In “Bates Motel” Season 2, the town of White Pine Bay will become a much bigger character on the show. Though viewers realized some of the sinister nature of its inhabitants and the drug trade in the show’s first season, those elements will come to the forefront this year.
Because of that, the drama at home with Norma and Norman Bates will be balanced with the growing presence of White Pine Bay’s crime world. Many of Season 2’s new characters come from the drug families, and their involvement in the main “Bates Motel” storylines will greatly affect all of the main characters on the show.
“The whole drug world will open up this season. The whole underbelly will be exposed,” Nestor Carbonell, who plays Sheriff Romero, tells Zap2it at the show’s red-carpet premiere. “We’ll really get to see how it works, how it’s sustained, and how I navigate those waters. What goes down is pretty extraordinary. It will rock everyone’s world in the town.”
One of the new characters introduced in the premiere is Michael O’Neill’s Nick Ford, the father of the late Miss Watson. O’Neill describes him as a “good ally” and “not a very good enemy to have” who also is the head of a rival drug family.
“The poor Bates, they couldn’t have picked a worse town to come to. With their pathology, it’s a horrible place for them to land,” he says. “Logging has gone away, and what’s come in to take its place is the marijuana industry. There’s a tacit understanding that that’s the economy, and so people look the other way. But like all things that live in the shadows, it’s hard to keep a lid on them, and that’s part of my job.”
Kathleen Robertson, who plays Jodi Wilson, is another Season 2 newcomer who runs a drug family in White Pine Bay. She teases she has many scenes with Max Thieriot’s Dylan, though she couldn’t give away much about her character.
“She’s a very complicated, messed up woman, and that’s my favorite kind of character to play,” Robertson says. “[The drug trade] is very, very sort of central to the second season. It’s essentially how the town runs and how the town functions.”
It was Dylan who initially brought viewers into the dark underbelly of White Pine Bay in Season 1, and Thieriot always knew it was a world that would be explored more in Season 2.
“I think I knew that it was going to be a pretty big element of the show,” he says. “I didn’t realize it was going to be as big of a part of Dylan’s storyline.”
For Carbonell, the ramped up drug storyline puts Romero in the middle of a rock and a hard place.
“His arc this whole season is at once sort of dealing with the drug trade, navigating his moral center between having to allow that to happen on some level because it sustains the town, and on the other hand not allowing rampant murder to happen either,” he says. “Along with that comes Norman Bates, who I’m starting to suspect knows more than he says, and that’s throwing everything for a loop — that, and I’m starting to have some empathetic feelings for him and his mother.”
So could this drug trade and the rival families have something to do with Miss Watson’s murder, and could Norman’s involvement not be as cut and dry as it once seemed to be? Maybe, says Carbonell.
“There are a number of other suspects, one in particular that we will seen shortly,” he teases. “Certainly [Romero is] suspicious now of what Norman has done, and whether he believes Norman. He certainly doesn’t think what he’s doing is right.”
“Bates Motel” Season 2 premieres Monday (March 3) at 9 p.m. ET/PT on A&E.