Michael Vartan, Vera Farmiga

What's this? Norma Bates (Vera Farmiga) smiling and appearing genuinely happy? That's right. The perpetually unlucky-in-love motel proprietress finally lands the affection of a decent gentleman during Bates Motel's second season (premiering March 3 on A&E). And not just any man, but Alias veteran Michael Vartan, who joins the spooky show in its third episode as the recently-divorced George. "He's everything she ever hoped for in a man," Farmiga says.

"She's finally finding some stability with a partner after a pretty bad track record," Vartan says of Norma's new romance. "Hopefully she won't mess it up." The two meet at a party thrown by George's sister, who's trying to play matchmaker. "He is immediately taken by Norma and is very intrigued by how mysterious she is," Vartan says. "We go on a double date with the sister and her husband, and Norma struggles to fit in."

Vartan, a fan of the twisted series, naturally assumed the worst about George: "Before I accepted the job, I asked the producers, 'Be honest with me. He's going to turn out to be a complete psycho, right?' And they said, 'Sorry. He's just a really nice guy with no weird skeletons in his closet.'"

That doesn't mean there aren't a few significant questions that need answering. "I know George lives in a gigantic house and has a lot of money, but I never found out his last name or what he does for a living," says Vartan. "So stay tuned to see if Norma's happiness collapses."

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