Where in the world is Norman Bates? That was the question on the mind of “Bates Motel” viewers when episode 9 aired on April 28.
For those who don’t remember, Norman was knocked out and kidnapped at the end of episode 8. And, when episode 9, “The Box,” picked up, fans got to see who kidnapped him and where they took him.
So, who's the culprit? None other than Nick Ford. The White Pine Bay drug lord had his cronies tuck Norman away in a metal box in the woods. And, unfortunately for Norman, nobody can hear him yell for help.
But why did Nick Ford kidnap the teen? Because Dylan refused to carry out his order to kill Zane. In an attempt to get the dirty deed done, Nick Ford called Norma and told her that he’s “tried of being d---ed around.” He demanded that Norma convince Dylan to do what he asked him to do or she’ll never see Norman again.
Needless to say, Norma hauled her butt to Dylan’s warehouse to demand that he do whatever Nick Ford wants. But as Dylan explained to his mother, it’s not that easy. Norma could care less, though. “What do you have to do?” she questions her eldest son. “I’ll help you.”
“He wants me to kill my boss,” Dylan says, gravely. And while Norma is silent at first, she tells Dylan that he needs to save his brother.
“This has to end,” Norma says. “And you have to do it.”
Although he’s been on the outs with Norma and Norman, Dylan knows that he has to do something. Heading to see Jody, he asks her where Zane is hiding out. But Jody doesn’t understand why he needs to know.
“Do what you need to do,” Dylan says, quoting her from the last time they talked. “Isn’t that what you told me? Go up there and kill him.”
But Jody seemed to have had a change of heart. When she doesn’t open her mouth or make a move, Dylan warns her to “make up your mind.”
As Norma and Dylan work on getting Norman back, Sheriff Romero is also working on getting his hands on the teen, but for a different reason. Meeting with his father’s ex-partner, Romero wants him to conduct a polygraph test to find out if Norman murdered Miss Watson. The twist is that he wants his father’s ex-partner to do it off the record.
The man agrees, but doesn’t understand why Romero needs it to be off the record. The sheriff explains that he put someone else (who deserves it) away for the crime, but that he has to know the truth about what happened.
With a polygraph test set up, Romero just needs Norman. Asking Emma if she’s seen him, the teen practically has a meltdown over no one telling her what’s going on. And, since she doesn’t know anything, Romero goes straight to Norman’s keeper -- Norma.
Afraid for Norman’s life, Norma does her best to avoid Sheriff Romero and dodge his questions about Norman. However, Romero is so bent on finding out the truth that he finally comes clean to Norma about why he needs her son. But Norma’s in her own little world regarding Norman and doesn’t believe that her son had sex with Miss Watson. However, Romero makes it clear that he has factual proof and is not asking her permission for him to take a polygraph test.
Norma’s on stress overload with the latest batch of information, and Norman is on a similar level. When Nick Ford’s employees come to check on him, Norman tries to run. But Norman doesn’t get far. He ends up getting tackled to the ground, and his captors discover Miss Watson’s pearl necklace and newspaper clipping in his pocket. And, when they question him about the contents, Norman refuses to answer.
As night falls, bugs begin to fall on Norman. Continuing to freak out in the box, the teen begins to have another one of his blackouts.
“Everyone’s mother lives inside them,” a hallucination of Norma tells Norman. “If you’re ever worried about something just hear my voice saying its’ going to be okay. And it is.”
“I love you, mother” Norman says to Norma during his blackout.
Meanwhile, the real Norma refuses to clue Emma in on what’s happening. And, Emma finally gives Norma an ultimatum -- include her in the family drama or she’s quitting.
“It’s a shame you’ll be leaving us,” Norma tells Emma. “You’ve been such a big help … we’ll miss you.”
And, as tears start to swell up in Emma’s eyes, Norma closes the door on her.
But Emma’s not the only one that Norma is shutting out. When George shows up with flowers, Norma completely freaks out him. And, when she tells him to leave, he does just that, peeling out of the parking lot when she tries to run after him.
Somewhere else in town, Dylan finally got Zane’s location. Showing up with groceries as a decoy, Dylan discovers that killing Zane isn’t going to be easy. Jody’s brother is surrounded by gun-toting guards, and he’s completely suspicious of Dylan.
“I don’t know if I can trust you,” he tells Dylan, forcing him to hand over his gun. “I don’t know whose side you are on. For all I know you came here to kill me.”
Zane then makes Dylan pick a side. But Zane doesn’t see Nick Ford as his competition … he see’s his sister, Jody. Desperate to stay alive, Dylan chooses Zane, and is allowed to safely leave the premises.
“Tell Jody thank you for the groceries,” Zane says to Dylan, as he heads out. “And tell her we need to get Nick Ford off the map. Convince her of it.”
But Dylan doesn’t go see Jody, he goes to visit Nick Ford. And Nick Ford is NOT happy that Zane is still alive. Dylan tries to explain that he couldn’t kill him by himself because Zane’s surrounded. However, he does give Nick Ford Zane’s location.
Zane’s location or the suggestion of a fire fight isn’t good enough for Nick Ford though. Pulling out a gun, Nick Ford tells Dylan to step outside. But Dylan still has fight left in him. Attacking Nick Ford, Dylan manages to use a fire poker to crack him across the face, potentially killing him. Unfortunately, that means that Dylan still doesn’t know the location of Norman.
All hope's not lost for Norman, though. Sheriff Romero returns to Norma’s house to demand to speak to Norman. And, Norma is forced to come clean about her son getting kidnapped by Nick Ford. Explaining the whole situation, Romero promises her that he’ll take care of it.
However, there's more to Norman’s story than “Bates Motel” viewers know. At the box, rain falling on Norman triggers a frightening flashback to the night of the dance, the same night that Miss Watson drove Norman home.
It turns out that Miss Watson did seduce Norman, and that Norman tried to block it out by hallucinating his mother. As the pair had sex, Norman envisioned his mother telling him: “You know what you have to do.” Norman then took a knife and cut Miss Watson’s throat while he was on top of her. Rinsing off the blade in the sink, he then left her apartment, taking her pearl necklace as a souvenir.
What did you think of episode 9 of “Bates Motel”? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section or send a tweet to @AmandaTVScoop.