Bates Motel premiered its final, 5th season tonight and we’ve got the full, detailed recap of episode 1.
The new season picks up two years after last season’s finale. It begins with a record playing and Norman asleep in bed alone. Norman wakes up to his imaginary dog Juno, who died in season 1. There are flowers next to his bed and lingerie draped in the bathroom that are “mother’s”. Norman gets dressed in a suit and dons a name tag that says “Manager.” When he gets downstairs, Mother has prepared breakfast for him and the two sit down to eat. Norman updates Mother with some changes his made at the hotel. Mother says that it’s hard for her to always stay in the house and she wishes she could go into town with him. Mother walks her son to the door and says she’d give up a million villages just to be with him in the house forever. As the door shuts, Mom Norma disappears and the house is revealed in its true state. The kitchen is dark and a mess, with old dishes everywhere.
In the next scene, Romero is shown in prison and, hanging in his cell is a picture of deceased wife Norma. He beats a punching bag in the prison yard and is clearly set on seeking revenge for Norma’s death.
Norman ventures into town and checks out the hardware store. He meets a young woman named Madeleine Loomis, working in the store and she helps him look at some paint for the Bates Motel. Norman tells the girl that he and his mother own the hotel, that she was very artistic but that she passed away. The woman sympathizes with Norman and attempts to sell him several cans of paint. When Norman tries to pay for the paint, he discovers that he has the wrong wallet. He becomes anxious and tells the woman he found the wallet in the motel and meant to put it in the lost and found.
In the meantime, Romero attempts to call a phone number while in jail but the call cannot be completed.
Norman goes home and asks Mother about the wallet, saying he doesn’t remember checking in the man on the ID from the wallet. Mother tells Norman to just put the wallet in the safe just in case. Norman leaves the house.
Next we see Dylan and Emma living life away from the Bates Motel. They are having a birthday party for Emma and Dylan is succeeding in his business career. The two have a baby girl together and appear very happy. During the party, the doorbell rings and Caleb arrives, surprising the couple. Caleb appears surprised as well, to see that his son Dylan has had a baby. Caleb says that he say on Facebook that the couple had a child and Dylan reveals that he hasn’t spoken to Norman or his mother. Dylan says he doesn’t want to talk about their falling out, but Caleb says that it should be different with a grandchild in the mix. Caleb then asks if he can stay at their house for a few nights and Emma says that it’s okay with them.
Back at the motel, Norman is reviewing the guest sign-in book and tries to find the name of the man whose wallet he has. He goes through the wallet’s contents and attempts to put the pieces together. Looking in his journal, Norman realizes that he may have blacked out when he came into contact with the man.
In prison, Romero is visited and it’s revealed that his parole was denied even though he has been a “model prisoner”.
A man checks into the Bates Motel and tries to rent a room for a few hours, but Norman insists they do not rent by the hour. The man agrees to pay for a whole night and the name he gives Norman is David Davidson. He refuses to give any other information and hands Norman money. Norman gives him a room key and the man retreats to his room after ushering in a woman from his car. Norman has a peep hole into this room and watches the couple have sex. With his pants unbuckled, Norman is interrupted as the phone rings. It’s Mother and she is calling Norman to come home for dinner. Norman goes home to a candlelight dinner that Mother has prepared. Norman questions his mother about a mystery order and then says he hates having blackouts. He also says he doesn’t want to take his medicine again.
Norman tells Mother about the woman, Madeleine, from the hardware store who sold him the paint for the motel. Mother starts interrogating him about Madeleine. Mother then talks about how she’s “pretending” to be dead to get away from everyone else. She says she’s given up her life to protect Norman and that she’s going crazy locked up in the house. Norman tells her he appreciates all she does and Mother becomes upset. Norman apologizes to her and Mother tells him that he cannot have other people in his life, especially women. She says that her job is to protect him and then she leaves the table in a huff.
Norman is laying next to Mother in bed as she is sleeping. He leaves the room and we see the bed is actually empty. Norman walks down into the basement hugs his dead mother’s lap, asking her, “What dream am I in mother?”
It’s morning and Emma and Dylan are talking about Caleb staying at the house. Dylan says he has a feeling Caleb wants to move to Seattle to be close to them. He says that he doesn’t know what to say because Caleb is his father and is trying to make an effort. Dylan then reveals that it was Caleb who came up with a bunch of money for Emma’s transplant. He confesses that Caleb never wanted him to tell her. Dylan then says that he feels like he has to give him a chance because he’s family.
We then get a glimpse at Dylan’s hand and see he’s wearing a wedding ring. Clearly, the couple has married.
Norman walks into the motel office and sees that the safe is open. He assumes that Mother has done it.
Madeleine shows up with paint and Norman gives her the money for the paint cans. He then offers to walk her to her car. She says she’d love to see the house, but Norman says it’s a mess. He then sees Mother peeking out of a window in the house. Madeleine then tells Norman that there’s a small business meeting going on in town that he should attend. Norman says he’s not sure if he could get away, but that he would think about it.
Emma wakes up to find Caleb eating some leftover birthday cake. Emma reveals to Caleb that the pregnancy was not planned, but that she was so happy. She then thanks him for helping her get her life-saving surgery and says she will always be grateful. She then tells him that he has to leave, saying that his staying would put Dylan in an impossible position, having to lie to his daughter. She says that she wishes things could be different. Caleb sadly agrees that he should leave and that she shouldn’t worry. Caleb is visibly upset after Emma leaves the room.
Back at home, Norman grabs the car keys and tries to leave the house to attend the town small business meeting. Mother is knitting and tells him he cannot use the car because he isn’t supposed to be driving. She says that it’s because of his blackouts. Mother then tells him to just walk and Norman becomes upset, insisting that he will drive. Norman starts to back up the car and Mother appears to be standing right in back of the car. Mother says that she knows what he’s doing and that she knows every thing about him. She says that he keeps doing things that creates more work for her. Mother grabs him by the ear and walks him back up to the house and down into the basement. She says, “You want to see what I do for you?” Mother then makes her look into a freezer. She says that the man from the wallet showed up at the motel to kill him and she murdered the man to save Norman.
Mother cries that the world is full of bad people and that they would die without each other. Norman looks in the freezer to see a bloody corpse and says that they have to get rid of the body. Mother says she needed the car and was just going to dump the body somewhere while Norman was out. Together, the two wrap up and carry the corpse out of the house and put the dead man into the trunk of their car.
Norman and Mother are shown rowing on a boat together, with Norman asking why people are trying to kill him. Mother says she doesn’t know. Norman stops the boat to dump the body in the water when a cell phone of the victim begins to ring. Norman picks up the phone to hear Romero on the other end. So, it seems Romero enlisted the victim (Jim) to kill Norman, but the man was unsuccessful.
The first episode ends here.