Bates Motel has been an unexpected pleasure since its beginning. Expectations were understandably low before its first-season premiere: yet another reboot or lame-ass prequel of a treasured classic; one more chance to crap on tradition.

But not this time. This time Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore made something special out of the cool, dreamy (as in “nightmarish”) thriller that Alfred Hitchcock produced so long ago. Within minutes, viewers stopped making comparisons, stopped anticipating inside jokes that would crack the concept wide open. Instead, they got something entirely new and, strangely enough, unpredictable. Not to mention more than a little addictive.

Now, five years later, it’s all about to end. Bates Motel is ending its run by retelling the original Psycho on its own terms, in a way that segues out of the quiet madness of the last four years and into something that promises to be both hauntingly familiar and wonderfully new.

And, of course, creepy as hell.

Need proof? Here’s the last known promo for the new season, and lovely and quiet little artifact of the odd, all by itself.

The new, final season begins Monday, Feb. 20.



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