The series finale of Bates Motel aired last night on A&E, and as promised, the ending was shocking, heartbreaking, and hilarious at times.
If you haven’t watched the series finale of Bates Motel, don’t read beyond this point!
In the Bates Motel final, Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) found peace in death and was reunited with the person he loved most — Norma (Vera Farmiga). In Norman’s final hours, he killed stepdad Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell) and threatened his brother Dylan’s (Max Thieriot) life, begging him to let him live his life in this fantasy world with his mother. In the end, Dylan had to do something he never wanted to do — kill his brother to give him peace.
“Episode 10 is Norman at his most deluded,” Freddie Highmore explained about his alter ego’s frame of mind.
“It’s a Norman that’s gone by the very end. He knows deep down that there’s nothing else, that it’s either this or nothing, which has a romantic quality to it — that it’s ‘I’m going to be living with my mother, either in life or in death.’ But at the same time, it’s incredibly deluded and insane.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, after Norman killed Romero, he was forced to admit for the first time that maybe he really did kill his mother, but he never wanted her to die. At that moment, Norman could no longer deal with what he did and immersed himself in an alternate reality to a time when he and Norma first moved to run Bates Motel.
“I think what’s beautiful about the end scene with Dylan is that we realize Norman deep down is aware of the performance of everything that he’s doing,” Highmore explained.
“When forced to confront the reality in front of him, he is able to see it. So it’s purely this part of him that’s longing for something else, wishing that it could be different. I think the biggest line to me was when he says to Dylan at the end, ‘If you believe hard enough, you can make it that way.’ That seemed to sum both Norman and Norma up to me, [the belief] that purely by sheer force of will and by love and by believing in one another, things can be possible.”
In the end, Dylan couldn’t convince Norman to face reality. Bates Motel spoilers revealed that it was too much for Norman to accept that Norma was dead, and he would likely spend the rest of his life in jail, heavily medicated on drugs that made Mother go away. He was happy to live life in his fantasy world. To that end, the ending of Bates Motel was perfect; his brother, Dylan, the man who loved Norman and wanted him to be happy, gave him his final wish and reunited him with his mother in another life. It was a happy ending for Norman, yet it was very different than the original 1960 film, Psycho.
“Norman goes into the scene trying to keep hold of this reality, and Dylan puts a crack in it. Norman sees that he’s never going to have what he dreams about, and so it’s basically asking Dylan to kill him and to take him out of this world,” Freddie said.
“And when he ultimately does so, whether it’s his choice or not, Norman ultimately is grateful for it and is happily reunited with his mother. So there is hope. There is a happiness to it. But it felt like that’s how it had to end. It was ultimately this love story between Norman and Norma, and the only real end that it could have was that they’d be reunited and back together again.”
Bates Motel aired the series finale April 24 on A&E.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]