Bates Motel/A Death in the Family

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A Death in the Family
Season 3, Episode 1
Airdate March 9, 2015
Written by Carlton Cuse
& Kerry Ehrin
Directed by Tucker Gates
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Bates MotelSeason Three

A Death in the Family is the first episode of the third season of Bates Motel, and the twenty-first episode overall.

Starring: Vera Farmiga (Norma Bates), Freddie Highmore (Norman Bates), Max Thieriot (Dylan Massett), Olivia Cooke (Emma Decody)

with Kenny Johnson (Caleb Calhoun)

and Nestor Carbonell (Sheriff Alex Romero)

Guest Starring: Tracy Spiridakos (Annika Johnson), Keenan Tracey (Gunner), Keegan Connor Tracy (Miss Watson)

Also Starring: Garfield Wilson (Anthony Dixon (DEA)), Robert Mann (Dale), Primo Allon (Joey), Byron Noble (Ryan Pena)


Plot Overview

Norma learns her mother has died. This leads Caleb to arrive in town to talk with Dylan who's trying to make a new plan for his future after the DEA came through and drove out the town business. Norman suffers an anxiety attack that takes him out of school. After Emma gives him an update on her condition, the two reevaluate their future, but Norman's attention is taken by a new reside at the motel.



  • Arctic Monkeys - "R U Mine?"
  • Blind Pilot - "Half Moon"
  • Emily Zuzik - "It Doesn't Matter to Jesus"
  • The Rumors - "Hold Me Now"

Arc Advancement


  • Norma's mother dies. Norma is contacted concerning the disposition of her estate, but passes. Caleb winds up selling the house.
  • The DEA has come through the town and destroyed the marijuana business, destroying crops and making arrests.
  • A call girl named Annika Johnson arrives at the hotel. Clearly attracted to her, Norman is last seen being driven into town by her before returning the car to the motel without her.


  • Dylan has returned to live with Norma and Norman.
  • Norma's mother dies. She plays off as unmoved by it before expressing grief over it.
  • Norman is to return to school, but is unable to stay over Watson's murder. Norma lets him be home schooled for his final year.
  • To be more proactive with the impending bypass, Norma is going to take a business class at community college and promotes Norman to motel manager.
  • Dylan takes a legal route and decides to start his own grow-op with Gunner joining him.
  • Caleb returns to town to give Dylan the money he got from selling his mother's house. Dylan has no interest, but Caleb manages to convince him to stay to be with him.
  • Emma reveals that her lung capacity has significantly diminished.
  • Norman convinces Emma into being home schooled as well.
  • Norman proposes to Emma that they begin dating.



The Show

  • This episode marks the first time we see the Bates dining room, which will be see repeatedly until the end of the series, replacing the setting for much of the eating and conversation scenes.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments

  • Norma forcibly drags Norman out of the car in front of the school.


  • When Romero slams the man's head against the bar table, there's smashed glass. It cuts back and it's clear.


  • Norma: First day of school, senior year.
Norman: It sounds horrible.
Norma: School always sounds horrible, but you'll get used to it.
Norman: I don't particularly want to get used to it. I like being home all summer.
Norma: I know. I liked you being home, too, but you got to go to school. Besides, it's good for you. You know, meet new people, try new things. Oh, by the way, my mother died. Here's your lunch.