The first season is a prequel to the film. It begins with Norman and his mother moving to a new town as his father just passed away. Norma, the mother, is assaulted by the previous owner of the home. This starts a long trend of problems for the pair.
The family’s twisted dynamics become clearer as time passes, particularly with Norman, whom Norma constantly manipulates, though her relationship with Norman’s brother Dylan is also far from healthy.
Norman, despite suffering from hallucinations and blackouts, tries to have a normal high school experience, and attracts the attention of Emma, an intelligent classmate who suffers from cystic fibrosis.
Though Norman is fond of Emma, he becomes obsessively drawn to Bradley, a pretty, popular student who opens up to Norman in the aftermath of a death in her family.
When Norma’s relationship with a police deputy goes terribly wrong, Norman’s behavior becomes increasingly disturbing, and before long he finds himself suspect in a shocking act of violence.
Season two starts with Norma getting more worried about the imminent bypass that is threatening the future of her business. She takes serious steps to stop it by trying to get a seat on the local council, only to find herself in someone else’s pocket.
Norman finds himself in a tricky situation when Bradley gets in trouble and turns to him for help. Later, Norman tries to help his new girlfriend Cody with a family problem, but makes things worse after revealing a dark family secret to her.
Dylan has discovered a revelation about himself that he finds hard to stomach. He dives deep into the local underworld, making staying alive harder than it should be.
Season three opens with Norman, now a high school senior. He starts his first day by hallucinating about Miss Watson, a teacher from season one. Norma decides to homeschool Norman because of this.
Dylan confronts Norma about letting Norman sleep in her bed, and as a result, she sets some boundaries with Norman. This season focuses on Norman’s impending descent into madness that will show more in the upcoming season.
“Bates Motel” is a piece of old Hollywood making its way back to modern audiences. Season four will only bring us deeper into the madness, and it will be worth the time.