Cast: Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot
Release Date: Own It Today On Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
“Bates Motel” is a contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film “Psycho,” and gives a portrayal of how Norman Bates’ (Freddie Highmore) psyche unravels through his teenage years. Fans discover the dark, twisted backstory of Norman Bates and how deeply intricate his relationship with his mother, Norma (Vera Farmiga), truly is.
Warning: This review contains heavy spoilers from Season One as well as some potential spoilers from Season Two!!
For those who may not already be aware, ‘Bates Motel’ serves as a contemporary prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘Psycho’ and tells the story of a young Norman Bates and his mother Nora as they first purchase the hotel and begin operating it. The second season follows the events occurring in the season one finale; Norman arriving home after blacking out to find out that Miss Watson had been killed, extremely close to the last time he himself was with her which could make him a potential person of interest. As Norma begins to worry more than ever about Norman’s blackout’s and the unknown consequences that are a result of them, she tries harder than ever to protect Norman which only results in pushing him farther away and he ends up befriending a troubled girl he’s just met.
Meanwhile Norman’s brother Dylan is working full time and moving his way up in the weed business so prominent in the town but when a new player is brought in to run the area things start getting out of hand. Soon Dylan must decide whether he should stay quiet and let events play out as they or if he should try to intervene, although that could cause even more trouble for him if he doesn’t play his cards right. That’s only the raw basics of where things pick up in Season Two and trust me, there’s plenty of intense excitement and of course a few twists and turns along the way.
The second season of ‘Bates Motel’ only improves on this already spectacular series and delivers in every way. While the first season takes a fair amount of time to catch its footing and really build into something fantastic and intensely exciting, the second season manages to pick up with as well as keep to that level of intensity and insanity; impressively maintaining it throughout the entirety of the season’s ten episodes. It’s obvious that this great series has officially worked out the kinks and found a pattern that really works and Season Two is the defining season of ‘Bates Motel’ so far if you ask me; I can’t wait to see what the next season might bring to the table.
Fans of the series will without question want to make certain to pick up ‘Bates Motel: Season Two’ on Blu-Ray to add to their collections. It includes all ten episodes from the second season in the best video and audio quality you’ll find. It also includes Deleted Scenes on numerous episodes in addition to some other nice bonus goodies (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) making this a must own for the fans.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Bates Motel: Season Two’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the second seasons episodes. The video presentation on the episodes looks fantastic here, far superior to the HD broadcasts in which the season was initially aired. All of the colors, shapes and movement look solid and smooth, with no visible artifacts or pixilation to speak of throughout. No notable faults could be found within on my end and I’m pretty confident that fans of the series will be extremely satisfied with these high definition video presentations.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on all 10 Season Two episodes. These lossless multichannel soundtracks sound pretty wonderful themselves, perfectly accentuating the series’ score and eerie effects, in addition to really bringing you into the middle of the more intense or action packed sequences. As far as TV produced soundtracks go, ‘Bates Motel’ is a step above the majority, sounding discrete and smooth at all points. These DTS-HD MA tracks get full points and just as with the video, they should leave the fans pretty ecstatic.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Bates Motel: Season Two’ also includes some bonus content the fellow fans of the series will surely enjoy. Included on the release are Deleted Scenes for a number of the season’s episodes; ‘Origins of a Psycho: Inside Bates Motel Featurette; as well as two ‘Bates Motel: After Hours’ episodes featuring cast member interviews and discussions; one that aired following the season two premiere, the other following the season finale.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Own ‘Bates Motel: Season Two’ today on Blu-ray & DVD from A&E & Universal Home Entertainment.