TV Recap: Bates Motel Season 1 - Episode 10 - ‘Midnight’

By Caleb Woods

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The Bates Motel season 1 finale did not disappoint. Even though the season only lasted 10 episodes, it was one of my favorite shows this year. I really hope moving forward that there are more episodes in the upcoming season. Throughout this first season, there have been many twists and turns that kept viewers interested. The finale continued with this same theme and ended with a chilling scene.

I am constantly blown away by Vera Farmiga’s acting skills. She definitely brings life to Norma. The therapy session in the episode was brilliant. It was nice to find out more about Norma’s past and why she is the way she is. I think Norma realizes that she has a problem, but ignores it most of the time. She usually blames everyone for her problems instead of herself. It was absolutely hilarious when she screams at the man for accidentally bumping into her.

The episode mainly revolves around the school dance. Norman asks Emma to the dance, but ends up staring at Bradley the entire time. Right before Norman leaves to go to the dance, Norma drops a bomb. She tells him that her brother used to rape her and that the scar on her leg was from it. She explains that her brother was raping her one day when her dad came home unexpectedly. She jumped up quickly and knocked an iron over, which landed on her leg. It was nice finally getting an answer, because the scar on her leg has been seen numerous times throughout the season. This really upsets Norman and is basically the beginning of his horrible night.

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While at the dance, Norman stares awkwardly at Bradley the entire time. He hardly pays any attention to Emma. This pisses Emma off and eventually just leaves without him. After Emma leaves, things get much worse for Norman. Bradley’s boyfriend asks to speak to him, so they both go outside. Once outside, Bradley’s boyfriend tells Norman to leave Bradley alone. He ends up punching Norman and leaves him lying on the ground outside.

While all this is happening, Norma goes to meet up with the mysterious man, Mr. Abernathy. Before she meets him at the pier, she goes to Sheriff Romero and asks for his help. He doesn’t tell her what he will do, just that she should trust him. This doesn’t ease Norma’s mind, so she enlists Dylan to get her a gun and teach her how to shoot. The mother/son dynamic between Dylan and Norma was great in this episode. Seeing him teach her how to shoot ended up being a great scene. Dylan actually slips up and calls her “mom” for the first time. After this, Norma goes to the pier. When she sees Sheriff Romero arrive, she hides behind some crates. Romero meets up with Abernathy while Norma watches from a distance. Eventually, Romero pulls out his gun and kills Abernathy. Abernathy falls into the water – seemingly dead. Romero seems the king. He seems like the most powerful person in the town.

Meanwhile, Norman walks home in the rain all alone. As Norman walks down the street, a car pulls up right beside him. It’s Norman’s English teacher, Miss Watson, who was seen getting into an argument on the phone earlier that day at school. She tells him to get in the car, notices his cut face, and takes him back to her place. I loved the symbolism of the color red in the episode. While at the dance, the song “Lady in Red” can be heard. Not only is Miss Watson wearing a red dress, she’s also driving a red car and hands him a red cup to drink. As Miss Watson goes to change clothes, Norman begins to see a vision of his mother on the couch. She begins to say, “What kind of a grown woman invites a teenaged boy into her house and changes her clothes where he can see her? She’s trying to seduce you. Norman, you know what you have to do.” The next shot we see is of Norman running home. He tells Norma that the last thing he remembers is running on the road trying to get home. They start walking up to the house.

The last scene of the scene consists of amazing camera work. The camera twists and turns around the bed in Miss Watson’s house. The camera slowly reveals Miss Watson lying on the floor with a sliced neck. I kind of figured that Norman killed her, but what’s interesting is that Miss Watson was wearing a necklace with a “B” on it. The “B” is significant because when Bradley found out that her father was having an affair, all the letters sent to him were signed with just “B.” Does this mean that Miss Watson was the “B” that was having an affair with Bradley’s dad?

This first season of Bates Motel was great. This show has a large amount of creepiness and just the right amount of dark humor. I find myself rooting for Norman and Norma, despite knowing their tragic end. The writers have done a great job making other characters seem like the “bad” guys. Norman and Norma are almost the “good” guys in the show. I’ve been a fan of Carlton Cuse since LOST and he’s definitely not disappointing with this show. I cannot wait until the next season.


  • * Did Norman really kill Miss Watson? Did Bradley find out who “B” was and get her revenge? Did the mysterious man that Miss Watson was on the phone with earlier that day kill her instead?
  • * What will be the fallout of Miss Watson’s death?
  • * How much of the night was just a vision by Norman? What really happened?
  • * Will anything happen between Bradley and Dylan?
  • * Is Abernathy definitely dead?
  • * Will Emma forgive Norman?
  • * Will Bradley’s boyfriend come back into play?

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Staff Television Critic: I enjoy reading, writing, viewing, filming, and learning. I enjoy thought-provoking material that stimulates the mind. Inspirational influences of mine include J.J. Abrams, LOST, and Cloud Atlas.