Well, we’re feeling nostalgic. Tonight marks the final episode of A&E’s hit series, Bates Motel, and we’ve gotta say… the show has been so much more than we ever expected. The idea of basing an entire television series on the greatest movie ever made seemed like it would be a fast failure, as easily forgotten as that time TV attempted making a Bates Motel series in the 1980’s. Our expectations were low (so was the bar set by the first episode, in fact), and yet with each passing episode Bates Motel continued to get wilder, curiouser, and… well, just better. So much so that we forgave the timeline, forgetting altogether about the cell phones, and even indulged the side stories about the town and its drug trade — though in reality, we could never really wait to see Norman and Norma back on the screen.
In my estimation, season 2 is the best season. Why? Because it’s the season where the writers wised up. Where season 1 was as much about Norman’s quirkiness and teen angst as it was drugs, police corruption, and underground sex slaves (remember that storyline?), season 2 is when Bates Motel began to put its real star in the spotlight: Norma Bates. Once the second season began to rev up its engines, it became clear from that point forward that the show was really all about Norma, personified to perfection by the brilliant Vera Farmiga.
To celebrate tonight’s finale of Season 5, here’s my personal favorite moment in the entire series. When Norma decides she and Norman should try to ‘blend in’ with the townsfolk, she has them audition for a local theater production. As her audition piece, Vera Farmiga, with all the loneliness, heartache, and history of one Norma Bates, belts “Maybe This Time” with subtle sadness and finesse. It’s a fitting song for the perpetually grief stricken Norma, and a perfect reminder of why this show got it right in all the right places.