A lot of fans were saddened by Norma’s (Vera Farmiga) sudden death in season 4 of “Bates Motel,” and apparently, the cast as well as the crew of the series were similarly heartbroken by the shocking twist.

“It was so devastating,” series star Nestor Carbonell said during a roundtable interview with RickeyTV at the San Diego Comic-Con last month.” I didn’t know it was going to hit me as hard as it did … neither did the crew. I saw a number of them emotional, crying.”

“[Series executive producer] Carlton [Cuse] spoke about it at the panel,” added Carbonell who plays Alex on the series. “He cried when he was writing a specific part of that [murder-suicide] scene on the plane.”

Carbonell said that fans’ sympathy for Norma is not only a testament to Farmiga’s great performance; it is also a proof to the amazing work of the writers behind the camera.

He said: “Carlton, [his fellow executive producer] Kerry [Ehrin] and the writers have written such amazingly rich and messed up characters with incredible misbehavior, and yet somehow — as messed up as they are –we’ve grown really attached to them, so when someone like that dies, it’s weird, it almost feels real.”

“Norma is a character that we only see dead in ‘Psycho,’ but Vera and Kerry and the writers had fleshed out this extraordinary character that all of us have fallen for. So when she died, it weirdly felt like family,” the “Lost” alum added in an interview with AfterBuzz TV, also at Comic-Con.

Despite Norma’s death, Farmiga will return for the fifth and final season of the series as a regular. “She still exists in Norman’s [Freddie Highmore] imagination,” Cuse told Entertainment Weekly. “He will become an increasingly unreliable narrator and through his point of view, we’re going to see a lot of her. She’s very much a character.”

Ehrin said the same thing during an interview with Yahoo TV last May. “Vera is going to be fully present [next season],” she said. “We’re really excited about the idea of unleashing a character that is … a hallucination.”

Bates Motel” season 5 is expected to premiere March next year.

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