It’s like Norma Bates never died. That might be the first thing you think when you watch this exclusive promo for the upcoming fifth, and sadly final, season of Bates Motel. But don’t be fooled… Norma’s still dead, Norman’s still denying it, and this last season promises to be the most intense, most dramatic, and oddly, funniest, one in the series’ run.
Backed by the Ink Spots’ “We’ll Meet Again,” the preview opens with Norman (Freddie Highmore) happily preparing for the day — including his job as manager of the Bates Motel — and then hitting the kitchen for a delicious homemade breakfast, made by a smiling, very much alive Norma (Vera Farmiga), who greets him holding a plate of biscuits.
“You ever have the feeling that you’ve had the same nightmare over and over again and that you can’t remember it… just remember the feeling of it?” Norman asks in a voice-over, as the harsh reality of his unreality becomes clear.
From there, the clip unfolds the wild turns Season 5 will take, including that much-anticipated guest appearance by Rihanna as Marion Crane, the woman who was doomed in the Psycho movie. But don’t assume that will be the fate of RiRi’s Marion; showrunner Kerry Ehrin has promised the series will pay homage to the Psycho storyline but won’t be an exact remake of it.
Meanwhile, the preview also shows Norman’s half brother Dylan (Max Thieriot) will be drawn back to town after escaping in Season 4 to Seattle with his love, Emma (Olivia Cooke); that Norma’s estranged brother/baby daddy Caleb (Kenny Johnson) returns to White Pine Bay and learns of her death; that jailed, vengeance-seeking Alex Romero’s (Nestor Carbonell) replacement, new sheriff Dana Greene (Brooke Smith), will question Norman about some bodies authorities have pulled out of a local lake; and, in one of those dark moments that shouldn’t be funny, but is in Bates-land, Norma wishing she had a quarter so she could make a wish while she and Norman drop a dead body down a well.
“What is wrong with us, Mother?” Norman asks. And what’s wrong, as the final season will so colorfully delve deeper into, is that she answers.
Bates Motel Season 5 premieres Feb. 20 at 10 p.m. on A&E.