Bates Motel – Final Season Episode 1 – Dark Paradise – Recap

Courtesy of A&E



Norman Bates is officially cuckoo. His beloved Mom, Norma, her remains preserved thanks to Norman’s taxidermy skills, sits in a darkened room surrounded by flowers, like a shrine to her very existence. Meanwhile, Norman, Manager of the Bates Motel, maintains his conversations with her in his mind, and goes about his daily existence in the belief that she’s still very much alive.

The episode starts with a time jump: Dylan is now married to Emma – her double lung replacement last Season paid off – and they have a young abby, a daughter. Dylan’s Father Caleb (actually Norma’s brother who raped her as a young teenager) calls at the  house when Emma’s birthday party is in full swing, but Dylan invites him in, and shows him his daughter. Emma later thanks him for paying for her life saving surgery and then demands that he leaves and never comes back. The horror that Caleb raped Norma hangs over Declan’s life, and she can’t have Caleb around ruining their lives. He agrees and leaves.

The insights into Norman’s psyche this season are very clear, and sharp. The way the big reveals are made to the audience are breath taking. In the opening scene, Norman sits down to a breakfast while Norma fusses over him, bemoaning the fact that she’s stuck in the house, dead, while Norman gets to go the new hardware store in the Village. Of all things, she misses going into the Village. Norman sets off to the Motel and a guest arrives, wanting a room for the afternoon only which sets off Norman’s nerves. He explains that the Motel isn’t that kind of place and the guest pays for one night, and promptly brings his female friend into the room for sex. Norman had checked them into room one so he could spy on them and jerk off. The phone rings suddenly, and its Norma telling him to come to the house before his meal gets cold, and he returns to the house.

There’s a scene where Norman looks through his journal. He’s recording his blackouts and comparing them to days when guests have stayed at the Motel to make sure the wallet he had in his back pocket which belonged to a now deceased guest isn’t all in his mind. Sadly, the wallet belongs to a dead guy who was sent there to murder Norman. As the assailant pulled his gun from his pocket, Norma clubbed him over the head, and then used a knife to voraciously stab him. She puts the body in the freezer then reveals to Norman later how she saved him, and warns him that people are going to come after him.

The kicker this episode is sheriff Romero is in prison serving a sentence for being corrupt.

Just as Norma and Norman are in a boat going to dump the man’s body his phone rings and Norman pulls it from under the plastic shower curtain and answers the phone.

It’s Sheriff Romero checking that Norman’ killer has done the job.