Bates Motel Season 2 Episode 1 “Gone But Not Forgotten” Recap

by Colleen Conway

Bates Motel, Season 2, Episode 1: “Gone But Not Forgotten”
Recap by: Lady Bastard

Synopsis: Norman is consumed by the unsolved murder of Miss Watson, Norma fights the progress of the bypass during a boom in her motel business, Bradley breaks all of the rules to find her father’s killer

Summary with SPOILERS: Bates Motel returns on the stormy next morning after Season One’s finale with the news of Blair Watson’s brutal murder.  Norman is devastated with no memory of the night before and wails awkwardly at the graveside service.  Bradley Martin drives drunken and recklessly with her dead father’s love letters to “B” on the passenger’s seat before deciding to take a leap off the bridge.

Fast forward 4 months…Norma appears with a flippy new bob and the motel is bustling with happy vacationers frolicking in the sunshine.  Norman is dissecting and stuffing a beaver, much to Norma’s disgust.  Emma mans the motel front desk, still pining for Norman and jealous of his devotion to a recovering Bradley.

Norman’s obsession with Miss Watson’s death drills down his detachment from reality although we begin to have doubts ourselves about the role he played in her murder as the show rolls on.  When the new bypass breaks ground, threatening Norma’s new success, she flips out at the council meeting, calls the chair a “dick” and wonders aloud why the town isn’t talking about the fact that the “fancy town is run on drug money”.

Upon her release from the mental hospital, Bradley snoops around for answers about her father’s past and death, igniting a new level of questionable loyalty from Norman. When Gil suggests sexual favors in exchange for information about her dad, Bradley pretends to be on board and shoots his face off while on her knees…the ultimate blowjob.

Opinion:  The Season 2 premiere of Bates Motel focuses on the secondary characters that will most likely carry us into the new season: Bradley Martin, Blair Watson, Mystery Mourner.  Outside of Norman and Norma, our main portals into the Bates world were mostly silent…..Dylan, Emma, Sheriff Romero.  The stigma of the rape/murder motel is alive and well at the council meeting as is the unnatural and disconcerting nature of Norman.  Norman sobs more than usual and is repeatedly accused of being an abnormal teen by both his mother and Sheriff Romero. We are once again treated to Norma’s delicious blend of beauty and batshit crazy.  The inappropriate crossing of familial boundaries is expanded in the Season Two premiere with over-the-top Norma/Norman snuggling, Norman’s Miss Watson sexual hallucinations and the grotesque (albeit short-lived) physical exchange between Bradley and Gil.

I respect the attention given to the side stories and alternate characters, I miss the intimate dynamics of the main characters and I undoubtedly have my DVR set for next Monday at 9 pm EST.  

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