After five seasons, Bates Motel has come to a close with mixed reviews from fans of the original Psycho, and fans of the show itself. Bates Motel kicked off on a very slippery slope because this was a prequel leading up to the events made famous by the iconic director, Alfred Hitchcock. It immediately grabbed the attention of would be fans and fans of the original story by staying true to the eerie world of Norman Bates and Mother. The show introduced the audience to a human side of the famous serial killer while throwing a curveball here and there. Now the series is over and it’s been a hell of a ride for Freddie Highmore (Norman) and Vera Farmiga (Norma/Mother).
Allow me to digress for a minute so those who may not know what I’m talking about can catch up. In the film, Psycho, Norman Bates is a lonely man who lives with his mother in a creepy house that oversees their motel. Then a famous scene happens involving a woman in a shower with a knife and Hersey’s chocolate being poured down the shower drain. The film would go on to become a phenomenon and would spawn several sequels with Anthony Perkins, then a remake starring Vince Vaughn in 1998. In 2013, A&E would bring a different version of Norman Bates to life with the help of Vera Farmiga.
The first season was focused firmly on Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates and how her dark past was somehow passed onto Norman. Slowly but surely, things become clear as Norman begins to go down his dark path that would eventually lead him to his iconic fate. Now there were some surprises thrown into the mix with the arrival of Norman’s brother, Dylan (Max Thieriot). The other addition to this crazy pot is the local sheriff, Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell). The world of Norma and Norman Bates only gets darker with each season that passes and the show did a superb job showing Norman’s “blackouts” from his point of view.
More light is brought into the dark mind of Norman that makes the audience connect with him as a person just when you start to think he’s just a savage killer. Norman is always trying to do the right thing to an extent until something happens that triggers his alternate personality and the rest is history. It’s been a long ride filled with homage to the classic and surprises that makes this series its own story that separates it from the original. The finale ends with an epic showdown between brothers when Dylan must realize the monster Norman has become due to his mental instability.
The series ended in the best way it could in my opinion. It didn’t end the way most fans of the original thought it should have ended, but everyone else seems to have accepted it. Instead of seeing a dark ending that leaves the possibility for a revival, fans see closure with a heartwarming ending that brings people together in different ways. I hope this won’t be the last time that I see Freddie Highmore because he did a fantastic job as Norman. Bates Motel was a short but sweet series that’s well worth the watch and so all I can say to close this is, “Goodbye mother.”