'Bates Motel' S3E3: Persuasion

★ ★ ★ ★

Things are beginning to boil between Norma and Norman. Obviously, their now crumbling relationship is going to be a key portion of this season. While "Persuasion" didn’t offer many additions to the story, the ones it had were excellent. The first two episodes were perhaps rough because it was introducing us to entirely new storylines and characters, but now that the ball’s rolling it doesn’t show any signs of stopping.

Norma, as usual, believed that everything would be alright for Norman once she had saved him from killing himself in the woods, but as soon as Annika was presumed dead that mindset shattered. Now, Norma’s uneasy-er, more fearful, and even more watchful of Norman. While Norman may not understand just the sort of situation he is in, Norma certainly does, or is beginning to do so.

Norman’s similarities to Norma are beginning to show themselves bit by bit. Notice their positioning on the stairs, Norman’s only powerful when he’s above her… literally. Norman lashes out in a defensive manner and even with the ability to walk away, he feels cornered by mother no matter where he is.

Bates Motel S3E3

Speaking of which, "Norma" telling Norman to drown himself in order to reenact the box was a spectacular scene. Like how Norman’s vision of his mother is far more menacing, more sexually suggestive, and, in a way, tells Norman to do actions that don’t make sense. This is an actual projection of his concept of what his mother is like which gives insight into how Norman views his mother. While Norma may be overbearing, overprotective, and smothering, Norman sees all of this, in a way, as an offense. But does if Norman is unable to tell the difference between a hallucination and his real mother, why doesn’t he get them confused? Or is he already blacked out when his mother appears?

Emma’s surprisingly oblivious to the distinct change in Norman’s behavior. Despite knowing that something was on his mind, how much has she actually been able to pick up on? For the past couple of episodes, Norman’s certainly lashed out in small ways and has now started an argument with her. Quite possibly Emma was hurt by this, especially since she tried so hard to dress nicely at the beginning of the episode. By the end of it, she had given up and returned to her usual day-wear. But will she ever respond to this?

Marcus Young certainly seems like an interesting character. New, fresh, and with a lot of "friends," Romero may be in a heap of trouble. Marcus already seems like a great villain to create tension for Romero, but it’s likely he will create tensions between Caleb and Dylan. If he does so, it will be nice to see Caleb and Dylan fight each other to make it out on top.

Norma decides to go to college (which I doubt that will last long) and she meets a Psychology professor who quickly notices that she needs a session. Congratulations to Bates Motel, once again, for its very subtle disses. When psych teacher James says "Are you sure you don’t think psychology might be a good idea?" to Norma, I couldn’t help but chuckle.

With a couple of new story elements that are going to easily affect characters later on, Bates Motel is once again setting itself up for a lot to go down.


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