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Binge-worthy thriller, “The Bates Motel”

Bree Collier, Staff Writer

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“Bates Motel” is a thriller and psychological horror series about Norman Bates, the character from the popular 1960 movie Psycho, and his backstory. “Bates Motel” first aired on A&E on March 18, 2013 and wrapped up its fifth and final season in April of 2017. The show can still be streamed from the beginning from Netflix.

The series starts off with the graphic death of Norma Bates’ husband. A little while later, she and her son Norman start a ‘new’ life in Oregon, and Norma purchases a motel for her and her son to work at. Her son starts school, meeting many new people.

Soon after, Norman begins to have irregular blackouts, possibly placing him and others in danger. Norma decides to ignore his blackouts and strange behavior. Over the next seasons, Norman gradually changes from a strange teenaged boy into the well-known murderous character from the movie.

Scott Face, guidance counselor, favors the second season of “Bates Motel” because it makes people question whether Norman’s sanity and personality have changed since the first season or not.

Season four is the preferred season of Mrs. Saunders, because Norman Bates begins to demonstrate similar behaviors to Norman Bates from Psycho. It’s this season where he reaches his tipping point, which is what she had been waiting for.

The characters in “Bates Motel” are unique, with each having their own backstory. For example, Norman Bates, the main character played by Freddie Highmore, was described as a “sweet but troubled kid.” This is demonstrated by the unusual closeness he shared with his mother. And that starts to show in further seasons when Norman’s unhealthy relationship with his mother makes him actually believe he is his mother.

Another main character is Norma Bates, who is played by Vera Farmiga. Norman and Dylan’s mother, she grew up in a bad household, which becomes central to the plot in season 3, and she had a series of bad relationships.  Her closeness to Norman results from these issues.

There are a lot of side characters that are important, but two teachers who are fans of the show, Mrs. Saunders and Mr. Face, expressed their favorites. Mrs. Saunders enjoys the character Alex Romero, who is the town sherriff played by Nestor Carbonell. She likes that it’s never really clear in the opening seasons whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy. But Mr. Face likes Dylan Massett, played by Max Thieriot, because he the most sane in his family. His character gains the audience’s sympathy because he is often overlooked and tries to do the right thing, even in the midst of family chaos.

For those who like psychological thrillers, mysterious plot lines, or prequels, check out this dark drama from its very first episode.

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Binge-worthy thriller, “The Bates Motel”