TV Review - Bates Motel Season 2, Episode 9
As we approach the season finale Steve Taylor-Bryant visits White Pine Bay and reviews 'The Box'...
The White Pine Bay drug supremo, Nick Ford, has kidnapped and imprisoned Norman in a metal box deep in the woods, away from anyone that might hear his pleas for rescue. This is to torment Dylan and force him to do Ford's bidding, kill Zane, something so far Dylan has refused to do. Ford informs Norma she'll never see her beloved Norman again unless the deed is done, leaving Norma begging for Dylan to do what he has to, even offering assistance.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Romero also wants to find Norman to see once and for all who killed Miss Watson. He plans, with a little help, an off the record polygraph test, due to someone he deems more deserving already having been arrested for the murder. He just really wants to know the truth. He tells Norma about the DNA evidence but she refuses to believe Norman and Miss Watson had sex and disregards the information.
When Ford's men go back to check on Norman, he attempts to flee but is quickly rounded back up where the thugs discover the pearl necklace that belonged to Miss Watson and Norman’s newspaper clipping. Forced back into the box Norman starts to have blackouts again, seeing his mother.
Dylan finally tracks down Zane in his secret location but killing him will be hard, as Zane is distrustful and his armed goons take Dylan's gun from him. Dylan reports back to a furious Nick Ford, who takes out a gun and threatens hi. In return, Dylan hits Ford with a poker, leaving the drug lord possibly dead and Norman's location still unknown.
During another flashback Norman is suffering, we see that Miss Watson DID indeed seduce Norman and that, during the sex, Norman pictured his mother telling him he knows what to do next. Norman slices Miss Watson’s throat before calmly washing off the knife and taking the necklace as a souvenir.
Wow, okay, so this episode went up a few gears from the previous ones. Seeing where the drug storyline has finally been leading to made a lot of sense and seeing Dylan back in the foreground of the story was pleasing, as he had been sort of marginalised recently. Vera Farmiga's acting chops have never been in doubt but she shines again as the distraught and worried Norma. Freddie Highmore showed more of the Norman Bates we have been expecting this week and has grown as a performer across the season, subtly sliding into the psychotic man we know he will be.
Big shout out this week to Michael O'Neill as Nick Ford who, up until this week, had not really done any more than he did in The West Wing, but came into his own as the evil drug baron.
Follow Steve Taylor-Bryant on Twitter as @OpinionGeeks.
Image from IMDb
Bates Motel Season 1 is available from Amazon here: