UPDATE: Norma Bates has really died and her death appears to others as a suicide though it is being investigated. Sheriff Romero is determined to prove that Norman killed his mother. Norman does not alert his brother Dylan that Norma is dead and, instead, he tells Dylan he can no longer speak to him. Romero flies off the handle trying to prove Norman’s guilt and ends up on the other side of his handcuffs. Meanwhile, Norman digs up his mother’s body and brings her home, having difficulty believing she’s truly dead. Finally, the hallucinations take hold and Norma is back for good to be with her son … in his psychotic mind.
Last week on Bates Motel, Norman decided to kill himself, along with his mother Norma, while they were sleeping. He turned up the furnace and closed all the vents in the house, then laid calmly next to his mother to fall asleep. Norma’s husband Sheriff Romero (who she was tearfully leaving), managed to come in and rescue the two of them. Norman regained consciousness, but a heartbroken Romero could not wake up his wife. He clutched Norma and sobbed as Norman looked over at the two of them.
Both Norma’s son Dylan and Romero had warned Norma that Norman was too mentally ill and he needed to be committed, but Norma didn’t want to let go of her beloved Norman.
So, did Norma actually die? Yes, she did.
As for what executive producer Carlton Cuse had to say about the finale, he told Entertainment Weekly:
It’s a really shocking and emotionally profound episode of the show that is going to make you hopefully [hate] that you’re going to have to wait seven or eight months to see season 5. You’ll be crying and you’ll be cursing us that you’re going to have to wait for a long time to find out what’s next.