Tonight, May 11, the hit A&E series Bates Motel wraps up yet another outstanding season. The highly-anticipated finale marks the end of the third season, which kicked off March 9, 2015. It consisted of nine episodes, which is about the norm for a season of the show.
Fans were worried, at the start of the current Bates Motel season, regarding whether or not the third installment would be able to live up to the infamy of the first two. One of the biggest issues was related to storyline, as viewers were wondering if the “Norman loves his mother and acts crazy whenever any other man even takes a step towards her” plot could continue to captivate the audience in the same manner of which it won them over in the beginning, in terms of just how messed up the whole situation was.
The current season of Bates Motel, however, has not disappointed in the slightest. Although Norman’s over-attachment to Norma Louise remained a key plot in the show in terms of her insistence on denying it and shooting down the concerns of others who voice their opinion on the matter (indeed, even after her son tried to choke out a therapist she had slept with after the man suggested Norman might be so concerned due to his own want to engage in this act with her, Norma dismissed the matter) many other plotlines emerged and gained the focus on fans in order to keep things interested. One of the main edge-of-seat happenings revolves Norma’s other son, Dylan, and the people he has chosen to make important in his life at this point.
Indeed, Dylan’s newfound interest in his brother’s girlfriend Emma (who, near the end of the season breaks up with Norman both because she has feelings for his brother and because she can no longer ignore how severe the damage to his mental health has become) lands him in quite a situation with his father (and uncle) Caleb. The son is trying to gain $25,000 to get Emma a lung transplant for her cystic fibrosis, which has become so severe that she does not have much time left. He agrees to deliver a gun shipment to some shady characters for an even less reputable man named Chick, and Caleb insists on accompanying him to protect him. This paternal instinct ends up saving his son’s life, after the criminals intend to kill him in order to send a message to Chick.
Back at home, things are not looking well for Norma Bates. She ends up in the possession of a flash drive containing a business ledger full of names of those involved in a multi-million dollar drug money deal. A man named Bob Paris, who has been involved in the deaths of many who crossed him, wants this flash drive desperately but Norma tells him she will only hand it over in exchange for an overpass being built for the Bates Motel and a pool.
Sheriff Romero warns her that this man is not to be trusted, but she does not listen and believes she has won him over. Not only does Bob merely build a 23 foot deep pit on the Bates Motel property, he also has Romero shot as a warning and the aforementioned therapist beaten to near death. The therapist ends up telling the man everything he knows about the family, including that Norman killed his father before they moved and the mother covered it up. This ends up getting back to Romero, who finally realizes that Norma has been lying to him and tricking him at every turn in order to protect both her family and the Bates Motel. He goes to the woman in order to give her one last chance to admit the truth, which she does not. Romero, realizing things will never change and that everything Bob Paris said was true, bids her adieu and leaves. He is now in the possession of the flash drive, and after realizing he cannot trust Norma he makes a call to arrange speaking to the DEA about it.
Norma visits Bob Paris in a desperate attempt to keep the information about her son secret and the Bates Motel up and running, and offers him the flash drive. She does not realize that Romero is in possession of it, but Bob tells her. He also tells her that she is not in charge whatsoever, and that he knows everything that happened is true via a private investigator. Norma goes to the police station and begs Romero for the flash drive, which he refuses to give her; he tells her he’s taking care of it, and that the two of them are done in every regard.
Meanwhile, back in Dylan and Caleb’s world, things are not good. Not only did they both end up dead, there was no money gained and therefore Emma’s health is still deteriorating rapidly (she does not know, at this point, what it was for.) Caleb paid a visit to Chick, who he wound up beating to a near fatal state after the man said he was not turning over any money at all because he did not know if what they claimed to have happened was true. Although he leaves him alive, Caleb ends the fight with a threat that he will kill the man (just like he did another, hence there being a warrant out for him) if he ever gets involved with his son again.
Norman, at this point, has discovered that the supposedly deceased Bradley Martin is actually alive, but not so well. After running away and realizing that she could not survive on her own, she has made the decision to come home and live a normal life once more. She requests Norman’s help in breaking the news to her mother, which he agrees. His own mother, however, arrives home in quite the state and insists they get rid of all the taxidermy stuff and other items which may make her son seem less than normal. Norman, however, is next on the list of people who have started to realize that Norma Bates’ behavior may be less than excusable, and that all she cares about seems to be herself and the Bates Motel. He actually ends up accusing her of being the one that killed his father, and blaming it on him.
The Bates Motel season three finale airs tonight at 8pm/6pm on A&E. Fans await on the edge of their seats to see just how much the current situation will escalate, and who will end up surviving as a result.
By Rebecca Grace
Photo by Cliff – Creativecommons Flickr License