At the end of season three, we saw Norman (Freddie Highmore) suffer a complete mental break after he took on the full persona of Mother and killed Bradley. But, the transformation into Mother – who is played by Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga – has skewed his mental state even more, which leads to a lot of tension and instability from Norman and the real Norma (Farmiga).
In an effort to begin highlighting the characters’ inevitable downward spiral to the extremely weird relationship we see between Norman and Norma at the then-rundown Bates Motel in Psycho, season four packs a heavy dose of Norman and Norma’s strained relationship beginning to take formation along with Norman’s struggle with becoming Mother. As we follow along, little sprinkles of the original film – like the bunny – can be found throughout, which we can only expect more and more of through this season and the next, final season.
Norma spends the majority of the first two episodes finding a way to get her little boy help, which already begins to backfire and causes friction between the two. Up until this season, the mother-son duo have been so intertwined and inseparable, it’s sort of unnerving to see one force of chaos split into two opposing forces. As Norman starts bouncing in between being himself and Mother, it becomes a blurred, confusing line of who is doing what – is it Mother, Norman or the real Norma?
As Norma struggles to help her son, she begins to drag others into her problems, specifically Sheriff Romero. A lot of fans hope for some sort of relationship between the two, but it’s hard to think there could ever be another love in Norma’s life seeing as her unusual relationship with her son engulfs her entirely. But, it’s safe to suggest there will be exploration done this season on whether or not Norma – and Norman – can handle two romances in her life.
Season four of Bates Motel premieres Monday, March 7 at 9pm ET on A&E , followed by the series premiere of Damien at 10pm.