Bates Motel: Season 3 (2015)


Season 3
Bates Motel

Critics Consensus

Bates Motel further blurs lines around TV's creepiest taboo mother/son relationship, uncomfortably darkening its already fascinating tone.



Critic Ratings: 21


Audience Score

User Ratings: 429
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Air date: Mar 9, 2015
Air date: Mar 16, 2015
Air date: Mar 23, 2015
Air date: Mar 30, 2015
Air date: Apr 13, 2015
Air date: Apr 20, 2015
Air date: Apr 27, 2015
Air date: May 4, 2015
Air date: May 11, 2015

Bates Motel: Season 3 Photos

Tv Season Info

Series 3 opens with Norman, now a high school senior starting his first day, hallucinating about Miss Watson, the teacher he previously killed. Because of this, Norma decides to homeschool Norman. Dylan confronts Norma about letting Norman sleep in her bed, and, as a result, she sets some boundaries with Norman.

News & Interviews for Bates Motel: Season 3

Critic Reviews for Bates Motel Season 3

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4)

Let me be clear: this is a good thing, that Bates Motel actually has it's own good little mood going on.

Mar 10, 2015 | Full Review…

Season 3 finale "Unconscious" put a major nail in the coffin

Dec 15, 2017 | Full Review…

The series is not waiting around to develop Norman any further - he's ready, and so are we. As Norman says to Emma, "it's just time."

Dec 15, 2017 | Full Review…

It's totally, completely Psycho.

Dec 15, 2017 | Full Review…

The show that would make even Oedipus cringe is back for its third season, and in the first of ten new episodes, Bates Motel looks like it's off to a great start.

Dec 15, 2017 | Full Review…

"Bates Motel" is consistently entertaining, with flashes of dark humor, and a surprising amount of suspense, considering we all know how this story ultimately ends.

Dec 15, 2017 | Full Review…

Bates Motel's third season premiere isn't its best episode, but it's a strong, focused start to a season that has all the elements of being their strongest. Farmiga and Highmore continue to put out wonderful work here.

Dec 15, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

I'm going to call this season of Bates Motel "the one where everything that you thought would happen didn't happen."

Dec 15, 2017 | Full Review…

"Unconscious" is an excellent finale to a exceptional third season of Bates Motel. This seems like a conclusion to the show we knew, and the beginning of a show where everyone realizes they are doomed.

Dec 15, 2017 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

For all the criminal complications, the focus is on the psychology of the characters, from a clingy and jealous Norman uncomfortably intimate with his mother to Norma's manic personality...

Feb 12, 2016 | Full Review…

It's a strong work of psychologically minded, character-driven fiction.

May 8, 2015 | Full Review…

Tthe more the show can bring Kenny Johnson into the same scenes as Farmiga and Highmore, the more crazily intense Bates Motel will be, and that's a good thing.

Mar 12, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bates Motel: Season 3

  • Mar 20, 2018
    The Bates family begins to tear itself apart in Season 3 of Bates Motel. This season Norma makes a desperate play to save her motel by blackmailing the town's main powerbroker with a flash drive that has incriminating evidence on it; meanwhile Dillon tries to go straight as a marijuana farmer and gives his father a chance to mend their relationship. Additionally, Norman's psychosis becomes more apparent as he begins to regularly talk to and interactive with his alternate mother personality. However, despite some really interesting storylines, the writing is inconsistent; starting and stopping several subplots that don't come to much. Yet there are some incredibly powerful scenes and exciting plot turns that are quite engrossing. While it's a bit disjointed, the Bates Motel delivers a chilling and suspenseful third season.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 29, 2017
    When it comes to television shows making it past their first couple of seasons, it goes without saying that the quality of the show is either fantastic, or the fan base remains, regardless of the ratings. For Bates Motel, season three is yet another season that improves on its predecessors, solidifying that this is a show that gets better with age and much more mature as the seasons progress. Usually a show's third season is where things either begin to die out and become boring or just dives into deeper and more brutal material. The third season of Bates Motel is definitely the latter of that statement. Here is why the third season of Bates Motel continues the prequel series in an incredibly satisfying manor. SPOILERS TO FOLLOW. Throughout the first and second seasons, Bates Motel has been known to shock its audience with a twist every now and then, as well as creep them out in a big way. Season three ups the anti as far as the creepiness factor goes, having Norman wear Norma's clothes when she is not around and having visions of his mother in a much more sexual manor than ever before. For some viewers, this may be slightly more than what they bargained for when getting into this show, but if you have seen the film Psycho, you should know that the story is just going to become more messed up and twisted from here on out. If this show does one thing well, it's keeping the audience creeped out 24/7. When characters are explored and shown in a new light, it brings much more suspense to the story at hand. Dylan and Emma are two of the best characters on the show when they are given their moments to shine. Having said that, they have never had that much screen time together until this season, and seeing Emma drift away from Norman, to become infatuated with his brother Dylan, all while Dylan is trying to come to terms with the fact that his father is his mother's brother, is even more of a shocking twist. Her shy personality gleams off the screen and his portrayal of the badass, good-hearted accident-child is more than worth your time. Their chemistry has become my favourite portion of the show throughout this season. Although this season is trying to move the story forward at a very rapid rate, there are some very key episodes that return to past storylines, bringing in certain characters that have been absent for quite some time. Yes, there will be an eventual tie-in to the classic film when the show concludes, but that is still a couple of seasons away. There is quite a bit of room for exploring the past, having characters re-appear, and building up more secrecy, along with exciting twists. This is the darkest we have seen the character of Norman yet, and even though I know where his character will be in the future, I can't wait to see how he gets himself to that point. There are two seasons left. Let's see what they have in store. Bates Motel is the type of show that should have worked as a mini-series, but has somehow made itself into a five season television show that everyone loves. It is very rare that a product from the past is revisited for this long and doesn't run out of steam. Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore continue to to be remarkable together on-screen as mother and son, but the inevitable future will come that will tear them apart. I love where this show is headed. In the past seasons, the side-plot about Dylan and the drug business bugged me, because it felt like filler, but they have somehow managed to build a relationship with his father and Emma around it, making it just as interesting as anything else this show has to offer. There are a few slow episodes, but I couldn't find much to complain about throughout this season. Fantastic primetime television.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Aug 23, 2019
    Vera Farmiga is Talented Best Show Ever
  • Jul 07, 2019
    as we become more and more disturbed by Normans behaviour and thoughts we become more and more disturbed by Normans incestuous thoughts
  • Apr 04, 2019
    Best season so far. Norman is developing, and his relationship with his mother Norma is growing and start to get more interesting. Still a lot of drama and unnecessary filler sub-plots.
  • Jun 12, 2018
    I have to say this is the biggest surprise of a tv show that I have had. Far better acted, written, and was far more interesting then I ever would have given it credit. When I originally saw teasers and trailers for the show I assumed that it was going to be A&E's copy of a teenage CW show with teen angst and drama. I had absolutely no interest after catching the first episode because it dealt with Norman at a new high school. I was entirely wrong about the show. I had assumed it was only a teenager show mostly because the actor looks like, and it is a young Norman Bates, and they focused on his mom a lot in the beginning, but for some reason I assumed she wouldn't be a lasting character. I mean how do you make Norma Bates, AKA "MOTHER!" a regular character. Not only is she a regular (and she is there on screen until the last episode), she is on the same level as Norman and they are both great characters, acted by very good actors. There is of course a lot of drama, violence, death and insanity, but that is expected from a reboot prequel of the original movie "Psycho". It hit all the notes for me, including the surrounding characters, unexpected reveals and even though several key facts about Norman are changed it is definitely Norma Bates. The only thing I hesitate on, and this isn't a poor reflection it is still great, I would have handled the last 3 or 4 episodes differently. SPOILER ALERT: I would have not had the final 3 or four episodes end the way they did, wrapping up the storyline 100%, instead I would have changed a couple of things that would allow it to end, right about where the movie started. That however isn't a bad thing, just a style thing. Pros: Excellent acting, writing, and kept my interest over the five seasons, even if I cringed sometimes. Cons: I stylistically would have wrapped it up at a different point, but that is purely a dramatic choice. I am really glad I did start watching it, and I encourage others to give it a try.
  • Feb 25, 2017
    "Bates Motel" is a very strange show in that it has an audience that is practically split right down the middle. You have the fans of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" who are looking for a prequel tale (like me), and then you have the people who likely don't even know who Alfred Hitchcock is and are just wanting a solid psychological drama (the younger viewers). For that second group, this season will likely be a knockout effort. For the first ("my group"), however, this is unfortunately more of a "setup season" (much like the first) in the way it manipulates the backstories of the characters. For the first three episodes of this Third Season, I was completely absorbed. Norman (Freddie Highmore) has some great scenes with Norma (Vera Farmiga), and the issue of Norman's confused/innocent/odd sexuality (that is such a key component of Hitchcock's film) is pursued in earnest. It really looked like the show was going to continue to build off its incredible Season Two campaign. Unfortunately, the rest of the season is rather mediocre, for a number of different reasons. I won't go into any major spoilers here, but suffice it to say that there are just too many characters who aren't given very many interesting things to do (at least as they relate to Norman's backstory). For example... -Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) is now almost completely useless to the show. I honestly don't see what his character brings to the storyline anymore, but he is likely contracted as a main player due to the fact that he WAS a main player in the first season coming off of his tremendous LOST success. -The same goes for Dylan (Max Thieriot). The writers try to give Dylan some interesting material by making his father, Caleb (Kenny Johnson), a major part of the season, but it still comes off as "just something to kill time". When Dylan's character was used to show how strange Norman really was, that was a much better usage. But, that could only last so long. -Emma (Olivia Cooke) suffers a similar fate as the previously mentioned characters. She is "always around", but when you really stop and think about it, nothing major seems to happen with her. All of that being said, this isn't a terrible season by any means. There are some truly great canon moments revolving around Norman/Norma. I'm talking moments that will almost take your breath away if you know their significance from the "Psycho" film. There were just enough of those moments to keep me interested to see what would crop up from week to week. As such, I view this season much like the first season, which was all about pot fields and hidden Asian girls and only little glimpses of Norman's psyche. The second season reversed the formula (more Norman, less hijinks), and this third season made the old switcharoo yet again...and not for the better if you are watching for the same reasons I am. So, I think the final verdict on this season will really come down to why you are watching this show in the first place. Those wanting an epic prequel to "Psycho" may be a bit disappointed (those great moments are few and far between), while viewers who couldn't give a rip about the film tie-in aspect might just enjoy the show as much as ever. In the case of "Bates Motel", it really is all about what you are looking for.
  • Feb 01, 2017
    Beware of Norman Bates because this season shows his dark side and split mind
  • Nov 08, 2016
    HERE WE GO, Norma gets focus here, Norman gets back to murder & other folks in White Pine Bay begin to wise up a little bit to the dangers in the Bates motel. BINGE VIEWING MUST!
  • Aug 26, 2016
    One of my new favorite shows! Great cast, characters, directing, tension, great everything!

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