Like a lot of you devoted fans out there that have been watching A&E’s BATES MOTEL since the beginning, I was pretty blown away by the shocking 4th season; arguably the series best thus far. And while we now have a long wait until BATES MOTEL resumes new episodes for its 5th and final season in March of next year, it gives us a lot of time to throw out some hypothetical theories. After all, the writers of the show have already promised that we’ll get to see their version of PSYCHO in the final season, including a multi-episode arc for infamous shower murder victim Marion Crane. But with 4 years of alternate history under the show’s belt, on top of the modern setting and number of now regular characters, how exactly will the events of PSYCHO unfold?
I’ve been discussing this at great length with several fellow PSYCHO fanatics, including my friend (and very talented author in his own right) Aaron Dries, and he presented me with one idea that hadn’t crossed my mind before. We’ll get to that last… For now, here’s what we hope will happen in BATES MOTEL season 5 as it pertains to its spiritual counterpart and inspiration PSYCHO!
There will be blood…
At the conclusion of Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO, we learn that there are 2 other missing persons cases from before Marion drove up to the Bates Motel. These first 2 of Norman’s victims and their murders were depicted in the prequel movie PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING. It’s been fascinating watching how Norman has avoided falling in the cracks of the justice (and mental) system and not been caught yet, despite how obvious it is to us, the viewer that he’s… well… off his rocker! But it’s part of that innocent charm that has kept him out of suspicion when it came to the town’s previous murders. Well, except for his former Step Dad Sheriff Romero, who knows the truth… Which brings us to…
Who will be the one to catch Norman?
There’s a lot of ways this can go down, but the beginning of Norman’s downfall is when he murders Marion Crane, a woman on the run for stealing an exorbitant amount of money. Where there’s missing money, there will be people who want to recover it, on top of worried family members. But let’s think about this as it relates to the characters we already know in BATES MOTEL.
In the movie, the Sheriff is Al Chambers, a pillar of the community that has known Norman and the Bates family for a long, long time and has never suspected this young boy’s deep, dark alternate personality. Now that Romero has been arrested by the FBI, will we be introduced to Sheriff Chambers, who inevitably will have to bring Norman in? Or will Sheriff Romero somehow figure out a way out of his current predicament and set his sights on proving Norman murdered his mother. If I had to bet, I’d say it’s the latter. Plus, the A&E Facebook page recently posted the cryptic quote from Sheriff Romero last week that read, “I’m gonna prove you did it.” Payback time? We’ll have to wait and see!
Also in the movie version, it’s actually Sam Loomis (not to be confused with the Doc played by Donald Pleasance in HALLOWEEN), Marion’s boyfriend and Lily, Marion’s sister that both pose as a couple and book a room at the Bates Motel to investigate the last known location that Marion was seen. Sam keeps Norman distracted while Lila sneaks off to the house to have a word with that “sick old lady” that she’s convinced must know something about her sister’s disappearance. In a twist of fate, when Lila spins around Norma Bates in her chair, she comes face to face with her skeletal remains, preserved as best as they could possibly hold from taxidermy, and then Norman, complete in full drag comes racing into the room with a large chef’s knife ready to strike. Sam darts in right behind him and stops Norman once and for all.
With Marion Crane being introduced into the BATES MOTEL universe, will they also go to the trouble of introducing two more characters to play Sam and Lila? How about this… what if that couple at the end from PSYCHO turned out to be Dylan and Emma in the BATES MOTEL version? Think about it. Norman made it very clear in his last phone conversation that it’d be best if they didn’t see each other anymore. Dylan now lives in Seattle with Emma, who on top of being Norman’s best friend has also been something of a daughter to Norma. What if Dylan and Emma return to the motel? And Emma starts snooping around, and eventually makes her way to the fruit cellar.
Can you imagine the impact it’ll have if it’s Emma that turns around Norma in the chair only to discover it’s her corpse? And then Dylan comes racing in to subdue his brother?
However they end up doing it, we’ll be there as each episode airs, waiting with baited breath and we’ll continue to speculate on the “what ifs” of Season 5 of BATES MOTEL until the show returns. Even if the wait drives us a little mad!
*Once again, special thanks to Aaron Dries for inspiring this article by suggesting the Dylan/Emma twist!