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|“||I'm not mad - except in the British sense of the word, like the Mad Hatter. In that way, I am mad. But there are plenty of mad people who function, some of whom are heads of state. So I think I can manage running a motel.||„|
|~ Norman Bates|
Norman Bates is the protagonist villain of Bates Motel, a 2013 TV series based on Robert Bloch's Psycho, and its film adaptation by the late Alfred Hitchcock. He turned into the main antagonist from Season 4 onwards after he went insane and killed his mother, Norma. His split personality and hallucination "Mother" acts as the Big Bad and primary antagonist of the whole series, as "she" begins to take over Norman and influence his actions in a bid to keep him all to herself. He is based off of his original incarnation of the same name.
He was portrayed by Freddie Highmore, and occasionally by Vera Farmiga (who also played Norma) as Mother.
Norman Bates was born on October 14, 1995. He grew up in an abusive household under his alcoholic father, Sam Bates. Sam often abused him and Norma on a regular basis, and at one point caught Norma trying to leave him with Norman when he was 7 while she was driving around the neighborhood looking for Norman's older half-brother named Dylan Masset. Sam forced her at gun point to drive home, where he took a young Norman out of the car and pointed a gun at his head-threatening to kill them both. Norma persuaded him not to kill them and told Norman to hide in the house. He went into the house and hid under his parents' bed, where Sam raped her on once he forces her inside. Norman held Norma's hand through the entire ordeal. It is implied that it was this specific event that led to Norman developing Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) later in the series - as such an illness is usually caused by a deeply traumatic event in one's childhood. Dylan eventually left the house out of jealousy of Norman - always feeling Norma favored him more.
When Norman was 17 years old, he overheard Sam and Norma arguing in the living room while he was making a smoothie. The argument led to Sam beating her, and it is then that Norman develops his altered personality for the first time, "Mother", and hits Sam over the head with the blender, killing him. Norma takes Norman while he was in a trance to his room and makes Sam's death look like an accident. When Norman comes out of his state, he finds his father's dead body in the garage with a shelf over it. He gets Norma to come out of the shower, and cries in his mother's arms over Sam's death.
Wanting to start over and get Norman away from Arizona, Norma buys the Seafair motel in White Pine Bay, Oregon 6 months after Sam's death with his insurance money, as well as the house that comes with it, and moves there with Norman. Norman befriends Bradley Martin on his first day of school and seems to attract his English teacher’s (Miss Blaire Watson), attention. He tries to get on the track team under Miss Watson's influence, but is guilt-tripped by Norma into not doing it. As Norman is dusting the rug on the porch, Keith Summers, the original owner of the motel and the house, shows up and berates him and Norma, saying they know nothing about running a motel. Norma threatens him, so he leaves.
After Bradley and her friends invite Norman to come over and “study”, Norma refuses to let him. Angry at her, Norman storms upstairs and texts Bradley to meet him at the bus stop and he sneaks through his bedroom window. When they meet, he realizes that she never intended to study and they go to a party where Norman meets Bradley’s boyfriend, Richard Sylmore. It’s made clear Bradley takes an interest in Norman for being what she calls “different”.
Back at the house, Keith Summers breaks in and rapes Norma as revenge for taking his motel away from him. Fortunately, Norman arrives and knocks him out with a door stop during the rape. They handcuff an unconscious Keith and Norman goes upstairs to get the first aid for Norma, whose hand got cut during her struggle with Keith. Keith recovers and Norma gets the kitchen knife ready. Keith makes a mistake in teasing her about the rape, and Norma kills him in an unstoppable rage. Norman arrives and is shocked by his mother killing Keith, but believes what she did was self-defense. He wants to call the cops, but Norma refuses out of fear that it will ruin the business (as well as her being arrested due to the fact that she didn’t kill him out of self-defense).
After Norman and Norma drag Keith’s body into one of the motel rooms, some blood gets on the carpet in the process and they out his body in the bathtub. Realizing they need to get rid of the blood on the carpet, they de-carpet the floor but take all of the carpets out. As Norman is taking out the carpet for one of the rooms, he finds a book underneath it that depicts sex slavery in manga fashion.
Sheriff Romero and his deputy Zack Shelby arrive and are suspicious of them taking carpet out so late at night, so they investigate the motel, inconveniently picking the room with Keith’s body to start with. Romero uses the restroom, but doesn’t notice Keith’s body in the tub due to the curtains covering it. They leave after getting a call in, and Norman and Norma decided to call it a night and dispose of the body the next day. At some point, Norman took Keith’s belt to keep as a “momento” and hid it under his bed.
At school, Norman still hasn’t recovered from the events of the previous night, and throws up in a trash after just seeing some ketchup on his foot due to its resemblance to blood. Emma Decody, who goes to English class with him and also has cystic fibrosis, notices him throwing up and gives him some mints to help settle his stomach. The following night, Norman and Norma take Keith’s body and dump it in the lake, telling each other they’re all each other has.
The next day, Norman’s half-brother Dylan shows up to stay at their house and immediately starts causing tension. When Norman meets Bradley at the bus stop for school, her father’s car crashes and he’s found inside burning. After Romero investigates the scene, he finds Keith Summers’ car parked there and begins questioning Norma again.
Norman later partners with Emma on an English project and she decides to come over to his house later. Norman shows up at the hospital where Bradly’s dad is in a coma, and attempts to give her some flowers and comfort her. However Richard stops him and tells Norman to leave while he gives her the flowers. When Emma arrives at Norman’s house for the project, she finds his sketchbook and asks if she can burrow it for a while and read it, to which he lets her do.
After Norma leaves for an event to get Zach Shelby to help them, Norman gets into a physical fight with Dylan in the kitchen after he realizes he labeled Norma “The Whore” in his phone contacts. Dylan overpowers him and tells Norman that he’s a joke for letting Norma walk over him. He threatens to hurt him worse if Norman tries to attack him again. Norman’s Mother personality then takes over and tries to kill Dylan with a meat grinder. But Dylan is able to defend himself and punches Norman repeatedly, thus snapping him out of his Mother state.
The following night, Emma talks Norman into gong up to the mountains to investigate the events described in the book. She discovers that it depicts sex slavery and that one of them died from overdose and was buried near a mountain called "Ladyface". When they get there the next day, they come across a marijuana field and are chased by men with cars. On their way to Emma’s car, they find the area the dead girl was buried. They manage to escape in the car.
The next day at school, Emma tells Norman she feels guilty about leaving the dead girl in the mountains and begins to panic. Norman tries to tell her to forget it and tells her he wants it back. At English class, Norman passes out after hallucinating an image of Watson and Norman being tied up and tortured in the same way the girls depicted in the book are. He’s taken to the hospital where Bradley visits him and thanks him for the flowers. After the cops begin investigating Norma’s house, she takes Norman from the hospital and tells him about it. He immediately panics and goes into his room when they get there to see if the belt is still under his bed. However it’s gone, and Norman begins to cry, questioning what’s wrong with himself.
He tells Norma about the belt and they both start to panic. Emma shows up, and shows Norman the journal, where the number 4 is depicted in English. Norman tells her he found the journal in room 4 and they investigate the room. They find the writer’s name, Jiao, on the sink pipe. Norman later finds out that Zack kept it and intends to keep them covered out of his feelings for Norma. Norman suspects Shelby of using her and begins to develop jealousy over Shelby. Emma confronts Norman at school the next day and tells him she wants to go to the police - but Norman tells her not to and berates her for it, but apologizes immediately afterwards.
The following night, Norman hallucinates Mother telling him it’s all his fault and that he has to get the belt from Zack’s house. Norman breaks into his house and goes looking for the belt. He ends up in the basement, and finds Jiao there chained up, realizing that Shelby was involved with Keith in the sex slavery business. Shelby arrives home and Dylan, who saw Norman break in, knocks on Shelby’s door and manages to distract him long enough for Norman to escape - but not before he promises Jiao he’ll come back for her.
The next day, Norman sees Bradley mourning her father’s death in the area where his car crashed and comforts her. The following night Zack sees Norman buying DVDs for her and manages to catch up to him, despite the later trying to avoid him when he calls his name. Zack tells Norman he just wants to help him and his mom, but subtly threatens him if he ever tries to avoid him again when he sees him. Norman tells Norma about Jiao, but she dismisses his story, but nevertheless investigates the basement when she stays the night at Zack’s house-only to find she’s not there. She later forces a reluctant Norman to go fishing with Zack, much to his displeasure.
When Norma finds out they found Keith’s hand and that it has carpet fibers on it, she realizes they can trace her to his murder given Romero saw her putting away carpets that night. After Norma and Norman manage to find where the carpets are located Norma panics when she finds the area is locked down and she can’t break in. Norman yells at her and tells her it’s her fault because she had very right o defend herself, but she confess to having simply killed him out of rage. When they get home, Norman spills out the whole story to Dylan out of fear. When he receives a text from Bradly, Dylan encourages him to go over to house to sleep with her, to which he does and spends the night there, while Norma is arrested for the murder of Keith Summers.
The next day, Norman arrives home and visits his mother in jail, along with Dylan. But she’s still angry at Norman for leaving the house, even after he manages to bail her out. Their relationship begins to strain from there. Norman later tells Emma about Jiao. After Zack reveals he managed to destroy the evidence, Norma is relieved and tells Norman, but the latter is still angry at her for relying on Zack to help her.
Emma discovers where Jiao is being held captive, and her and Norman find her held captive by Keith’s abandoned boat and rescue her. They bring her to the motel and fail to convince Norma about Zack. However, when Norma shows her a picture of Zack from the newspaper, Jiao identifies him as her rapist. Norma then flies into a rage but Norman manages to calm her down. The next day, Norma tells Norman she will never go to the police until she gets the belt back. While Norman and Dylan get the belt back the following night, Zack arrives at the house to have another night with Norma in the motel. However he hears the pipes running water in Jiao’s room and catches her. She runs and he begins chasing after her. When Dylan and Norman arrive, Zack forces all three of them at gunpoint to get into the house. Zack plans to kill them, but not before beating Norma, which causes Norman’s Mother personality to surface and he begins attacking Zack. However Zack knocks him out, which snaps Norman out of it. A gunfight happens between Dylan and Zack that results in Zack getting killed. Norman recovers with no memory of attacking Zack. The cops arrive and Norma tells Dylan about what really happened to Sam. Romero tells them he’ll cover up their story in a way that will let Norma off the hook but also give him credit for killing Shelby.
Norman never gave up his obsession with Bradley and continued to try calling and texting her. He later befriended a stray dog under his porch whom he would later name Juno. Norman has an argument with Norma over Bradley one night, and storms out of the house to visit her. When he gets there he tells her she should break up with Richard and that they have a connection. However Bradley dismisses any mutual feelings for him. Norman storms off feeling rejected, and Bradley runs after. Norman’s Mother personality takes him over and he starts quoting what his mother said about her. When Bradley catches up to Norman, she hugs him, thus putting him out of his other personality, and possibly saving his life as well. She apologizes, but he leaves, still angry at her. When he comes home, Juno shows up and tries to cross the road to get to him-however she gets run over by a car and dies. Distraught, Norman feels guilty and begs Norma to drive him to Emma’s father’s to have her stuffed, cause he’s a taxidermist. She is reluctant at first but agrees to do it to make her son feel better. Norman admits that he was wrong about Bradley.
The next day at school, Bradley shows anger towards Norman for telling Emma about them, given she told other girls at school. Upset and humiliated, Norman leaves school crying, despite Miss Watson’s objections. He later goes over to Emma’s and berates her for telling the other girls about him and Bradley. Realizing that Norman may have some emotional problems, the school discusses hiring a counselor for Norman with Norma. Norma agrees, however not without her being with him during his sessions. Emma’s father teaches Norman taxidermy and is able to get Juno stuffed. Emma apologizes to Norman and the two reconcile. Norma, who had been struggling with Shelby’s boss, Jake Abernathy, is given one of the few shocks of her life when she finds he broke into her house and put Shelby’s dead body in her bed.
Still struggling to get over Bradley, Norman begins having nightmare about drowning her in a bathtub. Miss Watson starts discussing the possibility of having one of Norman’s short stories published, to which he approves of at first but seems adamant about later due to not wanting Norma to find out. One night, Norman had an argument with Norma when she brings up to possibility of moving to Hawaii. That same night, despite their argument, Norma decides to sleep in Norman’s bed with him due to still recovering from finding Shelby’s body on her bed.
The next day at school, Norman asks Emma out to winter formal. He also goes to English class to tell Miss Watson he doesn’t want his story published, but not before overhearing her arguing with her one of her father's, Nick Ford's, employees, Eric, over the phone. She asks Norman not to tell anyone, and hugs him. As Bradley starts hanging out with Dylan more to find out about her father’s death, Norman starts getting jealous. As Norman is waiting for Emma to pick him up for prom, Norma is stressed about the issues with Abernathy. Worried about him killing her, she confides in Norman that her brother, Caleb, used to rape her when she was young. Norman and Emma go to formal, but Emma can tell that Norman still has feelings for Bradley. Upset, Emma leaves Norman at school. Richard takes Norman outside and accuses him of taking advantage of Bradly after her dad died. When Norman denies this, Richard punches him and tells him to stay away from her.
Norman walks home in the rain, but Miss Watson drives by and tells him to get in her car. She takes him to the house and starts cleaning his wounds from the beating. She tells him not tell anyone, and starts to get undressed in her bedroom. Realizing she wants him to sleep with her, Mother starts arguing with Norman, and starts to take him over. They sleep together, and Norman slits her throat, killing her, and takes her necklace with him. Not remembering anything, Norman runs home to Norma, whose situation with Abernathy has been cleared. The two share an embrace and she tells him everything is fine.
The next day Norma gets word about Blaire’s death, and tells Norman. When they attend her funeral, Norman starts crying uncontrollably in Norma’s arms. Four months later, Norman is still obsessed with Blaire Watson’s killer-to the point of doing more taxidermy and always visiting her grave, even when Norma is giving him driving lessons. After Bradley gets out of a mental institution for attempted suicide, Norman comes over to her house to tell her he's there for her, though the conversation goes nowhere for a depressed Bradley. One day when visiting Miss Watson's grave, Norman sees Nick Ford there. Thinking he may have been the man Blaire was arguing with on the phone, he takes a picture of him and runs when Nick spots him. He later goes to Romero’s office and shows him the picture, telling him what he suspects of the man. Romero questions Norman on whether or not Norman’s been to Blaire's house, to which he replies that he has been there when they discussed publishing his short story. When Romero tells Norma about this, she questions Norma. He breaks down and tells her that he was over at her house the night she was killed, but does not remember anything between arriving there and running home afterwards-blaming himself for her death for leaving her. Later than night, Bradley gets her revenge on Gil Turner for killing her dad by shooting him in the head at his house, killing him. She sneaks into Norman’s basement and asks of she can stay there-to which he says she can.
Wanting to get Norman’s mind of off Blaire Watson, Norma signs them up for a rehearsal for a musical, much to Norman's displeasure, though he agrees to do so anyways because Norma's doing it. Norman goes shopping one day for Bradley and meets the cashier, Cody Brennan. When Norman and Norma go to rehearsals, things get heated when Norman realizes he won’t be able to drive Bradley to the bus station. He tries to leave, but Norma stops him and they have an argument. Norma asks Norman where he got Blaire Watson's necklace, but he doesn't remember. Norma begins to panic, expecting the worst, but Norman calms her down and tells her he probably found it and forgot to put it in Lost and Found at the school. He agrees to continue with rehearsals and has Norma go back into the school while he calls Dylan and has him drop Bradley off as the bus station.
The next day, Emma informs Norman about Bradley’s supposed “death” after reading about it in the news, but is suspicious when he doesn’t really react. Things start to strain for Norma and Norman when Caleb shows up. Norman later ends up getting closer to Cody after quitting the play and working with her in maintenance. The two become even more acquainted at Bradley’s memorial service at the beach.
Norman comes home and sees that Norman and Dylan are arguing over Caleb as Dylan is trying to convince her to trust him. Enraged, Norman starts beating up Dylan. But Norma stops by finally confessing that Caleb is Dylan’s father. Broken and feeling even more unappreciated, Dylan gets drunk and passes out in his car. The next day, Norman fins him and takes him into one of the motel rooms. When Norman comes back to check on him, Dylan is still angry about the situation and accuses Norma of wanting nothing to do with him because he’s her rape child. In his rage, he also implies that Norma is keeping a secret from Norman she doesn’t want him to know about. He makes Norman get out of the room, leaving his brother confused.
When Cody and Norman start hanging out again, he tells her about what’s going on with Caleb and about Norma’s situation with him. She decided they’ll go over and threaten Caleb by beating him up so he’ll leave Norma alone. They go over his motel he’s staying at, but before they can break in, Norman decided he wants to just leave it alone. However after they leave, Norma overhears Dylan and Norma arguing, and goes over to Caleb's with a knife. He barges in despite Caleb's warnings, and Caleb shoves him. Norman begins having images of him raping a young Norma, and Mother takes him over. "She"berates Caleb for raping "her" and tries to kill him. Confused and scared, Caleb overpowers "her" and kicks "her" in the stomach, leaving. He goes to a local diner and Cody picks him up after the workers call her to come get him. Once she does so, she sees Norman in a complete trance as she isn’t responding to her when she talks to him. She ends up driving him home. Once he recovers, he has no memory of attacking Caleb.
The next day, Norman and Cody hang out, but she forgets her money and drives to her house, where Norman overhears her arguing with her father, Jimmy. They go up to a treehouse by the beach, and start having sex. When Norman arrives home, Norma tells him not to pursue Cody. He tells her he won’t, though clearly still has intent on seeing her again.
The next morning, Norma is displeased to find out Norman’s been drinking with Cody when he drops a bottle cap in the kitchen. Cody later picks up Norman, and Norma tells her he can’t drink for “medical reasons”. They go over to Cody’s house to drink, but Jimmy arrives and they hide in the closet. While in there, Norman has flashbacks to when he and Norma hid from Sam when he was little. After Jimmy leaves, they go to the beach where they meet Emma and her new boyfriend, Gunner. After Cody gets Emma to swing into the water, despite Norman’s objections due to her health, she almost drowns. Norman pulls her out and berates Emma for encouraging her to do it, comforting Emma afterwards. Emma thanks Norman later in the day for saving her and for his concern for her.
Cody ends up telling Emma about Norman’s recent blackouts, and Emma calls Norma during Norman’s driving test and tells her about them. Concerned, Norma cancels Norman’s driving test. As they drive home, Norman is angry at Norma fro doing what she did and is even angrier when he finds out she knew because of Cody. Norman makes Norma pull over, and he walks over to Cody’s house. He starts arguing with her over telling Emma, but this wakes up Jimmy and he is angry to see a boy in the house. He punches Norman and puts Cody in a headlock. An angry Norman charges at him and pushes him off her, accidentally knocking him down the basement stairs in the process, killing him.
Norman is taken to the police, and they take some of his DNA. He’s later cleared of the case due to Jimmy’s death being an accident and in defense of Cody. The next day, Norman accuses Norma of thinking Jimmy’s death was something it wasn’t and storms out of the house angry. Norman meets Cody outside of his house, whose moving to Indiana to go live with her grandma. Norman wants to stay in touch with her, but Cody doesn’t believe in long distance relationships. She kisses him goodbye, but not before telling him that Norma begged her at the police station not to tell him about the blackouts because he changes when he has them. She tells him he should make Norma tell him. After she leaves, he asks Norma about this, and she angrily tells him never to ask her about them again.
The next day, Norman starts distancing himself from Norma as a result of her objections to telling him about the black outs. At some point, Romero asks Norman to help him fix his shower pole. When he does, Romero begins questioning him about Blair Watson. It turns out that the police found a match in Norman’s DNA with the DNA found in Blair Watson’s room the night she was killed. Norman gets nervous and leaves. The following night when Norma finally confronts Norman about him distancing her, he angrily tells her doesn’t trust her anymore, and goes into his room, locking the doors. Norma leaves and sleeps with her new boyfriend, George. Romero meets Norma outside the motel and questions Norman on whether or not he slept with her. Norman leaves and goes into the house to hold her necklace. However, while he’s there, it’s revealed that Nick Ford hired some of his men to kidnap Norman and put him in a hot box out in the wilderness to blackmail Dylan into killing Zane Morgan. The next day after they kidnap Norman, the give him some food but he tries to escape. They catch up to him, and find he dropped Blaire’s necklace as well as a newspaper clipping describing her disappearance. As Norman remains in the box, he begins to panic and has brief flashbacks of him in Blaire’s room, sleeping with her and then slitting her throat. After Dylan accidentally kills Nick Ford, Romero interrogates one of his men, Ben, into telling him where Norman is and they find him.
When Norman is finally home, he tells Norma about his dreams and that he thinks he killed Blaire Watson. She objects and stops the conversation. Norman then begins contemplating suicide and makes a list of things he’ll do before he kills himself-one of which includes encouraging Emma to keep working at the motel for Norma by telling about Dylan and Caleb. When Norm catches Norman in the woods with a gun, she jumps on him but he fights her off. He tells her he’ll kill himself unless she tells him what he does during blackout. She finally tells him about Sam, and tells him that if he dies she’ll die with him. After kissing him on the lips, Norman stops his suicide attempt. Norman is late taken to the station for a polygraph test so they can determine whether or not he killed Blaire Watson. When they get there he admits to sleeping with her but pauses when they ask if he killed her. He hallucinates Mother telling him that she killed Blaire Watson, not him. Norman then answers no, and is cleared from the case while a boyfriend of Blaire's, Kyle, is arrested for the murder.
A year has passed and Norman has had a more peaceful summer with his mom-spending most nights with her in her bed-something Dylan questions Norma for due to Norman being too old for it. Now a senior in high school, Norma drives Norman over on his first day. However he’s still recovering form Blair Watson’s death and refuses to get out of the car, even under Norma’s objections. Irritated Norma forces Norman out in front of the other students. In the cafeteria, Norman hallucinates Miss Watson sitting down with him and talking to him. However, her throat suddenly slashes open and bleeds. After she disappears, Norman runs all the way to the motel in the rain and embraces Norma.
As she’s comforting him, a young woman named Annika Johnson, who's a prostitute, drives up to the motel, asking for a room. Norman immediately takes an interest in her. The following night, Norma tells Norman she will homeschool him. However she also tells him he shouldn’t spend the night in her room anymore. Norman agrees but is visibly upset by her request. When Emma decides to go homeschooling as well, Norma suggests they date. It’s implied later that part of his reasoning is to make Norma jealous due to his jealousy over Dylan-given his relationship with Norma has improved since he saved Norman’s life.
Annika asks Norman to help her fix a light bulb in her room. While he does so, they have a conversation about his father as well as their business falling due to the bypass. She tell him that she’s a sex worker. Later that night, Norman notices a raccoon in the trash by the motel and shoos it away. Once it leaves, Norma notices the window to Annika’s bathroom is slightly open. Norman peaks through and watches her as she takes a shower. Norma catches him and makes him stop, angrily telling him he shouldn’t do that. When Norman is about to go to bed, he overhears his mother crying in her bedroom.
He goes in to comfort her, and she tells him she’s crying over her mother’s death. She then asks him to spend the night with her just because she’s so sad. The next night, Norman offers to drive with Annika to help her find a bar in town. After they get there, Norman drives her car back to the motel due to her not wanting to drive back drunk. Once he gets home, he vaguely remembers certain events that happened after they went to the bar. Norma becomes aggravated when Annika goes missing, and even more so when she finds out Norman was the last person to see her. She begins questions him, and he tells her everything he remembers. After Romero starts questioning Norman about her disappearance, Norman becomes frustrated and goes up to his bathroom to try to remember the events that nigh. He hallucinates mother telling him to drown himself in the bathtub in order to remember what happened before her disappearance. He does so, and as he’s trapping himself in the bath, has a vision of Norma killing Sam. Norma arrives at the bathroom and saves her son from drowning. Annika shows up at the driveway to the motel and dies in Norma’s arms from a bullet wound in her abdomen, but not before giving her a flash drives that she claims will help her and Norma. It’s revealed later in the season that she was killed by her employer, Bob Paris.
The next day, Norman and Norma have a fight over him dating Emma, with Norma telling Norman he shouldn’t have sex with her due to the risk of her illness. He agrees not to, but he next day when they have a picnic up in the cabin, he attempts to sleep with her. However he changes his mind at the last second and explains to her why. Insulted, Emma storms out of the cabin.
Becoming suspicious if Dylan being very secretive around Norma, Norman follows Dylan in the car to his pot farm, only to discover that he had been letting Caleb stay with him. Enraged, Norman threatens to tell Norma, despite Dylan’s pleas. The next day Norman tells Dylan he told, though it’s later revealed that his told his hallucination, “Mother”. Realizing he never told Norma, Dylan tells Norman he doesn’t have to and that he’ll tell her himself. Norman begins exhibiting even more perverted behavior the following when he sniffs a dress of Norma’s and hides it under his mattress.
As Norman’s doing taxidermy, Dylan tells Norman he should leave cause he doesn’t want him to be there when he tells Norma about Caleb. However Norman apologizes and admits to jealousy over Dylan and Norma. He tells that he stay with Dylan as he talks to Norma to back him up. When they tell her about Caleb and that she should talk to him, Norma packs a suitcase and leaves the house in anger. Norman is enrages and begins throwing plates all over the kitchen, blaming Dylan for her “hating” him. Norman’s psyche becomes even more vulnerable that night-he blacks out for hours rather than minutes, hallucinates his dead animals coming to life, and makes breakfast in the kitchen wearing Norma’s dress while in the Mother personality, much to Dylan’s confusion. In the morning, Norma finally comes to her senses and goes back to the house. She forces her two sons out of bed and they drive up to the farm to talk to Caleb. As Norma and Caleb come face to face, Caleb breaks down on his knees apologizing and they share an embrace. Dylan seems relieved, while Norman is seen glaring at them.
Norman shows animosity towards Norma for leaving them and answers the phone when her psychiatrist/lover, James Finnegan calls. James eventually arrives to talk to Norma and she asks him to talk to Norman, whose doing taxidermy. She leaves them alone to talk, and James asks why he enjoys taxidermy, and Norman tells him he find sit to be a peaceful activity that allows him to shut the world out. Norman also let’s James know that he is aware that Norma had slept with him the night before, showing obvious jealousy/disgust over their relationship. James asks Norman if he wants to sleep with mother. Norman strangles the man and berates him for asking him such a question. However he lets him go and a frightened James runs out of the house.
The following night, Norman expresses his dissatisfaction with Caleb coming over for dinner but sitting between him and Norma. When Norma goes to bed, Norman caresses her thigh as she’s sleeping. Norman starts maintaining a distance from Norma due to the fear that he is in fact attracted to her sexually the next day. He asks Emma out to a movie, however she breaks the relationship off, saying she never really felt is was ever real but still considers him her best friend nevertheless. The following night, Norman confesses to his mom his fear of being attracted to her, but she tells him his attraction is normal and they reconcile.
After Norma finds out that Bob Paris extracted information about her and Norman from James due to her blackmailing him with the flash drive, she tells Norman about it and they get into an argument. When she leaves, Norman hallucinates Mother and runs out of the house. He then hallucinates his dead dog Juno running down the street. As he chases "her" all the way to town, he runs into Bradley Martin. They talk and she confides in him that it’s been hard living on her own without any money. He takes her to the motel and the next day, she asks him to come with her when they tell her mom that she’s still alive. However when they get there, she’s broken-hearted to find she’s already married another man and seems to have excluded everything related to Bradley from her life.
The following night he has an argument with Norman over her taking away his stuffed animals-that ends with him taking his knives and going upstairs to his room. He visits Bradley in her motel room, and they almost have sex. But he hallucinates Mother and leaves the room. When he leaves, he hallucinates Mother again and she tells him she has to deal with Bradley.
The next day, Norman goes down to Bradley’s room to give her food, only to find she’s not there. Bradley arrives later to reveal that she broke into her mother’s house and stole some jewelry. She tries to persuade him to leave with her the following evening, but he can’t bring himself to leave Norma. When Norma arrives after trying to get Norman admitted into Pineview, she sits down with him in the living room and tells him about it, saying he’ll get the help he needs. However Norman doesn’t take it well and goes to his room.
Norman packs his suitcase the following night in preparation for leaving with Bradley, but Norma catches him and they have a fight. Norman is confused as to why Norma doesn’t remember talking to him about Bradley, and Norma becomes even more confused when he mentions Bradley, thinking he’s lost touch with reality. Things get physical and she knocks him out an locks him in the basement. However when she leaves, he somehow escapes and meets Bradley as she’s driving down the road. As she’s driving, Norman’s Mother personality takes over and “she” makes Bradley pull over, before “she” drags her out of the car and bashes her head against a rock, killing her. Norman recovers and is horrified at what “Mother” has done. He then puts her body in her car and drives to the docks, where he causes it to run into the waters and sink. He asks Mother why she did what she did, and she tells her it was a mercy killing and that they were meant to be together forever.
The next day, Norman wakes up in a field and has an argument with Mother. A farmer shows up and asks Norman if he is okay. However Norman attacks the farmer and he punches Norman in self-defense, knocking him out. Norman is later taken to a psychiatric hospital with no memory of Bradley’s death or what happened in between. He starts panicking once he wakes up strapped to a bed and starts asking for Norma. Norman is held there for a couple of days, during which he has dreams of Norma and him together when he was a child, that later turn to ones of her killing Bradley Martin. Once he’s discharged Norma takes him home and discusses the possibility of finding him a doctor, to which he’s uncomfortable with. The next day, Norman finds out Norma locked him in his room before she left and begins banging on one of them. When finally breaks down the one connecting to Norma’s room, Mother takes over, and “she” puts on Norma’s robe. When Emma’s mother, Audrey knocks on the door to ask Norman if she can come in, he invites her in. She asks Norman to give her letters from her as well as her stuffed bunny rabbit. She begins crying and Norman apologizes, seemingly comforting her. However his vengeful Mother personality is still intact, and “she” strangles Audrey to death with her scarf while berating her for leaving Emma. “She” later disposes of her body into a lake, but not before leaving one of her earrings behind by the pit that was intended as a pool.
When Norman recovers, he begins having visions about Norma locking Audrey in her freezer and begins suspecting her of killing Bradley Martin as well. When Norman checks in a family, he finds some consent papers to Pineview faxed to the office (which were sent from Alex who agreed to marry Norma to help get Norman admitted with his insurance). He then hallucinates Sam telling him that he needs to control Norma, and that she was the one who really killed him.
As Norma and Norman have dinner together, Norman is already showing visible suspicion and animosity towards Norma, scaring her. He then accuses her of of killing Audrey, Bradley and Sam. She runs up to her room to get her gun, but only to find out Norman has taken it. She tries to take it from him but to no avail. She hides in Dylan’s room and calls Alex to come over. She later goes down to the basement with scissors, to find Norman down there, waiting for her. He tells her that he found the consent forms, and implies his intentions to kill both of them to get away from the world. However Alex arrives and arrests Norman. Before they take him to the police car, Norma quickly manages to convince Norman to sign the papers.
Once Norman is admitted, he is visibly displeased with his stay and is in-cooperative with his therapy session with Dr. Gregg Edwards-still believing he shouldn’t be there and that Norma is truly the crazy one killing people. He later befriends one of the patients, Julian, in the cafeteria. Norma visits him, but he is still angry at her for getting him into Pineview and tells her the leave and never visit him. The following night, he tells Dr. Edwards that he believes Norma has been killing people. The next day, Norman takes some medication from a staff member, but later forces himself to throw them up into the toilet when he leaves.
Julian later helps Norman break into the office where he calls Dylan to warn him about Norma. However the conversation goes nowhere and he hangs up. Norman believes he’ll be released, but Dr. Edwards tells him he needs to wait till the authorities look into the case. Julian later sneaks them both out of Pineview and they hitchhike. They finally get a ride and go to a stripper’s club. A dancer names Athena takes an interest in Norman, and they go up to her room. As she is trying to seduce him, Mother takes over and they almost have sex, until they hear Julian arguing with the bouncers outside her room. As they begin beating on Julian, Mother threatens one of them with a knife, telling them to leave Julian alone. However one of the bouncers punches Mother in the face, snapping Norman back into his original personality, with no memory of escaping. The cops are notified and Dr. Edwards picks Norman up while Julian is taken the hospital with a broken rip. Norman breaks down and cries, begging Dr. Edwards to help him and telling him he’ll be more cooperative.
As his therapy sessions with Dr. Edwards continue, Norman is shown to be much more open and cooperative and is taking his medication-but still nevertheless nervous about accidentally revealing too much about his father during their sessions. As he leaves the session, he asks if he can call Emma, but it’s later revealed he called Norma to have her come over. Norman finds Julian and is happy to see him, but is upset to find his friend depressed and bruised from the night before. As Norman waits outside of Pineview on a bench, Mother arrives and they share an “embrace”. She tells him he doesn’t have to tell Dr. Edwards about Sam and that he needs to get better so he can come home. In his next session with Dr. Edwards, Norman tells him about the conversation between him and Norma, but Edwards tells Norman he must have hallucinated because Norma’s name wasn’t on the visitor’s log. Norman is dismissive of his claims and has a breakdown, knocking on the door crying for help. Dr. Edwards manages to calm him down, just as Mother takes over. Realizing that something is different about Norman, Dr. Edwards asks Mother what “she” thinks of Norman, and “she” reveals “herself” to be his “mother”. The next day, Norman has a nightmare about his mother’s rape and goes to have his session with Dr. Edwards-who reveals to Norman that his suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder. Dylan visits Norman during croquet, and tells Norman about him and Emma being in a relationship, to which Norman replies that he’s happy for them. Norman also asks him if he remembers anything about Sam, though Dylan admits he doesn’t remember much due to almost never being home.
As Dr. Edwards starts using hypnotherapy on Norman to help him remember what Sam was like, Mother stops Norman before things get any deeper and takes over. “She” tells Dr. Edwards about Norma’s rape and begs him not to make Norman remember any of it, threatening the doctor. The next day, Norman and Julian start making objects out of papier-mâché-with Norman making one out of Juno. However, Norman finds pieces of paper that seem to show Norma and Romero together. As he puts the pieces together, he finds out they’re married.
Norman calls the house, only for Romero to be the one to answer. When Norma takes the phone from him, she lies to Norman about why he’s there, and Norman tells her he’s coming home. He then goes over with the coordinator about the process of checking himself out, and realizes he has to write a letter to Dr. Edwards and get his approval-also being told that Alex paid with his insurance to have Norman committed for three months.
When Dr. Edwards questions Norman about why he was absent during their session, Norman tells him about his wishes as he’s writing his letter. Dr. Edwards tries to talk him out of it, but to no avail. As Norman has dinner with Julian, he pictures Norma and Romero having sex but Julian snaps him out of it. When Norman tells him about him leaving, Julian hurts Norman by telling him “someone like [him]” can’t get out of there. Norman bites back by telling Julian he’s smarter than him and that he knows how to fake being “normal” in order to get out of things, and leaves the table. When Norma arrives and tries to convince Norman to stay longer, Norman tells her he knows about her and Romero but she tells him it was just for the insurance. Norman then cries begging her to let him come home. Norma gives in and tells him he can, and he promises he’ll keep seeing Dr. Edwards. As Norman is finishing his Juno sculpture the following night, Dr. Edwards tries to convince him to stay and tells Norman he should be scared of what has been happening to him. Norman cries and admits that he is scared but also tells him he feels safer being with Norma and feels having both her and Dr. Edwards will give him progress. Dr. Edwards tells Norman he won’t give up on him and agrees to sign his release papers. Norma picks Norman up the next day.
Norma has had Romero leave the house to give her time to tell Norman about how serious their relationship is. Norman is already dissatisfied with the new changes in the house since Alex got there. Their heater goes out one night and Norman has them sleep in her bed together to stay warm. Norman arrives at Romero’s office to thank him for what he’s done, but also tells him to divorce Norma and that he’ll find a part-time job with insurance, leaving afterwards. Romero tells Norma about what he said, and she is both shocked and infuriated. When Emma and Dylan come over to the house, Emma and Norman talk and Norman tells her how happy he is for her and Dylan. When they leave to go Christmas tree shopping, Norman can tell that Norma is angry with him and they get into an argument. Norma ends up telling Norman that their relationship is more serious than Norman is letting on, and Norman throws up in response. The following night, Norma has them go down to the motel due to it being too cold in the house, but Norman takes a key to a different room out of anger. As Norman is trying to sleep, he notices Romero drove up to Norma’s room in Room 1. Norman sneaks into the office, takes a portrait off the wall and creates a hole in it that will allow to see what’s going on the room without them knowing. As he looks through the hole, he sees them having sex.
The next day, Norman goes downstairs to see Norma has hired a repairman to look at the heater. He installs the control box for the space heaters and he tells her not to light the furnace due to cracks in it. The following night, Romero comes over for dinner. Things don’t seem too bad with Norman and Romero, until it becomes clearer to Norman that Alex plans to stay longer and he accuses him of trying to get between him and Norma. He also calls Norma a hypocrite for never letting him have a life so she could be with him, only to find a husband to replace him in Norman’s eyes. Norman angrily goes outside and starts chopping some wood. Alex comes out to talk to him, but is still furiously chopping the wood. When Alex tells Norman that she deserves a man in her life, Norman nearly attacks him with the axe, but instead takes his anger out on the shed and starts chopping it, telling Alex he hates him and then storms up to his room.
The next day, Norman catches Alex and Norma kissing before he leaves, and Norma drives him over to his appointment with Dr. Edwards. Norman rants about Alex and Norma, accusing Alex of using his insurance money just to get rid of Norman. When Dr. Edwards tries to convince Norman otherwise, nothing registers and Norman tells him Alex is going to get a surprise of his life when he realizes how broken Norma is, and that he will have to pick up the broken pieces. Things only get worse when Norma finds out Alex and Dylan are planning to commit Norman behind her back, and Norma breaks it off with Alex after Dylan leaves. Norman eventually discovers Audrey’s suitcase as he’s looking for Christmas tree lights, and goes outside to bury it. The following night, Norman goes into bed with his broken-hearted mother to comfort her-telling her they should proceed with her plan to move to Hawaii and start over. Although amused, Norma clearly doesn’t feel they can. After Norman sings her to sleep, he decides he wants to put them both out of their misery and plans to kill them both so they can remain together. He goes down to the basement and lights the furnace. He goes through the house and closes all the vents except for the one underneath Norma’s bed. He then goes to sleep besides her, waiting for them to die from the gas. However Alex shows up and gets them both out of the room, breaking a couple of windows. Norman is revived, but Norma is not so lucky and Norman, who has no memory of trying to kill them due to carbon monoxide poisoning, is shocked to find his dead mother in a crying Alex’s arms.
Norman is taken in an ambulance and has flashbacks of his mother telling him as a child that she’ll never leave him. When he wakes up in the hospital he is still unable to remember anything and is under the belief that his mother committed suicide. As the doctors are wheeling Norman out of the hospital, Alex takes him. Norman rejects him and tells him everything is his fault and that he wants nowhere near the house or the funeral. Alex grabs Norman by the throat and pins him against the wall, telling him that he’s going to prove that he killed her. Norman comes home to an empty house, and goes to Norma’s bed, holding her pillow as he falls asleep. He later ends up flushing his meds down the toilet. When funeral director, Justin Wilcock calls, they decide to start funeral arrangements. Once Norman removes Alex’s new 60’’ TV from his house, he angrily starts kicking it once he throws it on the steps outside, but us interrupted by Detective Chambers. She starts questioning him about Norma’s death, and he tells her he blames Alex for everything and that he was the one who drove her to suicide. As Norman starts making the funeral arrangements, he touches the face of Norma’s corpse and imagines her eyes opening. He also finds that Alex put his ring back on his dead mother’s finger, and removes it.
Norman arrives home and imagines Juno coming to greet him. He tells her that Norma is alive and she is simply faking her death to get away from the world. Dylan calls to see if he can talk to Norma due to their fight before he left with Emma, but Norman tells him it’s best that they don’t stay in contact anymore.
When Norman attends the funeral, he gives his eulogy on Norma but has a breakdown before coming back to his senses. However Romero shows up, and Norman tells him to leave, but not before giving him back the ring. Alex by punching Norman and begins beating on him, but is persuaded by Justin to leave. Alex is later arrested by the DEA for perjury and put on a 5 year sentence.
The following night, an impatient Norman decides he’ll go over to the graveyard and collect Norma’s body to take it to the house. Once he gets home, he puts her body on the couch and glues her eyelids open, telling her to wake up. Chick Hogan (an enemy of Caleb’s) arrives at the house to send his condolences to Norman, giving him some chicken enchiladas-not noticing Norma’s corpse. Chick tells Norman about grief and asks him if he’s aware that Norma is dead. He leaves, telling Norman he’ll check on him in a few days. After he leaves, Norman finally realizes that Norma is gone and goes up into Norma’s room to kill himself with her gun. However he hallucinates Christmas music and Juno barking. He goes downstairs and imagines a Christmas tree with decorations up, and Mother playing the piano. She greets him and tells him she would never leave him and that they’re meant to be together forever.
2 years have passed and Norman has fully come to the belief that Norma is still alive, faked her death, and is simply hiding in the house to get away from the world-all the while running the motel on his own. He preserves Norma’s body in a large Freezer Chick helped him install, and continues to hallucinate Mother: talking with “her” and eating with “her”. However Alex did not let go of his grudge against Norman for killing his wife, and had an inmate, Jim Blackwell, who had been paroled go over to Norman’s to kill him. As Norman is doing the curtains in a motel room, Jim comes in and has a gun, ready to kill him. Norman’s “Mother” personality takes over and “she” manages to stab him to death before he can shoot “her”. Mother then took Jim’s body and hid it in the smaller freezer in the basement, and ordered some Luminol to clean the area of blood. "She" also drive Jim's car into the forest an threw the keys away. When Norman recovers he has no memory of the incident.
At some point, Norman goes down to the hardware store for some paint, and immediately takes an interest in the young owner, Madeline Loomis, due to her similarity to Norma. He tries to pay for the paint, but finds he Jim Blackwell’s wallet instead of his own. Confused, he asks Madeline to hold the paint while he goes over to get his wallet. He asks Mother if she knows anything about it but she dismisses it as nothing. He’s even more shocked to find out he ordered Luminol due to having no memory of the incident. After Norman has an argument over the phone with the company he ordered the Luminol from, a man going by the name of “David Davidson” checks himself in, along with his lover whose waiting in the car. Once he takes her out, Norman spies on them through the window but can not see the woman clearly due to her umbrella covering her. Once they enter Room 1, Norman spies through the hole in the wall as they are having sex and masturbates. However he is interrupted once he hallucinates a phone call from Mother telling him to go upstairs to have dinner. Once they have dinner, things start off peaceful but get more heated once Norman mentions Madeline’s age-Mother immediately suspects her of taking Norman away from her. Angry at Norman and accusing him of being ungrateful to “her” she “leaves” the dinner table. Unable the sleep that night, Norman goes down to the basement and sleeps on the lap of Norma's corpse.
Madeline shows up the next day at the motel office and drops off the paint and invites Norman to a meeting with small business owners. Despite seeing “Mother” glaring at them through the window, Norman says he’ll show up the following night. As Norman is getting ready, he tells Mother where he’s going but she tells him he can’t take the car due to his blackouts. However Norman accuses her of using it as an excuse to keep him from going out and decides to drive off anyways. However as he’s backing the car out of the driveway, he sees Mother who forces him to go down to the basement and shows him Jim Blackwell’s body. She tells him what happened, though according to her, she was in the room with Norman when Jim showed up and killed him. She tells him she needed the car to store Jim’s body and “they” row out into the lake to drop the body. Mother tells him the world is scary and that he needs her. However before Norma can drop the body, he hears his cell phone ring and answers it, revealing the caller to be Romero-leading Norman to realize that Alex tried to have him killed.
The next day Norman pays a visit to Alex at prison to show him that he’s still alive and accuses Alex of being the one whose idea it was to commit Norman to Pineview. Before Norman leaves, Alex tells him he’s coming for him when he least expects it. When Norman comes home, he gets into an argument with Mother over visiting Alex and receives a visit from Chick. He has Mother “hide” once he answers the door and Chick gives Norman some apples. However the real reason Chick shows up is to propose doing a business of taxidermy with him over some road kill. Norman accepts his proposition.
As Norman is having coffee in town, Madeline shows up and later her husband, Sam, whose revealed to be the man, “David Davidson”, Norman had checked in a day earlier. Both Norman and Sam are unhappy to see each other due to Sam’s affair being exposed. Madeline ends up inviting Norman to a double date with a friend of hers, and he says he’ll be there. Sam shows up at the motel later and threatens Norman to not tell Madeline about the affair-however Norman is not fazed by Sam’s threats.
The following night, Norman tells Mother he is going to the double date, while asking her if she still has feelings for Alex, to which she tells him she doesn’t. During the date, Norman shows no interest in the date and continues to subtly call Sam out on his affair. After Norman goes into the bathroom to wash his face, Mother “shows up” and Norman gets into fight with her. He ends up having her “go out” the window to avoid being seen by anyone. When Norman gets into the car, Mother is shocked to see Madeline looks like a younger version of her. They get into another fight, and Mother takes Norman over. “She” ends up going to a bar for a drink-getting into a rant over how “she” is a caretaker for a mentally ill person who is ungrateful for “her” taking care of him.
“Mother” goes over the house and tries on one of Norman’s dress, as well as a wig resembling her hair. Caleb breaks in to kill Norman after getting news about Norma’s death. When he can’t find him, he goes into the basement to find Norma’s corpse. Mother comes up from behind and knocks Caleb out with a shovel. A shocked Chick walks in on the whole incident after he followed Caleb to the house. Mother then “reveals” to Chick that “she’s” still alive. Mother handcuffs Caleb to a beam in the basement and apologizes for hitting him once he recovers. However “she” still has no intention of letting him go due to him knowing to much, and goes upstairs to figure out what to do with him. “She” walks in on Chick and thanks him for being a good friend, though is still suspicious of why he’s always coming over-it’s later revealed he’s using Norman’s life as inspiration for a book he’s writing. Mother asks Chick to keep everything a secret and agrees to let him come over.
Norman wakes up in his room the next day and hallucinates mother giving him a “kiss”. She tells him to rest but also to not go into the basement before leaving the room. Chick shows up with breakfast and lets him know he knows about Mother-though while playing on Norman’s illusions that Norma’s still alive. Norman comes downstairs later that night and has dinner with Chick and “Mother”. Chick offers to stay around to help them for free as well as to fix the window Caleb. broke. Mother takes a liking to him and they agree to let him stay over.
The next day, Madeline shows up with a plate of cookies and apologizes to Norman for the double date-admitting it was an excuse to get him to hang with her. She cries and admits to feeling lonely due to Sam always being away. Norma feels sorry for her, but at the same time doesn’t want to expose the affair, and tells Madeline that she should just talk to Sam.
When Norman finds out about Caleb being the basement, he goes down to talk to him, but is taken over by Mother. Caleb tells “her” that he will help Norman get the help he needs if “she” lets him. Mother refuses, but nevertheless holds Caleb’s hand, showing that “she” still cares about him to a degree. Mother tells Caleb “she” can’t bring “herself” to kill him and will have to ask Norman to do it. Norman passes out while holding his uncle’s hand and is taken to his bedroom by Chick. Mother wakes Norman up and tells him him he will have to kill Caleb. He reluctantly agrees to, but once he gets downstairs, he fins he can’t bring himself to kill him. So he lets him go and forces him to leave. However as Caleb is running outside the house, the vengeful Mother takes over and Norman begins shooting at him. As Caleb is running down the road, Caleb accidentally hits him with his car, killing him. Norman insists that they call the cops, but Mother and Chick say that they can’t risk them finding out about Norman’s secrets in the basement, so Chick takes his body and gets rid of it.
The next day, as Norman is boxing some items from his house, including Norma’s clothes, the new sheriff, Jane Greene, arrives and starts questioning him about Jim Blackwell’s disappearance-also informing Norman that Romero has escaped-though Norman fakes ignorance and manages to get her to leave. Norman attempts to donate Norma’s clothes to a church, but decides to instead give them to Madeline. He arrives at the hardware store to give them to her, while also taking the shower curtains he ordered. Due to the stress and regret Norman has over Caleb’s death and Chick’s refusal to call the cops over his body, Norman keeps Chick from moving into the house, much to the later’s dismay.
Sheriff Green arrives again and asks Norman if she can look at his guestbook-also giving Norman the number on Blackwell’s license plate. Norman accidentally reveals he knows about Blackwell living in Canyon City, despite the sheriff never mentioning it. Norman then has Mother “go” with him the find the car in the woods and “they” argue over it, which results in mother screaming and Norman “strangling” her-only to find her eyes turn white. Mother “gets up” and tells Norman to never do that again.
The next morning, Madeline calls Norman and thanks him for the dresses, also inviting him over for dinner to Sam being out of town on business. Norman pays a visit to Chick as his mobile home to ask him if he knows how to hotwire a car. Chick is still hurt over Norman kicking him out of the house, though Norman assures him that he still considers him his friend and wants to stay in touch with him regardless. Norman goes into a conversation about his “Mother” telling Chick that she’s out of control. When Chick offers to help out, Norman tells him it’s not a good idea and leaves, but not before thanking Chick for being a good friend. As Norman is leaving the following night to go to Madeline’s, he tells Mother to stay out of it and that he will take care of Blackwell’s car later. When he arrives at Madeline’s, he’s impressed to see she is wearing one of Norma’s dresses. After dinner, Madeline starts kissing Norman, but he has a vision of Norma slashing her throat and leaves in a panic once he recovers. He goes home to find Mother isn’t there. Once he sits down and stops looking for her, Mother takes him over.
The next day, Norman wakes up to find Mother is still not there, but instead finds scratch marks on his shoulder after he went into the bathroom to throw up. He goes downstairs to an empty house, and looks outside to find the car is gone, causing him to immediately suspect that Mother left with Romero. He also finds a matchbook from a bar called “White Horse Bar”. He receives a call from Sheriff Greene who asks him to go down to the station to give her more info on Romero. When he arrives, all he does is give her more info to paint Romero as a bad man who wanted Norma for himself. However, Green still suspects that Romero is after Norman for some reason due to his connection with Jim Blackwell, as well as Romero’s fight with Norman at Norma’s funeral. When she mentions that Romero seemed to blame Norman for her death, Norman says Romero is in denial over the fact that he caused her to kill herself. Before Norman leaves, Greene questions him over his visit to Romero in prison, and Norman tells her he was looking for some closure with him but failed. Green in turn tells him Romero may be coming after Norman and warns him that Romero is armed before Norman leaves.
Norman goes home to find Mother still isn’t there, and calls the White Horse Bar. The bartender tells him that Norma’s car is still in the driveway and that he has her keys. When Norman asks him whether or not she was with a man, the bartender is unsure. Norman receives a call from Madeline later, who apologizes for the previous night. When Norman tells her he needs to pick his car up, she offers to give him a ride herself. As she drives him to the bar, she continues to apologize to him for kissing him, however he tells her he doesn’t think anything badly of her and that she just wanted human companionship. Norman admits that unlike her, he has no choice but to be alone. She questions him about his statement, he tells her doesn’t even understand his own life. When he tells her to talk to Sam for the second time, she finally questions him over why he’s always telling her that once they get to the parking lot. He tells about the affair, and a distraught Madeline refuses to believe him, yelling at him to get out of her car. When he gets into the bar for the keys, the bartender seems confused by Norman’s questions about seeing her and also seems to know him. Once Norman gets into his car, he is shocked to find Norma’s underwear in the backseat. As he is driving down the road, he meets Dr. Edwards and he invites Norman into the café and they talk. Norman lies to Dr. Edwards about taking his meds and tells him he found a closer psychiatrist. Their conversation then goes into Norma, and Edwards reminds Norman how he tends to hallucinate Mother and becomes her. In response, Norman panics and leaves. Norman arrives back at the White Horse Bar, and is shocked to see a couple of guests seem to know him. He starts having flashbacks to the previous night at the bar and goes in the restroom. A young man walks in and tries to make out with Norman, but Norman goes into panic after he calls him “Norma”. He then remembers that he had sex with the man while dressed as Norma in his car the previous night-while he was under the influence of the Mother personality. Norman finally comes to grips with the fact that Norma is dead and that he had been hallucinating her and acting on her. He then storms out of the bar and drives back to his house.
Once he gets to the house, Sam’s girlfriend he had been having an affair with, Marion Crane, arrives in the motel parking lot looking for a room. Norma arrives down to the office, checks her into Room 1 and offers to make her a ham sandwich. When he goes up to the house, he hallucinates Mother in the kitchen and tries to ignore her, revealing to her that he knows she doesn’t actually exist. He also realizes that Mother has appeared because Marion is downstairs and Norman is attracted to her. Once Norman goes down to the office with Marion’s sandwich, they have conversation about their parents-with Norman admitting that their need for people can destroy them in the process. Marion goes into her room to take a shower, and Norman spies on her through the hole in the wall.
After Marion’s done taking a shower, she goes into the office and asks Norman if he has the address in the registry for Sam Loomis from when he checked them in. Norman tells her it’s not in the registry, but gives her his address anyways, telling her he’s married-much to her surprise. She takes the address and drives over to Sam’s house to prove Norman wrong-only to find out that she had been lied to by her boyfriend.
After Dylan finds out about Norma’s death, he calls Norman on the phone and berates him for never telling him about her death. Norman tries to tell Dylan he didn’t know how to reach him, but Dylan isn’t buying it. Norman tells him he couldn’t bring himself to tell him she committed suicide as well as attempted murder, but Dylan isn’t buying it and their argument ends with Norman hanging up. As Mother is “making dinner in the kitchen”, Norman makes his own dinner seeing as to how it’s pointless eating food that isn’t there. He gets in an argument with Mother as he tries to deny her existence, however Mother is not going away so easily. Norman goes down to the motel and sees Marion has arrived, broken-hearted from visiting Sam. She confides in Norman that she can’t go back home (due to having embezzled $400,000 dollars prior to checking herself in).Worried that the mother personality will take over Norman pushes her into packing up and leaving to start her life over. She does so, but not before giving Norman a hug, causing him to panic more and make her leave before Mother can take over.
After she leaves, Sam arrives at the motel to meet her in her room, only to fins she’s not there. Norman is in the office watching him, and admits to being glad that Marion drove off-angry at Sam for taking advantage of two nice woman. Mother says he reminds her of Norman’s father, Sam. As Sam is waiting for Marion in Room 1, Mother finally tells Norman that he created her so he wouldn’t have to remember any of the pain his father had done to him and Norma. She also tells him that he needs to feel the pain she keeps him from feeling, influencing him to want to kill Sam out of all the times he couldn’t bring himself to kill his father to protect Norma. As Sam is taking a shower, Norman takes a knife and walks into his bathroom, opens the curtains, and stabs the man to death in an uncontrollable rage. However, he is visibly shaken and horrified by his actions afterwards.
As Norman stands over Sam’s body, petrified, Mother “comes in” and “they” plan to get rid of it. As he drives to the lake to dispose of the body, he is still in shock from killing a man, but Mother angrily tells him he’ll have to deal with it. However once he gets to the lake, he finds that the police are there and have recovered Jim Blackwell’s body. In response to seeing this, Norman throws up, much to Mother’s annoyance. When “they” get in the car, Norman panics but Mother pulls him together, telling him “they” have to find another place to put Sam’s body. “They” go up to the woods and dump the body in a well. They drive back to the motel and take Sam’s car to a chop shop. As they are walking home, Norman discusses with Mother turning himself in for what he’s done. Mother offers to completely take Norman over if he ever feels overwhelmed again, but he rejects her offer. Sheriff Greene shows up and informs Norman that they found multiple bodies in the lake, as well as that of Jim Blackwell’s. She expresses curiosity about the tire tracks found on the parking lot, due to Norman admitting he has not had any recent guests. A paranoid Norman takes Norma’s body and buries it in the snow in the woods to get rid of any evidence, though not before kissing it.
Dylan arrives when Norman comes home and they have a heart to heart about their lives-Dylan tells Norman that he and Emma got married and that they have a daughter-while Norman’s hallucinating Mother the whole time. He also apologizes to Dylan for never having called him. Norman admits he hasn’t been seeing Dr. Edwards or taking his pills, and Dylan tells him he’s going to stay over for a few days. After Norman takes a nap, Mother tells him Dylan can’t stay due to him asking too many questions, and they he should make them a nice dinner the following night to let him that he’s fine, then make him leave.
Dylan goes over to a pharmacy to get Norman’s prescription renewed, however the pharmacist tells Dylan that she couldn’t reach Dr. Edwards due to him having been missing for two years, even being presumed dead-thus implying that Norman kill Dr. Edwards under the influence of Mother and that he hallucinated him during “their” conversation in the café. However, Dylan manages to persuade her to get Norman some meds. When Dylan gets home, Madeline is outside the house and asks Dylan to talk to Norman about Sam-wondering if he’s seen him since he went missing the night prior. As Dylan and Norman are having dinner together, Dylan questions him about Sam’s disappearance, making Norman more and more nervous as the conversation deepens. Norman lies about Sam’s disappearance and tries to convince Dylan to leave. However Dylan tries to get Norman to take the new pills he’s prescribed for him. Norman tries, but this only results in Mother taking over and "she" hits Dylan in the head with a glass cup, trying to kill him with a knife. However Norman manages to resist before he can do anymore damage, and calls the cops, confessing the murder of Sam Loomis-much to his brother’s shock and horror.
Once the cops arrive, Sheriff Green starts questioning Norman, who manages to resist seeing Mother. He says he can’t do anything without his meds, and they take him to the station. However he is unable to remember the exact details of where Sam’s body is. Greene tells him that they found an unidentified female body in the lake with Jim Blackwell's. She asks Norman if he killed them, but he says he can't remember. She then accuses him of lying about the murder just for attention.They put him in a cell and he takes his meds. However, Mother takes over and forces Norman to vomit the pills into the toilet. She also tells him she needs to take him over and will “wake [him] up” when it’s “safe”. She then forces him to ram his head against the toilet, and she takes complete control over Norman-intent on not going to prison. Greene shows up the next day to check on Norman, and Mother tells her "she" made up the murder because "she" wasn't in the right state of mind. "She" demands a lawyer, confusing Green seeing as to how he said he didn't want one earlier. "She" blames Greene not letting him take his pills and tells her he plans to leave unless she can charge him with any crime. However she refuses to let "she" go and keeps him locked up-much to "her" frustration. Mother continues to try to persuade them to let "her" go, even going so far as to blame Madeline for Sam's disappearance-though all efforts prove unsuccessful once they discover the body of Sam Loomis. Thus, "she" is charged with all three murders.
After the second body is revealed to be that of Emma's mother, Audrey, she visits Norman in jail while he's still under the possession of Mother. "She" tells Emma she did her a favor in killing Audrey because she wasn't a good mother. Realizing that Norman is not himself, Emma asks where Norman is, to which Mother replies that he's "sleeping". After Alex Romero discovers Norman took Norma's body somewhere, he tracks him down to the police station, holding the other cops hostage at gunpoint and forcing Norman out of his cell. He attempts to choke him, but let's him live for the time being to find Norma's body. He kidnaps Norman and forces him to take him to the location of the body. Once they get there, Mother apologizes to Alex for her death, though in response, Alex beats him to the ground. With his back turned, Norman comes from behind and hits him over the head with a rock, taking his gun and shoots him. Before dying, Alex reminds Norman that he killed his own mother and that he'll never be able to live with it. Norman finally accepts Alex's claim, and Mother permanently leaves Norman's mind, despite Norman's objections.
Norman passes out in the snow, and has a dream about Norma as the day goes by. He then wipes every event from the moment they moved into the motel out of his mind, and imagines the first day they came to White Pine Bay. While doing so, he takes Norma's body and drives to the motel. He checks a family in and is motivated to call Dylan when he sees one of the kids is named Dylan as well. He calls him and invites Dylan over to dinner for the following night. Dylan agrees to, but keeps his gun handy. Once Dylan arrives and finds Norma's dead body, he is immediately disgusted and Norman comes back to reality. They get into a fight over the situation, and Norman gets a knife ready. Dylan gets his gun out and tries to convince him not to come at him. However Norman lunges at him and Dylan shoots him in the stomach. As Norman falls into his crying brother's arms, he has a vision of himself running through the forest into Norma's arms, both as a child and as an adult. He thanks his brother for putting him out of his misery right before he dies. The police arrive and take both bodies, which are later buried together in the same grave.
- Sam Bates (unknowingly): Hit over the head with a blender. (in First You Dream, Then You Die)
- Blaire Watson (unknowingly): Cut her throat. (in Midnight)
- Jimmy Brennen (accidentally): Pushed down a flight of stairs. (in Plunge)
- Bradley Martin (unknowingly): Head bashed repeatedly on a rock. (in Unconscious)
- Audrey Ellis (unknowingly): Strangulation. (in A Danger to Himself and Others)
- Norma Bates: Carbon monoxide poisoning. (in Forever)
- Gregg Edwards (unknowingly): Through means unknown. It is implied that Norman killed Dr. Edwards due to the fact that he is missing and presumed dead-as well as the fact that Mother was worried about him knowing too much about her and Norman.
- Jim Blackwell (unknowingly): Stabbed multiple times. (in Dark Paradise)
- Sam Loomis: Stabbed repeatedly. (in Marion)
- Alex Romero: Shot repeatedly. (in The Cord)
- This is Freddie Highmore's first villainous role, and his performance has received critical acclaim.
- Some fans have said Freddie Highmore bears physical similarities with Anthony Perkins, the original player of Norman in the 1960 film produced by the late Alfred Hitchcock.
- In the original book and film series, the Bates Motel is set in a different fictional location, being Fairvale, California, as opposed to White Pine Bay, Oregon in the TV show.
- Norman's murder of Sam Loomis in the shower is a reference the Marian Crane's death in the original Psycho film by the hands of Mother. Though instead, Marion survives in the show while Sam is killed, and Norman is killing him in his original personality rather than Mother's.
- It's implied in the show that Norman may be bisexual-given he tried to seduce Dr. Edwards as Mother during one of their sessions. There's also the fact that at another point in the Mother personality, he went into a gay bar and had sex with a man in his car while dressed as Norma. Some have argued that he only displays sexual attraction towards men in his Mother personality-however there is also the fact that in his own persona, he masturbated as watched Sam Loomis through the peep hole in his motel room.
- It's almost entirely possible that Norman wanted Dylan to shoot him at the end of the last episode to put him out of his misery. This is evident when he stated "I just want to be with her, Dylan", which could have been his way of asking Dylan to send him to Norma. There's also the fact that when he lunges at Dylan and Dylan shoots him, he stabs the wall just to left of Dylan's head-indicating he never intended to stab his brother, but to just make it look like he was so Dylan would shoot him in self-defense. According to interviews with the creators as well as Freddie Highmore himself, this is most likely the case.