Comic-Con 2013: ‘Bates Motel’ Panel Report

Bates Motel Teaser Trailer

Freddie Highmore was a no show at the “Bates Motel” panel at Comic-Con International earlier today. At least, that’s what the show’s creative team wanted you to think.

In reality, Highmore’s absence was really just the set up for a funny video in which the very polite Highmore takes on more and more elements of Norman Bates’ personality while visiting the “Bates Motel” writers and the Bates Motel hotel recreated on the Universal Studios backlot. One of the running jokes in the video is that Highmore is insanely jealous by the attention given to his on-screen mother, Vera Farmiga. Farmiga landed an Emmy nomination for lead actress in a drama earlier this week.

After the video, Highmore walked out to the stage where he joined Farmiga, Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke and Nestor Carbonell along with executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin. One of the first questions to Highmore centered on the murder of Miss Watson in the first season finale, but Highmore insisted that he doesn’t know where the story will go in the second season.

However, Cuse did note that the new season will deal with the freeway overpass that Norma is trying to fight as well as the introduction of Norma’s brother. He also added that both Norman and Norma will have new romances this season… but not with each other. “Not yet,” joked Cuse.

Regarding the high level of crime and corruption in White Pine Bay, Cuse humorously reminded the audience that the small town in “Murder, She Wrote” featured “10,000 murders.” Cuse also said that Farmiga pitched a storyline that will show up in second episode of the second season.

Both Thieriot and Cooke seem to think that their characters will meet bad ends at Norman’s hands at some point in the future, causing Highmore to joke that the best part about being Norman is that he will live to the end of the series.

Highmore declined to talk about his acting process as Norman, but he did share that Farmiga worked with him to develop Norman’s “mother” voice during his blackouts. Highmore also revealed that he thinks that Norman and Norma’s relationship is “dodgy” while Farmiga thinks that it is “really nice.” Farmiga described Norma’s clingy relationship to her second son as a response to a lifetime of emotional and physical abuse.

Cuse made sure to point out that “Bates Motel” has a beginning, middle and end already planned out and that the writers intend to tell the story in the right amount of time without actually setting an end date. At least not publicly at this time.

“Bates Motel” will return to A&E in 2014.


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