The Season’s Theme: The fifth and final season "is, in a way, the funniest, [with] the most dark comedy," showrunner Kerry Ehrin says. "I would say it still somehow manages to be weirdly life affirming."
Where We Left Off: Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) killed his mother during a murder-suicide bid, then dug up her dead body and took her home to resume their life together. Dylan (Max Thieriot) and Emma (Olivia Cooke) moved away to pursue a life free of his family, and Norma’s husband Romero (Nestor Carbonell) was arrested by the DEA after he lied about his relationship with former girlfriend Rebecca.
Coming Up: We’ll see the return of Chick (Ryan Hurst), Caleb (Kenny Johnson), and Dylan and Emma. The latter two “really did try to do the healthy thing and detach," Ehrin says. "One of the things that makes Bates Motel so relatable is that the family element is very real and grounded. It’s very hard in dysfunctional families to just walk away. [For Dylan], it’s very much about dealing with things [he] finds out and being pulled back in." And Romero? "He has a great arc," Ehrin says. "Last season, we had the toughest guy in the world take his shell off and then get sucker punched when he lost Norma. He’s going to have a very extreme reaction to this, and what he feels he needs to do about it."
Star Shower: Highmore, Thieriot, and Carbonell all directed episodes for Season 5, and as part of the nod to the original Psycho, Rihanna will pop in to play Marion Crane. "She was an incredibly sweet and hard working person, and we couldn’t be more thrilled," Ehrin says. "The episodes that she’s in were very much designed to be like a collision between Psycho and Bates Motel, and really it’s the first and only time we’ve ever truly stepped into Psycho." As for the end of the series, Ehrin promises "it’s going to be cathartic as s**t. Bring your tissues." — KP
(Credit: Cate Cameron/A&E)