Bates-Motel-The-BoxNorma, Norman and Dylan have come across their fair share of shady individuals as Bates Motel has continued, but one whose presence stands out from the crowd is Nick Ford. The scheming local businessman certainly hits centre stage this week as he has Norman locked up in a box, Norma reeling and Dylan forced into a dangerous situation.

After being abducted from his home last week things don’t get any better for young Norman Bates, with him now held captive in a box in a forest. Riddled with anger and his ever-declining psyche, Norman begins to recall the events of his night with Miss Watson, his trapped state clearly affecting his state of mind.

Meanwhile, with Nick Ford determined to carry out his promises, Norma frantically looks to find her son while warding off the investigative presence of Sheriff Romero. If that wasn’t enough, Ford also has his grip on Dylan, demanding that the elder sibling kill Zane before another war breaks out.

To say there are a fair few loose ends to tie up as Bates Motel reaches its final steps in season two is a little understatement in truth. Between Norman’s inevitable full decline into a life of sadistic murder and stalking and his mother’ sever-increasing despair at the loss of control over him, we still have on-the-cusp characters scampering around, a gang war to resolve and a murder case still far from solved. This week’s aptly titled The Box went a long way in looking to resolve many of those open issues, while still leaving us reeling for a stunning season finale.

As expected, Norman’s incarceration in the item of the title would present great repercussions as we saw a combination of the young man’s boiling anger mixed with memory recovery and the all-important connective bond with his mother. Freddie Highmore simply excelled this week as he took a further turn into the dark corners of his character and really shone as a believable snapping killer ready to be released from his shell.

Norman’s predicament would ironically unite Norma and Dylan as the pair looked to deal with the lingering and omnipresent Nick Ford. While Norma remained focused on the overall protection of her youngest son – as we’ve seen throughout the show’s run – it lay on Dylan to make the tough decisions and attempt to rectify the problems that had arisen. Originally a much underused entity, Dylan’s paramount importance to events has hit a pinnacle and helps to create a bulk of the integral strength to the show’s  ongoing story lines.

While this week really did move much of the story forward, there were characters almost left in limbo. Olivia Cooke’s Emma has forever been a conundrum in terms of her overall involvement and even her suggested exit seemed glazed over rather quickly, while Romero was left out in the cold all too often this week. These two could prove rather important individuals heading forward so we can only hope the creators of the show have much up their sleeves for them.

Edging us towards the season finale, Bates Motel never fails to keep us on the edge of our seats with a thrilling continuation of the goings-on within White Pine Bay. With Norman heading down his dark path even more, and Norma unable to stop his decline, we can only wait with anticipation to see what next week has in store…