Revelation Rocks 'Bates Motel,' the 'Vikings' Wage a Battle for Paris

Bates Motel |
It was a scene that was quintessential, Norma Bates. After successfully shaking down the town baddie, she returned home, beaming with a triumph that would be short-lived. Her rarely-felt happiness was quickly dashed by the sight of her sons sitting solemnly at the kitchen table. If you strip away the prequel subtext and the cinematic foreshadowing of its characters, “Bates Motel” is, at its core, a family drama.

As dysfunctional as they are, the Bates are a family who loves each other, as Norman pointed out midway through the episode. Each also works tirelessly to keep the other from careening towards destruction, and despite their best intentions, that often doesn’t turn out the way they plan.

What makes the series' writing so compelling is that it explores situations within that fine line of grey, moral relativity. Since the season began, there have been no clear right or wrong answers regarding the Caleb storyline, and after last week’s heartbreaking lead-up, the time for revelation had finally come. Sitting at the Bates’ kitchen table were three very different perspectives on the subject, all equally sympathetic.

Dylan, desperately trying to put the shattered pieces of his family together, confessed to keeping his father/uncle on his property and begged Norma to hear an apology from her brother for his treatment of her. In an act of selflessness, Norman backed his brother, all the while knowing it would damage his relationship with his beloved mother.

Finally, there was Norma, a survivor fraught with fragility, blindsided by the perceived betrayal of her sons. Her once estranged son, who she recently allowed herself to fully trust, and the son she had trusted so implicitly all of his life. It was a scene of highly charged emotion that stunned me with its raw pathos.

Vera Farmiga, Max Thieriot, and Freddie Highmore exquisitely portrayed the aching tension and tragic family dynamic with such command it felt uncomfortable to watch. As if one was peering into an all too real family meeting. “Bates Motel” has been laying the groundwork for this reveal since the beginning of the season, and it did not disappoint.

 The worst-case scenario played out, and one couldn’t help but hope this troubled family would eventually find their way back to each other, despite how bleak the situation currently appears. This is what a deft drama is supposed to be, and for the past three years, “Bates Motel” has had no rival. 

Vikings | Ragnar and the gang waged a ferocious battle against the French to seize Paris, and Lagertha made a sexually lethal pact with Kalf. “Vikings” delivered a dazzling battle sequence and toyed with the fates of several characters, succeeding marvelously when it came to thinking the end had come for some.

One near-death, in particular, was a nail-biter. Ragnar’s plan for Floki became crystallized. He acknowledged his suspicion of Floki’s guilt in Athelstan’s murder and vowed to drag out his suffering, cryptically adding that he is a “patient” man. He certainly is. Ragnar draws out the suffering of those who cross him, and Floki, who should be no exception. 

The disappointing event of the episode was Lagertha giving in to her lust for Kalf, a man who’s shown her no respect and stolen her earldom. Why a woman as strong as Lagertha would give into an infatuation for a man with a penchant for personal treason is suspect.

 Photo Credit: “Bates Motel”/A&E


  1. I have to be careful not to read too much because I haven't started watching Vikings yet, but I already have the DVDs. I want to finish all 7 seasons for True Blood first and I'm only on season 3. But what you wrote about Vikings has me even more interested in the show.

    1. I'm glad it peaked your interest in the show. "Vikings" is well worth the investment, as is "True Blood". Thanks for leaving a comment and taking the time to read!


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