Review: ‘Bates Motel’ checks out after five season run

Marion, played by Rihanna, in "Bates Motel".  (Bates Motel on A%E/Facebook) 

Marion, played by Rihanna, in "Bates Motel".  (Bates Motel on A%E/Facebook) 

After four years, the season finale of “Bates Motel” aired Monday night and fans will surely not be disappointed.

The series originally premiered on March 18, 2013 and is a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film “Psycho,” starring Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates and Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates.

The show centers within the fictional town of White Pine Bay, Oregon, unlike the movie’s setting in California.  

Most of the series follows a much different storyline than “Psycho,” but does offer its own take on the classic scenes, like the infamous shower one in season five, episode six.

Season five has definitively been the most dark and action packed of them all, with Norman’s split personality and mental illness on full display.

To recap the season for those that haven’t been keeping up, it picks up two years after the death of Norma. Norman lives alone at the motel, but believes his mother is still alive and faked her death.  Dylan and Emma have a baby and are living in Seattle, where they have been to avoid the drama.

Romero is in prison and sends a hit-man for Norman, but Norman ends up killing the man. After shopping for paint in a local store, Norman meets the owner Madeleine Loomis who strongly resembles his mother. Romero ends up getting granted a prison transfer; upon doing so he escapes and is out to get revenge against Norman. Dylan finds out about Norma’s death and comes to White Pine Bay.

Madeleine and Norman become friends, and she opens up to him about her marital problems. Her husband, Sam, has been cheating on her while he’s been away on business in Seattle with Marion, played by Rihanna. Marion comes to the Bates Motel to be with Sam, but he isn’t there. Norman gives her his home address and both Marion and Madeleine find out about each other. Madeline kicks Sam out and Marion leaves town. Sam goes back to the motel to wait for Marion, but is too late and he ends up getting killed by Norman.

In episode seven, Norman dials 911 after an altercation with Dylan, and he confesses to killing Sam, which sparks an immediate arrest and investigation into the Bates Motel property and surrounding area. When two more bodies are found, Norman continues to get charged with their murders. Dylan is at a crossroads with his family and relationship, stuck between being by his brother’s side or there for his wife after she finds out that Norman killed her mother.

Last week’s episode focused on Norman’s preliminary hearing and attorney suggesting he enters an insanity plea. It ended with Romero going to the Sherriff station and taking Regina, the secretary, hostage and forcing the guards to release Norman who is locked up there. Romero forces Regina and Norman into a car and demands to be taken to Norma’s body.

The final episode, called “The Cord,” got right to the action. Within the first 10 minutes of starting, Norman took Romero to Norma’s body. An altercation, of course, erupts between the two of them. Romero knocks Norman out, but to no surprise Norman gets up and ambushes him from behind, pulls the gun out of Romero’s pocket and shoots him dead.

Norman wakes up and has delusions of the trip he first made with his mother to Oregon and thinks he’s reliving it. He ends up back at the motel and cleans himself up. A mother, to no surprise who looks like his own, checks in with her two kids, one of whom is named Dylan. This sparks Norman to call up his brother and apologize for everything, inviting him to dinner at the motel “with mother” to be a family again. Dylan, knowing that he’s having another hallucination, drives over.

As soon as Dylan gets to the motel, he tells the family that checked in to leave immediately and heads up to the house with a gun. When he gets inside Norman has Norma’s dead body seated at the table, and yells at him to live in the real world and that he needs to get help.

Norman pulls a knife on Dylan and tells him he leaves him with no choice for threatening to take him away “from mother.” Dylan has no other option but to shoot Norman, and he does. As Norman is dying in Dylan’s arm he sees a light in the middle of the woods and runs into the arm of his Norma. Being able to stay with his mother forever, his last words to Dylan are “thank you.”

The show ends with the Sheriff of White Pine Bay finding Romero’s body, the motel for sale and Emma, Dylan and their daughter, who is much older now, together happy and smiling.

After five seasons of the show being successful, it was time for it to finally come to an end. The worst thing that happens with a successful series is when producers continue to push out seasons and drag it out to the point of it not even being enjoyable when it does come to an end. The producers of “Bates Motel,” however, knew to avoid this. As a fan of the show for the past few years, this is the kind of ending that fans wanted to finally cut the cord.


Angie DeRosa is the life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at angelina.derosa@uconn.edu.  She tweets @theangiederosa.