Bates Motel – Season 2 Finale

I was anxious to see the season finale of this one and wow, did things go all over the place in this one. We start things right where we left off. Dylan is making a mad dash from the house of Nick Ford who’s laying dead on the floor and who should he run into but Sheriff Romero. Romero is unfazed by Dylan’s admission. Instead, he heads over to the house to see who can extract information out of in order to find Norman. Good thing one of the henchmen stayed behind to loot the place.

Norman is pulled from the iron coffin and the family is reunited again. But there is still trouble in paradise as Norman admits he has memories of killing Miss Watson. This is not going to bode well as Romero still insists Norman take the polygraph test.

But that will have to wait as the Sheriff and Dylan hatch a plan to get Zane under control. It wasn’t the best laid plan thusly unravels pretty quick. But the end result is what Romero wanted which is the heads of the drug families out of the way so he can install a man who "understands the rules" so "they can all live and work together". In fell swoon, Dylan is in charge! He’s on the hook for one murder and is seriously in deep on the cover up of two more. Damn, this kid is a magnet for trouble! And quite possibly a kingpin now.

Now that the Sheriff is coming for him, Norman sets the wheels in motion to protect himself. He’s scared of who he is and what he does and feels the best way to control that is to end his life. But he’s not as sneaky as he thinks and mom is hot on his trail. The tables are turned as Norman points the gun at his mom and demands to know what’s wrong with him. Norman’s blackouts do indeed lead to death for other people and as he admits, he blacked out the day his dad died.

Norma plans a flight from prosecution and even buys a ticket for Dylan. There’s nothing like fleeing the country to bring a family together. It’s the first time Dylan has actually felt close to Norma and the fact he even thought of her chips away at his cold heart.

Fleeing will only get them so far. Dylan convinces them to face the music and have Norman take the test. It looks grim, but Norman has a vision that relieves him of his burden. Mother says she will take care of him and she is responsible for what happened to Miss Watson. All the guilt leaves Norman and Sheriff Romero is satisfied he sent the right man to prison.

In that final shot we see Norman sitting in the chair with that classic smirk pulled straight from the Psycho movie itself. Creepy stuff my friends.

A pretty impressive season and who knows where this is going to take us. Dylan is set to take over the drug trade and Norman got a pass on all his transgressions. Who knows if it will last but we have an inkling of a mother-son relationship between Dylan and Norma.

But alas, Emma is still on the outside looking in. She desperately wants to be a part of the family and even though she has been in the thick of the soup with the Bates family, she still gets the cold shoulder. Norman offers the olive branch and asks her to reconsider and lets her in on Dylan’s checkered past. But will that be enough for her to stick around? And if she does, will she end up victim? Norman’s track record with the ladies isn’t that good.

I’m sure there will be plenty of mischief and mayhem in season 3. I guess we’ll have to take bets on who’s the first victim of the new season. And, will any of the previous characters come back? Is this the last of Cody? Can Bradley stay in hiding? Will Caleb (if he’s still alive) come to explain or face the music of what he’s done? How will Sheriff Romero position Dylan and what does he plan to do about all the next rival? And since he still doesn’t have a house how long will he be at the hotel?

And one final question, with Nick Ford out of the way what will happen to Norma’s seat on the council? This of course comes after she’s pissed off Christine who not only befriended her but tried to set Norma up with her brother. And wasn’t the mayor coming for dinner? Oh dear…

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Bates Motel – Kicking and Screaming to the Season Finale

image So here we are on the eve of the final episode of Bates Motel and it’s been a long and dangerous road. The season started off with a bang when Bradley, after suspecting Gil was behind her father’s murder, blows his head clean off. A murder that no one seems to want to investigate by the way. Desperate and in need of help, Bradley turns to Norman, who turns to Dylan who fakes Bradley’s death and sends her out of town. He’s such a helpful juvenile delinquent.

With Gil dead, Dylan and his rag tag band of weed whackers get a new boss in the form of Zane. A hot tempered chap who feels that disputes like this should be settled at the end of a gun. As you may expect, this leads to a few problems and some shootouts at the I’m Not OK Corral.

Meanwhile, after being coerced into trying out for a musical with his mom (creepy) Norman meets the hot and naughty Cody, a girl with a troubled home life that ultimately finds Norman intriguing. She leads him down a decadent road that oddly leads to her secret treehouse where she takes advantage of the young Norman. They make an interesting couple, by my goodness they have some turbulent times.

Sadly, Norma is rejected from the musical and her trouble compounds when her brother Caleb comes rolling into town. A brother she accuses of doing some very unsavory things to her; the result being Dylan. This of course sends Dylan into a bit of tail spin and he moves out of the house. In order to defend his mom’s honor, Norman goes to confront Caleb, wherein Norman channels the feelings and emotions of his mother getting abused – a scene that will surely leave you feeling woefully uncomfortable. Utterly confused, Caleb knocks Norman out of the way and adds a few kicks in for good measure. When we next see Norman he is catatonic in a diner with Cody coming to get him. It was of course Cody’s plan for Norman to confront Caleb to send him packing. So far, we haven’t seen Caleb again.

Norma meets some rich and strange new friends and gets introduced to Nick Ford. After making a deal with the devil she’s elected to the city council and is magically handed an environmental report that stops construction of the bypass. Norma seems to be in the middle of Stepford Wives and has a new love interest. A love interest that will run panty-dropping hot, then frostbite cold. Norma doesn’t do well in relationships.

On the drug cartel front, things escalate out of control and Zane goes in guns blazing. Dylan repeatedly tries to talk him out of it, since he obviously knows the truth about Gil’s death, but it falls on deaf ears. Zane barely escapes with his life, but not before killing multiple men from Nick Ford’s side of the house. This will not go unpunished and heads on a pike will be demanded.

Sheriff Romero, or rather his new Deputy is hot on the trail for the murderer of Emma Watson and finds a match to the DNA they took off Norman when they investigated him for the murder of Cody’s father. Norman put a damper on their relationship when dad got hostile with his lady friend and thusly Norman sent dad tumbling down the stairs to the sound of crunching bones. But this proves that Norman did indeed sleep with his teacher the night she was killed.

Nick Ford feels the best way to settle the dispute between the rival drug families is to meet with Dylan. He goes through Norma to set up the meeting and demonstrates his power and influence over her. Nick wants Zane out of the way and wants Dylan to handle it. Dylan isn’t quite on board so Nick uses a power play of kidnapping Norman to sweeten the deal. Norman spends a night in the box and when the henchman come to feed and water him they discover the newspaper clipping of Emma Watson’s death and the string of pearls.

With the new motivation, Dylan does what he can to get rid of Zane, but Zane is too heavily armed and Dylan can’t get the job done. He explains the situation to Nick who no longer feels Dylan has any use to him. With gun drawn, Nick looks to dispatch Dylan who feels he has to defend himself and uses the power of the fireplace poker as his weapon of choice. Dylan ends up dealing a fatal blow to the head and quickly realizing the sack full of shite he’s found himself in, makes a very hasty retreat out the side door.

Finally, we have Norman, locked in a box in parts unknown coming to terms with his situation. The night of Miss Watson’s murder begins to play out in his mind and at least according to Norman’s interpretation of events, we see her seduce him. She wears quite a fetching outfit and in a slow, seductive style she lures him to bed. The moment is intermixed with Norma telling Norman to stop and that it’s wrong and Miss Watson is a bad person for doing this. It ultimately ends with Norman, a knife and Miss Watson’s throat. And this right after he’s finished himself off inside her leaving a dastardly trail of evidence. What a mess on multiple levels!

Norman leaves the bloody scene, but not before taking a strand of pearls from Miss Watson’s nightstand. Souvenir of the night? Either way, we fade out as Norman is left to rot in the box, in the rain, without his family knowing where he is. Dylan didn’t quite get that written down before cracking Nick in the skull.

So we have Dylan on the run because he just killed he head of the rival drug cartel, Norman locked in a box, in the woods without anyone knowing where he is and perhaps coming to the realization he killed his teach, Norma in a fit of hysterics because she doesn’t know where Norman is, Emma is on the outs because no one will put their trust in her, and let’s not forget that Sheriff Romero wants Norman for questioning in the murder of Emma Watson. He’s pretty sure he just sent an innocent man to prison.

Things are unravelling quite badly for the Bates family. Seems the whole family has gotten themselves in quite a bind. Where oh where do we go from here?

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The Rise of Hannibal. The Decline of Will Graham.

image As we come to the end of the season (and hopefully there will be another) it appears Will may have turned over to the Dark Side. Will’s tumultuous relationship with Hannibal has reached an interesting level with perhaps some sort of unusual understanding of each other.

This latest episode had me woefully confused as we see Will stooping to all new levels. Not only does it appear he killed the intruder in his home that was perhaps sent by Hannibal, he brought him back and splayed him out in Hannibal’s office as a presentation. He also acknowledges that he and Hannibal are even. Since Will sent someone to kill Hannibal, it’s only fair that Hannibal send someone to kill Will. It makes them Even Steven and puts them on the same level.

But just acknowledging the event doesn’t seem to be enough we have the displaying of the body on a skeleton in the museum. Now you have to wonder, which one of them did it? Is Will analyzing Hannibal or the other way around? It’s a pretty grim scene regardless.

We also see Will get involved with Margot even though he has the wrong parts for the job. It doesn’t seem to slow them down. Not only that we have a very odd montage of Will and Hannibal both engaged in the same act with an odd mix of partners. Will and Hannibal may be sharing Alana figuratively and literally.

After the therapy sessions with Margot, Hannibal decides to pay her brother Mason a visit. Mason is in the middle of his latest experiment to make the man eating pig. Unfortunately, he’s using the scent and clothes of his sister Margot to fuel the anger of the little beasts. I’m not sure this sends the correct familiar message between siblings. But it wasn’t a wasted trip as Hannibal selects his own pig and presents it as a lovely dinner to Alana and Will.

Freddie begins to show doubt about Hannibal and feels that Will was right about Hannibal and she is still right about Will. After making some interesting connections Freddie starts to do her own investigation and winds up finding a bit more than she should. And where of all places does she end up? At the farm of Will Graham. Seems that shed of his contains many secrets and several freezers full of meat.

Jack is then confronted with a phone call from Freddie as she cries out for help. Will is then informed she hasn’t been heard from in quite some time and she was last seen getting gas a few miles down the road from his farm. Oh dear, it looks like Will may have gotten tired of all her meddling and took drastic action.

Will and Hannibal sit down to a private meal together where the main entrée is a meat of dubious origin.

I really, REALLY, hope we get to see a season 3 of this show. To be honest, I’m going to be pissed if we don’t get all 7 seasons! The current season is almost over and NBC still hasn’t made a decision to renew the series. Egad, what are they thinking? This show has some of the best writing out there and the actors are playing their roles perfectly. Freddie is the perfectly blend of elegance, determination and sleaze. Will is the perfect blend of deduction, insight and utter instability. Hannibal himself is a wonderful blend of sophistication, confidence and subdued evil.

The dialog is crisp with lots of double meaning and plenty of points to ponder. Yes, the show can be dark and gruesome, but that’s the nature of the story. Could it be done without all that? Sure, I don’t see why not. But if that’s the problem, why are you watching a show about serial killers anyway? Dexter had plenty of gory scenes and it ran for 8 years with no problem.

If anything, if NBC wants to throw in the towel, then sell it off to FX and put it as a companion to American Horror Story or over to WGN to support Salem or off to A&E with Bates Motel. Moving to a cable show would probably be the best thing for the show, but NBC has a real winner on their hands, I only hope they see it.

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Salem – S01E01

A new series has presented itself and it goes a little something like this: Set in the volatile world of 17th century Massachusetts, ‘Salem’ explores what really fueled the town’s infamous witch trials and dares to uncover the dark, supernatural truth hiding behind the veil of this infamous period in American history. In Salem, witches are real, but they are not who or what they seem.

At the start of things we have Tituba taking care of Mary Sibley who has found herself in a "family way" but isn’t married. From the punishment dealt out in the opening scene Issac is flogged and then branded a fornicator for kissing a girl, an unwed mother would be an utter disaster. Mary’s beloved, John Alden is sent off to war, but returns 7 years later to find things are a little different than when he left.

The ritual Tituba performed has given Mary great power and put her into a contract with an "unknown" force. Mary has moved on to web George Sibley, perhaps the most powerful and most feared man in town. But George isn’t the force he used to be. In fact, we see he’s being controlled quite handily by his new wife. On the outside he appears to be ailing of something akin to a stroke, but when we look deeper he has much bigger problems.

The talk of witches begins to permeate the town as children see visions and speak of hags and visitors in the night. One man who might know the truth finds himself on the receiving end of being accused of witchcraft. He made the mistake of trying to force Mary Sibley’s hand and reveal to her former love, John Alden who and what she is. He doesn’t to spill the beans, but he spills a great deal of blood as he’s pressed to death to reveal his guilt about witchcraft.

John Alden isn’t one to give in to the power or even existence of witches, that is until he’s taken to the edge of town by Isaac and stumbles upon a ritual he can’t comprehend. Mary’s payment has been broken and John might be in the middle of something quite dangerous.

It looks like things have just gone very wrong.

And that’s the start of the series for the new series Salem on WGN. A rather graphic taken on the stories surrounding the Salem Witch Trials. The accusations of witchcraft abound, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real. We begin to see the power, but we don’t have a full meaning for them yet. Why Salem? What other forces are at work? Did Tituba unleash something horrible on the town or is she trying to save them from an older evil?

This is shaping up to be an interesting show with all the characters we’re familiar with. And all the punishments too. He hangings, the dunkings, the burnings are all here. These episodes may not be the feint of heart but it should make for an interesting story and an interesting interpretation of the events that took place in Salem all those years ago.

I’ll have to revisit this topic after a couple of episodes have come out and get ourselves pointed in a certain direction.

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