Bates Motel Season Finale Review “Midnight”

Well here we are, ladies and gentlemen! Season one of Bates Motel comes to an end tonight with “Midnight”, as Norma’s conflict with the terrifying Jake Abernathy comes to a head. We also have a few other ongoing story lines that needed to see some resolution tonight, with Dylan and Norman looking like they’re going for the same girl and figuring out what’s going to happen with the way-too-touchy Miss Watson. Lastly, but possibly most important to me, what’s going to happen with Emma?! With just about everybody on this series being morally gray at best, I really just want Emma to live a long and fulfilling life full of happiness! Is that too much to ask?!

Tonight’s installment, just like most episodes of this series, really just contained a lot of character development and set-up, with all of the “Holy crap!” moments all being saved up ’til the end. We got our first side story for Nestor Carbonell’s Sheriff Romero’s, as he meets Keith Summers’ put-upon sister Maggie. I’m not sure if we’re going to see more of her next season, but I’d be surprised if they introduced her character just for a couple of scenes.

Dylan and Norma shared a great scene tonight, as Dylan teaches his “mom” to shoot a gun. It’s been really sweet seeing their relationship grow over the season. Dylan used to be the typical rebellious son who used to insult Norma and have Norman defend her. Now it’s the other way ’round, and Dylan is having to defend Norma’s actions to Norman! With only ten episodes in this first season, it’s really commendable how well they’ve been able to develop the family dynamic between these three.

That wasn’t the only powerful scene Norma had with one of her sons, though. Norma opening up with her “true” backstory of living in Akron and being molested by her older brother was a very moving moment that was yet again played perfectly by Vera Farmiga. It’s hard to tell if Norma is really telling the truth here, since we’ve seen how convincing of a liar she’s capable of being. Even if she is telling the truth, it’s hard to ignore the timing of her big confession. Her son is going to a dance with another woman, and there’s a possibility she’ll never have this chance again. Really great stuff.

The dance at Norman’s high school, on the other hand, was not so great. It really was a huge disappointment for just about everybody involved, as not only was poor, sweet Emma completely ignored and rejected by Norman, but Norman was punched in the face by Bradley’s boyfriend Richard! Now Richard is a character we really haven’t heard or seen from much since the first couple episodes, so it did seem like it really came out of nowhere that he’s all of a sudden so protective and aggressive towards Norman. Maybe if he was built up a little more as the jealous boyfriend then I would believe his outburst and throwing a punch, but this guy has had like two lines this entire series! I was a little surprised that being punched in the face didn’t turn Norman into “Killer Mode”.

But you know what does turn Norman into “Killer Mode”? Creepy/sexy teachers, that’s what! Miss Watson has been a pretty interesting character this season, but the extent of her sexuality and attraction towards Norman really hit a fever pitch tonight. She was being so overtly flirtatious and seductive that it was really hard to believe. We also saw a whole other side to Norman’s “Killer Mode”, as this is the first time the switch has been flipped due to something other than anger. We’ve only ever seen him get into that mindset when he’s so angry at somebody else, but here he was aroused and sexually frustrated that he had his switch flipped anyway! It’s good to see that his sleeping with Bradley didn’t turn on his Killer Mode, though!

The other big event at the end was Sheriff Romero being an absolute badass and shooting Jake Abernathy dead. It was great to see him take care of business, and I’m overjoyed that he’s survived through the first season. I’m very excited to get more Nestor Carbonell in season two!

Overall I really freakin’ enjoyed Bates Motel. There was some great suspense, drama, and action here, and I’m really hoping that season two can give us some great answers to season one’s remaining burning questions.

What did you think of the finale? Sound off in the comment section below!

Random Thoughts:

– With Vera Farmiga turning in performances like tonight’s, as well as an amusingly aggressive marketing push by A&E, I really hope we hear Farmiga’s name come Emmy season.

– Why is it that women always undress so slow in movies and TV shows? They aren’t always trying to seduce someone who may or may not be watching, so why don’t they speed it up?

– Wasn’t there actual money in Romero’s bag? Why did he throw that in the river as well?