TV Reviews

TV Review: Bates Motel Season 3 Finale

Bates motel is – for many reasons – my favourite television show that is still running due to it’s fast pace and exciting story-lines, but especially the incredible acting by Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga. You can really tell that acting is a passion for them and that this show is more than just their next pay cheque as they have very clearly put an incredible amount of effort in to the growth of their characters. Anyway, back to the review.

So throughout season 3 we have seen Norman slip further and further away from reality and his mother beginning to fear him and his condition. This episode truly revolves around this (with a couple of side stories to beef it up a bit and give the other characters more depth). In this episode Norma goes to visit a mental hospital to find out more about it and see if it is correct for Norman, she goes home and tells Norman who takes it badly. Having been given the opportunity to leave with Bradley Martin, Norman (having just found out about the mental hospital) decides to go…Norma catches him packing a bag and has a fight with him, he hits her and then she puts him in the basement and ties him up locking the door. (your casual Friday night…). Norman escapes, meets Bradley. When they are leaving White Pine Bay Norman’s “Mother” wants to have a word with Bradley, to cut a long story short…Bradley gets killed. The good thing is no one will be looking for her because everyone already thinks she’s dead. As all this is happening we have Emma freaking out about a lung transplant and kissing Dylan. Sheriff Romero (A.K.A. Alex) protecting Norman and Norma by shooting Bob Paris due to him loving Norma. That’s all you really need to know.

The writing on this show has stayed consistently good since season 1, there is never a boring moment or unnecessary plot and the writers really seem to surpass themselves every season with the development of characters. I refer mainly to the relationships between Norma and her children, love interests and brother. As much as you may think Norman is the center of the show, it really is Norma and Vera Farmiga really does a great job at portraying the character.

As always, I enjoyed the cinematography of the show, however I would have liked to have seen some more exciting shots and the last shot showing the back or Norman by himself was actually quite disappointing because I feel like it could have had more depth if they had moved the camera in a different way, but the last scene was incredible other than that, chilling in fact. This show is very good at building up tension with camera techniques and is one of the reasons it’s my favourite show.

The music, not unlike the film Psycho, really built up tension in all the right moments and was used very cleverly.

One of the best things about Bates Motel is that they are making up plots based around an ending that is already set in stone and in that sense I think the show is really unique, although set in a different time period I feel the show is giving the film so much more depth. Also, there were a lot of nods to the original film in this series, Norman spying on a woman getting changed, “we all go a little crazy sometimes”, the car in the river (although in the film it was more of a swamp). Many more that I won’t bore you with, but I think all Psycho fans can appreciate these.

The finale really did what it was supposed to do, it got me excited for season 4 and the repercussions that come from “Norman’s” actions, the slow building romance between Alex and Norma, The new found relationship with Emma and Dylan and well…what will Norma do with Norman? Will he get the help he needs? I mean we all know he doesn’t, but the show could lead to anywhere.

Catch up on Bates Motel:

Bates Motel – Season 1-2 [DVD]

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