Bates Motel: A Prequel To The Psycho

 Bates Motel is the  contemporary prequel series to the infamous 'Psycho' film. It delves into those impressionable years as we see the young Norman Bates become the serial killer that we love to hate.

In the first episode the Bates move to White Pine Bay for a fresh start after Norman's father dies in suspicious circumstances. They buy an old motel and plan to run a family business, but they are soon met with opposition when the old owner of the motel finds out about it. This brings about new problems for Norma and her son.

Bates motel gives insight into those informative years and focuses on the complex relationship Norman has with his mother; they are totally devoted to each other. This becomes clear through the carefully crafted scenes that focus on their unusual bond. The scene where they are on the rowing boat getting ready to dispose of Keith Summer's body demonstrates this really well: Norma declares that she is a terrible mother and Norman responds by telling her that she is his everything and that they belong to each other. 

Norma is both vulnerable and domineering. She tries to control everything in her life because she often feels out of control.  Her life is tragic in many ways, she was sexually abused by her  brother as a child and as a result became pregnant with her eldest son, Dylan. She has tried to make the best of the bad situations in her life, but their traumatic history would have had a bearing on the young Norman Bates.

Norman is emotional and disturbed. Sometimes he experiences psychosis, where he believes his mother is instructing him to do something when she isn't actually there. In the season one finale Norman gets a lift from his teacher, Miss Watson, she takes him back to her place to bathe his eye as he had just been in a fight. While she is getting changed in her bedroom, Norman sees her reflection in the mirror. Norman then hallucinated and 'seen' his mother next to him, telling him that his teacher is trying to seduce him and that he knows what he has to do. This results in Miss Watson's untimely death. 

Norman doesn't remember killing her though, he even photographs a man that he thinks looks suspicious near his late teacher's grave, believing that he may have had something to do with her death. He then takes the photograph to the police in the hope that it might shed some light on who was responsible. His behavior confirms that he really had no recollection of killing her.

It's only at the end of season two when Norman starts having flash backs and  remembers killing his father and teacher. He feels over-whelmed with guilt when he realizes what he has done and who he is becoming. He decides the best course of action is to take his own life. His mother finds a note he had left for her and realizes what he is about to do. She has only missed him by minutes so it doesn't take long for her to catch up with him. When Norma finds him she tells him that they are supposed to be together and that if he dies she will only be a 'few steps' behind him. 

It's clear that Norman and Norma have an intense relationship where they are trying to please each other. They both feel that they couldn't live without each other, which is very unusual. It's even more unusual for a boy of Norman's age. Most teenagers start to distance themselves from their parents as they start to spread their wings.

 Norman Bates is a name that has become synonymous with the word 'psycho', but interestingly enough, psychologists that have profiled the Norman Bates character have agreed that he doesn't come that high on the psychopathy scale. They believe that his symptoms match those of someone with multiple personalities disorder.

The producers of the show have recently announced that they are going to make a third series of Bates Motel. This is terrific news for all the fans out there who will be eagerly anticipating what will happen next.

Bates Motel: Season 1 (DVD + UltraViolet)
Amazon Price: $18.49 $10.98 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 21, 2016)