A&E's "Bates Motel" begins what should be a pivotal third season on Monday (March 9) night.
Series creators Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin have always approached the "Psycho" prequel as a finite piece of storytelling and Ehrin tells me that the plan is still for "Bates Motel" to be a five-season arc.
Presumably -- but not necessarily, since Ehrin and Cuse retain a cone of spoiler silence -- that's a five-season arc from Norma and Norman Bates' arrival in White Pine Bay through to the events that are implied took place before Marion Crane hit the road with $40,000 of somebody else's money and sought refuge from the rain in Bates Motel.
"Bates Motel" started off in a dark place, ended the first season with a murder and the second season only added torque to the twisty dynamic between Norman and Norma. In Season 2, we had unearthed secrets of incest, an all-out drug war and increased realizations from both Norman and Norma that Norman goes a little mad sometimes and bad things happen.
So where does that leave us in Season 3?
Don't expect too many future-centric details from Ehrin, but when I chatted with the "Moonlighting" and "Friday Night Lights" veteran, she was more than happy to talk about where we left things in Season 2 and how the dynamics have changed as we look forward. We chatted a lot about Norma's split desire to protect her son and maybe also to protect herself given what she now knows about Norman. We discussed Norman's rather eerie success with the ladies. And we talked about Dylan's importance to the storytelling and how actual marijuana laws in the state of Oregon have impacted "Bates Motel" storytelling.
The interview should whet your appetite for Monday's premiere without spoiling anything.
So check out the full Q&A and also check out my gallery of snapshots from the Vancouver set of "Bates Motel" at the bottom of the story...