Bates Motel: The Immutable Truth

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By:Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

If I didn’t know any better, I would believe Bates Motel’s season two finale could have easily served as the series finale. But I do know better, despite it wrapping up many of the storylines and with the last shot of the episode taken directly from Psycho.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Before anything else, that last shot of the season was bone-chilling. It paid homage to Psycho’s final shot of Norman and Freddie Highmore absolutely killed it (pun intended). There was something different that I noticed in this final shot: Norma was lurking in the background. Originally she came in to take her son home, but as the camera focused on Norman, she slowly fell behind him so he was all the audience could see. Norman has fully enveloped Norma; the two have become one.

So far, the series has played with a possibility of redemption for the future killer, but that illusion was fully shattered once he embraced Mother. Deep down, he knew he killed Miss Watson, but once the Mother took over, he quickly became that person. I don’t think Bates Motel’s final shot was a glimpse of what’s to come; I think it has arrived in full force. By Norman answering “no” on the polygraph, he has embraced the Mother persona in a conscious, non-blackout state for the first time.

Even though this episode was Norman saying goodbye to the things he loves most as his impending suicide drew nearer, more than anything, this episode felt like a goodbye for the quirky Norman Bates the audience has come to know and love over the past two seasons and a hello to the future killer.

That kiss. I didn’t think the series would actually go there. Sure, there is a lot of hinting at the Oedipal-esque nature of their relationship, but never did I think a kiss would happen. It was so uncomfortable and hard to watch. You can’t tell me that was a casual familial kiss, because it wasn’t.

Another shot that was downright creepy was when Norma was rocking in the infamous rocking chair. Actually seeing Vera Farmiga, alive and well Norma, rock about Norman’s room in the chair was another perfect homage to Psycho.

Dylan and Norma’s scenes were so touching. Finally Dylan heard what he needed to hear from his mother. All he wanted was to be loved and accepted by her and Norma buying her son that plane ticket to Montreal spoke volumes. No matter what circumstance he was born from, he is a part of the family.

Speaking of being a part of the family, Emma being brought back into the Bates family circle is a both a blessing and a curse that most likely will lead to her demise. She should have run while she had the chance, but Emma being Emma, she just wants to be accepted as a part of the family.

Going into it, the best thing the finale could’ve done was get rid of the drug trade madness. For the most part, they did an excellent job silencing the drug trade for the impending third season. With both Zane and his sister gone, more than likely Dylan will become the pot master of White Pine Bay with Remo as his sidekick. I’m looking forward to Dylan coming into his own next season.

Zane’s sister was such a useless character. Okay, having a female in charge of the drug ring was a nice twist (yay female leadership!) but she served no purpose to further the storyline. Seeing her and her brother killed off was more of a thankful moment than anything else. For the record, I would totally be into a Dylan and Romero buddy-cop spinoff.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


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