Get ready to go psycho over the premiere of the final season of “Bates Motel.” “Bates Motel” deals with the life of Norman Bates prior to the movie “Psycho,” where he is a teenager living with his mother, Norma. The new season of the A&E hit series premiered on Monday, Feb. 20 and is in the midst of the final developmental arc of Norman Bates as he becomes a fully realized murderer.
The story picks up two years after Norman (Freddie Highmore) kills Norma (Vera Farmiga.) Norman has been running the motel normally, but once he goes up to the house in the season premiere, things are not as they seem. Norman is prone to blackouts, where he does not remember his actions, which sometimes include murder. His blackouts, which have been prevalent since he was young, worsen and become more frequent. He sees Norma around the house and believes that, to protect Norman, she faked her own death and has to stay in the house permanently. It turns out that whenever he leaves the room this is false — Norman is actually keeping her body preserved in the basement of the house. Without the actual Norma there, the “mothering” personality within Norman starts to take over.
It is interesting that the showrunners decided to pick now to kill Norma off. It might have been assumed that the showrunners would have killed her off closer to the series finale. In “Psycho,” Norma is dead and Norman has been impersonating her, so it is obvious that Norma will die before the end of the series. We will have to wait and see how the season goes on and deals with how Norman goes from a mentally ill motel manager to a complete cold-blooded killer.
It’s a shame that they killed her off so soon since Norma has been one of the most interesting characters of the series, considering we never get to see her in the movie. The conflicts she has with the various people living in the local town were the driving movement in the plot of the show. Now that Norma is gone, it will be strange to see this caricature of her — an idealized version of her in Norman’s mind, acting and only interacting with solely Norman.
The series has been captivating so far as the development of Norman from an everyday teenager to the killer portrayed in “Psycho.” This evolution is what made the series so intriguing and hopefully this final season will allow the characters to complete their development and conclude the series in a meaningful way.