Bates Motel: Season 1 (2013)

Season 1
Bates Motel

Critics Consensus

Bates Motel utilizes mind manipulation and suspenseful fear tactics, on top of consistently sharp character work and wonderfully uncomfortable familial relationships.



Critic Ratings: 45


Audience Score

User Ratings: 874

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Air date: Mar 18, 2013

Norma buys a motel in the opener of this series chronicling the teenage years of Norman Bates from Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho."

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Air date: Mar 25, 2013

Dylan causes trouble at home.

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Air date: Apr 1, 2013

Dylan starts his new job; Norman and Emma make a surprising discovery.

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Air date: Apr 8, 2013

Norma becomes suspicious of her neighbors.

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Air date: Apr 15, 2013

Norman and Emma find clues that lead to a major discovery; Norman pursues Bradley.

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Air date: Apr 22, 2013

Dylan asks Norman to move in with him.

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Air date: Apr 29, 2013

Norma receives her first guest at the Bates Motel; Norman struggles to understand women.

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Air date: May 6, 2013

Norma encounters a mysterious stranger; Bradley becomes annoyed with rumors at school; and Dylan goes on a road trip.

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Air date: May 13, 2013

Dylan and Bradley connect. Meanwhile, Emma goes on a trip.

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Air date: May 20, 2013

Norman takes Emma to a dance.

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Bates Motel: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Intended as a prequel to the events depicted in Alfred Hitchcock's iconic film "Psycho", "Bates Motel" follows Norma Bates' (Vera Farmiga) attempt to start a new life running a small town motel with her son, Norman (Freddie Highmore), after the death of her husband. Her hopes are almost immediately dashed when she is sexually assaulted by the motel's former owner, which starts a chain of events that leave her both desperate for income and under the watchful eye of Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonelle). The family's twisted dynamics become clearer as time passes, particularly with Norman, whom she constantly manipulates, though her relationship with Norman's brother Dylan (Thieriot) is also far from healthy. Norman, despite suffering from hallucinations and blackouts, tries to have a somewhat normal high school experience, and attracts the attention of Emma (Olivia Cooke), an intelligent classmate who suffers from cystic fibrosis. Though Norman is fond of Emma, he becomes obsessively drawn to Bradley (Nicola Peltz), a pretty, popular student who opens up to Norman in the aftermath of a death in her family. When Norma's relationship with police deputy (Mike Vogel) goes terribly wrong, Norman's behavior becomes increasingly disturbing, and before long he finds himself suspect in a shocking act of violence.

Cast & Crew

Vera Farmiga
Norma Bates
Freddie Highmore
Norman Bates
Max Thieriot
Dylan Massett
Olivia Cooke
Emma Decody
Nicola Peltz
Bradley Martin
Nestor Carbonell
Sheriff Alex Romero
Mike Vogel
Deputy Zack Shelby
Carlton Cuse
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Bates Motel: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Bates Motel Season 1

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (30)

They've done a smart job of building a cryptic, threatening world around the disturbing relationship at its center.

Mar 17, 2013 | Full Review…

We keep getting distracted from what should be the main focus of the series - Norman's bizarre relationship with his mother - by subplots involving other bad guys.

Mar 18, 2013 | Full Review…

Having started with a bad premise, producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin then made it infinitely worse by rejecting the loneliness and isolation that were the nucleus of Hitchcock's film.

Mar 18, 2013 | Full Review…

Ya know what? It ain't bad.

Mar 18, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

This property is definitely worth the hourly rate.

Mar 18, 2013 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

All in all, its assured storytelling and fine performances give a worthy contemporary spin to a classic.

Mar 15, 2013 | Full Review…

Bates Motel completely missed that point - and by doing so, ends its first season with an absolute dud of a finale.

Feb 12, 2020 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

The result is a show respectful to the memory of its illustrious predecessor, yet confident enough not to be overshadowed by it.

Mar 6, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Thus, the series can be seen perfectly without having seen Psychosis and is equally enjoyable for those who pay homage to Hitchcock. [Full Review in Spanish]

Jul 29, 2018 | Full Review…

If it can balance out the tone a little better, Bates Motel has a shot at being a fascinating show. If not, it looks on its way to be just another show that uses violence to shock rather than for the sake of story.

Dec 15, 2017 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Between Farmiga as Norma and the potential for Highmore to bloom as Norman descends further into madness, the journey through an insidious small coastal town's underbellycould prove to be a ride worth taking

Dec 15, 2017 | Full Review…

The good news is that Highmore and Farmiga are game for everything and sell every false smile, blank stare and horrific scream that comes their way.

Mar 18, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bates Motel: Season 1

  • Jun 05, 2021
    Season 1 has a much more outlandish and wild story compared to the later seasons, but even the even the final events of episode 10 pull it throuhg as a seemingly happy teen-drama truly bieng a a facade for a dark twisted story about a mentally ill child. Worth the watch completely but still not as good as the other seasons.
  • May 20, 2021
    Fantastic Superb performances by Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore. Gripping throughout.
  • Dec 01, 2020
    Best show ever! period.
  • Jun 01, 2020
    Un comienzo bueno pero luego se vuelve un poco lenta
  • May 30, 2020
    rape's not good. 9/10.
  • May 23, 2020
    Love, Love, Love it! I'm gonna be honest, at first I thought it was gonna be kinda weird but hey I had time on my hands.. My Mom and I binged it within a little over a week!
  • May 19, 2020
    Alfred, onde quer que esteja, deve se sentir orgulhoso. Uma das maiores séries já produzidas!
  • Jan 25, 2020
    I'm a fan of the original Psycho movie back in the day, the 80's I believe it was. So, I was psyched about this series. I watched it on a binge and addiction is an understatement. This was one of the best written series I've ever seen in my life. It's done so well, viewers might find themselves loving all the characters. When this happens it makes it very difficult to choose sides. Ugh, I love Norman. I wish there was more to see but it ended. This is one of the few shows I can watch re-runs of because the acting was so superb. This series is a Masterpiece.
  • Dec 17, 2019
    Great suspense series, could not stop watching. I think the actors were fabulous, I was never distracted by bad acting, IMO that means these are all great actors in this series. The story was also great, I was on the edge of my seat for the entire 5 seasons. The crux of this story shows how the ripples of domestic violence affects many more than just the two initial fighting adults (parents). Like a virus it affects anyone and everyone, and lasts for years, maybe forever.
  • Nov 19, 2019
    Couldn't stop watching! A masterpiece!

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