Bates Motel closed the doors on its first season last week with “Midnight,” an episode that wrapped up many of the stories they’ve been building to, while also opening brand news doors.
The episode begins with Norma visit Sheriff Romero to tell him about Jake Abernathy attacking her and threatening to kill her if she does not give him the money. Sheriff Romero promises he will take care of it, but Norma does not believe him. She of course decides to take matters into her own hands and requests a gun from Dylan, who thinks (read: knows) this is a bad idea. After bickering with her oldest son, Norma attends her therapy session. After he questions Norma about her childhood, Norma becomes uneasy. Elsewhere, Sheriff Romero meets with Keith Summer’s sister, who reveals his real name to be Joe Fioretti. Joe attacked her after also questioning her about the money Shelby owed him. Keith’s sister shows up at the motel and warns Norma that she needs to give him the money or else she will be killed.
Norman decides to take Emma to the school’s Winter Formal, delighting her. Later, Norman overhears his teacher Miss Watson talking on the phone to a mysterious man named Eric who she demands never call her again. When she sees Norman, Miss Watson makes him promise he won’t reveal what he heard. Emma shows Norma her dress, spotting a scar on her leg. Norma covers by saying she spilled hot chocolate on her leg as a child. Soon after, Dylan brings a gun to his mother and the two begin to bond when Dylan calls her ‘mom’ for the first time in years. Dylan won’t be bonding with his brother anytime soon, however, after Bradley shows up looking for him and not her one time lover Norman, infuriating young Bates. Norma and Norman argue, but she decides it’s time to tell Norman the truth about her childhood: her brother molested her when she was a young girl and she got the scar on her leg after a hot iron fell on her after her brother did that to her. Time will tell if the stories she told were true, but it would certainly explain more about Norma’s clearly damaged psyche.
At the Winter Formal, Norman can’t take his eyes of Bradley. Emma confronts Norman about his actions, admitting her feelings for him and telling him how foolish he is because he can’t see that. Emma leaves the dance and Bradley’s date attacks Norman, demanding he stay away from Bradley. A bloody Norman walks down the road in the rain, running into Miss Watson along the way. She invites him back to her house to clean him up. When Miss Watson goes to her room to change she leaves the door open, triggering something inside Norman. He envisions his mother telling him that he ‘knows what he has to do.’ Sheriff Romero and Joe Fioretti meet at the docks as a hiding Norma watches on. Romero offers Joe a partnership, but it is all a trick. Romero shoots Joe and he falls into the water, (hopefully) dead. On her way back from the confrontation, Norma runs into Norman running back to the motel. He can’t remember meeting Miss Watson on the road or anything that happened at the house. The episode ends happily, however, with Norman and his mother going back to the motel to build a fire…just kidding! The final scene is of a bloody Miss Watson, seemingly murdered by Norman.
Is Joe Fioretti really dead? Was Norma telling the truth about her past? Did Norman really kill Miss Watson? All these questions and more won’t be answered until next season, but don’t worry: I’m sure Norman will keep a room open for you.