Bates Motel Season 5 Episode 10 Review: The Cord

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Bates motel ended its five-season run with an emotional and tragic series finale.

I came late to the Bates Motel saga not having discovered the show until the third season. What pulled me in was Norma and Norman's weird and wacky relationship. You couldn't have one without the other.  

They were intertwined in the most dysfunctional of ways. And even though Norma died at the end of Bates Motel Season 4, she still remained a part of Norman's life,  both physically and mentally.

His mother was always there to protect him and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't live without her. He didn't want to live without her.

And on Bates Motel Season 5 Episode 10 he finally got his wish.

The End - Bates Motel

There were aspects of the hour that were completely expected -- like Romero dying. I knew straight away that Romero wasn't going to have the opportunity to kill Norman like he wanted to.

If he was going to kill him, he should've done it at the police station on Bates Motel Season 5 Episode 9. Making Norman take him to see Norma's body was going to be the end of him. And it was. 

He was so emotionally distraught at seeing her, he didn't see Norman coming. But even though it was shocking to watch Norman shoot Romero dead, it was something Romero needed. In a way, he was just like Norman without Norma. Unhappy. 

Even if Romero had killed Norman, he would be emotionally broken forever. He'd never get over Norma's death, so in a way, Norman did him a favor by ending his misery.

At that moment, Norman himself became completely broken. His connection to reality became severed when his mother walked away from him because she had finished her job of protecting him.

He knew everything there was to know about his psyche and wavered between fantasy and reality until reality hit him in the face and Dylan ended his misery.

You have to wonder if Norman knew how it would end. I don't really think Norman was going to kill Dylan. That was a big knife and he could have very easily stabbed Dylan, but he chose to stab the door instead. 

Dylan - Bates Motel Series Finale Season 5 Episode 10

I first thought that perhaps they'd die together with Dylan shooting Norman and Norman stabbing Dylan. Then I thought maybe Norman was going to stab himself, but I'm glad it didn't end that way.

As sad as it was, how it ended was exactly how it should have ended. 

Norman was killed by someone who he loved and who loved him. I even think that it's what Norman wanted -- for someone who loved him to take away the pain and the misery of the life he was living.

He wanted to live the fantasy, but when he realized Dylan wasn't going to have any part of it, he knew what he had to do. And Dylan knew what he had to do, as difficult and heartbreaking as it was.

Dylan didn't really want Norman to be in an institution for the rest of his life. If that had happened, Norman wouldn't be Norman. He would be a sliver of himself. He would be unhappy and Dylan didn't want to see his brother unhappy.

What he did for Norman was give him exactly what he wanted all along. To be with Mother.

Norma the Angel - Bates Motel Series Finale Season 5 Episode 10

Norma was waiting for him on the other side with open arms.

Who cares if it was real or not, it was how Norman wanted it to be and he had a right for that to be his fantasy in the end. He deserved to have that as his final conscious moment; to be able to be with the person he loved the most in the world.

It was a heartbreakingly beautiful moment to watch Norma appear as an angel in white. What a perfect ending for Norman.

Together Forever - Bates Motel Season 5 Episode 10

I was also glad that Norman had put the knife in the door as it showed that Dylan killed Norman in self-defense. Was that Norman's thinking when he did that? I'd like to think the thought crossed his mind.

Emma was worried Dylan might do something he'd regret, and she was right. Why else would he have gotten the gun? I think he had every intention of ending Norman's misery.

It just turned out differently than he planned. It also allowed Dylan to have a happy ending with Emma and their baby. And we wanted them to have a happy ending.

In the end, everyone had their happy ending in a way, even if it was a tragic one. 

Norma - Bates Motel Series Finale Season 5 Episode 10

Were you satisfied with how the series ended? What do you wish was different? 

Hit the comments and share your thoughts!

If you need to revisit the ending,  you can watch Bates Motel online right here via TV Fanatic!

The Cord Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Bates Motel Season 5 Episode 10 Quotes

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be a dick. I just had a real bad day.


You killed your mother. You're going to have to live with that.