TV Review: Bates Motel – 109 – “Underwater”

Bates Motel S01E09 - Underwater_115657

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This week Bates Motel aired its first season’s penultimate episode. “Underwater” set up next Monday’s finale nicely and provided a nice showcase for Vera Farmiga. (SPOILERS AHEAD)

This episode was a good one. Norman got his dog back and slept with his mom. Shudder. Dylan got closer to Bradley and Norma had a bit of a breakdown. All while Emma started working for the motel and even managed some comic relief.

First off, Vera Farmiga had a fantastic episode this week. I loved seeing Norma flip out and make an attempt to take control of things. Sadly, however, her fate lies in White Pine and she doesn’t even have control of the potheads she has at the motel. If the show didn’t have such a strong overall cast and a premise drawing from very rich source material, I would probably still watch it for Vera Farmiga.

Bates Motel S01E09 - Underwater_1176592Norma being the focal point of the episode actually almost overshadowed Norman’s adventures this week. So… does everyone in White Pine Bay want to bang Norman? His teacher is getting very friendly with him. I think it’s a really interesting choice on the production side to have her dressed in such a vintage style. It reminds me a bit of Norma, which makes whatever is going on between Miss Watson and Norman just a bit more peculiar. Her “I understand you” scene was very intriguing. I’m curious about what the writers have planned for her.

In addition to that, Norman had a good week. He got his dog back from Mr. Decody, he got to sleep with his mom and he had a recurring dream that he was drowning Bradley in a bathtub. Juno the dog returning to the show led to a couple great reactions from Dylan and Norma. Though, the dog’s acting was a bit stiff (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

Bates Motel S01E09 - Underwater_2165789Let me backtrack a second, Norma crawled into bed with Norman and the two went to sleep as if it wasn’t the creepiest thing ever. It was an interesting shift in the dynamic, I must say. Norma being frightened and asking to sleep with him showed that she depends on him more than he does her. Especially now that he’s slowly growing apart from her. And, yeah, the whole “there’s a crazy guy out to get me and he put my dead boyfriend’s rotting corpse in my bed” thing was a pretty big contributing factor.

Bates Motel S01E09 - Underwater_1893308Dylan and Bradley are making me nervous. Knowing what Norman is capable of, I’m very unsettled at the idea of what will happen when he finds out Dylan is moving in on his girl. The scene where Norman tells Dylan about his dream and then jokingly says he wants to hurt Dylan sometimes was chilling and wonderfully played by the pair.

There have been theories this season that Dylan is a figment of Norman’s imagination. That he is the first of many split personalities that Norman has in his wheelhouse. After all that we’ve seen this season, I still don’t think that’s the case at all. I’m sure there are dozens of examples of the show confirming Dylan isn’t Norman. The biggest clue, of course, being that Norman simply can’t do high school and a shady full time job. It’s an interesting thought though.

Bates Motel S01E09 - Underwater_1671587As for Emma this week, she provided some good comic relief. More importantly, I was surprised by how badly I don’t want her to hook up with the douchey hippie pot farmer guy. The thing that Bates Motel really has going for it is taking a character like Norman, a kid concealing a monster he doesn’t know he has, and make you hope that he’ll have a happy ending. Even though I know how he will turn out, I want him to get together with Emma. Sometimes I forget this show will eventually end with tragedy.

Bates Motel S01E09 - Underwater_2421294I felt like the show benefited from an absence of Jake Abernathy (or whatever his name really is) this week. It made him popping up in the closing minutes of the episode a little better. Though his “hey, I’m creepy” acting style still showed itself even in that one scene. Here’s hoping he gets killed next week.

My prediction for the finale has Norma and the boys taking down Jake only to discover (much to my chagrin) that Romero is the head of the criminal organization and now has his eyes on eliminating the family. That’s purely speculation on my part.

Other than that, I really don’t know what will happen. Norman might catch Dylan with Bradley and grab for a meat tenderizer. And Emma might get stoned again. Whatever happens, I’ve enjoyed this show and am looking forward to the finale and the next season.

By the way, I feel like the Oahu reference was a nod to Carlton Cuse‘s alma mater Lost. Respect.

That does it for this week’s Bates Motel. What did you think of the episode? Leave me a comment and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and like the blog on Facebook.

Previous Episode Reviews:

Bates Motel – 101 – “First You Dream, Then You Die”

Bates Motel – 102 – “Nice Town You Picked, Norma…”

Bates Motel – 103 – “What’s Wrong with Norman”

Bates Motel – 104 – “Trust Me”

Bates Motel – 105 – “Ocean View”

Bates Motel – 106 – “The Truth”

Bates Motel – 107 – “The Man in Number 9″

Bates Motel – 108 – “A Boy and His Dog”

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One response to “TV Review: Bates Motel – 109 – “Underwater”

  1. Pingback: Bates Motel – 204 – “Check-Out” | The Obsessive Viewer

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