In 'Bates Motel' Season 2, Here's What You Can Look Forward To

It's been a long time, but it's finally time to check back in to A&E drama Bates Motel. Season 2 of Bates Motel premieres March 3, and if the trailer is any indication, the sophomore season will be even grittier and darker than the show's first.

For those of you who haven't watched this contemporary prequel to Hitchcock's famous film Psycho, the show centers on the ill-fated relationship between a motel-owning mother and her son. Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) is the shy, sweet son of Norma Bates (Vera Farmiga), a woman with a dark past and more emotional baggage than she can keep hidden. High schooler Norman loves his mother, and seems like a genuinely good kid, which is unfortunate given that we know Norman and Norma's eventual fate. (Spoiler alert: Norman murders — and then, impersonates — Norma). But while Norman seems sweet, he's got a side of his personality that is hidden from even himself — Norman killed his father while he was in a dissociative state and doesn't remember doing so.

Norma and Norman move to White Pine Bay after the death of Norman's father, where they buy the famous Bates Motel and begin to "start over" in their new town. Unfortunately, trouble follows the Bates family. In the very first episode we see Norma kill the former motel owner after he attacks and rapes her — and helps Norman cover up the crime by disposing of the body. Norma's son and Norman's half-brother Dylan (Max Thierot) also brews trouble in White Pine Bay when he becomes entangled in the drug industry that keeps the small town afloat.

If only drugs were the only secret that White Pine Bay was keeping under wraps. White Pine Bay is a small town with big secrets, and Norma and Norman have moved into its hub of criminal activity. It turns out that the motel that Norma bought used to be a front for a human trafficking ring that Norma's new boyfriend — a cop, no less — happens to be a part of. Norma spends the rest of the season keeping the ringleader of the town away from her and her family... until the town Sheriff finally kills him, consequence-free. Because in a town without rules, why play by them?

But while the town is full of crime and sketchy characters, the real person we are concerned about is Highmore's Norman. Like Norma, this kid has buckets upon buckets of issues. Some of them are normal, like, for example, falling in love with the beautiful Bradley (Nicola Peltz) who turns out to have a boyfriend. Some of them are a little more dangerous, like the fact that he is prone to blackouts and random, forgotten bursts of violence, sometimes against members of his own family and friends.

This is a problem given the circumstances of the season finale. After a school dance, Norman goes to his pretty teacher, Miss Watson's, house. We then see Norman back at his home, completely blacked out... and then see Miss Watson's body, throat slashed, on the floor of her bedroom.

Did Norman kill his teacher, or is she another one of White Pine Bay's victims? That's where we'll pick up when Bates Motel returns, and we think that the show has a few more secrets to unbury. Bates Motel works because it has layers and layers of darkness that we slowly uncover, all while rooting for a protagonist whom we know will succumb to it in the end — if he hasn't already — and one who will be the victim of that darkness. I'm excited to see where the Bates family — and this creepy little town — will go come March 3.

Until then, check out the trailer for Season 2, and never, ever be able to listen to "Mr. Sandman" in the same way again.

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Images: A&E