Gather your personal belongings and get ready for check out. Bates Motel is turning the lights out for good Monday night. After carefully shuffling characters around all season, the White Pine Gang is finally back together, headed toward a final showdown. That much seems inevitable, so here are 8 questions Bates Motel should/could/might also address:
Will Norman die? I already speculated my theory on this. I think Bates Motel has to end with Norman’s death, if only to finally reunite him with Norma. A lifetime of medicated imprisonment seems too cruel, despite his crimes. Norman’s death would offer some sort of justice and closure for those left behind. It’s mostly a matter of how. Again, my theory is that he dies trying to rid himself of the more villainous “Mother”.
Are there any more victims? The Dr. Edwards twist really caught me off guard, which has me wondering if there’s anyone else we haven’t considered. No main characters are unaccounted for, but could there be another twist lurking in Norman’s past? And would it even matter at this point? Norman’s walking a fine line of being a fairly terrible person, who still somehow generates sympathy. Any more unpacked baggage in his past could change how we feel about him in the end.
Will Dylan and Emma have a happy ending? There seems to be some doubt about these two going forward, which I’m not totally buying. Sure, finding out your brother-in-law killed your mother is a hard pill to swallow. But he also killed Dylan’s too. Not to be too glib about that, but at least they each know what the other is going through. Emma’s visitation with Norman/Mother likely went a long way towards healing, since the sweet Norman she knew is clearly not running that particular show anymore.
Will Norman admit to killing Norma? Could this realization be what finally breaks Norman? His season-long resistance to even accepting her death created this iteration of Mother. What could realizing he did it do to his brain? An admission would finally give the long-suffering Norma some justice in her life (er… death), and vindication for Romero and Dylan.
Will there be a time jump? Bates Motel has always excelled at the little ways it plays with time. From the look of the house, costuming, Norman’s stuck-in-time awkwardness, time has always contributed to the mood of the show, reinforcing just how out of step Norma and Norman can be, while winking at the world of Psycho. While a time jump would be way less subtle, it could be a handy trick to see how Monday night’s survivors (if any) fare.
Are we done with Psycho? The little nods towards Psycho have always been a fun Easter egg game for Bates Motel. From the glimpses of Norma in the window, shots of the staircase, a very Hitchockian cameo by Carlton Cuse himself, Bates Motel has always winked at Psycho while remaining very much its own story. Could the finale pull more inspiration from its source material? Unless Norman ends up imprisoned, fully taken over by Mother, it probably won’t happen. But there still will be the reveal of Norma’s body and the possibility of one more murder in the house. (Stay safe, Sheriff Greene)
What about Chick’s book? The novel Psycho, was at least nominally inspired by true events, which in turn inspired the movie, which in turn inspired Bates Motel, which features a local writer documenting true crime. So to complete this mind-bending circle, Chick’s book has to be discovered and published by somebody. But who?
Whatever happened to “We all go a little mad sometime”? Perhaps the most famous line in Psycho, I can’t recall if it was ever directly used in Bates Motel. Could they have been waiting for the closing moments? It’s now or never…