The Horror Honeys: What You Missed On: Bates Motel!

What You Missed On: Bates Motel!

A Quick Season 1 & 2 Catchup from Revenge Honey Linnie

To love A&E's Bates Motel is a bit like loving little Normie Bates himself: sometimes it's wonderful, sometimes it's a little odd, and sometime's you wish you'd never stopped by the Motel at all. But as with most horror television shows (that aren't Hannibal), the ups and downs of the series are par for the course. So before Bates Motel returns for Season Three, we thought we'd put together a little refresher course on what has been, and hopefully, what will be!

Fasten your seat belts, Master Batesers: there is going to be a whirlwind of unnecessary complicated plot twists... and a lot of incest.

Bates Motel: Season One

Shady Jake: does not survive, only slightly relevant
In Season One, we first meet Norma (Vera Farmiga) and Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore), a mother and son who buy a motel in White Pine Bay, Oregon, in an attempt to start over after Norman's father dies in a tragic accident (or is it?!). Unfortunately, White Pine Bay is more than a little Twin Peaks-y, and absolutely loaded with secrets of its own. Shortly after moving into the house overlooking the motel, the property's former owner breaks in and brutally rapes Norma. Norman rescues her by bashing the man over the head, and Norma murders him the rest of the way, binding mother and son with yet another unpleasant and bloody secret.

You can uh... you can live with me Dylan. Standing offer.
Matters are quickly complicated when Norma's older son, and Norman's half-brother, Dylan (Max Thieriot), arrives in White Pine Bay looking for work. Norma is none-to-happy to see Dylan and has never been much of a mother to him, for reasons beyond his understanding. But Dylan stays anyway and gets work in White Pine Bay's most popular industry: the growing and selling of marijuana. Yay small business! Dylan and Norman become closer, much to Norma's dismay.

Of course, the murder of the former motel owner isn't ignored, and Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) is on the case in no time, along with his trusty Deputy Zack Shelby (Mike Vogel). Then Norma starts boning Shelby, Norman starts boning popular girl Bradley (much to the dismay of his best friend Emma, a lovely young girl with cystic fibrosis), and Dylan isn't boning anyone. There are many complicated subplots involving the marijuana industry and a shadowy character named Jake (Jere Burns) who tries to blackmail Norma. But here are the facts you need to know from Season One:
  • Norma was raped by her brother when she was a teenager
  • Norma see Sheriff Romero kill shadowy character Jake
  • Norma kills Deputy Zack, which Sheriff Romero helps her cover up
  • Norman starts displaying hints of his fractured personality
  • Norman may or may not have raped and his murdered his predatory teacher Miss Watson (this was the season's cliffhanger)
Miss Watson: definitely did not survive, extremely relevant... BAD NORMIE!

Bates Motel: Season Two

I simply adore you, you skeezy Uncle Daddy bastard.
If you gave up on Bates, it was probably in Season Two. Things got a little hinky in White Pine Bay, and there is no arguing that the plot got unnecessarily and overly complicated. For that reason, we are going to outline only the most important plot points and not the piddly side plots that tended to bog down multiple episodes (such as Norma running for city council and excessive focus on the drug industry in White Pine Bay. BOOORING!).

The season opened with Norman practicing his taxidermy more than helping mother out with the hotel, which Norma found quite frustrating. Throughout this season, we watch Norman start to drift and slowly turn more into the Norman Bates we already know from Psycho, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. In the second episode, we are introduced to Caleb (Kenny Johnson), who reveals himself to be Norma's brother... DUN DUN DUN! Norma is none-to-happy to see him, and even less happy when Caleb and Dylan begin to bond because DOUBLE DUN DUN DUN, Caleb is Dylan's father! 

Will Emma FINALLY get some Normie loving in season 3?
Also in Season Two, we were forced to endure Norman's interminable relationship with bad girl Cody, which only became interesting when Norman killed Cody's abusive father. This incident leads Sheriff Romero to become even more convinced that Norman killed Miss Watson last season... I mean last summer. Romero insists Norman take a polygraph, but before he can, he gets kidnapped by drug dealers. Blah blah blah. It's essentially irrelevant in the long term. Moving on!

Season Two ended as such:
  • Dylan and Romero kill all the drug dealers. Hopefully this won't continue in Season Three.
  • Norman is rescued from the kidnappers and while in the hospital, confesses to Norma that he "dreamed" about killing Miss Watson
  • Norman tries to kill himself, but Norma stops him, ending in a deliciously twisted, awkward, and tension-filled kiss
  • We see Norman go FULL Norma in the final scenes, taking on his mother's personality to pass the polygraph test, successfully convincing (maybe?) Romero he didn't kill Miss Watson, even though his DNA was all up in that creepy babe
WHAT'S IN THE BOX? WHAT'S IN THE BOX? Oh! Hi, Norman!
So there you have it! What will happen in Season Three? Who knows! But Kenny Johnson is returning as a full-time cast member and we've been given photographic hints that Bates Motel is going to really up the ick ante this year. Are you excited? Ambivalent? Talk Bates-y to me on Twitter, darklings! 


Bates Motel returns to A&E on March 9, 9pm EST/8pm CT!