Bates Motel—Season 2

bates motel season 2 poster review episode guide
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great cast, good looking

Season has a lot of plots that go nowhere


Stop by the Bates Motel…check in but you might not check out

Norman’s teacher Ms. Watson (Keegan Connor Tracy) has been murdered…and Norma (Vera Farmiga) worries that Norman (Freddie Highmore) is responsible.  As Norman continues to show more and more signs of a dissociative personality, Dylan (Max Thieriot) and Norma find themselves caught up more in the town’s politics.  Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) finds himself investigating crimes on multiple fronts as a drug war begins to erupt in White Pine Bay, Oregon.

Bates Motel—Season 2 aired form March 3, 2014 to May 5, 2014 on A&E.  The TV series adapting Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film Psycho continued to garner praise (primarily on the acting front).


A family that sing show tunes together, sleeps together

I enjoyed Bates Motel—Season 1 a lot more than I thought I was going to.  It was very soap opera-y and had a hint of Twin Peaks with the weird northwestern setting and strange goings on in the town.  Bates Motel—Season 2 seemed to simplify the plot, but lost a little of the first season’s fun (though it is still good).

Part of the problem with this season is that it suffers from plots that don’t really go anywhere…and there are a lot of them.  A lot of these high concept series that have short runs have a lot going on in each episode and they generally all build to the a crescendo in the last couple episodes.  Bates Motel has events that build a couple of episodes and never resurface.


Nothing like a romantic walk in the woods with your mom…

The first of these stories involves Bradley’s attempted suicide and the murder of her father’s murderer.  Norman helps her get out of town and it never really factors back in.  It does lead Norman to meet Cody, but it is a very roundabout way to advance the story.  The second storyline is Caleb that is Norma’s brother.  He shows up, meets his son/nephew, learns Norman’s crazy, and leaves…that’s it.  It does provide info, but mostly wastes a few precious episodes.  This can be said about a number of events in this season which is a shame…but we do get more Norman/Norma creepy mother-son moments.


I’m sad because I have nothing to do this season…

The biggest failure of this season is the minimalizing of Olivia Cooke’s role in the series.  The first season was a lot of fun with sexual tension between Norman and Cooke and the fact that her character was one of the few that Norma liked.  Here, she hangs around the hotel, sleeps with a weed dealer, and generally does nothing.  She even points out this point when she threatens to quit the hotel because she’s always shut out.  It is a situation that needs to be fixed the coming season.

The show otherwise remains a fun soap opera.  It doesn’t take itself too seriously despite showing the rise of a serial killer.  I hope that the series is able to get past this semi-sophomore slump and really ratchet up the horror/suspense for season 3.  Bates Motel—Season 2 shows some wear and tear but it still is worth stopping by for a spell.

Bates Motel—Season 2 Complete Episode Guide:



“Gone But Not Forgotten”

2.1       Gone But Not Forgotten Airdate:  03/03/14

Blair Watson (Keegan Connor Tracy) is dead, and Norma (Vera Farmiga) worries that Norman (Freddie Highmore) could be the prime suspect due to his obsession over her.  Bradley (Nicola Peltz) attempts suicide but seeks out the man responsible for her father’s death when she fails.  Norman’s search for Ms. Watson’s killer leads him to help Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell)…which casts an eye of suspicion on him.  The new bypass prepares to be constructed and threatens to destroy the Bates Motel’s business.  A decision by Bradley leads her to seek help from Norman.


“Shadow of a Doubt”

2.2       Shadow of a Doubt Airdate:  03/10/14

Bradley has killed Gil (Vincent Gale) and is trying to get out of town.  Romero learns that Gil and the drug family aren’t involved in the death, and Gil questions who the killer could be.  Zane Carpenter (Michael Eklund) is brought in to take over as head of the drug trade and Dylan (Max Thieriot) and his friend Remo (Ian Tracey) worry that a drug war could be starting over Gil.  Norma’s discover that Norman could have something to do with Ms. Watson’s death leads her to try to get Norman to audition for the local musical with her.  An unexpected arrival could turn Norma’s life around.



2.3       Caleb Airdate:  03/17/14

Norma’s brother Caleb (Kenny Johnson) has arrived in White Pine Bay, Oregon and Norma hides his past from Dylan.  Bradley’s suicide is revealed and Emma (Olivia Cooke) tries to put together a memorial for her.  Norma is scrapped from the musical, but makes a friend in Christine Heldens (Rebecca Creskoff)…leading to new acquaintances in White Pine Bay.  Norman meets a girl named Cody Brennan (Palma Kwiatkowski) involved with the musical that shows interest in him.  Dylan spends time with Caleb forcing Norma to reveal the truth to him.



2.4       Check-Out Airdate:  03/24/14

Dylan deals with the discovery that Caleb is his uncle and his father and questions who is telling him the truth.  Emma finds herself in an uneasy relationship with a drug dealing tenant at the Bates Motel named Gunner (Keenan Tracey).  Norman at the suggestion of Cody plans to confront Caleb…but a face off leads to a surprise for Caleb.  Romero’s attempt to stop Zane Morgan backfires.


“The Escape Artist”

2.5       The Escape Artist Airdate:  03/31/14

Romero suspects Zane in the torching of his home and finds himself staying in the Bates Motel.  An attack on Zane puts Dylan in the hospital where he meets Zane’s sister and his boss Jodi (Kathleen Robertson).  Emma contemplates a relationship with Gunner as Norman learns that everything isn’t perfect between Cody and her father (Michael Rogers).  Norma works to stop the bypass and finds a dangerous new ally in Nick Ford (Michael O’Neill).



2.6       Plunge Airdate:  04/07/14

The councilman standing in Norma’s way is dead, and Norma suspects Ford might have something to do with it.  Norman and Cody go out with Gunner and Emma, but a near disaster causes Norman to lose control.  Zane’s sister tends to Dylan and gives him a proposition about the business.  Norma and Cody face off and Cody is ordered to stay away from Norman.  Cody reveals Norman’s condition to Emma which leads to a disastrous turn of events.


“Presumed Innocent”

2.7       Presumed Innocent Airdate:  04/14/14

Norman has been pulled in on the investigation into the murder of Cody’s father despite his claims that it was an accident.  As Norma waits for results, she worries Cody’s knowledge of Norman’s blackouts could cause problems.  Dylan finds himself at odds with Zane and learns Zane is making a dangerous power move that could threaten the business in town.  A DNA test on Norman yields a shocking result for Sheriff Romero.



2.8       Meltdown Airdate:  04/21/14

Sheriff Romero debates what to do about the information that Norman had sex with Blair Watson the night of her murder.  Dylan and Jodi find Zane is getting more erratic and Dylan finds himself under pressure from Ford to do something about it.  Norma argues with Norman about refusing to talk about his condition and tries to go on a date with George Heldens (Michael Vartan).  When confronted about the truth of Ms. Watson’s murder, Norman finds himself under attack from an unknown element.


“The Box”

2.9       The Box Airdate:  04/28/14

Ford had kidnapped Norman and forces him into a box in the woods until Dylan agrees to eliminate Zane.  As Romero reveals the truth of Ms. Watson’s murder to Norma, Norma finds her relationships with Emma and George falling apart.  It is a race against time to save Norman, but Norman might remember what happened on the night Ms. Watson died.


“The Immutable Truth”

2.10     The Immutable Truth Airdate:  05/05/14

Norman’s isolation in the box has forced him to reexamine the night that Blair Watson was killed…revealing the truth to him.  As Romero and Dylan seek to save Norman from Nick Ford, a showdown with Zane is inevitable.  Romero’s decision to have Norman face a lie detector test shows the truth about Norman’s relationship with him mother.

Related Links:

Bates Motel—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Bates Motel—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Bates Motel—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Bates Motel—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Psycho (1960)

Psycho II (1983)

Psycho III (1986)

Psycho IV:  The Beginning (1990)

Psycho (1998)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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