Watching Bates Motel brings me back to Titanic: we know this doesn’t end well. (Spoiler alert: the ship sinks.)
And with A&E’s insanely addictive, fourth-season series Bates Motel, a prequel to the Psycho movie, we know how the series must eventually end. Norman Bates — the young, mentally ill, mama-fixated guy — makes his final snap after a long descent into madness and commits the unthinkable: matricide. Yes, I know it’s inevitable, but that doesn’t mean I want it to happen.
Bates Motel so far has given us a look into how Norman became the psycho who, in the movie, has a second personality. Having killed his mother and preserved her body to erase the crime in his mind, Norman (Freddie Highmore) then snaps into the identity of a murderous mother who kills people. But the more I watch Bates Motel, the more attached I get to these likable characters and the more my heart longs to see an alternate ending.
Sure, this is a horror series. But my sentimental self fantasizes about a surprise happy ending for the Bates family. Remember just last week when we saw Norma Bates (Vera Farmiga) and Alex Romero — played by Nestor Carbonell — admit their love for each other for the first time in their marriage of convenience? Norma, in a very touching scene, broke down and cried to her husband, revealing the incestuous relationship she had with her brother, Caleb, when they were kids.
She told Alex to pack his bags. He replied, “OK, where are we going?” We, not I.
We saw a beautiful moment of unconditional love, and a teaser for next week’s episode showed passionate lovemaking between these two. This could be the start of a beautiful love story that heals two wounded people. But this is Bates Motel, after all, and it is far more likely that Norman will kill both of them.
Oh, and we can’t forget about the budding love story between Norma’s other son, Dylan, and Emma, which gives us another couple to cheer for.
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And, most importantly, Norman is now in a mental hospital and getting treatment for his diagnosed condition: dissociative identity disorder, previously known as multiple personality disorder. In an ideal world, Norman could get proper medication and therapy, become healthy and go on to live a normal life. This whole hyperdysfunctional family full of secrets could be healed.
Alas, I may need to face the truth: This is a horror series, not a Lifetime movie. But I still can’t help but hope that, the more we get to know and love Norma – even with all of her gargantuan flaws – her son spares her life.
It is a most unlikely scenario, but Bates Motel is full of surprises, so I’ll just keep on dreaming. Then again, Norman could stab Norma, and she could survive… They’d have a tearful scene in a hospital room where Norman breaks down with remorse, and she says, “Norman, I forgive you.” He would go back to the hospital, and Norma and Alex, and Dylan and Emma would live and love together happily ever after.
Maybe I should just try to get a job in the writer’s room.