A day of reckoning is approaching for Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore, who play the unwholesome mother-son team at the center of A&E’s Bates Motel. That series, a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho, begins its fifth and final season on February 20, and a new trailer promises the finale to be as ghoulish, Oedipal, and taxidermy-centric as any fan could hope. Set to the strains of Della Reese’s lusty, brassy version of “Come On-A My House,” the three-minute preview offers a first-person tour of the curious Bates household. Although their series is ostensibly set in modern times, Norma and Norman Bates are still very much in a time warp, judging by the furnishings and various bric-a-brac. Even a laptop computer in one room is showing a scene from the 1936 comedy My Man Godfrey.
By this point, anyone even remotely familiar with the 1960 film or the 1959 Robert Bloch novel on which it is based should know damned well what happens to the Bates family, specifically what the son does to his mother. This trailer, to say the least, teases the hell out of that. Highmore, as nerdy, nervous Norman, is shown sequestered in the basement, working on (what else?) his taxidermy. Relax. It’s just birds. For now. There’s a blonde-haired woman upstairs puttering around, getting supper ready. That has to be Norma, right? But then, who’s that unfortunate person in the back room of the basement? These questions and hopefully many more will be answered when Bates Motel takes its last stab this February.