I know some people are upset about the shower scene but I thought it was the perfect way to pay homage to Psycho without being completely predictable and abandoning the entire point of the series which was to humanize Norman as the mentally ill protagonist who does not want to harm innocent people.
Bates Motel’s version of Norman has already been through the phase where he killed innocent women years ago, he is past that phase. (also that’s another reason I don’t understand these people trying to argue that they only let Marion live because it’s part of their 2017 sjw feminist agenda or whatever, like wtf? norman has killed multiple women and jacked off to marion twice without her knowing, what are you on? lmao did you even watch the series?) I think killing off Marion would have just been an unnecessary step backwards for this Norman as he is a constantly developing character. He has already shown that he has the power to control himself when he ran out of Madeleine’s house without killing her just a few episodes prior. Killing Sam instead makes a lot more sense in terms of this plot and back story and definitely helps bring the audience back on Norman’s side too. I think a lot of fans have unfortunately fallen into the notion that Bates Motel’s Norman is just that static character that he is from psycho and wrongly ignored any attempt of humanizing him in the past thinking they already knew where it would lead. Sam being killed instead and Norman telling Marion to go was a bit of a kick in the face to those people and just further reminds us of everything we’ve already been through with this Norman throughout the series and that the actual Norman is still in there. He isn’t completely gone like Norman Bates seems to be in the film. He has a conscience that is fighting back at his delusions and we’re supposed to be on his side because we were there with him through everything as the audience and he is our protagonist. It also further develops and explains what kind of part of Norman that Mother is. She isn’t a completely awful side of Norman in Bates Motel like she is in Psycho.
I also really appreciate that the writers would rather stay true to themselves and their own storyline they’ve already created rather rather then just do what everyone expected and take the easy way out. Like the series was never supposed to be an exact pre quel to psycho and they’ve said it from the beginning. It was always an independent work that was heavily inspired by Psycho, but in the end they wanted to go with their own narrative not to just recreate someone else’s. I also appreciate that they give Norman a chance to beat his demons, unlike in Psycho where he’s already too far gone and it’s over for Norman from the get go.