TV Club: The deliciously dark and tragic end game begins on Bates Motel

“Well, it’s not like we haven’t done this before.” That brief aside between Norman Bates and the figment of his imagination he believes to be his mother is meant to suggest they know how to dispose of a dead body, but it’s an apt summation of what they (he alone, really) now believe about life in the Bates home, regardless of its truth. For Norman, the constant push-and-pull with his mother has been the defining force of his life. The young man now singlehandedly running the motel knows no other way of being than one which revolves around the tempestuous nature of Norma Bates, whether that meant sulking about being denied driving lessons when he was younger or resignedly disposing of yet another body for which he erroneously believes his mother is responsible. To him, this is just another exasperating encounter with Norma, the woman who seems …

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