The round table team has the difficult task of breaking down Bates Motel Season 4 Episode 10 and the aftermath of the death of Norma Bates. They share their favorite and not-so-favorite moments, and how they'll manage a whole finale season without a living, breathing Norma to enjoy.
TV Fanatics Lisa Babick, Stacy Glanzman, Yana Grebenyuk and Carissa Pavlica have the conversation started. Join in by sharing your thoughts about the finale in the comments!
What was your favorite Alex Romero moment from the finale?
Lisa: I have two. When he went into the morgue and put the ring back on her finger. The fact that it was his mother's made it all the more meaningful. He really, truly loved her and it was heart breaking to see how devastated he was over her death. I also liked when he went into the funeral home and went off on Norman. Such an extreme swing in emotions, but so very real.
Stacy: I loved when he walked into that funeral home, but I also liked him confronting Norman at the hospital. Both times I just wanted him to strangle Norman.
Yana: The scene with Norman at the hospital. It was in the promo for the episode, and it lived up exactly like I imagined. I am glad that we finally have a character who understands the extent of Norman's behavior.
Carissa: The hospital scene was very rewarding. Seeing the jittery Norman slammed up against the wall was cathartic for me, so it had to be for Alex. Nestor Carbonell did some great work with his scenes.
What was your most despised Norman moment?
Lisa: Without a doubt when he glued her eyes open. How could he even stand looking at those dead eyes. I truly understand the shock of her death (even though it was his fault) and all the emotions that go along with that, but doing that was just over the top sick. What did he hope to accomplish with that?
Stacy: I agree with Lisa. That was so incredibly disturbing. However, I think I despised him even more when he was on the phone with Dylan and didn't tell him Norma was dead. Norman was just incredibly frustrating in this episode.
Yana: All of them? I wasn't a fan of Norman's behavior, and I kind of hated how he spoke with Dylan. Why not tell him what happened with Norma? That was his mother too. Maybe the guilt of knowing what really happened? Or because Norman knows that so few will buy the suicide angle, especially people who know him well.
Carissa: I agree with Yana. I was having a really hard time feeling a single thing other than DIE DIE DIE for Norman. Which proves what a good job Freddie Highmore was doing making me hate Norman. Mission accomplished!
At what point did you feel sorry for Norman?
Lisa: Pretty much from the beginning, but I felt really bad when Chick visited and the reality sunk in. Up until that point, he thought Norma was following through with some crazy plan to escape from Romero.
Stacy: Never. Not once did I feel sorry for Norman. The guy is a complete psychopath. I have no empathy for him.
Yana: Not once. He caused this, he doesn't get to feel guilty because it still looks like he isn't getting it. He is still in his own little world where everyone is wrong and needs to die.
Carissa: Not at all. I wanted him to break down and wail like a toddler, to feel as miserable as I did. But he didn't even have the courtesy to do that. Creep.
What's your interest level in the Federal Agents after Romero story at this point?
Lisa: Zero. They need to deep six that storyline pronto.
Stacy: Agree with Lisa. I'm not the least bit interested in this.
Yana: It annoys me because Romero could be trying to expose Norman, but instead we have this strange side story. It slows down the Norman reveal which makes sense from a timeline point of view but from a fan point of view? It's unnecessary.
Carissa: Four for four. This story is completely unnecessary and will only be more frustrating as Bates Motel Season 5 plays out. It's the one thing I'm looking forward to the least when the series resumes.
When will Dylan find out and how do you expect him to react?
Lisa: Dylan will find out when he comes back home at some point, I imagine. Unless Romero calls him. Or maybe Chick. But who knows? I think he's going to be devastated, because he left on such bad terms with his mom. Wasn't his fault, but still, the guilt will carry.
Stacy: He should already know. Romero should have called him, and if Chick knows, that means there was probably an obituary or a lot of word of mouth. I'm guessing he'll find out in the first episode back either by reading/hearing about it and will be pretty angry no one told him. He might feel guilty about how he left things with Norma, but he did try to warn her. He should move and put it all behind him, but I figure the chances of that are slim to none.
Yana: Dylan will find out from anyone but Norman. I can imagine Emma getting the news and sharing it before Norma's own son. Maybe Romero will reach out, which I am actually hoping for. Those two wanted to work together but couldn't because of Norma. Now that Norma is gone, I expect that to be a catalyst for those two finally getting together and figuring out how to deal with Norman.
Carissa: Surely Alex is going to call him at some point, right? That's the only way Dylan will find out. He's a young guy. It's not as if he combs the obituaries of his mother's town looking for who his brother might have killed. Then again, that might be the only other way he could find out. He would have known already, though. He will be immediately suspicious of Norman and will come home. From there? Possibly death. Certainly not a welcome home party.
Given what we saw of it in the finale, how interested are you in an entire season of Norman off the rails and creating Mother?
Lisa: I'm torn. What sort of havoc is he going to create and for whom? Romero? Dylan? Him just randomly killing women or whoever comes to the hotel doesn't seem remotely interesting. I would rather have had it end with him blowing his brains out. Sure, it wouldn't have followed the path of the movie, but does it really need to?
Stacy: I am really looking forward to it. I think it was a bold move to kill off Norma before the final season, and I can't wait to see what they have in store for us. There won't be anything holding him back anymore.
Yana: I am interested but I am conflicted. My feelings for Norman are dark and angry, I don't know how much I will look forward to his self righteous conversations. But the creepy stuff? Bring it on.
Carissa: It's going to take some getting use to, for sure. The series finale will hopefully pay off big. Bigger than I can imagine.
Share you final thoughts of the finale here.
Lisa: I thought it was a very bizarre episode. There were a lot of unanswered questions like why wasn't Dr. Edwards informed? If Chick knew about her death, others had to have known too. Why didn't Romero call Dylan? Why was Norman left in charge of the funeral arrangements when she was still married to Romero? I didn't like the episode at all. I thought how they handled the whole funeral thing was wrong. I know it's a TV show, but there's also reality. I don't think embalming is a choice. And letting the kid see his mother as she's getting prepped would never happen in real life. The only thing that was real was Romero's reactions/emotions and Norma's dead eyes.
Stacy: I found it to be a little anti-climatic. After last week's fantastic episode I was definitely expecting more. This episode didn't really feel necessary. Last week should have been the season finale.
Yana: Norman digging Norma out kind of killed me. Norma was finally going to get peace from this crazy world where she could never be happy because of Norman. Now he takes her body out of the ground and is trying to somehow keep her alive by not getting rid of her corpse? Hasn't she given enough of herself away without this kind of violation? Poor Norma.
Carissa: I was disappointed. It would have worked better for me if this had been the Season 5 opener. Bates Motel Season 4 Episode 9 was so fantastic and heart-wrenching that it felt like a finale. This hour felt more like a beginning. It was, of the new life Norman shares with Mother. Our Norma is gone.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.