In tonight’s episode of Bates Motel, Norma turns to Dylan to help get Norman back. Norman experiences a moment of clarity regarding Miss Watson, or so it seems. Romero continues his investigation into Miss Watson’s death in light of the new evidence. And Norma alienates George.

Even though it was Dylan and Norma who provoked Nick Ford, it’s Norman who pays the price. He’s abducted from his home in the middle of the night, taken into the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain, smacked around a bit and thrown into a box. He tries to convince his kidnappers that they’ve made a mistake, unaware that it’s his mother and brother’s unsavory associations that have put him in this position.

Where’s Norman?

After a night of sweet, sweet lovin’ from George, Norma needlessly sneaks into the house. She figures out her walk of shame was unnecessary when she scours the house and motel in search of her son. Norma assumes that Norman is continuing to punish her for her refusal to divulge the dirty deets on his blackouts.

Romero Seeks the Truth

Sheriff Romero seeks out an old friend of the family for help. The man is the polygraph whisperer, and Romero wants him to conduct the test on Norman off the record. The man questions what Romero wants to know, and the sheriff tells him he wants to find out if Norman committed a murder. Romero admits that someone else is doing the time for the crime, but he has to know the truth.

A Plea for Help

Norma gets a call from Nick Ford telling her he has Norman and that he’s safe, for now. Ford gives Norma 24 hours to convince Dylan to do something he wants him to do, although he doesn’t elaborate on exactly what that is. He promises if she’s successful, Norma will get Norman back. But if she tells anyone, he’ll know, and Norman will be dead.

Norma immediately runs to Dylan and tells him that he has to do whatever it is that Ford wants him to do. It’s only after she makes this proclamation that she bothers to ask what exactly that something is.

Norma blames Dylan for her current predicament because her eldest got into business with these “creepy people.” Not the best way to go about convincing him to do her bidding. Dylan puts her in check by reminding his mother that it was her, not him, who got involved with Nick Ford.

Norma offers to help Dylan, but he makes it clear she can’t. He finally tells her that Ford wants him to kill his boss. Norma pauses for a moment, but makes it clear that Dylan has to do it. Dylan can’t believe his mother’s cavalier attitude about the situation, but Dylan isn’t a virgin when it comes to committing homicide. Last season, he did run over the junkie who killed his friend. Haven’t seen that guy wandering around town, so it’s safe to assume he didn’t recover.

Norma insists there’s no other way. It’s his boss or his half-brother. Not exactly Sophie’s Choice.

Dylan goes to see Jodi in an attempt to ascertain her brother’s whereabouts. She’s a bit reluctant, and Dylan reminds her that she gave him carte blanche when it came to dealing with Zane. Chicks always be changin’ their minds.

She’s Come Undone

Romero tells Norma that he’d like to speak to Norman. Norma says he’s sick, but Romero persists. Norma questions what is so important, and he asks her if Norman mentioned the talk the two had. I’m not sure if it was the did-you-bang-your-teacher chit-chat, or the we-have-DNA-proof-you-banged-your-teacher conversation. Romero breaks the news about the semen sample, and as much as she wants to deny it, the sheriff makes it clear that Norman had sex with Miss Watson close to the time she was murdered.

He says that in addition to talking to Norman, Romero wants to give him a polygraph test. Even though Norma argues the test isn’t admissible in court, Romero lets her know that he’s not asking. She buys some time, by saying her son’s very sick, and it’s not like he’s going anywhere. Well, that’s certainly the truth.

In the solitude of her home, the magnitude of everything crushes her so much that she begins to hyperventilate. She calls Norman’s cell and leaves him a poignant message telling him how much she loves him.

The Less Than Great Escape

Norman gets a visit from Ford’s men who bring him food and water. He keeps asking what he’s done, but mum’s the word. They turn their back on him to call Ford, and Norman makes a break for it. He doesn’t make it far before he’s tackled. The clipping about Miss Watson and her pearls fall out of his pocket, and though one of the men questions him about it, Norman offers no explanation.

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

Emma, who’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind to not know some serious stuff is going down, is tired of being kept in the dark. She gives Norma her two-week notice. She says she considers herself part of the family, but that it’s obvious to her she’s also been excluded in many ways, citing what went down with Dylan and the current weirdness going on between Norma and Norman. Emma’s invested emotionally in the Bates, and she’s not getting much on her return. Emma’s hopes that Norma would open up are dashed when Norma tells her it’s a shame she’ll be leaving.

Norman Unravels

The pressure finally gets to Norman, and he has an episode. He has visions of his mother bathed in sunlight telling him everything’s going to be okay. He questions what to do if he can’t find her, and she tells him she’s always with him, that everybody’s mother lives inside them. Who knew he’d take that so literally?

All in the Family

Jodi must have given in because Dylan shows up where Zane’s holed-up. Killing him is going to be tricky since he has several armed guards at his disposal and is packing himself. Zane may be a moron, but he’s got enough sense not to trust Dylan and forces him to turn over his gun immediately.

Not only is Zane at war with Ford, he’s also determined to take the business away from his sister and warns Dylan it would be unwise not to side with him in this endeavor. Zane tells Dylan to convince his sister that they have to get Nick Ford off the map. They return his gun, minus the bullets, and send him on his way.

A Break or Breakup?

George shows up with flowers, looking for a repeat of the previous night’s escapades. Norma rejects his advances, and this leads to their first lover’s spat. Norma does some serious self-sabotage and drives off the man of her dreams.

Taking It to the Grave

Dylan arrives at Ford’s palatial estate and tells him where he can find Zane. Nick is not pleased to hear that Zane still has a pulse, but Dylan tells him that he has no way to get to the man. Dylan has no choice but to admit that he can’t do what Ford wants by himself. Ford says he’s sorry to hear it and pulls out a gun. Now, Dylan may not have been able to take Zane down, but he has greater success with Ford, who’s so arrogant that he doesn’t even keep one henchman in the same room as a precautionary measure. One tiny caveat: Ford croaks before Dylan can find out where his brother is being kept.

Stranger Than Fiction

Norman flashes back to the night of Miss Watson’s death. In a moment of clarity, he recalls all the events that took place, which include sex and murder. Mother was there in spirit. He believes he did it, and I guess viewers should take it at face value. There’s just a part of me that questions the validity of this revelation. When under duress, Norman doesn’t usually see things clearly. 

Will the finale put any and all doubts to rest? I can’t wait to find out.

The season 2 finale of Bates Motel airs next Monday at 10pm on A&E.

(Image courtesy of A&E)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.