WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
“Bates Motel” concluded its first season Monday … and it was a jaw-dropper! What happened in episode 10, “Midnight?"
Last time “Bates Motel” left off, Jake Abernathy threatened to kill Norma and her sons if she didn’t deliver $150,000 that he thought she stole from Keith. Norma goes to Sheriff Romero for help, and he tells her to trust him to take care of it. “You have my word,” Romero tells Norma. But that’s not good enough for her. Fearing for the safety of herself and her family, Norma asks Dylan to get her a gun.
It turns out that Norma isn’t the only person that Jake Abernathy has been harassing for the money. Romero goes to see Maggie, Keith’s sister, and lets her know that he is aware that she used to do the paperwork for the girls Keith and Shelby used to deal with. Maggie is sporting bruises on her face and tells Romero that Abernathy (going by a different name with her) came to her for the money, but eventually figured out that she didn’t have it. What she did learn though is that Abernathy runs four different ports of girls up the coast.
Romero finds the money in a garage (who it belongs to is a mystery), and tells Maggie that he’ll forget about her involvement with the prostitution ring if she keeps her mouth shut. While Maggie does promise to keep quiet, she pays Norma a visit to warn her that Abernathy WILL kill her if she doesn’t give him what he wants.
Meanwhile, Norman is struggling with high school problems. Walking into Miss Watson’s classroom to tell her he doesn’t want to publish a story, he instead interrupts a pretty heated phone call. His teacher is yelling at a man named Eric, telling him to not call her again. Realizing that Norman heard her conversation, Miss Watson makes Norman promise to keep it a secret.
That’s not the only secret that Norman is keeping. Although turned down by Bradley, that’s not stopping him from pining over her. In an attempt to move on, Norman does agree to take Emma to the school dance. Although he is initially pretty happy to take her, his feelings change when Bradley visits his house to see Dylan. In an innocent visit, Bradley is just picking up a box of her dad’s belongings that Dylan was able to grab from his office … but Norman gets twisted when Dylan tells Bradley that “you can bug me anytime.”
As time dwindles, Norman gets ready for the dance only to find that he has no black socks (GASP!). Thank goodness for older brothers because Dylan saves the day, and is rewarded for his generosity by having an awkward conversation with Norman about Bradley.
While that seems like a fairly normal pre-dance situation, the night takes a turn for the bizarre and disturbing when Norma decides to tell Norman (15 minutes before he was supposed to leave for the dance) that her brother raped her from when she was 13 up until he moved out. “Bates Motel” viewers will also remember that Norma has a pretty nasty looking scar on her thigh, and reveals that she got it from a hot iron when she feared that her dad would walk in and kill her brother for what he was doing.
After hearing that traumatizing story, Norman leaves for the school dance with Emma. But it’s not exactly how each of them hopes it would turn out to be. Norman spends the time staring at Bradley and her boyfriend, while Emma gets upset and leaves after telling Norman off. As Emma stalks off, Bradley’s boyfriend approaches Norman for a chance to talk privately. Taking Norman outside, he tells Norman that he took advantage of her when her father died, and proceeds to deck him in the face.
As Norman has his awkward (and possibly the worst) school dance, Norma heads to the docks with a fake bag of money to meet Abernathy. Hearing a car pull up, Norma hides behind some boxes. The car turns out to be Romero with a bag presumed to be full of the real money he found in the garage earlier. As Romero walks out the dock, Abernathy pulls up and asks for Norma. Romero tells Abernathy that it’s his town, and that he must go through him now for any business. Norma is shocked when she hears Romero offer 50/50 profits for the prostitution ring, but she’s even more shocked when Abernathy makes a reach for the bag and is shot dead by Romero. “Not in my town you piece of s**t,” the sheriff says as the body and the bag of money hit the water. But that’s not the only thing that Romero has up his sleeve. It turns out that he knew that Norma was hiding and watching the whole time. “You can go home now Norma,” he tells her. “I said trust me.”
While Norma celebrates her small victory, Norman begins to walk home in the rain but is picked up by Miss Watson. Bringing Norman back to her home to clean up the cut on his face from Bradley’s boyfriend, the teacher inappropriately caresses his face but does nothing more. Telling Norman not to tell anyone he was at her house, Miss Watson goes to change before bringing him back to the Bates Motel.
Norman watches as Miss Watson strips out of her dress, her moves reflected in a mirror in her room. As Norman watches, he begins to hallucinate his mother talking to him. The hallucination of Norma tells her son that Miss Watson is trying to seduce him, which would be the only reason for her leaving her bedroom door open and changing by a mirror. “Norman, you know what you have to do,” the fake Norma tells him.
The camera cuts to Norman once again running in the rain, and “Bates Motel” viewers immediately know something is wrong. Coming back home the same time as his mother, Norman tells her that he remembers going to Miss Watson’s house, but blacked out until he was running home. Hearing that same story before, Norma doesn’t seem to worry, but fans are suspicious.
Once again the scene cuts to Miss Watson’s home where puddles of blood lead to her body. The season finale of “Bates Motel” ends with Miss Watson dead on the floor with her throat cut.
Fun thought: A necklace on Miss Watson’s throat had a “B” on it. The affair letters to Bradley’s dad were signed with a “B.”
What did you think of the season one finale of “Bates Motel”?
Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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