I am posting this behind a read more as there are spoilers for the season 2 finale of Bates Motel mentioned!
Season 2 of A&E’s “Bates Motel” has flown by, and Monday’s finale finds Norman dealing with the truth about what he’s capable of during his blackouts, Norma — who’s been keeping that knowledge from her son — dealing with a very angry Norman, and Norman’s brother Dylan dealing with the fallout of having killed drug lord Nick Ford.
Yahoo TV talked to “Bates” star Max Thieriot — who’s given an award-worthy performance as Dylan this season — about Dylan’s swift rise to power in the White Pine Bay drug trade, the self-destructive behavior Dylan’s engaged in since finding out his mom’s brother Caleb is also his father, and whether we’ve seen the last of Uncle Dad Caleb.
Dylan has found himself in a higher position than he anticipated in the local drug business. Did he want to become a power player in this business?
No. I think for Dylan, it was like he saw an opportunity to make some money when he met Ethan. He saw this window of “Hey, I can make some cash; this dude’s obviously making a lot of cash.” That was all he wanted out of it.
In the beginning, being that he came from a little bit of a rough past and had experience handling firearms and that kind of stuff, a lot of it came naturally to him. He figured out the growing aspect and a little bit of the business side, because he’s a street-smart guy and approaches the world that way. He was able to deal with his business fairly easy.
But no, I think he never intended on rising to the top. But people were getting killed, and inevitably, somebody’s going to have to [take charge]. He found himself constantly taking those roles, and he was a trustworthy employee, and continued to climb the ladder. Now he’s found himself in deeper and a lot higher up than he ever expected, and he’s got to figure out how to deal with what he’s thrown himself into.
As you said, he’s a smart, savvy guy, and he’s also much more rational than a lot of the people around him. But how much of his current circumstances are also a result of the personal drama in his life? Finding out that his uncle is also his father, because Norma was raped by her brother… not that Dylan necessarily has a death wish, but it seems he’s a little more reckless. Is that an emotional reaction to this crushing revelation?
Yeah, exactly. I think a lot of that is mainly an emotional reaction; I think he’s acting and not thinking. A situation arises, and in a sense, it’s not like he has less to live for, but he just doesn’t care as much. Because he feels like, just when he thought he was maybe starting to feel better about himself and his relationship with his family, now he’s thinking, “That was all B.S.” Like, this is what he really is and who he is, and nobody cares about him, and he’s not loved, and he feels again like he has no one. I think in the back of his mind, he’s already been through hell, so it’s like, who cares if he dies?
So he’s definitely more reckless. What’s interesting is, he’s only more reckless with his own life, not with other people’s. I think that’s also what makes him good at his job, that he’s willing to ride in the battle and go into the situation [with] guns blazing.
That led to a great scene in this season’s episode “Meltdown,” when Nick Ford threatens Dylan if he doesn’t kill Zane, but Dylan makes a point of telling him not to harm Norma, or he’ll kill him. Dylan’s relationship with Norma is very contentious, but he was very bold in standing up for her there. Has Dylan’s attitude towards Norma softened at all since he found out about his uncle/father, Caleb? Has it given him a bit more insight into her than he had before?
I do think it softened a little bit, especially when she came over to the warehouse and talked to him. I think Dylan could see that it was hurting her, that this whole situation was really getting to her, that they had to talk. Then when she kissed him goodbye… even though she didn’t say anything, and even though she does constantly try to manipulate him, I think beyond those layers, it definitely softened him towards her.
You and Vera Farmiga have special chemistry. When we talked to her earlier this season, she said she’s been especially impressed with your performance this season.
She’s so talented and an amazing actress, and an amazing woman in general. It’s a blessing and so much fun getting to work with her all the time.
Can we assume we haven’t seen the last of Caleb, or that at least that storyline is going to be revisited soon?
Yes. I love the Caleb character. He’s a great addition, and Kenny Johnson plays him so well. I don’t think we’ve seen the end of Caleb.
What can you say about the end of the season?
There is a lot of stuff that has to be dealt with now. I can’t say where we’re going to cut it off, but we’re definitely going to dive even more deeply into this war between these drug families, and into the psyche of Norman.
Does the season end with a cliffhanger?
To be totally honest, I can’t remember exactly the scene that we leave off on. But we always… we kind of have to.
“Bates Motel” was already renewed for a third season, but in the meantime, you’re going to film a History Channel miniseries, “Texas Rising,” about the beginnings of the Texas Rangers. Who do you play?
I play Jack Hays, or John Coffee Hays. He was from Tennessee, and his uncle was President Andrew Jackson. He wanted to go down to Texas and fight against Santa Anna and the Mexicans at the Alamo and showed up a little bit late and missed some of the battles, but basically ended up joining the Rangers. Sam Houston had fought with his dad. He ended up moving to San Francisco and became the first elected sheriff of San Francisco County in 1850. And he was an excellent horseback rider, so I’m trying to work on that.