|Portrayed by:||Joshua Leonard|
|Last appearance:||The Pit|
|Home:||White Pine Bay, Oregon|
|Significant Other(s):||Norma Bates (ex-lover)†|
James Finnegan is a community college psych professor whose pull towards Norma Bates slowly chipped away at his carefully constructed house of cards.
James first met Norma when she enrolled for a business course at the local community college but ended up walking into his course on psychology. She refused to give up her seat, which was actually his, so he put another chair beside her before commencing the class. He later talked to her in the parking lot and gave her his card in case she wanted to talk. When he left, she crumpled it and threw it on the ground, before rethinking and picking it up. (Persuasion)
He met her again when he found her looking at a book in the library. They chatted over a coffee and she revealed that she and Norman were very close. (Unbreak-Able)
When he saw her waiting for a bus home, he offered her a lift and they grabbed some lunch at a diner. He gave her another card and told her he was prepared to listen to her if she needed it. (The Deal)
Norma phoned James from a phone booth in Portland and asked if she could call to his house to talk. When she arrived, she soon came clean about Norman and parts of her past. Realizing she may have said too much, she tried to leave but James pulled her back inside and carried her upstairs to his room. She tried to kiss him, but he said he could lose his job before she kissed him again and he didn't pull away. The following morning, Norma told him she had to go home and be a mother. (Norma Louise)
James visited the Bates house and Norma told him she was worried about Norman, so she brought him down to the basement where Norman was working on his taxidermy and introduced them to each other. Norman told her she wouldn't be needed, so she left, and James started chatting to him. Norman asked what it was like to sleep with Norma and this led James to believe that Norman's feelings for his mother ran much deeper. Norman suddenly snapped and attempted to choke James, but the latter escaped and as he ran out the door, he told Norma that Norman needed help right away. (The Last Supper)
James was taken to a remote location by Bob Paris and his men and was subjected to a horrific beating until he revealed what he knew about Norma and Norman. The men later brought him back to his house, throwing him from the car and he limped inside and collapsed. When Norma later visited him, he was packing his belongings in his car and she was horrified to see his injuries before asking him what he had revealed about Norman. James told her never to contact him again and drove off. (The Pit)
- Although he is never heard of again following his final appearance, it can be presumed that he quit his job at the community college following his last conversation with Norma and left town.