Review: Bates Motel 2.09 – “The Box”

Secrets are revealed, lies are told, and death comes to White Pine Bay in the penultimate episode of “Bates Motel” Season 2. We start off right where we left off in the last episode. Kidnapped Norman is being driven into the rainy woods by strange men. He yells at them, asking why they are doing this, but they give no answer. They beat him and stuff him into a small box in the middle of nowhere. Norman shouts “I go to high school!” which obviously does nothing to help him.

Meanwhile, Norma arrives home from her night at George’s house. She tries to sneak in and not wake Norman, acting like she didn’t stay out all night. Role reversal once again. Luckily for her (or rather unluckily, considering the circumstances), Norman isn’t there. Norma runs around the house and motel, asking Emma if she’s seen Norman. When Emma asks if something is wrong, Norma says nope. Emma is getting frustrated with all the secrets at Bates Motel, and rightly so. Norma tries calling Norman, but gets his voicemail. She leaves an angry message, thinking Norman ran away because he’s mad at her.

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Norman is still in the box, really losing it. He bangs and screams, but to no avail. I applaud Freddie Highmore for his performance. He is really committing to the role. Meanwhile. Sheriff Romero is still trying to get to the bottom of the truth about Miss Watson’s murder. He meets his dad’s ex-partner (Francis X. McCarthy) in a diner while Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces” plays. Fun fact: Patsy Cline’s music, including this very song, was often used in show creator, Carlton Cuse’s, other big show, “Lost.”  Romero needs to know the truth and wants Declan Rogers, an expert polygraph reader, to find it.

As Norma helps some guests carry a canoe (where did all these guests come from?), she gets a call from Nick Ford, who admits he has Norman and that if she wants him back, Dylan has to do what he told him to do in the next 24 hours. He also warns Norma not to tell anyone, or Norman will die. Norma goes straight to Dylan, yelling angrily (though it comes off hilariously) at the camera outside his work. She blames him for the situation. He blames her. But she tells him he has to do whatever Nick wants. There is no other choice. What great motherly advice.

Dylan goes to visit Jodi, asking where Zane is hiding. It’s time. Jodi is oddly noncommittal. I thought she wanted him to take out Zane? Sheriff Romero arrives at the Bates Motel, asking to see Norman. Emma asks if something is wrong, but Romero dismisses her, which pisses off Emma once again. Norma arrives and Romero demands to talk to Norman. She lies and says Norman is very sick and can’t see anyone. Romero reveals the talk he had with Norman and the fact that Norman’s semen sample was found in Miss Watson. Norma almost doubles over. She can’t believe it. She gets rid of Romero and then loses it once she’s alone, gasping for breath and falling to the floor, crying. She calls Norman one more time, getting his voicemail. She says she loves him more than anything and the sound of her voice is too sad.

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Meanwhile in the box, Norman has begun talking to himself. The creepy guys come to check on him, giving him food and water. Norman tries to make a dash for it, but gets caught. One of the guys finds Miss Watson’s necklace and obit in Norman’s pocket. He brings it to Nick Ford, who seems confused by it.

Back at the motel, Emma, sick and tired of being left out of a family that isn’t her family, gives Norma her two weeks notice. She yaks about not being included and not knowing anything. Without missing a beat, Norma thanks Emma for her service and shuts the door in her crying face. Yowwwch! But, to be honest, Emma, there are other, less messed up people in the town, in the world. Move on, girl. I don’t know why she is clinging to the quirky Bates family. Norma calls Nick and tells him resolutely that they are doing exactly what he wants.

Dylan goes to visit Zane at a weird, secret house. Please just end this Dylan! He brings Zane groceries, but Zane doesn’t trust him – disarming him. They start talking about Jodi and Nick and all that fun drug business stuff. Zane reiterates that they have to take out Nick Ford. Dylan ends up leaving, not killing Zane.

Later that night, George (old Michael Vartan) shows up with flowers. He is all lovey-dovey and kissy, but Norma is evasive. George doesn’t understand and Norma blows up, screaming he’ll never “get” her because he doesn’t have real troubles. She screams at him to get the hell out and he does. But, seconds later, Norma changes her mind, rushing after George’s car, crying her apologies, but it is too late. Luckily, Emma (what are you still doing there?) is there to comfort her.

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Dylan goes to Nick Ford, telling him he didn’t kill Zane, but he knows where he is. He needs help in killing him. Nick is sorry to hear that, telling Dylan he no longer is useful to him. He raises a gun, but a fight ensues. Dylan ends up killing Nick Ford with a chimney poker, before escaping out the back door! Well, I guess that is one solution.

As Norma lays asleep, incessant knocking comes from the front door. It’s Sheriff Romero. He barges in, saying he has to see Norman now. She finally caves, telling him the truth. She tells him Nick Ford has Norman and won’t give him up unless Dylan kills someone. Romero rushes out of the house to find Norman.

Back to the box: Norman is having visions of his mother in the box. Mother tells him that all mothers live inside their sons. Gross bugs crawl around Norman’s head and body. He has another vision… of Miss Watson… but, Mother is there too. They argue about Miss Watson, as she seduces Norman and they have sex. His Mother tells him he knows what he has to do and as they have sex, Norman slits Miss Watson’s throat! Norman suddenly awakes. He remembers now what happened that night and freaks out. AH! The truth has been revealed.

What a great, crazy jam-packed episode! Anything can happen in the season finale next week. What did you guys think about the big reveal – Norman did indeed have sex and kill Miss Watson, or was it really “Mother?” Plus, what will happen now that Dylan killed Nick Ford?!

New episodes of Bates Motel air Monday @ 10/9c on A&E. Watch full episodes on AETV.com, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video.

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Post Author: Ben Fleck

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