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CMI On TV – ‘Bates Motel’ Sex Scenes Push TV-14 Rating

Norman hooks up in high school.

It is one thing to imply sex between minors in a story – and quite another to show us that it’s on the minds of, well, just about everyone. At two different points in “Bates Motel” this week, a scantily clad Norman and Bradley (a girl) are shown engaging in aggressive foreplay.

Both scenes clash uncomfortably with Norman’s character, bringing out a dark, perverted side we’ve haven’t seen much of so far in “Bates Motel.” Worse, they push the envelope of the show’s TV-14 rating. In a show that’s supposed to be acceptable for 14-year-olds to watch, sex scenes between 17-year-old characters are sick and completely out of place.

The first time occurs as part of a wet dream Norman had. Shirtless, he and a scantily-clad Bradley make out in bed. Thankfully, Norman’s mother interrupts the scene by waking him up.

Later, Norman’s mother Norma pries into his love life by spending time with Norman's friend Emma, who shows her who Bradley is. Immediately Norma goes into a steamy flashback of a shirtless Norman and Bradley writhing in ecstasy.

However, despite the needlessly explicit scenes, Norman ends up learning a hard lesson about the dangers of sex outside of a clearly defined relationship (namely, marriage). At the end of the episode, Bradley utterly rejects him when he talks with her to try to define their relationship. She doesn’t know what that one-night stand was, she says, but she’s sorry. 

Norman responds by channeling the pain into a heartbroken rage. For a moment he looks about ready to rip her head off.

Pro tip for the kids out there: don’t sleep with a grieving high school girl in the first place.