Bates Motel was back and open for business for last night’s season premiere!

The Breakdown

The season premiere of Bates Motel entitled Gone But Not Forgotten opened with a phone call from Norman’s school principle. Norma answered and received a message that Norman’s teacher Ms. (Blaire) Watson had been killed. Norma was immediately nervous and as Norman walked up she asked him about the night before. Norman only remembered running home and not being at Ms. Watson’s house or accepting a ride from her. Norma seemed to reluctantly let it go at that.

Bradley, the girl that Norman had been infatuated with, struggled with the loss of her father and news of his affair. First she was driving down the road at night, sipping (or maybe it was guzzling) from a bottle of alcohol in the car with the letters to her father from his mistress in the passenger’s seat. Soon, Bradley’s car ended up on the bridge and Bradley jumped from that bridge into the water. This stunt ended her up in a mental institution.

Ms. Watson’s funeral brought about many tears from Norman. He sobbed and carried on as others noticed.

The episode turned to four months later…

The Bates Motel was hopping with guests which clearly made Norma very happy. Emma, the friend of Norman’s who wanted more than friendship, was still working at the motel and handling all of the guests while Norman busied himself with his taxidermy in the basement. Norma’s concern about Norman spending his time on that hobby was obvious and she brought him upstairs to help with the guests.

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Bradley was released from the hospital and visited Dylan’s coworker Gil for information on who may have killed her father. A creepy Gil invited her inside to discuss it further, but she declined and left, still looking unwell. Gil ended up talking to Dylan about Bradley telling him to get rid of her if she came around asking questions. Dylan attempted to talk to Bradley about staying away, but she seemed more upset that he had not answered her emails. Dylan then told her that Ms. Watson was the one having an affair with her father. (The “B” in the love letters obviously stood for “Blaire”.) Making matters worse, Ms. Watson was Gil’s girlfriend.

Norman was still grieving over the loss of Ms. Watson, or perhaps it was guilt? Her killer still had not been found. So, when Norman was on one of his regular visits to her grave, he saw a strange man standing by it. Norman snapped a few pictures of the man before being discovered. After providing the picture of the stranger to Sherriff Romero, Norman left the sheriff’s office looking more like a suspect, although the sheriff almost seemed to recognize the man in the picture.

Norma found out that the dreaded bypass threatening her business was still being planned and ground was to break soon. With that she decided to add herself to the city council agenda to try to persuade the city against it. Her persuasions did not work and Norma was made to look silly in front of the group at the meeting. But good ole Norma had her say when she was “dismissed” and in return called the man who made her look silly a “d**k” and talked about how the town was run on drug money.

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After Sheriff Romero confronted Norma after the meeting about Norman’s recent visit to his office, she headed home to find out what really happened. Norman admitted that he had been at Ms. Watson’s house the night of her murder. He told his mother how Ms. Watson was undressing in her room, but he could see her. Suddenly, he remembered nothing. Although throughout the episode Norman played with a set of pearls that obviously belonged to Ms. Watson.

Finally, after a failed attempt on Norman’s part to revive his friendship with Bradley, she went to pay Gil another visit to get to the bottom of her father’s murder. She began seducing Gil and asking for information when suddenly she pulled out the gun she found with her father’s possessions and shot Gil in the head – blood spattered everywhere. After that, she showed up in Norman’s room asking him for help.

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The Analysis

Awesome season premiere of Bates Motel! This show is always a surprise and keeps you guessing. Granted there are a few givens – Norman still likes Bradley, Bradley still likes Dylan, Emma still likes Norman, Norman is still a little nutty, and Norma is even nuttier still. But, there is no predicting how the story lines will go or play out.

I was happy to still see the full cast back, all the way down to Sheriff Romero who seemed to still have a constant, watchful eye on the Bates family.

I think all of the viewers had the sense that Norman killed Ms. Watson when the season finale aired, but given last night’s episode I am not so sure, are you?

Norma actually seemed a bit more normal to me on this episode. I can say that her performance during that town meeting was simply great! Leave it to Norma Bates to speak her mind – way to go, Norma! I wonder how far she will go to nix that bypass from being built. Any thoughts?

Then there is Bradley, the disturbed teen with too much anger and not enough to do. Killing Gil was a surprise to me; however, it is going to leave a lot of unanswered questions since she killed him before getting any! Ms. Watson being her father’s mistress added a great twist and was good information, but there was definitely more to get. Then when it comes to the weed money that runs that town, there is certainly more to the story with her father.

Did you enjoy the season premiere of Bates Motel? Do you think someone else is behind Ms. Watson’s murder other than Norman, and if so, who? Feel free to start a discussion; we would love to hear your thoughts!