A Danger to Himself and Others
Season 4, Episode 1
A Danger to Himself and Others2
Air date March 7, 2016
Written by Carlton Cuse & Kerry Ehrin
Directed by Tucker Gates
Episode Guide
< previous
next >
"Goodnight, Mother"

"A Danger to Himself and Others" is the first episode of the fourth season of Bates Motel. It aired on March 7, 2016.


Norma searches for Norman, who finds himself in unfamiliar surroundings; Dylan waits for news about Emma; Romero gets a surprising proposition.


The following day, Romero disposes of Bob Paris' body in a hole in the boat and lets it flood with water. He gets off the boat into a rowboat and rows away from the scene, watching the boat sink and throws a phone into the water.

Meanwhile, Norman awakens in the middle of a field, dirty and covered in blood. A farmer discovers him as he is arguing with "Mother". He attempts to help him but Norman charges at him so the farmer knocks him out. At home, Norma is beside herself trying to find Norman while Dylan hangs "Missing" posters around town. Emma is being prepped for surgery at a hospital in Portland and the doctor reassures her that everything will be okay. When Alex gets home, he hides Bob's money under some bricks by his fireplace. Norman is taken to a psychiatric ward and strapped to a gurney.  A nurse tells him where he was found and he says he wants his mother.

Norma and Dylan receive a call from the farmer who found Norman and learn that Norman is in a psychiatric hospital in Willamette County. Dylan says he wants to go to the hospital in Portland to see Emma and Norma realizes that the two of them are a couple so she heads to the psychiatric hospital alone. When she arrives she is refused access to Norman, being told that he's under 48-hour evaluation, and meets with a doctor who is concerned that Norman may be dangerous. However, Norma defends her son but the doctor tells her that since Norman is 18 she has no legal rights to override them and could be seen as negligent as she never got her son the help he needed.

Norma leaves the psychiatric hospital and goes to see Romero in the hope that he can somehow help but he tells her he can't do anything. She decides to visit Pineview Institute and meets Vicki Monroe but things aren't so simple when she learns there's a long waiting list and she needs a doctor's diagnosis. As she's leaving, she meets a doctor who's arriving and she tries to convince him to see Norman, saying she's scared he will be committed to a psychiatric ward.  The doctor introduces himself as Gregg Edwards and gives her his card.

Dylan shows up at the hospital in Portland and waits with Emma's dad for news about her. Later, when Dylan is sitting alone a woman passes him and asks the receptionist for Emma, saying that she's her mother. She sits down opposite Dylan, and when Will returns with coffee he's none too pleased to see his former wife and tells her to leave. A doctor informs Will and Dylan that Emma is out of surgery.

As he is strapped down, Norman has another psychotic episode, picturing himself as a child spending time with Norma before the incident with Bradley the night before with "Mother". Audrey books a room at the motel and tells Norma she has met Emma before. However, the next morning Norma learns that Audrey is actually Emma's mother. Norma returns to the hospital and the doctor informs her that Norman is being released but tells Norma that she can't ignore getting care for him and if she doesn't Social Services will be involved and Norman will be returned to the psychiatric ward. When they get home, Audrey shows up at the house with a note for Emma but Norma refuses to take it and orders Audrey to pack her bags, warning her to stay away from Norman.

That evening, as Norma cuts Norman's hair, she breaks the news to him that he needs to see a doctor and he makes her promise that she won't send him away. He tells her about the "dream" he had that she killed Bradley. The following morning, Norma awakens with Norman in the bed beside her and sneaks out of the room to phone Romero, asking if she can call over to his house to talk. As she leaves, Audrey peers out of her motel window.

Dylan goes to see Emma, who wakes up and he tells her she looks great, which makes her smile. At the Bates house, Norman awakens to find that Norma has locked him in her room and he frantically bangs on the door before bursting through the one leading to his room. He then dresses himself in her robe and sits at her dressing table, morphing into "Mother".  When Norma arrives at Romero's house, she attempts to coax him into marrying her since he has insurance and she doesn't, but he turns her down.

Audrey calls to up the house in the hope of talking to Norman and "Mother" answers the door, inviting her in for some tea. She explains that she left Emma and her father as Will was abusive and just wanted Emma to understand why she left, asking if the rabbit teddy and the letter she has could be given to her. However, "Mother" asks her what kind of a mother would abandon her own child, and before Audrey can react, an enraged "Mother" strangles her to death with her scarf.


Main Cast

Guest Stars

Also Starring


  • This episode was watched by 1.55 million viewers, making it the highest viewed episode of the season.
  • Emma's bunny toy that Audrey wants to give her daughter is a reference to the bunny toy that appears in Norman's room in Psycho.


Song Title Performer(s)
You Send Me Sam Cooke



Season 4
#401 "A Danger to Himself and Others" #406 "The Vault"
#402 "Goodnight, Mother" #407 "There's No Place Like Home"
#403 "'Til Death Do You Part" #408 "Unfaithful"
#404 "Lights of Winter" #409 "Forever"
#405 "Refraction" #410 "Norman"
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.