‘Bates Motel’ episode 10 recap: Top 5 moments from ‘The Cord’ finale

Check out time has come and gone for the final season of the “Bates Motel” as the series closed its doors in its final episode entitled “The Cord.” Final episodes have become a challenge for television series in this new age of social media where every fan is able to immediately turn to the web and express their opinion. It has become almost impossible to please everyone and the question of whether Norman Bates should get away with his crimes or be punished for them has strong support on both sides of the aisle.  Producers seemed to go for a fair ending with the innocent characters (Dylan and Emma) finding happiness while murderer Norman Bates (and also Sheriff Romero) were sent to their graves. The following are some stand out moments as we say goodbye to the show.

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Romero digs up Norma’s body
After kidnapping Norman (Freddie Highmore) from his jail cell Romero demands to be taken to the grave of his beloved wife Norma Bates (Vera Farmiga). Norman begins to dig up the body for Romero but eventually Romero takes over the digging. Nestor Carbonell’s touching sadness as he exhumed his wife’s body from the ground was quite powerful and then the rage that the sadness turned into in his final battle to the death with Norman were palpable emotions that burst off the screen.

The flashback of Norma buying the motel
The episode featured a number of flashbacks to past events in the life of the Bates’ but the one that stands out is Norma telling Norman that she had purchased a motel and that they were going to be starting over. Norma’s joy at the new adventure she had planned for herself and her son was a bittersweet thing to see now that we knew how much unhappiness owning the motel would bring to the Bates family.

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Emma and Dylan on the phone
Dylan (Max Thieriot) calls Emma (Olivia Cooke) right before he is going to see Norman at his house. Emma had threatened to leave Dylan in a past episode and here he seems to be forcing her hand as to whether or not she will stay married to him. Emma senses that Dylan is entering into a very dangerous situation with the unhinged Norman but interestingly she refuses to say whether or not she will stick with him and she encourages him to live for his daughter.

Norman forces Dylan to kill him
Dylan refuses to let Norman live out his fantasy of a happy family life complete with Norma’s dead body positioned at the dining room table. Norman pulls a knife on Dylan and Dylan who has purchased a revolver for protection has no choice but to kill Norman.

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The end
The producers went for the happy(ish) ending of showing a flash forward in time with Dylan, Emma and their daughter happily living out the perfect family life the Bates’ never had. The final shot of the series was the tombstone where Norma and her beloved son Norman are finally back together.

The neat way the story was tied up was perhaps a little disappointing for fans of the dark humor and macabre twists the series so often took. Fans in Gold Derby’s forums had prophesied that perhaps Dylan and Emma’s daughter may turn out to have the killer genes of her grandmother and uncle but producers chose a happier conclusion.

In a post-show interview with the cast Farmiga did joke that the domestic bliss may not hold up once that little girl starts asking questions like “what did my grandmother do, etc.” While it was a little disappointing that the finale didn’t offer one final big bang of an ending it was still a well-made episode that put to rest a fine show that provided its fans with great entertainment for the its five-year run.

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