‘Bates Motel’ ties up loose ends, delves into human nature

‘Bates Motel’ ties up loose ends, delves into human nature

“Bates Motel” is screeching to a halt as quickly as it seemed to start, loose ends being tied up and raw emotion filling the cracks.

The A&E drama’s penultimate episode aired Monday, leaving the audience amidst former sheriff Romero taking Norman hostage and demanding to see Norma’s body (a talented Vera Farmiga, who deserves commendation for playing the most convincing dead person who ever lived).

Just two episodes before, Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) unexpectedly confessed to murder and turned himself into the police. Now, the authorities are digging through his life trying to uncover the secret of his dissociative personality disorder. They’re getting close, but they’ve not quite cracked him, and it’s hand-wringing to watch.

However, it’s pretty satisfying that finally Norman is being held accountable to the murders that have spanned over the past two seasons.

Characters we’re familiar with like Dylan, Emma and Madeline struggle with their new views of Norman, as each had deep connections with him before knowing he was dangerous.

At one point, Madeline asks Dylan how he can live with himself, as he did know Norman had violent tendencies. Viewers feel the pain of Madeline, who felt so tricked by Norman’s sweet exterior, but they also feel the difficulties Dylan felt as an often ignored older brother.

The show brings important questions to the table, such as how far family ties go before breaking for the greater good, or whether a mentally ill person should be punished if he (mostly) doesn’t remember any of the murders he committed. “Bates Motel” is a character study at its heart, delving into the depth of human nature and psychological games.

There are some shows that run for season after season, and the characters are only skin-deep in their development. In only five seasons, “Bates Motel” has developed characters fans would die for, plot lines that seep into my everyday life when I stop and think about it and an unforgettable tribute to the original lore of Hitchcock’s “Psycho.”

It’s bittersweet that it’s ending after next week’s episode, but it’s definitely the right move. As a prequel, the creators made a smart choice to confine the story into a planned five seasons. Even so, I can’t imagine how they’ll choose to end with the final episode.

Whatever they do, I’m sure the only disappointment will be that next week will be the last time I’m watching Bates on a Monday. The finale can bring it on.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)