|Season 5, Episode 10|
|Air date||April 24, 2017|
|Written by||Kerry Ehrin & Carlton Cuse|
|Directed by||Tucker Gates|
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"The Cord" is the series finale of Bates Motel. It aired on April 24, 2017.
Norman Bates comes home.
As Regina drives Romero and Norman down an isolated road, she cries and pleads with him to let her go. When they eventually stop he tells her to get out of the car and to walk back to town as he forces Norman into the passenger's seat. Norman tells him that the location is another ten minutes up the road but that he may be lying and Romero says he better not be.
At the station the sheriff and her deputies examine the CCTV footage of Romero abducting Regina and Norman before ordering her men to station themselves outside both the Bates residence and Romero's house. She calls Dylan in to speak to him about the abduction, asking if he knows where they might be but Dylan says that Norman is sick and needs psychiatric help. However, all the sheriff cares about is getting Regina back safely.
Romero and Norman arrive at the woods and the former tells Norman not to mess with him when Norman reveals that he is "Mother". As Romero forces Norman to lead him to Norma's grave, he says he does not know what kind of sick person would dig up their mother's corpse and does not want to know what he did to her. All Romero is intent on doing is killing Norman once they locate the body. Norman suddenly stops and says they are at the location of the grave. As he digs through the snow, he uncovers the body and Romero pushes him to the ground, pummeling him repeatedly before turning his attention back to Norma's corpse. As Romero mourns over it, Norman recovers and subdues him with a rock, then shoots him twice with his own gun. Before Romero dies, he tells Norman that he will never be able to escape from the fact that he killed his own mother. Norman then has a vision of his mother talking to him about how they were meant to die together and he then wakes up in her bed with her next to him. She then disappears but he finds her in the kitchen preparing breakfast and she tells him he was only dreaming and that everything is okay. Suddenly, he comes to still lying in the snowy woods, surrounded by Romero's corpse and that of his mother.
As Norman drives back to the motel with Norma's corpse, he has a memory of the time Norma announced they were moving to White Pine Bay. He brings her corpse upstairs to her bedroom. Meanwhile, Dylan meets Remo, who congratulates him on getting married and settling down, also saying that he married a sister of one of the trimmer's and is now dealing in the distribution of medicinal marijuana. He hands Dylan a gun and wants him to tell him it is for protecting Emma and Kate. As he leaves he says they should catch up over some beers and reminisce about the good old days. Elsewhere, the sheriff receives a call over the radio from her officers. Norman arrives back at the Bates house and brings Norma's corpse upstairs to her bedroom, laying it out on the bed. He tells her he is going down to the motel office to set things up and when he sees the police tape he angrily removes it before going into the office. A few seconds later, he hears a car pull up and a mother and her two young sons approach him, asking for a motel room. She introduces her sons, one of whom is named after poet Dylan Thomas. Norman says he has a brother named Dylan and gives them the key to their room, telling her that her boys can make as much noise as they like since there are no other guests.
Dylan heads to the bar for a drink and when a woman approaches the bar for a drink, she attempts to chat him up but they are interrupted when his phone rings, so he excuses himself to answer it. It is Norman, who tells Dylan he and Norma have moved from Arizona and that they bought a motel. He invites him over for dinner that evening so that they can catch up. Dylan says he will be right over and asks if he is with Romero but Norman says that he does not know anyone with that name.
Sometime later as Norman sets the dinner table and brings Norma's fully clothed corpse down to the dinner table, Dylan pulls up outside the motel in his truck and phones Emma to tell her what is going on. She tells him he has to tell the sheriff what is going on but he says that she does not care about Norman and if he says anything then they will end up killing Norman. Emma reminds him that they are married and he has a child and will not arm him up so that he can do something stupid. He tells her he loves her and hangs up. He then sees a light on in one of the motel rooms and approaches it, banging on the door after hearing noise inside. The mother answers and he asks if Norman checked them in, before saying he should not have done so since he is mentally ill. He gives her some money and tells her to get herself and her kids out of there, saying there is another motel nearby.
As they speed away, Dylan goes up to the house where Norman greets him. He says that Norma will be so excited to see him but Dylan says that Norma is not there. However, he sees her corpse propped up in a seat at the head of the dinner table and throws up. Norman rushes to him and tells him not to worry about the mess as he starts to clean it up. He tells Dylan to sit down beside Norma and Dylan urges him to try and see what is really going on - he is not living in the real world. Norman tries to get him to stop as Dylan urges him to see that Norma is dead and that he needs to hand himself over so that he can get help. However, Norman does not want to be put in psychiatric care so that he can be drugged out of his mind for the rest of his life. Dylan says that all he wants is for Norman to be well again, for Norma to be alive and for them to meet his daughter but he knows that can never happen. Norman grabs the knife next to the sink and Dylan urges him to put it down as he takes out his gun. Norman says this is how it all ends and that he just wants to be with Norma. Dylan asks him not to let him do anything, but Norman lunges at him with the knife, forcing Dylan to fatally shoot him in the chest. Norman falls into Dylan's arms as a sequence in a forest shows him both as an adult and child running into Norma's arms. As Dylan apologizes for what he has done, Norman lies dying in his arms and thanks him for putting him out of his misery. The paramedics arrive to take Norma and Norman's bodies away and the sheriff and her deputies, having been notified from Regina about Romero, locate his body in the woods.
In a flash forward sequence, as the Bates motel and house is sold to another family by Jiao, now working as a realtor, Emma and Kate are seen walking along a street in Seattle and they encounter Dylan, showing that they are still together as a happy family. In the cemetery, Norma and Norman are shown to be buried side by side with Norman's side of his tombstone bearing only his years of birth and death.
- Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates
- Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates
- Max Thieriot as Dylan Massett
- Olivia Cooke as Emma Decody
- Nestor Carbonell as Alex Romero
- Aliyah O'Brien as Regina
- Nicholas Holmes as Norman Bates (child)
- Diana Bang as Jiao
- Nathan Cann as Mark
- Nicholas Carella as Deputy Miller
- Glen Gordon as Harry
- Hayley Gray as Liz
- Jennifer Copping as Amy
- Aiden Robson as Dylan
- Leah Cairns as Woman
- This episode was watched by 1.41 million viewers, making it the most watched episode of the season.
- Norman killing Romero is a reference to Psycho since he killed both his mother and her lover out of jealousy over their relationship. However, in both the novel and original film it was stated that they died after drinking strychnine-laced tea, initially believed to be a murder-suicide at Norma's hands.
- This is not the first time the death of Norman Bates has occurred in the 'Psycho' lore. He dies (albeit at a much older age) in the second novel and the 1987 TV movie that bears the same name as this show.
- The shot of Norman carrying Norma's body out of the bedroom and down the stairs is a homage to Psycho. Freddie Highmore also confirmed in an interview that it was the last scene shot before filming wrapped on the series.
- After kidnapping Norman, Romero calls him a "sick fuck". This is the only time in the series that profanity stronger than "shit" is used.
- The closing montage with Emma and Kate meeting Dylan shows a plaque on the ground with the figure of Alfred Hitchcock.
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