The time has come to pack our bags and check out of the Bates Motel. The highly anticipated finale of the #horror series aired on A&E on April 24th, and as expected, viewers have a lot to say about it. The end of the series made us emotional and still longing for more, but was it the finale we deserved after investing five years into this show?
Before we get into some hefty spoilers, this was a damn good finale. If you've somehow managed to get this far without watching #BatesMotel, I highly recommend checking it out. Especially now that we have seen how it all ends, I can confidently tell anyone that they will be happy with this modern adaptation of Psycho from start to finish.
If you haven't watched the finale (or the series) yet, proceed with caution because this article contains full spoilers.
What Went Down In The 'Bates Motel' Finale?
The finale picks up where we left off with the previous episode: Norman and Regina have been kidnapped by Alex Romero. They both cooperate, and after Romero allows Regina to leave, Norman does as he is told and leads Romero to where he's hidden Norma's body in the woods. Back at the sheriff's station, Sheriff Greene informs Dylan that Norman and Regina were taken hostage, and her main priority is to get Regina back alive; she doesn't necessarily care what happens to Norman.
After a quick altercation where Romero beats Norman fairly severely, Norman takes advantage of Romero's weakness and bashes his head with a rock. Obtaining Romero's gun, Norman shoots and kills Romero. He is promptly visited by a vision of his mother, Norma, where she tells him it's time for her to leave because there is nothing left for her to protect him from.
Norman's psyche reverts back to the day Norma told him they were leaving Arizona to move to White Pine Bay, and he takes Norma's body back to the house and immediately reopens the Bates Motel and checks in a woman with two young sons. Upon returning to the motel, Norman calls Dylan and invites him to dinner, as if they hadn't seen each other since the move from Arizona, claiming to not know who Alex Romero was.
Dylan goes to meet Norman for dinner (with a gun he'd obtained from a former colleague) and confronts Norman about his ongoing fantasy. After seeing Norma's dead body sitting at the dinner table, Norman breaks down the facade a bit and tells Dylan that he just wants to be with Norma and that he thought if he believed hard enough, he could make it happen.
In the end, Norman moves on Dylan with a knife and is fatally shot by Dylan. The episode ends with Norman's corpse being wheeled out in a body bag, and we are fast-forwarded to see Dylan and Emma still married with their child, new owners taking over the Bates Motel, with Norma and Norman resting together in the White Pine Bay cemetery.
Did We Get Any Cliffhangers Or Burning Leftover Questions?
To my surprise, we don't really have a lot of cliffhangers to talk about. While a lot of #television finales leave viewers with more questions than answers, I am happy with the amount of closure we got with Bates Motel.
Of course, there are questions that we can sit on regarding the fifth season as a whole (as well as the finale), but they did a pretty good job with wrapping everything up. The questions we could ask, or wonder about:
- Did police ever discover or track down Marion Crane?
- Better yet, did Marion see the news from White Pine Bay and discover that Norman had killed Sam Loomis and other motel guests?
- How did Dylan get away with killing Norman with an unregistered (and by all means illegal) gun that he shouldn't have had on him?
- Was Dylan cleared of Norman's murder due to self-defense? Actually, was Dylan charged at all for Norman's death?
- What happened to Madeleine Loomis after Sam's death?
- Did the police ever discover that Maggie had hidden Romero?
- How, or why, were there no officers to monitor or check the Bates Motel to see if Norman returned there, with or without Romero? Even after Sheriff Greene ordered officers to search?
Most Importantly, Was It A Good Finale?
For me personally, I felt that this was the perfect finale for an amazing series. Unlike other shows, the finale gave viewers a sense of closure in the midst of tragedy, and it did a good job with making us feel like all of the events of the past five seasons had meaning. Nothing happened just because they could do it, and in the end, they didn't just create a carbon copy of the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho.
Like the rest of the series, the finale of Bates Motel forged its own path and managed to wrap up the series with its own style and originality. Even though we might have felt the changes to the original Psycho story might have been a bit of a misstep, the final season as a whole was what viewers deserved to see. We saw the true, disturbing nature of Norman's personality, and the way Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga teamed up to portray his mental state was ridiculously impressive.
Fans got what we had been waiting years to see. Although we might have moments where we wanted more or wished something could have ended differently, we got the right finale. Given the changes from the original story, I don't think the showrunners could have ended the series as well as they did if they had kept Norman alive.
Sending Norman back to Pineview (or to prison) wouldn't have fit the story. The only way he could be happy and in his right mind was to be with Norma in death, and that is exactly what he (and we) got. I wouldn't have it any other way.