to minute with just his glances.

Dylan lets Caleb stay on his little farm, as uncomfortable as it makes him. Caleb’s actions spur a visit from… drum roll please… Sons Of Anarchy star Ryan Hurst as Chick Hogan, with a slow drawl and a hidden meaning behind every word (including “the” and “and”). Please stay forever. Please stay forever. Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please…

Norma is going to great lengths to solve this missing “questionable” Annika. The title of the episode seems to be the key. Great lengths are of course not in any kind of direction towards Norman. I do so enjoy her scenes with Alex (Nestor Carbonell), don’t you? Does this woman have no limit to her range? Just in this episode, she’s vulnerable, frightened, crazy, angry, maternal, despairing, unsure, very sure…it is incredible.

What did you think of Norman and Emma’s first date?

And what did you think of the surprise (rather the least surprising surprise ever) at the end?

Episode 3.2 Image Gallery


Bates Motel: Inside the Episode: The Arcanum Club (S3, E2)

“What motivates Norma is protecting Norman.” Executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin talk about Norma’s growing fears about her son in this web exclusive from “The Arcanum Club.”

Bates Motel: Season 3, Episode 2 Preview

Don’t miss the new episode of Bates Motel on Monday, March 16th at 9/8c on A&E.

Bates Motel: Caleb Tells Dylan About His Past (S3, E1)

Caleb confesses that he knows about Dylan’s true parentage in this scene from “A Death in the Family.”

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