You can check back into Bates Motel this coming March, as the prequel story to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 adaptation of Psycho returns for season 4. The 10-episode season will continue to chronicle Norman Bates’ (Freddie Highmore) slow descent into madness and bloodlust. Meanwhile, Norma Bates (Vera Farmiga) will seek professional help for her son, but this act will be perceived as betrayal and drive the Bates family apart.
A previous teaser trailer for the upcoming season indicated that the series is drawing closer to the end, as events come further into alignment with the film. Before you find yourself going a little mad (we all do, sometimes) over a lack of promotional material, A&E has released the first batch of official photos and a further teaser trailer.
The photos (via ScreenCrush) depict moments from the season 4 premiere, which is titled “A Danger to Himself and Others”. Norman and Norma are the focal point with one of the photos capturing them in front of a mirror, wearing the same robes, as Norman slowly transitions into his ‘mother’ persona and becomes a literal and metaphorical reflection of her. Meanwhile, Emma Decody (Olivia Cooke) is right where we would expect her to be following the events of last season, after she received the good news that a transplant donor had been found for her.
The madness reaches boiling point in the latest ‘Mother’ teaser (above), which portrays Norman and Norma’s tumultuous relationship as the desperate mother tries to break through to her troubled son, who has landed in a very dark place. Despite her attempts, it seems that it is too late for Norman and that he has passed the point of no return. At one point in the trailer, he even admits: “You’re dead to me”, which signifies the unfortunate fate that lies ahead for her.
The official synopsis for Bates Motel season 4 reads:
“Bates Motel,” a contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film Psycho, will return with ten new episodes that further reveal Norman’s continued downward spiral and the effect it has on the family. This season Norma becomes increasingly fearful and desperate, going to great lengths to find Norman the professional help he needs. This further complicates their once unbreakable trust while Norman struggles to maintain his grip on reality. Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) once again finds himself drawn back into Norma and Norman’s lives. Will things finally heat up between Norma and the other man in her life, Sheriff Romero, and just how much further will he go to protect her?
While this season is set to draw upon more parallels with the film than ever before, the big question remains: Will Norman commit the pinnacle act and murder Norma? From everything that we have seen so far – especially Norman franticly chasing his mother up the stairs in the latest teaser – it seems quite likely that this could be the moment. Perhaps though, the reveal could be saved until the end of the season and Norman could (similarly to Psycho) trick us – the audience – by making us believe that she is still alive as the episodes move forward.
On the other side of the knife, Bates Motel has been renewed up to season 5, so while these episodes could potentially concentrate on the aftermath of his murderous act, would there be enough material post-mother murder to keep the audience hooked up until season close? Or is it more likely that one of the other characters, perhaps Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell), is facing danger in season 4? Either way, we are edging closer to the big reveal of the most notorious psychopath in cinematic history.
Bates Motel Season Four premieres on March 7th, 2016 and will be directly followed by the brand new movie-to-television adaptation Damien.