Despite the something of a cliffhanger ending of “Bates Motel” Season 1, the second season premiere didn’t pick up with an easy resolution of Miss Watson’s death. Instead, the show presented something much more interesting: Bradley (Nicola Peltz) the killer.
“There was a little bit of an instinct to not move away from Miss Watson, but not to go full steam ahead into it, for a couple of reasons,” executive producer Kerry Ehrin tells Zap2it. “We didn’t want it to feel like all of the sudden it was ‘CSI.’ Yes, it is a murder — we think — but in the world of ‘Bates Motel,’ it seems more interesting and appropriate to kind of give that story the slow burn and to kind of tell it a little more through Norman’s point of view instead of through the law’s point of view. That was the goal.”
The decision to have Bradley go so dark in Season 2 right from the get-go was based on her sharp downward trajectory at the end of Season 1. The Season 2 premiere, “Gone But Not Forgotten,” starts with Bradley trying and failing to commit suicide and ends with her shooting Gil over the role he had in her father’s death. It’s certainly a big departure from the Bradley viewers first met in Season 1.
“We also got excited about this idea that Bradley had kind of lost it. Given how all the stresses built up on her character over the last season up to the point where she realized hat her dad was someone she didn’t even know, that she kind of had just been living a lie, and had no awareness of it,” Ehrin explains. “All that, combined with losing her dad and everything just kind of fell down on her and she kind of loses it. We got excited about that and also wanting to kind of take our time a little bit with the Miss Watson of it, and unravel it in a way that we could kind of savor it.”
Don’t expect Norman to be turned off by the fact that Bradley now has blood on her hands, even though he doesn’t realize that he also is a murderer.
“For Norman, he associates love and certainly sex with abject destruction and chaos, and I think this is part of that,” Ehrin says. “I think Bradley will always be to him this sort of idyllic Grace Kelly figure. He has her on such a pedestal, she’s not even really real to him, and I think the fact that she left in such a tragic but kind of a romantic way is going to stick with him.”
“Bates Motel” airs Mondays on A&E at 9 p.m. ET/PT.