What’s On: The End of the Road Leads Back to the Psycho House in the Series Finale of ‘Bates Motel,’ and the Top 12 Perform on ‘The Voice’
Bates Motel (10/9c, A&E): A boy’s best friend is his mother. That line, first quoted by the original Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 Psycho), has served as the dominant theme throughout this inspired contemporary prequel and re-imagining of the creepy cinema classic. It’s also the driving force behind the series finale, a very satisfying hour of macabre suspense and very dark humor. Freddie Highmore is electrifying as the possessed Norman, who couldn’t escape the deadly shade of his late mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) even if he wanted to. And he doesn’t want to. Last seen in the clutches of a vengeful Romero (Nestor Carbonell), Norman only has one goal in the endgame: to be with his mother, and if possible, to recapture the warm family feeling he once thought he shared with a very worried brother Dylan (Max Theriot, excellent here). What a way to go out.
The Voice (8/7c, NBC): Funny how in most seasons of this singing competition, once it gets down to the live performance round with the Top 12, there’s an almost anticlimactic feel, because the real fun of The Voice is in the interaction of the judges as they pick their teams and steal from others. In an attempt to up the ante now that the live performances have begun, country superstar Shania Twain comes aboard as an adviser to the Top 12. The first elimination is Tuesday.
Dominion Creek (Acorn): If AMC’s The Son has whetted your appetite for offbeat Westerns, check out this award-winning Irish Western, now presenting its four-episode second season on Acorn’s streaming service. It’s about three Irish brothers who’ve joined the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s to seek their fortunes across the pond.
Gotham (8/7c, Fox): Back from a three-month hiatus, the dark crime/fantasy drama once again adopts a new subtitle, moving on from Mad City to Heroes Rise, although as is often the case, the villains steal the spotlight. In an episode titled “How the Riddler Got His Name,” Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) finally assumes the moniker familiar to generations of Batman fans. As Gotham returns, midseason police drama APB (9/8c) signs off, with Gideon (Justin Kirk) blamed for a wave of terrorist attacks on the city. If only he had a bat-signal in his repertoire.
Inside Monday TV: Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time returns with an eight-part miniseries, Elements (7:30/6:30c), continuing through Thursday, in which Finn and Jake return to the Land of Ooo, where much has changed since they went off to sea. … Two very different specials give recognition to Holocaust Remembrance Day. HBO2 presents the world TV premiere of a newly restored version of Marcel Ophuls’ 1976 documentary The Memory of Justice (5 pm/4c), which explores war crimes in Algeria and Vietnam through the prism of Nazi atrocities. In a much different vein, PBS’s Independent Lens explores the subject of humor and the Holocaust in director Ferne Pearlstein’s The Last Laugh (10/9c). The film asks comedians including Mel Brooks and Sarah Silverman if there’s a line they won’t or shouldn’t cross when it comes to using comedy in connection with the Holocaust, while noting that even within Nazi concentration camps, humor was used as a survival mechanism and as a tool of resistance.