Bates Motel: Season 5 (2017)


Season 5
Bates Motel

Critics Consensus

Bates Motel's final season brings the franchise full circle, with a satisfyingly creepy conclusion to the trials and tribulations of Norman Bates.



Critic Ratings: 21


Audience Score

User Ratings: 468
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Air date: Feb 20, 2017
Air date: Feb 27, 2017
Air date: Mar 6, 2017
Air date: Mar 13, 2017
Air date: Mar 20, 2017
Air date: Mar 27, 2017
Air date: Apr 3, 2017
Air date: Apr 10, 2017
Air date: Apr 17, 2017
Air date: Apr 24, 2017

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Tv Season Info

Two years after the events of Season 4, "Bates Motel" returns in Season 5 to a still murderous Norman (Freddie Highmore) running the motel alone, convinced Norma (Vera Farmiga) faked her own death. While Norman tries to appear normal on the surface, "Mother" is always looming. Finding Norman's obsession with Madeline Loomis (Isabelle McNally), a woman who resembles Norma, distasteful, "Mother" becomes harder and harder to control. Discovering the true extent of Norman's psychosis, Chuck Hogan (Ryan Hurst) chooses to exploit the situation for his own gain, rather than intervene when Caleb (Kenny Johnson) and Romero (Nestor Carbonell) come seeking revenge.


Vera Farmiga
as Norma Bates
Freddie Highmore
as Norman Bates
Max Thieriot
as Dylan Massett
Nestor Carbonell
as Sheriff Alex Romero
Olivia Cooke
as Emma Decody
Kenny Johnson
as Caleb Calhoun
Nicola Peltz
as Bradley Martin
Michael Vartan
as George Heldens
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News & Interviews for Bates Motel: Season 5

Critic Reviews for Bates Motel Season 5

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (5)

For Bates Motel, such a fitting end may seem antithetical to a series with so many shocks, but it should help the series stand up over time

Nov 4, 2017 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

Of course, the fun in Bates Motel is in perverting that sweetness until its outright rancid, but The Cord wants viewers to remember that this was a show that was driven by love at the end of the day.

Nov 4, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

From its pitch-perfect production and costume designs to its well written arc of ebbing climaxes and violent episodes, "Bates Motel" cooks on all burners.

Aug 22, 2017 | Rating: A+ | Full Review…

Farmiga has given one of the best performances on TV for Bates Motel's entire run, as both "real" Norma and the version that lives in Norman's head.

Mar 6, 2017 | Full Review…

I'm not sure where the end of [Romero's] story will lead but I'm excited to see it play out.

Feb 23, 2017 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…

Rare is the movie adaptation that is not just excellent, but which becomes its own radiant achievement. It doesn't seem too early to bestow that praise upon Bates Motel.

Feb 21, 2017 | Full Review…

While season 5 appears poised to tell the story of a schizophrenic killer trying to remain in the shadows, what's even more exciting about the final chapter is that it's clear the exploration of Norman Bates is not yet complete.

Feb 21, 2017 | Full Review…

It's amazing Bates Motel ended as well as it did.

Nov 4, 2017 | Full Review…

Few shows are better in their second half than their first, but there's no question that seasons four and five of Bates Motel were superior to two and three.

Nov 4, 2017 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Thanks to the four years of accumulated backstory that's come before -- along with the ongoing knowledge of where this ends -- even the most incidental moments take on additional emotional weight.

Feb 21, 2017 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Top Critic

The creepiest, best moments are still those focused on Norman and the now-deceased Norma as Norman moves ever closer to the Norman Bates of Psycho fame.

Feb 21, 2017 | Full Review…

'Bates Motel' is moody, emotional, tense, and occasionally absolutely horrifying. Like Norman, it is not to be underestimated.

Feb 14, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bates Motel: Season 5

  • Sep 28, 2019
    Bates Motel is a drama series about a mother and her son who own a motel. It all takes a turn when we get to know more about the son. This show has a twist and keeps you wanting more. There is something really special about this show. It is binge-worthy and different to many shows. The overall plot and the great acting keeps the show interesting. It is worth watching it all the way to the end because the final season is very impactful. Although this show is based on a previous idea/movie, there is a dynamic and an element of unpredictability that adds to the show, so even if you have seen the movie, you still want to watch the series. Not only is Bates Motel very entertaining, it also shines light on mental illness and how easy it is for others to dismiss the signs. I recommend this show to anyone who is looking for something different and very unique and overall attention-grabbing.
  • Sep 22, 2019
    Must see!!! Excelent movie and the actor, terrific!!!
  • Aug 23, 2019
    Vera Farmiga Did an Amazing Job on this Show & She is so Gifted the show is so worth it
  • Jul 07, 2019
    this show is perfection and it ends here it does not fail to creep us out with norman seeing norma in unholy ways this season follows psycho to perfection caleb and chuck have their best scenes here in an entertaining gripping ending to this amazing show
  • Mar 22, 2019
    A fitting end to a superior series, with the usual dark, demented comedy, surprising twists, horrifying deaths, and schizophrenic behavior from the original psycho-with-a-knife, Norman Bates. You knew--just knew--that something awful was going to happen in damn near every episode, and it usually did. Fine acting (what else?) from Freddie Highmore as Norman, Vera Farmiga as his smothering, doomed-from-the-outset mother Norma, and, really, just about everyone else, especially Max Thieriot as Norman's sullen-loner-turned big-hearted mensch of a brother, Dylan; Nestor Carbonell as the hard-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside Sheriff Romero; and Olivia Cooke as Norman's one-time crush and Dylan's eventual wife, Emma. (And for those of you haven't seen the final episodes, if you think you know what happens to one of the most iconic of all of Hitchcock's characters, Marion Crane--who does indeed appear, late in the season--think again. Talk about the "Psycho" mythos being turned right on its ever-lovin' head!) Admittedly, when I saw that Season 5 had moved the storyline forward a couple of years--quite a leap--I was a trifle worried. Had Norman's team of writers finally jumped the shark? Nope--the show was better because of it, not worse. My ratings, for both this season, as well as for the show's entire blood-soaked run: 5 stars. Adieu, "Bates Motel". We had a hell of a time. (Even if you never did open that pool.)
  • Jan 02, 2019
    Such a satisfying conclusion to a great show. This is how to properly recreate source material, and make it your own.
  • Oct 16, 2018
    Absolutely hooked on these series. Brilliantly acted scenes from the whole cast, A chilling insight into Norman and Norma's life. It's a shame that all good things must come to an end!
  • Aug 22, 2018
    No matter how great a television series might be the cold reality is at some point in time there is a cancellation notice waiting to be issued. The question that matters to the creative people that invested so much of themselves into the project as well as the fans who have faithfully supported the series emotionally bonding with the characters. Pragmatically, when the end is inevitably near what matters most is the manner of how the finale is presented matters most. During the early days of television, many shows would just fade off into obscurity relegated to a footnote in some informative volume of TV history. then. Someone had the idea of concluding the story, tying loose ends together and giving the story a reasonable conclusion. This avoided the insulting action of an abrupt end, much like tearing the last chapters out of a well-written mystery novel. Then, series defied the prevailing wisdom was challenged and the hit drama. ‘The Putative’ ended with millions of fans intently watching as the mysteries that drove the series were finally resolved. Not every show receives this respectful treatment, but when it occurs, it is wonderful. The most recent example of a series including a final chapter is under consideration, ‘Bates Motel.' From its inception, everyone involved realized the tactical implications inherent in this specific story. Foremost among the concerns is the fame, or rather infamy, of the main character. Norman Bates regarded as one of the screen’s best-known serial killer of all times. The portrayal of this murderer iconically performed by Anthony Perkins in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, ‘Psycho.' Some many details of the story considered immutable that the writers may have some degree of freedom in telling the story and nuances of the character development, one thing was certain, the story of Norman and his mother would have to include her murder. She had to eventually become a preserved corpse anchoring the personality that crushed and directed Norman’s life. Any deviation from this would result in an uproar from the fans that would be entirely justified. During the first for seasons of the series, many significant additions and alterations infused into the various major and minor arcs. That al important moment finally arrived when the prequel had caught up with the story known by all horror fans. Thankfully, all involved maintained a great reverence for the source mater as well as the popular culture interpretation and the final season was engaging, intriguing and thoroughly entertainment up to the final moment before the last credit roll and fade to black. The conclusion was not the ending most would have imagined, but it did fit perfectly with the way this story was presented. I was completely amazed and pleasantly surprised by the creative choices that molded these final ten episodes. Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore), has always been close to his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga). Many might say too close to his mother. Their constant emotional codependency was upsettingly clear.From the vantage point of the audience, it remained obvious their relationship bordered all too close to incestuous. A disquieting feeling increased as the series escalated even though the eventual outcome is known and unassailable it requires writers, directors, and performers of exceptional abilities to engage the viewers and foster within them continually need to know what will happen next. The people involved here was a dream team worthy of the most intense offering on premium cable. That [laces the basic cable host of the show, A&E, above most networks in their tier. The season was set two years after the demise of Norma. During that period Norman was successful in maintaining the façade of grieving son doing his best to move on. The psychological strain of burying his true sense of loss eroding his cocoon of denial and grief. One element of the story’s treatment here is the detailed account of the mental and emotional disintegration of Norman’s already fragile psyche. Bound to his mother by acts of violence, at the hands of an abusive father and Norman’s complicity in freeing them from that hell, deformed the usual mother-son bond into a malignant co-dependency. This affords the audience a plausible, albeit unhealthy etiology for Norman’s psychopathic behavior and his dissociative state. Norman blamed his mother for the violence and death surrounding him. Norman perpetrated These actions in the guise of Norma. Unable to face holding his mother responsible split his personality. The ‘Norma’ persona acted, obtaining revenge, removing obstacles and covering criminal behavior. The ‘Norman’ component of his fractured mind, was horrified by ‘mother’s’ behavior engaging in further antisocial actions to cover up or atone for his mother’s crimes. In the later seasons,’s the dissociative persona became increasingly prevalent and dominant. This season is the culmination of a narrative that has been building with an amazing craftsmanship for years. While some series have met an untimely cancellation, this instance is an example of bringing a story to a timely and organically formed conclusion. There was nothing to be gained by continuing the examination of these characters. As Norman spirals inexorably into the final stages of is insanity, the fine line between him and his mother is all but erased. Secretly, Norman has kept the corpse of his mother preserved in the basement. The delusion perpetuated by Norman is his tenuous tether to appearing to be normal. He continues to run the Motel coming across as the polite, although quirky young businessman. He holds this image while in town during the occasions when he must engage in social or business related interacts, while picking up some items for the Motel Norman meets Madeleine Loomis (Isabelle McNally), who owns the hardware store along with her husband. Madeline bears a striking resemblance to his mother fostering an immediate attraction. She reciprocates his friendly overtures mutually acknowledging interest in taking the burgeoning relationship further. This simple plot device of Norman’s temptation by a real, living woman is a time-honored method of developing young characters. The genius demonstrated here lies in the execution and how seamlessly it dovetails into the furthering of the story and the requisite connection to the existing mythos. Marion Crane (Rihanna), rents a room in the motel in preparation of an assignation. In a scene that is a part of cinema history, Norman uses a peep hole behind a picture to watch the beautiful young woman in the shower. When her lover arrives, it is Sam Loomis (Austin Nichols), Madeline’s husband. The feeling Norman has transferred from his mother boil over and in the guise of Norma he stabs Loomis to death in the shower. Many of the names used in the film are repurposed here with surgical precision. The fundamental utilization of the characters is altered, but the familiar names serve as a continued reminder of the connection between series and film. This greatly helps the audience accept the alterations from what they most probably view as canon. From an emotional perspective, the series was impeccable in the way characters were driven enhancing them as finely drawn human beings. Norman had a love interest, Emma Decody (Olivia Cooke), who has chronic and terminal respiratory issues. Romance never worked out for Norman, but he easy contended with the ‘friend zone.' His half-brother, Dylan Massett (Max Thieriot) falls in love with her at the time of this season married Emma and moved away to start a family. Her medical problems were alleviated thanks to a lung transplant Dylan financed through an illegal endeavor. He has since embraced a lawful life. A history of physical and emotional abuse is demonstrated through Dylan’s father, Caleb (Kenny Johnson). The boy was a product of incestuous rape, Caleb is Norma’s older brother. Th series is a satisfying conclusion to one of the best translations of a significant movie to television, concluding with the style and intensity it always manifested.
  • Jul 26, 2018
    first few eps are little heady but it cracks your bone at the ending. unimaginable stuff from the writers, its as if they are super expert of knowing how to play with audiences expectations and toy with boundaries of creepiness anyone can think of.
  • Jul 23, 2018
    This psychological horror proves to be the most well-written, clever, annoying and addicting show to ever air.

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