‘Bates Motel’ Season Finale Recap: Romero Earns Norma’s Trust, Miss Watson Ends Up Dead
Bates Motel, the A&E drama based off of Alfred Hitchcock thriller Psycho, concluded its first season last night in a finale that leaves Norman’s teacher Miss Watson (Keegan Connor Tracy) dead in a pool of her own blood.
In its penultimate episode, Bates Motel saw Norma (Vera Farmiga) threatened by Jake Abernathy (Jere Burns), who was demanding the $150,000 he suspected her of stealing from Keith. This week, Norma seeks the help of Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell), who promises to take care of the situation. Still wary, Norma looks into getting a gun, while Romero’s investigation leads him Keith's sister Maggie. He finds out that Abernathy had threatened her just as he had Norma.
After finding the $150,000 in a garage, Romero vows to keep quiet about Maggie’s involvement in the prostitution ring that stretches up the east coast if she doesn’t talk about his investigation. Romero then pulls up in his car to meet with Abernathy, bringing along the bag of cash. Abernathy asks for Norma, who had hidden behind a stack of boxes once she heard Romero approaching. Romero cuts him off, offering to let it slide if he gives him 50% of the profits before shooting him dead. Coolly, Romero then shifts his gaze over to where Norma was hiding, and says, “You can go home now, Norma. I said trust me.”
Meanwhile, Norman (Freddie Highmore) goes into Miss Watson’s office to let her know that he doesn’t want to publish his story, only to walk in on his teacher engaging in a heated phone conversation with some guy named Eric. After promising Miss Watson that he won’t repeat what he heard, he’s forced to deal with Bradley’s (Nicola Peltz) rejection. Ultimately, he comes around to the idea of bringing Emma (Olivia Cooke) to the dance, but the arrangement goes far from smoothly.
Just before Norman is about to leave for the dance, Norma decides it’s a good time to have an intense heart-to-heart. She reveals to her teenage son that she was raped by her brother from the time she was 13 until he moved out of the house. So, with that sendoff, Norman ends up being a pretty distant date – causing Emma to storm off when she repeatedly catches him staring in the direction of Bradley. He’s not without company for long though, as Bradley’s boyfriend then marches over and punches him square in the face.
After the blow to the head, Norman begins to walk home when he’s spotted by Miss Watson who offers to give him a ride. Instead of taking him directly back to Bates Motel, she brings him to her home to clean up his injuries and change. While she’s changing, Norman watches and begins to hallucinate that his mother is telling him that Miss Watson is trying to seduce him. Next thing you know, Norman is sprinting back home through the rain, arriving at the house the same time as his mother.
The final scene shifts back to Miss Watson’s apartment, where she lies dead on the floor with her throat slit. Was it Norman? Or, could it have been Eric? If Norman did it, does he even remember? Bates Motel will return with an answer and its second season in 2014.