Did the ‘Bates Motel’ Season 3 Finale ‘Unconscious’-ly Jump the ‘Psycho’ Gun?
The Bates Motel has once again closed up shop for another season, and with it Norma and Norman inched ever-closer to their Alfred Hitchcock Psycho roots. Season 3 finale “Unconscious” put a major nail in the coffin, killing off a character present since the very pilot, and simultaneously paying major homage to the classic film, but has A&E’s horror-thriller finally jumped the gun?
You’re warned of every Bates Motel Season 3 and Psycho spoiler from here on out, but yes, once again Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) has put his future Psycho into practice killing a (relative) innocent under the guise of his “Mother” personality. Joining the ranks of the deceased this time out is none other than the returned Bradley Martin (Transformers star Nicola Peltz), and much more conclusively than the fake suicide that shepherded her character off in Season 2.
Following Norman’s episode in the prior installment, Bradley returned to her mother’s house to trash the joint and pilfer its valuables, amassing upwards of $30,000 to entice Norman into hitting the road with her. Hit the road he eventually did, having learned of his (real) mother’s institutionalized plans for his future, but no sooner than Bradley and Norman crossed the town limits did “Norma” appear in the backseat looking for a quick word with her son’s new ladyfriend.
After tensely pulling them over, Norman got out of the car and assumed the full Norma mindset in crossing over to the driver’s side, dragging Bradley from the car over her attempt to take Norman away from her. A few blows on the nearby rocks later, Norman resumed control of his body, cursing the heavens for the fatal actions of his supposed mother. A quick disposal of the car and body in the nearby swamps later (nice Psycho homage, but how many cars will police one day find in there?), “Norma” assured her son she’d take care of everything, leaving the two embraced by the docks.
Of course, the real Norma had very little to do with her son’s affairs this week, first dropping on Dylan the news that his father Caleb had taken some time away, and subsequently heading to an expensive mental care facility, only to learn that its services were well beyond her price range, doctors and insurance aside. Telling Norman of her excursion and concerns proved little help later on, only pushing Norman further toward an exit with Bradley, though Norma expressed some understandable confusion about her son’s interaction with the supposedly-dead Bradley, ultimately knocking him out and tying him up in the basement.
You know, until that whole escape and murdering Bradley bit.
Understandably, Dylan proved a bit too preoccupied to offer any real contributions with Norma or Norman, first cursing out his father over voicemail for skipping town, and second tracking down a frightened Emma after she’d learned of the impending lung transplant. Dylan knowingly found the girl at his own cabin, staring into the horizon over her nerves at the frequent failure of said transplants, but a long-awaited kiss between the pair finally took Emma’s breath away long enough to agree to the operation. Chekov’s Cystic Fibromyalgia, anyone?
Then again, drug money had to get someone killed during the finale, as police planned a raid on Bob Parris (Mad Men star Kevin Rahm)’s property, leaving Sheriff Romero solemn over the danger he’d placed Norma in. It first seemed that nostalgia had gotten the better of Alex, calling his old friend Bob to warn him of the impending raid, though the tables quickly turned once Bob stepped onto his getaway boat, and found Romero already waiting for him.
In spite of Bob’s protests to leave town and never spill Norma or Norman’s secret, Romero reasoned that he could never trust his old friend, and pumped him with bullets at the insinuation Alex had turned out anything like his criminal father. Oh well. Doesn’t take a Psycho to get people killed in White Pine Bay.
Bates Motel hasn’t yet earned a Season 4 renewal from A&E, but did Season 3 finale “Unconscious” show Norman Bates at his most Psycho yet? Where does the horror-drama go from here, with Norman fully killing folk and dumping them in the river? Will Emma live long enough to escape his wrath, with Dylan now in the mix? What about that ever-present drug trade, or any of the other characters slowly breaking bad?
Stay tuned for the latest from Bates Motel‘s Season 3 finale, and find out what Season 4 (hopefully) has in store for its Psycho fanbase!