‘Bates Motel’ Comes Full Circle in Series Finale

After five seasons, “Bates Motel” checked in its final customer on April 24 – and while not many people survived, the series came to a satisfying conclusion.

Through the course of the final season, Romero (Nestor Carbonell) was dead set on seeking revenge against Norman for the death of Norma. Once Romero finally reached Norman, he was forced to reveal where he’d left Norma’s body. Once they reach the burial site, Norman – who is still stuck in the psyche of his “Mother” – kills Romero as he mourns over Norma’s corpse.

Before taking his final breath, Romero reminds Norman that he was the one responsible for killing his beloved mother. After coming to this important realization, “Mother” leaves Norman behind. The secret she had been trying to keep from him is now out. He now has full transparency and no need for her protective shield.

In a damaged, mindless, and desperate daze to return to normalcy, Norman returns to the infamous motel and invites Dylan (Max Thieriot) over for dinner. But unbeknownst to Norman, Dylan knows what must be done. It is his job, as his older brother, to take care of Norman once and for all – gun in tow.

Norman charges at Dylan with a knife and Dylan shoots. Norman’s body collapses to the ground as Dylan supports Norman one last time. Desperate to see his Mother once again, Norman mutters his final words “Thank you” and dies in the arms of his sobbing brother.

Though the series has never (at the time of this writing) received Emmy recognition, its presentation, storytelling, and acting never fell short. The evident bond between Norman (Freddie Highmore) and Norma (Vera Farmiga) made the series all the more believable – in fact, the show hinged on it.

The core of the show has always been the relationship between mother and son. For a series with so much darkness, carnage, and drama – the death of Norman Bates was rather heartwarming. A mother and son reunited at last.

“Bates Motel” was successful at adapting “Psycho” into something fresh and original throughout its entire five-season run, but the show always managed to pay proper homage to the classic of which it derived.

The beginning of the final season teased the return of the iconic character Marion Crane. Played by Janet Leigh in the original film, Rihanna helmed the role this time around, which took an unexpected twist. Viewers still got their killer shower moment, but in a surprising way that served a greater purpose in this adaptation – as it allowed Norman to come to the realization that he is, in fact, a killer. The show’s various homages to “Psycho” never halted the storytelling, and continuously propelled the series further.

With the recent trend of film to television reboots, including “Fargo,” “The Exorcist,” “Training Day,” “Taken,” and the forthcoming “The Mist” – some series have hit their marks, while others have failed to breathe fresh life into their pre-existing canons. “Bates Motel” makes for paramount television viewing, never overstaying its welcome.

The “Bates Motel” series finale aired April 24 on A&E and can be viewed via AETV.com through May 29.