TV Show Review

TV Review: BATES MOTEL: Season 2, Episode 7: Presumed Innocent [A&E]

Freddie Highmore Paloma Kwiatkowski Bates Motel Presumed Innocent

A&E’s Bates Motel Presumed Innocent TV Show Review. Bates Motel: Season 2, Episode 7: Presumed Innocent was subliminally reflective of the fact that up to now, Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) has consistently been presented as the victim throughout the series. A very unique and fresh perspective from Hollywood. I think this week’s episode “Presumed Innocent” proves that Bates Motel has one of the best writing teams on television. Norman is on the precipice of discovering his murderous affliction…as well as being found out by mother, authorities and community. The kind of tension being stirred up could well be described as Hitchcockian.

In this weeks installment, Norman was brought in to the police station for questioning in regard to Cody Brennan’s (Paloma Kwiatkowski) father’s death. Samples of his nails and swabs of his saliva were taken for DNA testing. Genuinely confused when the intake officer asked him for his shirt, he continued to express that “this was an accident.” Norman is expertly played by Freddie Highmore, he is tender with Norman’s fragile state and injects a very raw disquiet that comes through in every frame of this episode.

When Norman and Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) finally sat down for the questioning, we saw a frightened and scared young boy/man. He had no recollection of his own nefarious rage and was visibly distraught. Romero saw that Norman was suffering with guilt over what had happened and handled him
?with compassion. We saw what a good man the Sheriff has always been, despite some shady dealings in the drug world. (Whether that will continue in light of the episode’s final discovery of Norman’s DNA inside of Blair Watson remains to be seen.) This scene sets up the conflict we the audience will feel when Norman ultimately shifts from victim into serial villain.

Sheriff Romero pointedly excluded Norma Bates (Vera Farmiga) from the interrogation room and left her completely disconnected from Norman, a state she visibly cannot stand. The terrified anxiety began to overtake Norma and was evident in the desperation with which she attempted to rally Cody and Emma to her cause. Vera Farmiga is outstanding as a mother who is aware that her son is troubled, but that is quite possibly more troubled than she can even imagine. As a natural motherly instinct she wanted to comfort and pull Norman closer, and yet the dynamic pushed him father away. Norma’s involvement with the bypass and being coaxed in to an unknown world, and Norman’s decline are methodically juxtaposed.

The only thing that is fledgling about Bates Motel is the drug plot. Dylan Massett (Max Thieriot) needed a reason to estrange himself from his family, but there doesn’t seem to be much going on in this world. Zane Carpenter (Michael Eklund) is a bad guy with a posse, a rather typical motley crew. In this episode Zane walked around imposing himself and encouraged Dylan to join him on a venture. When Dylan realized said venture was breaking in to Nick Ford’s (Michael O’Neill) warehouse, he opted out and was smacked out cold and left for dead. There was a lot of gunfire and pyrotechnics and Dylan stumbled to stand, but it went nowhere in this chapter. Surely this will intertwine back to and with the main storyline, but at the moment it feels lacklustre in comparison.
This was an excellent installment. The writers have kept Norman in an almost innocent state…which will ultimately not last.

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