So, the final season of A&E's Bates Motel started and we really don't want to say goodbye to this show! Bates Motel is a modern prequel of sorts to Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 horror classic, Psycho. It features a young Norman Bates and his mother, Norma, after they've moved to Oregon and bought a beat up motel in an attempt to start over. The true genius of this show is how its handled the slow burn of Norman's psychological unraveling and how that is intrinsically linked to the extremely close relationship he has with his mother. And seriously, the two leads, Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga, hit it out of the park every single episode, as they are completely stunning together as mother and son.
Here are 15 of Bates Motel's creepiest moments that we loved!
15 That shocking first episode that got right to the nitty-gritty
If you are a true fan of the show (who started watching back in 2013 when it debuted), you might remember that the premiere episode was a true tour de force in terms of performances and had a story that immediately captured your attention.
One of the hardest scenes to watch in the pilot episode (yet, you couldn't look away because it was so utterly gripping) was when Norma is raped in her own house by the disgruntled former motel owner. Luckily for her, Norman comes home to discover Norma being assaulted and fights the rapist off before Norma stabs him to death. It was simply shocking and we are seriously haunted by that scene to this very day.
14 Getting used to the creepy Norman/Norma dynamic
Another thing Bates Motel established right off the bat was how they wanted to represent Norma and Norman's mother/son relationship. We can say that it was certainly something to get used to! It's totally not a normal mother/son relationship, as it completely pushes boundaries at times and often feels romantic —and the beautiful thing is, this is exactly what the show was going for. With everything from the slow dancing together to the inappropriate long hugs and cuddling to Norman watching his mother change, it all helps to create an unsettling feeling within as you watch it all unfold. But honestly, we wouldn't have it any other way.
13 When Deputy Shelby, of course, was too good to be true
Over the years, this show definitely had no shortage of good-looking men to gawk at and Norma's love interest in the first season of the show, Deputy Shelby, delivered in spades on the hunk-o-meter. At first, he truly seemed too good to be true! He had a great job and great connections in the town that Norma was trying to break into with her business. He was also romantic and protective. Then, things went south, very quickly. It was discovered that he was a part of a human trafficking ring and was even keeping a young girl captive in his basement (as discovered by a spying/jealous Norman). The Bates family's involvement with Deputy Shelby came to a head when Dylan shot him (after Shelby held the family at gunpoint upon discovering his escapee was crashing at the motel).
12 When Norman stuffs his dead dog (because that's what people do)
Almost all of us out there have experienced the tremendous pain and loss you feel when a pet dies, but for Norman Bates, it was on a whole different level. In the middle of season one, Norman finds a cute stray dog around the motel and names him Juno. In the next episode, Norman's new four-legged friend gets hit by car and dies. It's sad, intense and tragic, but instead of taking that pain and doing what most other people would do (i.e. cry, adopt another pet etc.), he takes Juno to his friend's dad (who does taxidermy for a living) and gets Juno stuffed. He did this so he can display him and still talk to him and pretty much all the usual things you do with an actual living pet (besides walk it). It was actually pretty darn creepy to watch Norman engage with this poor (stuffed) thing.
11 Norman and Miss Watson
All it takes is watching just a single episode of Bates Motel to catch on to the fact that Norman Bates has "special urges" when it comes to the women he encounters. It doesn't matter if they're completely inappropriate either (hence, his relationship with his mother). Such was the case for his English teacher, Miss Watson. In the series, this poor woman (though she was actually far from innocent) only lasted until the end of the first season. The bond between the two came to a fiery head when she turned up with her throat slashed, after spending a sultry rainy evening with Norman (and you didn't get all the gory details on what happened to her until season two). Let's just say their relationship was beyond inappropriate and creepy.
10 Bradley getting cozy on the couch
As far as the character of Bradley Martin is concerned, we could really take her or leave her most days (because of that blank stare and the way she slept with Norman and then tossed him aside). But, one thing you can definitely say about Norman's school mate/early love interest is that the girl had spunk! In the first season, her father is horrifically murdered in a fire, leaving her completely devastated and on the hunt for who killed him. With the help of Dylan, Bradley discovers who killed her father and gets herself invited into his home for what he believes will be a very sexy time together. Little does he know, though, that just as things are getting hot and heavy and this young woman is literally straddling him, is exactly the point in time when she shoots him dead. Her act of revenge and how it's executed is completely intense, scary and thrilling to watch, all at the same time!
9 The big reveal about Dylan's father
When Norma's (hot) other son, Dylan, shows up in the first season, it's next to impossible not to detect the hostility and tension between both Norma and Dylan, as well as between Dylan and his half brother, Norman. All is revealed a few episodes into season two when Norma's brother, Caleb, shows up. She had previously shared with Norman that her brother "used to make her have sex with him" when they were young. And it turns out that he is, in fact, Dylan's father. You really can't help but love a big reveal like this because it immediately introduces the fact that there is so much sorted history there. Also, if you were ever a fan of V.C. Andrews and Flowers in the Attic, you can totally appreciate how juicy this stuff can be.
8 The nods to 'Psycho' when Norman spies on motel guests
Luckily for us viewers, there are so many great nods to Alfred Hitchcock's movie Psycho throughout the whole series, but one thing in particular that stands out is when they show Norman spying on the guests (and sometimes, his own mother). It's always done in such a way that you are usually right there along with Norman (so it feels as though you're spying along with him). You also can't help but feel fairly creeped out, as he spies through an open window or peeps through an actual man-made hole in the wall. It really makes you wonder if you've ever been spied on in such a way (*shudder*).
7 Norman's blackouts get into full swing
Bates Motel is truly great at building the tension and not revealing too much information at once. It's very interesting to watch Norman's blackouts—what he remembers and the natural progression of what can come with something like that if it's not treated. After Norma's brother (and Dylan's dad), Caleb, comes back into town and it's revealed what their sibling bond entailed when they were young, Norman's over-protectiveness goes into full swing. He goes to Caleb's motel to pay him a visit and things quickly escalate. As Norman's deep rage from within peaks, his alter ego that exists during his blackouts comes to the surface and things grow increasingly weird, scary and violent for whoever he encounters. This time, of course, his encounter with Caleb.
6 When Norman starts to remember things...
At the end of season two, things grow increasingly difficult for Norma Bates. She unknowingly gets a little too involved in town politics and stumbles upon someone higher up, who is looking to get involved with Dylan in the marijuana trade. This person also happens to be Miss Watson's father, so things get complicated for Norman there, as well. In order to fully get Norma's attention, Norman is kidnapped and locked up in a creepy, little box outside of town in the woods and he starts to unravel. He has a blackout of sorts and starts to remember his time with Miss Watson on the night of her murder. Suddenly, his involvement is crystal clear: he killed Miss Watson after being seduced back to her place. It's very intense and creepy to see all of these things come to light for him.
5 When mother and son share a kiss
So, we've talked about all of the times Norma and Norman are super cuddly and hold a hug for maybe a little too long, but at the end of season two, you get to see the full shebang—mother and son locking lips. After Norman's memory comes back in regards to what happened between him and Miss Watson, he plans on leaving his mother and everyone behind and ending his own life. When he sets out to the woods with a gun, Norma is able to track him down and talk him into coming home, but not before they share passionate kiss on the lips. In Norma's defense, it's pretty much an act of desperation, as she's trying to convince Norman not to kill himself, but to see a mother and son share a moment like that definitely sends the creepy vibes up our spine.
4 Norman hanging in the kitchen cooking... in Norma's robe
It was one memorable episode (in episode six of season three) when Norma Bates had had enough of everything and everyone. She packed her bags, leaving in a hurry, only to find Norman screaming after her to stay. But, she didn't (okay, she only left him for not even a full episode), but it sure as heck was enough to make his lose it. Cut to him spending the first part of his evening in bed with depression to a few hours later, when Dylan finds Norman strolling around the kitchen in Norma's robe making a full course breakfast and telling him to go "fetch his brother" so they can eat. Our first glimpse at Norman as "Norma" was portrayed so alarmingly well by Freddie Highmore, you couldn't help but feel creepily stunned at just how well he could pull it off!
3 When Norman kills Bradley
Remember Bradley Martin? Well, she comes back onto the scene, late in season three, to cause some trouble for the Bates clan. Returning to his old feelings, Norman becomes enamored with his former fling and plans to run away with her. However, his plan is quickly turned down by an alarmed Norma, who doesn't want to see his son leave town with his blackouts becoming more and more of an issue. On their way out of town, Norman and Bradley pull over and his alter ego comes out to play, dragging Bradley out of the car, bashing her head in repeatedly on a rock. It's absolutely brutal to watch, but too good to turn away from!
2 Norman's plan for him and his mother
Late in season four, Norman begins to realize that things aren't changing for him (even after his stint in the mental hospital), as his blackouts are still happening and he realizes that he killed Emma's mother (who came to town to make amends during Emma's transplant surgery) during a blackout. He notices that this is also a very sad time for Norma, as her marriage to Sheriff Romero is on the rocks and he doesn't want to put them in harm's way anymore. So, after one last nice evening in bed with his beloved mother (*shudder*), after she's fast asleep, he goes into the basement and turns on the faulty furnace and blasts it into her bedroom where they are both asleep now. Unfortunately, the gas only did its job on one of them, as the heartbroken sheriff discovers when he comes home to Norma—to find that she has died.
1 Norman's reaction to Norma's death
Their bond was undying (and we mean that in every weird sense that you can imagine it). After Norma's death (which he had planned to be his death as well), Norman does a number of creepy things that are pretty surefire to make you feel worse about things—yet, they all seem to help him deal, which is creepy and a little funny. He throws a funeral for Norma and invites no one else (even her other son, Dylan, has no idea Norma has died). And then, he simply cannot take living in that house alone without his "mother," so he goes to the cemetery and literally digs her body up, drives her home and lays her to rest on their couch, where they've shared plenty of movie nights and snuggles over the years. Seriously, to say this episode had some of the creepiest stuff Bates Motel had ever featured would be an understatement.