Comic-Con 2013: 'Bates Motel' Live-Blog
Time for another busy day of Comic-Con live-blogging.
Because the "I'm Just Following Orders and I Have No Immediate Superior You Can Talk To" Comic-Con fascists have placed tight restrictions on computer charging in Ballroom 20, I'm gonna be live-blogging, rather than taking notes at panels and writing later. It's just easier.
I've got "Bates Motel" now and then "True Blood," "The Vampire Diaries" and "Arrow" in the late afternoon.
But for now? Let's hear about Season 2 for our favorite Mother-Son team of Norma and Norman Bates...
10:01 a.m. We're in Room 6 a for a packed panel.
10:01 p.m. We're already cheering for Vera Farmiga's Emmy nod and she isn't even on-stage yet.
10:02 a.m. Big applause for Nestor Carbonell and Carlton Cuse and Vera Farmiga. I'm cheering loudly for Olivia Cooke. Also for Kerry Ehrin, I suppose. Freddie Highmore is a no-show.
10:03 a.m. How did Vera flesh out her character? "I think the first part of the process was to go to the Google search window of my laptop and type in 'Parents of psychopaths," she says. She says that she viewers Norma as being strong and loving and nurturing. "She's incredibly flawed. Yes, she comes with a really warped history and a lot of pain, but I think for me the approach to her is that in her defense, she's the mother of a child with mental issues. And there's no way that a parent can say, 'My child has a mental illness' without their spirit imploding."
10:05 a.m. Oh. The Freddie thing is a gimmick and we're pretending it's something they can't discuss. Cuse is hemming and hawing about "what happened." So that means... Film clip!
10:05 a.m. It's behind the scenes at Universal in the writers' room. They're pitching ideas about Norma's mother and whatnot. Freddie comes to visit, all British and polite. He tells the writers that he's getting ready to return to shoot and he wants to look at the writers' board. He discovers that Norma only has a few scenes and Vera is getting all of the good scenes. This makes Freddie a little unhappy. Cuse volunteers to take Freddie to see the Bates House on the Universal lot. Cuse is recording his "Previously on 'Bates Motel'" voiceover and he shows Freddie the new ap, which features a huge picture of Vera and a tiny picture of Freddie. He's very unhappy, Freddie is. Cuse warns him that he may drive himself psycho. They arrive at the Bates Motel house and Freddie seems entranced. "Welcome home," he says to the house. A tour bus drives by. "This will be a treat for them! I'm actually here," he says. "Be careful. It looks like Norman Bates is home," the guide says. Freddie sees a man leaving the motel and this also makes him unhappy. Very unhappy. Minutes later, he's taking a body out of the motel and throwing it in a car trunk, covered in blood. [This clip is funny, but it's WAY too long.] There's a running joke about all of the languages Freddie speaks. It was nine earlier. IT's up to 17 now. After hitting on a woman on the bus, he's taken away by security and...
10:12 a.m. Oh look! Freddie Highmore's here!
10:12 a.m. The moderator wants to know about the murder of Miss Watson in the finale. He dodges. Apparently Freddie Highmore spent his hiatus interning at a law firm in Spain? It was part of his course at Cambridge. But serious... About the murder. "It certainly sets things up nice for Season 2," Highmore says, but he admits that he doesn't know much about Season 2. He says this continues Norman's transition to both being psycho and being aware of it.
10:14 a.m. What is Max Thieriot's take on the Dylan-Bradley relationship. "As Norman's brother, I'm kinda rooting for whatever's going to keep me alive and I don't know what's going to make him turn," he says. "That's the good thing about being Norman Bates. You know you're going to be there til the end," Highmore adds.
10:15 a.m. Olivia Cooke says that she likes where things are with Emma and Norman right now. "It can't end well either way for them," she admits. "It becomes like a family show. It just becomes Emma and Norman running the hotel," Cuse jokes.
10:16 a.m. "He has a own way of dealing with the law," Carbonell says of Romero and his code. "When Carlton called and said 'Do you want to play an ageless sheriff who dies last?' I said yes," Carbonell jokes, while Cuse mentions the flashback episode for Romero. There's lots of joking about doing a Hawaii episode. You see... They worked together on "Lost."
10:18 a.m. "No one ever told us that anything had to remain," Ehrin says of what they could or couldn't change, though they wanted to keep certain things, like the look of the house/hotel. "You wouldn't want to see Norman Bates check into a split-level ranch," Cuse says. "We didn't think it would be very interesting to just do something we could never do as well as Alfred Hitchcock," Cuse says. "I think the audience has some idea of the way it's going to go," he admits, but says the way the story plays out is still unknown. "We're telling this story that people have some kind of idea 'Well, it's not going to end,' but the path there is super-fun. For us," Cuse says.
10:20 a.m. The freeway bypass will be dealt with in Season 2. "It's just entire episodes in town council meetings," Cuse says. "It's kinda a Civics lesson." Cuse jokes, "Norman's going to be doing more taxidermy, stuffing bigger animals next year," he adds.
10:21 a.m. How many more sinister industries are there in the town? "I think there were like 10,000 murders in whatever that place was where Angela Landsbury lived, so cut us some slack," Cuse cracks.
10:21 a.m. Season 2 teases: Norma's brother might show up this season. Nobody makes a noise. "Wow. That's an overwhelming response. We're going back to the city council meeting," Cuse chuckles. "There's some new romance for Norman and Norma this year. Yes. And not with each other, OK? Not yet, anyway. There's some limits," Cuse says.
10:22 a.m. Did they always know they were ending the season with that murder? No. They originally were doing six episodes leading up to Shelby's death. "It actually worked out well, because it forced us to advance the storytelling in a way faster than we expected," Cuse says.
10:24 a.m. What was filming like? Any odd stories? Cuse recalls going out with special effects guys in a boat and tossing a dummy into the water to explore sink-rates. They kept throwing bodies into the water and a kayak tour group paddled by as they were tossing and the group paddled extra fast. Cute. Vera says that when they eventually shot that scene, the boat had a leak. Freddie says that the hotel set is next to a dump and it smells. They shot in the winter the first time around and he's afraid what will happen in the summer. "Emotional scenes for that reason can be kinda easier to do. You just catch the wind," Farmiga jokes.
Much more on Page 2...