After a killer first season proved “Bates Motel” is far more than a schlocky attempt at a “Psycho” prequel, we’re eager to see what the show has in store for us next.
The Season 1 finale left us with so many questions — Did Norman actually kill Miss Watson? Or is her death connected to other dangerous elements of White Pine Bay? Who was Bradley’s father having an affair with? What’s Sheriff Romero really up to? And what exactly happened in Norma’s past? — and of course the powers that be won’t give us answers, because that would spoil the fun.
Here’s what executive producer Carlton Cuse and stars Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot and Nestor Carbonell were able to tease about Season 2 before the recent “Bates Motel” event at the Paley Center in Los Angeles.
Get ready to meet more branches on the Bates family tree…
“We’ll meet some more members of the Bates family,” Cuse reveals about the plans for Season 2. “I’m not gonna hint as to who or when or what but there are more members of the family out there. [The viewers] should know who they are. It’s a very interesting tribe. There’s definitely people I want to meet as a writer.”
Could that include Norma’s monster of a brother she finally opened up about in the finale? Cuse says that adding Dylan to the Bates family in Season 1 helped expand the show beyond what everyone knows about Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film, and that’s a path the show will continue taking. “We didn’t want to just re-tell the movie,” he explains. “We said, ‘Let’s do our best version of this story,’ and that includes coming up with new characters.”
Thieriot, who made Dylan an essential part of the family in Season 1, agrees: “More members of the family would definitely be interesting. Who doesn’t want to meet a new Bates when all of them have been a little wacky up until now?”
Norman won’t become a senseless killing machine…
With Miss Watson’s murder serving as a jumping off point for Season 2, we’ll learn more about not just Norman’s guilt or innocence but also his mental state. Highmore promises “a continuation of that descent into insanity” in Season 2. “It was important not to have [Norman] wild from the start so we get to witness that transformation,” he says. “It’s a lot more intriguing and fun to do.”
That’s also what makes “Bates Motel” considerably less blood-soaked, and frankly more fun, than TV’s darker serial killer shows like “The Following” and “Hannibal.” “Maybe people expected [Norman to be a killer from the start],” Highmore allows. “Personally, I think it’s a lot more interesting having someone you root for at the start and then thinking, ‘At what point should we not be supporting this guy?'”
Expect to see a lot more of Sheriff Romero…
Now that Romero saved Norma and rid White Pine Bay of Abernathy, could their hostile relationship develop into something a little less antagonistic? “I think there’s possibilities for everything,” Carbonell says. “I don’t rule anything out, any kind of relationship.” But what he really wants in Season 2 is to find some of the cracks underneath Romero’s impenetrable armor: “You always want to see different sides to different characters and I’d love to see a vulnerability of his. I’d love to get into that. He seems to be a guy who’s pretty sure of himself, I’d love to see him off his game.”
Norma would love Norman to find love, really…
Farmiga exclaims, when asked if she thinks Norma could ever be
supportive of Norman’s romantic life. “I think more than anything she
wants Emma to be that girl. There’s the positive aspects of her
personality that Emma reminds herself of. She’s told Emma herself, ‘If I
had a girl I would her to be exactly like you.’ She recognizes her
strengths and she recognizes she cares deeply for her son and is a good
friend to him. I think [Norma] is a good reader — she can see
Just because you know “Psycho,” doesn’t mean you know “Bates Motel”…
How the show deals with Miss Watson’s murder could be a big factor in this, but Cuse believes it’s important to keep the audience guessing. “We feel like we have some leeway [to depart from the movie]. We have enough that hopefully the audience can invest in these characters and want to see what happens to them. It would be uninteresting to just literally duplicate beat for beat the ending of the movie. That wouldn’t be fun or cool. Whatever happens to them at the end will be our version of the story.”
Although, Cuse also has some words of advice for anyone hoping Norman could find some version of a happy ending: “Sometimes we don’t always get what we want in life, sadly.”