BATES MOTEL Review: “The Cord”


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has me thinking – Did Dylan kill his brother?  If the series is a true prequel, then the answer is no.  But where’s the proof?

Aha!  A&E…I saw that the cops only pulled out one body from the home.  One assumes it’s Norman, but nuh-uh.  I think it was Norma.  The film “Psycho” introduced us to Norman, alive and well, killing people in his mother’s old clothes.  If Norman is dead, then there would be no “Psycho”.  Get it?

So, he’s somewhere in that house wandering around in his mother’s clothes waiting for someone to enter his territory.  If Dylan left his brother in that house, he did it out of sympathy and guilt.  He abandoned the family in his early adult years; hated his mother; and always tried to get Norman to rebel against their mother.  So leaving him there may have been an act of love.

Of course, as in every episode, Norman kills someone.  It’s Sheriff Romero this time.  Romero sees Norma’s body and falls apart.  I’ve never seen a man more devastated.  This goes toe-to-toe with Leo DiCaprio’s performance in “Romeo & Juliet”.  And during this moment, Norman beats him to death.  It is also in this moment that I realize Norman can control his killing impulse but chooses not to.

Everything about Norman is sad.  When Romero punches him, I feel sorry for Norman.  How annoying!  I didn’t want to feel bad for Norman, but it’s so hard not to.   This man has killed multiple people, but he is still afforded sympathy.  It could be a combination of him being the protagonist and being perceived as mentally ill.  What do you do with someone like that?  Prison doesn’t seem fair, but asylums are scary af.  Is there hope for someone like that?  I don’t think so, which is why Dylan did what (I think) he did.

So, what’s next for Dylan?  A happily ever after with Emma and their daughter?  Probably.  His old boss has a happy ending.  Who would have guessed that?

Bates Motel -- "The Cord" -- Cate Cameron/A&E Networks LLC -- © 2017 A&E Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

White Pine Bay will never be the same.  It is still puzzling that Norman wasn’t in jail earlier.  Ever since he and Norma moved to that town, the murder rate must have risen 1000%.  Romero should have put 2-and-2 together, but no, he had to go fall in love with the murderer’s mother.  That clouded his judgment and landed him in prison.  He never dug up all of her secrets, so despite dying in a gruesome way, he’s living in paradise thinking that his beloved was perfect.

What’s missing from the finale is Norman’s final diagnosis.  What are we viewers supposed to believe about him?  Is he aware of what’s he doing or not?  The story used to be that he would black out and kill people.  But when he killed Romero, he was conscious (I think).  He is definitely conscious when he asks Dylan to have dinner with their stuffed mother.  He’s clearly not all there, but is he self-medicating?  He has always had an unnatural dependency on his mother.  She encouraged that since birth.

But as he got older, his dependency led him to kill her.  He had the “if I can’t have you, then nobody can” mentality.  He begs Dylan to keep him with her.

What’s fascinating about this story is that a son loves his mother to the point of death.  Yes, I can call it love because the acts of love are subjective.  Killing a person because you love them isn’t right, but it doesn’t mean that they didn’t love the person, according to their own (sick) definition of it.  We are all taught what it means to love.  I wasn’t taught to kill someone, but Norman was taught to protect the ones you love even if that means killing them or someone else.  His mother taught him that because that’s how she showed him that she loved him.  So was Norman justified in killing her?  Of course not, but I understand.

is a brilliant series.  I’m sure I missed some things in this finale.  On the surface, it seems disappointing.  Norman is killed by his brother. And Dylan seems to be living happily ever after.  Where’s the reward in watching for 5 seasons just to end on that note?  Watch again.

TB-TV-Grade-A-Season 5, Episode 10 (S05E10)
Bates Motel airs Mondays at 10PM on Showtime

Read all of our reviews of Bates Motel here. 
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Jennifer spends her nights writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @reneseford
Keep up with all of Jennifer’s reviews here.

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