Bates Motel season 3 ended last night with a decent finale. For a season finale, it felt lacking in big surprises. Norman killing Bradley didn’t have the dramatic impact it seemed meant to have because it was so inevitable. Still, it did mark a transition for Norman and I feel like I should remind myself that there’s more to good TV than just shocking twists.
I wish we’d gotten more time with Bradley this season so her death would make more of an impact. I felt like I still wanted to learn more about her when her story was cut off. If they’d made me believe that she and Norman had some sort of real connection, that might have helped make it more powerful that he would then turn around and murder her.
But, there were many nice things about the finale. In particular, Norma coming out of denial to try and get Norman help was a huge step in her character development and one that I never would have expected to happen early in the season. The expense of the hospital is obviously a big obstacle, but to me this storyline isn’t about actually solving anything in a tangible way as much as it was about demonstrating that Norma has grown and is ready to do what will actually help her son most, not just what will allow her to feel normal. The fact that she’s made such big strides makes her upcoming demise even sadder.
There was also a nice moment between Dylan and Emma. I’m not one of the fans who wanted them to be together since day one, but overtime the show has really sold me on them. I like how they became close friends first and the kiss felt very organic to me because the show didn’t have it happen to soon. Things are obviously about to get very bad for them and it was nice that they got a bit of happiness first.