Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from previous seasons of 'Bates Motel.' We suggest you watch the entire series and catch up
As confirmed by Entertainment Weekly, #BatesMotel returns this year on February 20th at 10 p.m. ET for its fifth and (sadly) final season. With the season premiere date set, Bates Motel fans only have one question left: How will it all end?
And possibly: What will happen to Marion Crane?
For those of you unfamiliar with Bates Motel -- well shame on you. The A&E show started in 2013 and stars Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring) as Norma Bates and Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as her slightly divergent son, Norman Bates. The show, run on the helms of Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin, brings author Robert Bloch's Psycho characters to life and puts a modern taste to Alfred Hitchcock's 1960's classic film version.
To recap on last season: Norman is admitted into Pineview Mental Hospital, Norma marries Sheriff Romero to get insurance, they fall in love, Dylan and Emma start dating, Emma has lung surgery, Emma's mother comes into the picture, Norman kills Emma's mother, Dylan and Emma move to Seattle, Dr. Edwards sees Norman's "Mother" side, Chick pushes Norma to tell Romero about her brother (Caleb) raping her as a teen, Norman finds out about his mother's marriage, he leaves the hospital, Dylan investigates Norman's crimes, he and Romero try to get Norman back to Pineview, Norma ends her marriage, Romero's ex-girlfriend tells the DEA that he killed Bob Parish, and Romero goes to jail.
Did I leave anything out?
Oh, and Norman tries to commit murder-suicide by filling the house with carbon monoxide while he and his mother slept. Sheriff Romero ends up bursting through the menacing manor doors, up the stairs, and pulls the two victims out of the fumes. However, as we all know, Norma didn't make it out alive. To finish off the season, we end with Norman's disturbing (yet, oddly satisfying) act of digging up Norma's cold, rigid body and placing her rather delicately on the sofa, super gluing her eyes open for good measure.
So, needless to say, Bates Motel is shaping up to be as unpredictably horrific as we hoped (thanks, writers). Adding to the show's odd and unprecedented manner, the executives announced over the summer that pop singer, #Rihanna, would play the coveted role of Marion Crane in season 5.
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Whether you're a fan of this casting choice or not, it does beg the question: What will happen to Marion at the show's finale?
I know what you're thinking. She dies, of course, you'll say. It wouldn't be a true mark of Psycho without the shower scene. Well, hear me out guys. What if Marion doesn't die at the end at all? Let's evaluate what we know:
Bates Motel Writers Are Ruthless
Besides a phenomenal, award-winning cast, Bates Motel is fashioned with some of today's best television writers. If you've watched the series in its entirety, you have been pleasantly surprised by how ruthless the writers are when steering this storyline and how even the most charismatic characters aren't safe (RIP Blaire Watson). With this in mind, it seems plausible that Marion Crane's character will have a unique twist to it.
In an interview earlier in 2016, show creator Carlton Cuse said,
“The way in which [Norman] acts and the events in the story will not be the same as the movie,” the exec producer said. “They will cross paths with some of the events in the movie and lead to an ultimate resolution. What that resolution is and how that plays out is something that will be not disconnected to the movie ‘Psycho’ but will be very much our own story in the same way the entire series has been.” -Cuse via The Hollywood Reporter
The showrunner has also stated they will incorporate some events from the original films, but it would be, "simply boring to just recreate Psycho." With that being said, co-creator Kerry Ehrin also revealed to Yahoo TV:
"The episodes that she’s (Rihanna) in were very much designed to be like a collision between Psycho and Bates Motel, and, really, it’s the first and only time we’ve ever truly stepped into Psycho."
Some of the stars of the show also have a say in how the series plays out. Freddie Highmore (Norman), Max Thieriot (Dylan) and Nestor Carbonell (Romero) are all making their directorial debut in Bates Motel's finale season. There's no telling what actions they took to develop new ideas for the show.
Check out the Bates Motel's original auditions below:
Rihanna As Marion Crane
Rihanna isn't known for posing in many stellar roles, so her portrayal of an iconic character such as Marion holds a heavy expectation. That being said, I think there is a reason for this casting choice. Based on her previous roles, I think Rihanna will bring a bold flavor to Marion Crane. If it holds true to the original story, Marion will be a runaway or criminal of some sort. She finds the seemingly quaint luxury of Bates Motel and uses it as her hideaway. Marion's character could be the shock factor that Norman needs in his life to stay balanced. I wouldn't even be surprised if a sexual relationship emerges between the two.
Throughout the season, Rihanna's character could possibly lead to a somewhat normal life for Norman, in the eyes of everyone watching anyway. No doubt that Romero will use what he knows about Norman to get revenge on Norma's death (and as a way to get out of his stick with the DEA). Marion will be tough and it will intrigue Norman at first, but eventually she will be a threat. The real question is, who will make it out on top? Perhaps it will be someone else who pulls back the curtain in that iconic shower scene (because that scene has to happen).
'Bates Motel' is Horrifically Unpredictable
This show has a knack for being unpredictable. I can see the writers doing whatever it takes to pull the most unforeseeable act, especially in terms to how the shower scene plays out. Norma Bates is returning as well, as a part of Norman's damaged psyche. Yet, somehow, Ehrin describes the upcoming season to Yahoo TV as being the funniest one yet, with "the most dark comedy." We're promised to see even more of Farmiga, perhaps highlighting the Mother we know from Psycho.
It seems that for a show with such a notorious run of being dubious and a bit clandestine, to dub Marion Crane as ill-fated seems to be a premature mark. It's what we all expected, and I'm expecting the unexpected from this show. I mean who else would have predicted that Dylan was the bastard child of two siblings, or Dr. Edwards would be able to coax Norman's Mother persona out in to the open?
So, I ask again: What will happen to Marion Crane in Bates Motel's season five finale? Will one of the show's final shots be an echo of the screeching shower scene? Or will something new come into play? An impossible, but sensible relationship between Norman and Marion or perhaps Dylan's investigation into his brother's actions are possible factors that could lead to a different ending than the one we expect based off of Psycho. And judging by its previous seasons, there's nothing too malicious that this show can't pull off with unexpected glory.
Despite what may happen Ehrin has this to promise about the series ending:
"It’s going to be cathartic as s**t. Bring your tissues."
Find out how it all plays out on February 20th on A&E.
Which Character Won't Make It To The Series Finale?
[Sources: Entertainment Weekly, Movie Pilot, Yahoo TV, Hollywood Reporter]