|Portrayed by:||Vera Farmiga|
|First appearance:||First You Dream, Then You Die|
|Home:|| White Pine Bay, Oregon |
Akron, Ohio (childhood)
|Relatives:|| Norman Bates (son) |
Dylan Massett (son)
Caleb (brother; estranged)
|Significant Other/s:|| Sam Bates (late husband) |
John Massett (ex-husband)
Zack Shelby (ex-lover)
George (love interest)
|“||We came here to start over, and I am starting over.||”|
Norma Louise Bates is the resilient, beautiful and mercurial mother of her seventeen-year-old son, Norman Bates. She is emotionally complex and, as a single mother, utterly devoted to her son. Norma constantly juggles her own needs and some serious baggage while also trying to create a new home in a new town for herself and Norman.
About 17 years before the start of the series, Norma cheated on her then-husband, John Massett, with Sam Bates. She eventually left John to marry Sam, with whom she had Norman, and the Bates family lived in Arizona for years.
Because she replaced John with Sam, she never had a good relationship with her first son, Dylan Massett, as apparently his last words to her before the start of the series were, "Drop dead, bitch".
After Norman found his father's body crushed under a shelf in their garage, the two remaining Bates moved to White Pine Bay. There, they planned to start a new life and run an old motel together. The former owner of the motel, Keith Summers, believed that the property was rightfully his, so he raped Norma in her house one night. Norman saved her, but she still killed Summers out of rage. The two covered up Summers' death the best they could, but were still suspected by the town's sheriff, Alex Romero. (First You Dream, Then You Die)
Dylan showed up at Norma's doorstep one day, saying that he has no other place to stay. She and Norman were visibly unhappy with Dylan's arrival, and he later blackmailed Norma so he could stay living there. (Nice Town You Picked, Norma...)
Zack Shelby, the town's Deputy, deliberately destroys (or steals) all evidence of Norma's crime, although Romero is convinced that she is guilty. Shelby reveals his actions to Norma, explaining that he loves her. Norma is warned by Norman that Deputy Shelby is a shady person, but Norma continues to trust him. Meanwhile, Dylan Massett, Norma's son from her first marriage, comes to stay with his mother and brother, despite previous arguements with Norma.
Norma learns from Norman that Shelby is keeping a slave in his basement, but doesn't believe him (she checks Shelby's basement and finds no proof). Norman frees the slave, Jiao, and shows Norma, who finally believes him. She refuses to turn Shelby in until Keith's belt, which Shelby had stolen in order to clear Norma's name, is retrieved. As a result, Norman and Dylan throw the belt into the bay. Shelby then finds Jiao at the motel and turns against Norma, holding the Bates family at gunpoint. He strikes her, causing Norman to attack him; Norma and Norman eventually get outside, while Dylan defeats Shelby in a gunfight. Norma then tells Dylan how Sam died, as Romero shows up. He learns the full story, but doesn't arrest the family.
Not yet aired.