‘Bates Motel’ Preview: Is There Any Hope for Norman in the Final Episodes?

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·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
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  • Freddie Highmore
    Freddie Highmore
    English actor/director
  • Carlton Cuse
    American television producer and screenwriter
Freddie Highmore in AMC's Bates Motel (Photo: Cate Cameron/A&E Networks)
Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates in Bates Motel. (Photo: Cate Cameron/A&E Networks)

Sure, we’ve seen the Norman Bates of the future — thanks to the Psycho movie of the past — and he somehow manages to go on living in his delusional, mother-filled world as the proprietor of the Bates Motel.

But with just two episodes of the A&E TV series Bates Motel remaining, is it possible for Norman (Freddie Highmore) to get himself out of a serious jam that seems destined to end in jail time… or worse?

“The end of our show is going to be significantly different than the end of the movie Psycho,” series co-creator Carlton Cuse tells Yahoo TV. “We never saw that as any kind of obligation. And in fact, we thought it would be incredibly disappointing to the audience to give them the ending of the [movie]. So really, where we’re going now is into the original and uncharted waters of our own ending of our narrative.

“There’s always been these issues of, to what degree are we following Psycho, and we’ve never thought of our show that way. We borrowed elements from the mythology of the original movie, but in the same way that Christopher Nolan took elements of the Batman franchise and told his own story, that’s what we feel we are doing here,” he says.

Though one of the main topics throughout the series, Norman’s spiraling mental health has been on an even more rapid decline in Season 5, especially after the death of his mom, Norma (Vera Farmiga), at the end of Season 4. One of the series’ most clever storylines in the final season has been to shed light on Norman’s condition for the audience as the character himself begins to understand the traumas that have left him with a dissociative identity disorder that leads him to kill people and not remember what he’s done.

“We’re in the endgame of Norman’s mental illness,” Cuse says of Monday’s penultimate episode, “Visiting Hours,” and the April 24 series finale, “The Cord.”

“The blueprint of the psychology that we’ve worked with for Norman for all these years — this was really fun to be able to unfold it for the audience in this last season,” Bates co-creator Kerry Ehrin says.

“I think you want to wonder how he could [get out of the legal trouble he’s in], because in the world of White Pine Bay, anything could happen. We’ve seen crazy s*** happen there!”

Bates Motel airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on A&E.

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