Bates Motel: Season 4 (2016)



Critic Consensus: Bates Motel fulfills its menacing potential in a fourth season that confidently careens toward the mother-son duo's ghastly destiny.


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Air date: Mar 7, 2016
Air date: Mar 14, 2016
Air date: Mar 21, 2016
Air date: Mar 28, 2016
Air date: Apr 11, 2016
Air date: Apr 18, 2016
Air date: Apr 25, 2016
Air date: May 2, 2016
Air date: May 9, 2016
Air date: May 16, 2016

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Series four sees Norma desperately searching for Norman, while Dylan awaits news on Emma and the fallout from series three strikes.


Vera Farmiga
as Norma Louise Bates
Freddie Highmore
as Norman Bates
Max Thieriot
as Dylan Massett
Nestor Carbonell
as Sheriff Alex Romero
Olivia Cooke
as Emma Decody
Kenny Johnson
as Caleb Calhoun
Nicola Peltz
as Bradley Martin
Michael Vartan
as George Heldens
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Critic Reviews for Bates Motel Season 4

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4)

The characters are complex in their struggles and their origins, yet so simple in their desire for a better life.

Jun 26, 2018 | Full Review…

[A] fantastic fourth season, by far the show's best. This season has given us complex relationships, deaths and huge moments that have been hinted at since the beginning of the series.

Dec 15, 2017 | Full Review…

Throughout season four, Bates Motel has seemed to be barreling toward the moment when Norma goes from a living, vital presence to the mummified corpse in the cellar we see in Psycho.

Dec 15, 2017 | Full Review…

Aside from the beautiful cinematography and incredible acting, the character and plot development has been captivating to experience. This show has really proven to be one of the greatest prequels to an already great story, not an easy task to accomplish

Nov 4, 2017 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

Freddie Highmore has been giving a masterclass in acting this season but his work in the final act is truly on another level.

Nov 4, 2017 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

One thing I particularly loved about the storytelling of this season is that for four years, we've seen Dylan and Norma's relationship grow and change from people who didn't want to be around each other to people who found their way back to each other.

Nov 4, 2017 | Full Review…

Over the years I've said enough skeptical things about Bates Motel, so it's only fair when appropriate to pause and admire its achievements and this season was full of them. Well played, Bates Motel. Well played.

Nov 4, 2017 | Full Review…

The final three episodes of this season contain the best acting and writing in the four-season run of Bates Motel. I really hope the show can carry its momentum into the final season.

Nov 4, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Some characters are compelling and a few subplots are a little unorthodox. But it's the complicated relationship between Norman Bates (Highmore) and his mother, Norma Bates (Farmiga), that's at the fascinating center of the story.

Feb 6, 2017 | Full Review…

I'm absolutely sure it will continue to be one of the most compelling dramas on TV.

Mar 11, 2016 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bates Motel: Season 4

its like 400 minutes of psycho with depths of each characters to abosrb you such that you forget you are seeing one of the creepiest darkest tv show, it feels very real.

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.

The farther this season gets, the harder it is to watch, just too much with the continued over dramatics of Norma and norma.... it's completely overplayed

Awesome!!!! It's just perfect! Seriously, Bates Motel is the best TV Series ever made

The most Bates Motely season ever.

Much like the old Star Trek movies, I've had the unique experience with "Bates Motel" in that I've enjoyed the even-numbered seasons much more than the odd-numbered ones. That pattern holds true for Season Four, as I very much got back on the wagon for this show during this slate of episodes. A renewed focus on Norman/Norma and the show coming to peace with its secondary characters was a big reason for that. Without giving away any major spoilers, this season really is based on the understanding of Norma Bates (Vera Farmiga) that her son Norman (Freddie Highmore) is truly crazy. At the behest of Dylan (Max Theiriot) and with the support (more than ever before) of Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell), she finally gets Norman the professional help he institution. But how will Norman's mind handle this...his own mother "locking him away"? That is the main theme the entire season focuses on. Whenever "Bates Motel" really gets down to the nitty-gritty of the Norma/Norman relationship, it succeeds with flying colors. Nothing different here, as both contributing chilling and riveting scenes. I am continually struck by how Highmore is literally transforming himself more and more into the "Anthony Perkins Norman" (from Hitchcock's "Psycho"), and Farmiga needs to get some sort of award before this show is over too. What made me enjoy this season quite a bit more than the previous one, however, is that this go-round the writers/producers don't seem so set on having the ancillary characters "always up to something". So, no multiple episodes with Dylan building a cabin out in the woods, in other words. Besides the first season, when everything was still in "establishing mode", I've always felt that this show had a real problem with what to do with characters not named Norman/Norma. In seasons two and three, those characters were given things to do that didn't always directly contribute to anything real important. I know you can't just have Highmore and Farmiga in every scene, but I still was let down when they weren't. In Season Four, though, the auxiliary characters are more in just supporting roles for those two leads, and I feel that is when this show functions the best. A final area about Season Four that particularly stuck out was its final couple of episodes. Those could have been the last episodes of the entire series, even though they didn't need to be (the show was renewed for a fifth and almost certainly final season). They were that jarring and emotional. I liked that shakeup, as it shows that the show runners really have a plan in place for what could be a dynamite final campaign in 2017. So, though not my all-time favorite season of "Bates Motel" (that would still have to be the second season), Season Four is easily in the second spot. Many iconic moments, and not so much taken taken up by the banality of "finding something for everyone to do".

Psycho is one of the best horror films ever made. Some people may find it extremely dated and the scares that terrorized audiences back in the early 1960s may not be as effective anymore, but for its time, it's incredibly done. Alfred Hitchcock will forever be known for his work on this classic film, and would also be proud that such a solid show has been made that takes place beforehand. The fact that this show takes place in current day with cell phones and flat screen televisions is neither here nor there, but I truly believe this is a worthy successor to the classic film. As we come to the conclusion of this series on February 20th, may answers are still yet to be seen. Is this fourth season of the hit television series the best one so far? As we very patiently await the final season of the show that everyone has been talking about for the past four years, let's reflect on the penultimate season of Bates Motel. Spoilers to follow. Up until this point, there really hasn't been a real sense of happiness throughout this show, and while Norma and Norman have had their moments, their relationship has always been off-putting and creepy. Having Norman finally agree to go to an institution and having Norma fall for Sheriff Alex Romero was easily one of the best portions of this season. It showed that even when someone can be at their lowest, someone else can always bring you back up. This season definitely deals with the darkest themes thus far, but it also showcases some of the lightest moment this show has ever had. I teared up a few times throughout this season, and not due to a character death, surprisingly. Assuming everyone who is reading this has seen this season in its entirety, seeing the transformation of Emma's character was truly remarkable. Dylan caring enough to give her $50,000.00 and move away with her was absolutely a wonderful transition for his character and these two continue to be my favourite characters this show has to offer. Yes, Norman, Norma, Alex, and Caleb are all fascinating to watch on-screen, but these two have always been the most relatable, as far as being around each other goes. These two have come a long way, and even though not many of these characters (if any) make an appearance in the classic film that this series will eventually tie into, I can't wait to see how their arcs come to a conclusion. Look, if you have seen Psycho, you should be expecting this show to take a very dark turn. Now, I won't say that you should definitely be expecting it to fully tie-in to the film, due to the fact that it takes place in a different time period, but they may just end up remaking the plot points of the original. Normally I would be against something like that, but they have come this far in modern day that it wouldn't really make sense for the finale to be a tie-in to the original film. It seems as though they will have to periodically pepper in some of the elements and complete the series with an ending that takes place after the theatrically released film, due to the fact that the ending wouldn't be surprising otherwise. Some may choose to disagree on this statement, but I truly feel that each season improves on their predecessors. The first season was a solid start, the second was great, the third was even better, and I found hardly anything to complain about here. This season has some of the best moments of the entire show, some of the character arcs come to a close, and Norman definitely earns the title of psychopath. Channels like HBO and AMC have proven themselves to have the best shows on television in terms of quality, but there are a few gems out there in the primetime slots as well. Bates Motel has become one of the best shows currently running on the air right now. The fourth season of Bates Motel is amazing and I can't wait to see how this show concludes. Are you as curious as I am? Tune in on February 20th to witness the beginning of the end.

KJ P Super Reviewer

WHAT THE ? ? ? ? You won't believe your eyes. GET THE BLU RAY/DVD because the deleted scenes ARE A MUST THIS SEASON! Freaking slow burn to an explosive black comedic joyously macabre finale. xoxoxoxoxoxox CARLTON & KERRY & TUCKER!

Overall a really great show that stays true to the spirit of the original Robert Bloch Novel & Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho, but adds in own personal identity with new & classic original characters and adds new creative dimensions with different plot twists and turns. Looking forward to the last season 5 on A&E in 2017...

Finally. The holding pattern has ceased. Stuff actually happens. Consequences coalesce. So much so that the final episode is actually shocking because I began to think we would never get there.

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