‘Bates Motel’ E.P. Says This Season Is ‘About Trying To Discern Reality From Delusion’

As Season 4 of Bates Motel prepares for its premiere on A&E, executive producer Kerry Ehrin is taking the time to let fans know what to expect. The Bates Motel showrunner says that fans can expect the best season yet, as Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) really starts to unravel and his mother (Vera Farmiga) finds she can no longer deny her son’s precarious mental state.

Kerry Ehrin Says The Stakes Are High In Season 4 Of Bates Motel

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Kerry says the new installment of Bates Motel will pick up on the very same night the Season 3 finale left off. Norman will come around following his blackout and try to come to terms with everything that has happened, while Norma and Dylan will be frantically searching for him.

This essentially sums up the general theme of Bates Motel, because as Ehrin says, it will always be about this strange, slightly unbalanced relationship between mother and son.

“At its heart, this show is always going to be about the bond between Norman and Norma — that sort of strange emotional marriage they have and how the world is going to try impede on that…And on a thematic level, the show is about hope, weirdly, and trying to discern reality from delusion. Those are two huge themes this season.”

The murder of Bradley will force Norma to come to terms with the fact that Norman needs more help than she can give him. For so long now, Norma has tried to protect Norman, but she’s beginning to realize she’s losing control. The Bates Motel showrunner says there’s going to come a time, very soon, when Norma will have to face her fear of losing Norman and seek outside help.

Also becoming more prevalent this season on Bates Motel is Norman’s awareness that things aren’t exactly right with him. He’s missing time, having blackouts, and recalling conversations that never actually took place.

The Bates Motel‘s Norman Is The Norman From Psycho, says Kerry Ehrin

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The Bates Motel showrunner says that Norman has already become the quietly disturbed man from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. For fans waiting for that transition, Ehrin says you have missed it.

“In a lot of respects, he is that guy now. We have arrived at that guy.”

Vera Farmiga, who plays Norman’s mother to smothering perfection, says the bond between Mrs. Bates and Norman is going to weaken this season. She says they have been struggling for so long that it just becomes too much for both of them and by Episode 2, they begin to pull apart.

Vera adds that Norman’s institutionalization may benefit Norma in ways she couldn’t have anticipated. On her own, the Bates Motel owner has to draw on her own strengths and Ms. Farmiga says that helps her character to rise up like the phoenix.

The Bates Motel actress says everyone in production is still learning how to create and present Mother Norma because she’s a separate entity. An entirely new character.

“You are going to be seeing Freddie playing her, you are going to be seeing me playing her, and then combining those two performances based on nuance and integrity and earnesty and invention. It is difficult, those scenes, and it is competitive [laughs] because essentially we are playing the same character.”

Ms. Farmiga adds that creating Mother Norma for Bates Motel is a deeply collaborative effort. She says she works closely with Freddie to make the character consistent and interesting. She adds that she loves playing with Mother Norma’s wardrobe because there’s so much to play with and she can experiment.

Bates Motel airs Mondays on A&E.

[Image via A&E]