The second season of A&E’s hit drama “Bates Motel” ended with multiple bangs on Monday, May 5 wrapping up a pretty solid season.
The bulk of season two surrounded Norman’s (Freddie Highmore) frequent black outs and what happens during these moments and the fact that Norma (Vera Farmiga) keeps the truth about them from him. It also focused on Norma’s rise in the town of White Pine Bay with her meeting influential people in town like Rebecca Creskoff’s Christine and Michael O’Neill’s Nick Ford. Despite incredibly interesting storylines from the two leads, it was Dylan’s (Max Thieriot) storyline that probably intrigued me the most with his dangerous job in the burgeoning local pot business and the early season reveal that his father was actually Norma’s brother who had raped her as a teenager.
In the penultimate episode of the season Norman is kidnapped and hidden in a box underground by Nick Ford, who threatens to kill the boy if Dylan doesn’t kill his boss, the insanely unstable Zane (Michael Eckund). Dylan tells Ford that he isn’t a murderer which leads the drug boss to attempt to kill Dylan before Dylan is able to fight back and kill Ford with a handy fireplace poker. The episode ends with Norman still trapped underground and the man who knows his whereabouts dead.
In a terrific opening scene from the finale Sheriff Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell) is searching for Norman when he happens upon Dylan running from the scene of Nick Ford’s. Dylan explains that he just killed Ford and the two begin a frantic search for Norman ultimately finding him before the opening titles.
The rest of the episode is merely tying up loose ends from the season, but it’s all done in such an entertaining and suspenseful way that it keeps you on the edge of your seat.
We all knew that Romero was going to get his payback on Zane for torching his house and we knew it was likely going to be sweet. And, boy was it ever. With the help of Dylan and Zane’s sister, Jodi (Kathleen Robertson), Romero lured Zane to Jodi’s house with the sole purpose of killing him, in nice shotgun blast to the chest fashion, and putting an end to the second pot crime boss in White Pine Bay.
Sheriff Romero is a highly interesting character because not only is he an incredible badass and one not to be messed with, but he’s also one willing to let certain things slide for the good of the town (like the pot business) as long as things don’t get too out of hand. The seemingly budding interest Romero has in Norma romantically adds to the whole thing nicely. Also, Dylan is pretty much indebted to Romero now as him killing Ford was swept under the rug and this should be one of the more interesting storylines going into season three.
One of the nice moments from the season two finale was the touching scene in which Norma and Dylan makeup after the reveal earlier in the season of Dylan’s father being Norma’s brother tore them apart. It was a lovely moment between the two perfectly portrayed by the supremely talented Farmiga and Thieriot, but I believe the closeness between the two is bound to be short-lived as the close to incestuous bond between Norma and Norman really doesn’t allow for others to get too close.
Some would disagree I’m sure, but with so much else going on in this finale it almost seemed at times like Norman was pushed to the background slightly, although the final segment of the episode does beg to differ. Norman heads out to the woods near his house to commit suicide, which everybody knows is not actually going to happen because there wouldn’t be a “Bates Motel” or a future “Psycho,” as this is a prequel, without Norman Bates, but it still led to a nice scene between Highmore and Farmiga where she explains to Norman that he is her entire life (sorry Dylan) and that if he dies she dies too. Norman being the good momma’s boy he is obliges and puts down the gun.
The season comes to an end with Norman taking a lie detector test to prove whether or not he murdered his teacher Blair Watson, who was killed at the very end of the first season, and he recently began to suspect that he murdered her. Some shows would’ve chosen this moment to be a cliffhanger going into the next season, but thankfully “Bates Motel” did the right thing and gave us the results of the test. Norman passes, but only after he has another out of body experience where he sees his mother and she informs him that it was actually her who murdered Watson.
My favorite moment from the entire episode comes as the very last image where the camera pans around to reveal Norman’s face right after the lie detector where he’s just still with this frighteningly cold look on his face. I absolutely love this scene because it’s almost a direct homage to the very last image of the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film “Psycho.” It was a nice and fitting touch by the writer and director to end a well-done season.