This episode follows the aftermath set in the penultimate episode of season 2, "The Box". Norman is still concealed within the container, Dylan is escaping from Nick Ford's compound after killing him, Sheriff Romero is searching for Norman at the behest of Norma, and Norma is waiting worryingly to hear the status of Norman's whereabouts. As Romero is driving to Nick Ford's compound to confront him about Norman, he sees Dylan running across a field on the other side of the road. He stops his car and backs up. Dylan confess he just left Nick Ford's compound and that Nick Ford died by his hands before Romero tells him to hop in the police car.
When they arrive at Nick Ford's compound, Romero demands Dylan wait outside. Reluctantly Dylan abides to this order. Romero charges through the compound, searching the premises until he finds Nick Ford murdered.
While examining Nick Ford's body and palpating his neck for a pulse, Romero hears a loud noise reverberating from upstairs. He slowly walks up the staircase and hears a second noise coming from a room, where he sees one of Nick Ford's bodyguards looting the safe. Romero points his gun at the bodyguard and asks if he knows Norman Bates' whereabouts. The bodyguard declares ignorance of Norman's whereabouts. Romero smacks him hard across the face and threatens to shoot him if doesn't tell the truth, forcing the bodyguard to reveal where Norman is held at.
Both Romero and Dylan leave from Nick Fords compound and pull up to an RV in the woods. Getting out the police car, they look for Norman. As Romero enters the RV, Dylan yells out his younger brother's name. Faintly hearing his name being called, Norman screams his older brother's name.
Hearing the sound of Norman's voice in the distance, Dylan and Romero rush to Normans location. They hear his voice coming from a metal container. They try to open the container to no avail. Romero tells Dylan to back away from the container as he shoots the lock and takes it off. Dylan and Romero jointly open the lid of the container.They see Norman in disarray and help him out the container. Dylan then hugs Norman. Romero breaks up this touching reunion by saying they have to go.
When Norma gets a call that Norman was admitted to the ER, she rushes to the hospital and asks to see her son. Directed by a nurse to Norman's location. she sees Dylan is there. She asks him if they found Norman. Dylan replied that he and Romero found him. Instead of thanking Dylan for finding Norman right away, she goes and sits by Norman's bedside; however, shortly after, she shows her appreciation to Dylan by saying she loves him. Feeling Norma wants to be left alone with Norman, Dylan says he will find the doctor to talk to Norma about Norman's condition and exits.
Finally alone with Norman, Norma caresses her son's face and apologizes for putting him into danger. Norman wakes up and mumbles to his mother about Miss Watson and the dreams he had, trying to reveal his part in her death. Before Norman can tell her about the ghastly murder Norma stops him from speaking, telling him to forget everything that happened and put it in the past like a horrific nightmare.
Now discharged from the hospital, Norma and Norman arrive back at the motel. Emma approaches them and asks what happened to Norman. Norma makes a lie up about Norman having the stomach flu. Emma seems confused as Norma once told her that she could not find Norman and now Norma says she knew where he was. Trying to not continue the conversation and convince Emma of her new lie, Norma helps Norman out the car and heads up the steps to the motel, leaving Emma to look on in confusion before heading back to resume her duties.
After getting some distance, Norma tells Norman that Emma is quitting and he asks why. Norma replies Emma feels left out of the loop and explains to Norman why she could not tell Emma what was really going on as Nick Ford would have killed him if she told any outsiders about his kidnapping. Norma said halfheartedly she will miss Emma.
Inside the motel, Norma tucks Norman into bed and says she will be going to the grocery store to make Norman pot roast. As she lays close to Norman, she lays her hand on his chest and he said he was not hungry. Norma runs her fingers through Norman's hair and suggests making him something else, as Norman needs to eat and rest up. Then Norma confides to Norman that she would not know what to do if he had died; she kisses him on the cheek, gets up from the bed, and leaves for the grocery store.
In the midst of shopping, Norma catches Christina swinging her cart from out the aisle, heading straight toward Norma and continuing on angrily ignoring her. Refusing to be ignored, Norma stops Christina and apologizes to her for the verbal altercation she had with her brother, George. Christina disregards Norma's apology and vents about welcoming Norma into her family. As she gets ready to leave, Christina remarks that she is having the mayor over for dinner and makes an innuendo that Norma's position in the city counsel will be revoked.
Waking downstairs, Norman goes to the kitchen and watches his mother set up everything for dinner. Norman takes seat at the dining table and notices something about his mother. He asks if something is wrong with her. Norma tells him what happened at the store and about her break up with George. She says it doesn't matter as long as they are together.
While eating, Norman had something to say to his mother, concerning Miss Watson's and death and his part in it. Norma interrupts Norman and says she already knows about his involvement with Miss Watson sexually and that Romero found a semen sample that matched Norman's, and insist for him to take a polygraph test. Eagerly wanting to know know more about the polygraph test, Norman asks his mother what questions will be on the truth, to which Norma replied it doesn't matter as he didn't kill Miss Watson. When that was said, Norman starts tearing up and confesses that he might had killed Miss Watson. To Norma's dismay, she denies what he just and asks why he would say such a thing, and Norman replied, saying he remembered everything that happened that night of Miss Watson's death, that he had sex with her and killed her. Norma tries to console of her son by telling him that he was hallucinating and fabricating these surreal dreams, caused by the trauma he underwent inside the container. Norman retorts this notion, saying these dreams were real. Not wanting to hear anymore of her son's lunacy, Norma yells for Norma to stop speaking and continue to eat his pot roast before goes cold.
After finishing his dinner, Norma goes upstairs into his mother's room, taking a gun from her dresser. The next morning Norma is in her rocking chair watching Norman sleep in his bed. Then she looks up Montreal on her laptop in the office of motel, where Sheriff Romero enters and she greets. With a stern look on his face, he ask how Norman was doing and she answers him, saying his doing better, but not fully recovered yet.
A moment of silence takes the two before Romero brings up the date of polygraph test. He offers Norma the paper that shows the address of the place of the test, and she quickly snatches it out of his hand, reading it. Norma tells Romero that it was too soon for Norman, but he could not postpone the test any longer, as he feels guilty that he might had send the wrong man to prison. And the only way for him to not reopen this case is for Norman to pass the test. Knowing Romero would not take any more excuses, Norma agrees to his demand for the testing.
Meanwhile, Norman is writing a letter of sorts, listing items and writing the names of his Mother and Emma.
Talking on Emma, she is at the front desk of the office, giving keys to a new guest of the motel, and gets a call from Norman,asking can she bring up his book from the front desk, which she agrees.
Moments later, Emma goes to Norma's room and he tells her to come in. She starts up idle conversation about Norman's well-being and he comforts her by telling her he is fine. As Emma offers Norman his book, he shows her another book. The book brings back memories as they recite lines from the book and reminisce briefly of the past. Then Norman ask Emma of her decision to quit, which she confesses her reasoning for quitting, is because she feels like she don't belong here and that she doesn't feel apart of Norman's family.
Norman gets up from the bad and shuts his door, asking to keep a secret about Dylan from letting him know, as it would destroy him if Emma knew, or anyone else for that matter. Norman sits back on the side of the bed close to Emma. Norman begins to explain about his mother being raped by her brother and that Dylan was the product of that abusive incestuous relationship. After hearing this revelation, Emma is flabbergasted by this and promise never anyone about this story. While comforting Emma, Norman reassures her that his mother loves her and requests that she stays employed at the motel; Emma says to him that she will think about it.
Dylan and Romero somehow coerce Jodi to work together to stop Zane. Talking to Zane on the phone, Jodi tells him that Dylan killed Nick Ford. Seeming unsure why Dylan killed Nick Ford, Zane asked his sister how did Dylan transpire Nick Ford's death, which she answers him swiftly that she ordered Dylan. Then Zane asks Jodi what should he do to Dylan and she says he can get rid him. Close to the end of their conversation, she ask Zane to meet her at her place to take care of some business, which is nothing more then a set up.
Moving onto Norman, he is wrapping up his taxidermied dog in plastic before heading up the stairs from the basement. Norman helps his mother clean the dishes and comments on how good her apple pie was. She says she loves to cook for him. Norma tells Norman that the polygraph test is scheduled to commence. Norman seems unmoved by this information. As Norma finishes her dishes and says she wants to go wash her hair. Norman waylays her and says he would like to spend some time with her. She happily agrees to this and asks what they should.
Norman inserts a disc with the song "Dream Lover" on the vinyl player. He asks his mother to dance and she gets up from the sofa taking his hands. As they dance, holding each other, Norman says into Norma's ear that she is the best mother in the world; to which she says that she knows and she hopes she is. Norman continues on by saying that she means everything to him, and loves her more then his own life. Norma reciprocates this, saying sweetly, me too.
Meanwhile, Dylan, Romero and Jodi awaits for Zane to appear. As he arrives, they get prepared for him. However, a blackout occurs, caused by Zane himself. Sheriff Romero tells both Dylan and Jodi to wait in the room to see what is going on. Being startled by the gunfire, Jodi jumps up from the bed. Dylan ask Jodi where are her guns and she sarcastically tells him that she keeps all her guns in her bedroom drawer. Then she answers him seriously that keeps all her guns in her gun cabinet and she head down stairs to get them.
While Jodi walks down the stairs cautiously, Dylan runs out the room and calls for her, which she pays no herd to as she continues down the stairs.Reaching the bottom, she pulls out a pair of shears from a bag and heads onward. The barking of her dog comes from a room away from the hallway she's in. Then a gun goes off and silence the dog. Jodi rushed to her dog and Dylan followed.
As he gets closer to Jodi, Dylan hears her arguing with Zane. When Dylan turns the corner to the room, he sees Zane pointing a gun at Jodi. Taking notice of Dylan's entrance, Zane then aims his gun at him. While Zane is distracted, Jodi slashes Zane across his arm with the shears. Zane reacts to this and shots Jodi dead. As Zane aims his gun back at Dylan, Sheriff Romero creeps up behind Zane, telling him he will be keeping his word about talking him down, just before shot gunning him to death.
Now both Zane and Jodi lay lifeless on the floor, and Dylan asks Romero what will happen. Romero fabricates a story that will encapsulate the killing of Nick Ford, Jodi and Zane, to allow Dylan to walk away non-liable.
Both Dylan and Romero exits from Jodi's house. Dylan brings up the question as to why Romero is letting him walk away without any consequences, which he is grateful that he is letting him go, nevertheless. Romero explains to Dylan that he understand the Rules in White Pine Bay. He goes on that say there is vacuum, referring to the vacancy of the kingpins in the drug underworld in White Pine Bay, and suggests that Dylan fill that void. Dylan declines the offer, but is forced to accept it.
Norma drives that a deserted place to meet with Dylan in private, so she can tell him about Norman. She releases to him that Norman thinks he had killed Blair Watson and Romero issued for a polygraph test to be taken. To Dylan's chagrin, it was not he wanted to hear. Norma doesn't know what to do and resorted in the option to the exodus of White Pine bay with Norman accompanying her to Montreal. Dylan suggested against her from fleeing from White Pine Bay, but she feels she has no other options, if she wants to ensure Norman's freedom from prison. She reveals to Dylan that she brought him a ticket as well to come with them, which stuns him. Norma begins to tell Dylan how sorry she is for treating him badly for blaming him for shortcomings in life, and goes on to say that he's a miracle, despite the fact he was born by rape and incest. Dylan forgives his mother and hugs her out of compassion.
As they hug, Dylan tells Norma not leave town, and if she do leave with Norman it would only make his mental illness worsens. Dylan suggest the best option for Norman is an institution, though Norma is against it. After hearing Dylan's sobering words, Norma decides it's best for Norman to take the test, to see if he killed Blair Watson or not.
Norma arrives back at the motel to find out Norman is not home. She goes up to his home to find a note and a taxidermied bird on his bed. The note summarize that he loves his mother and that he will always be with, the symbolism for the bird as it's a part of him. Knowing what the latter means, Norma tries to find Norman and asks Emma if she had seen Norman, who tells her she had seen head for the woods. Without a moment to spare, Norma rushes from the office and dashes across the street of passing cars to enter woods.
Upon enter the woods, she she sees Norman carrying a gun , getting ready to commit suicide. Norman catches a glance of his mother runs away. Norma bolts after Norman as he trips down in the chase sequence. He gets back up and limps away as his mother catches up to him. Finally, Norma comes close to Norman and tackles him to the ground. Norman kicks his mother off him, gets up again and points the gun at her. He explains to Norma why he must kill himself as he might one day hurt her, finding out he does horrible things when he blacks outs. This is his only way to repent. She tells him that he is not a bad person and never mistreats anyone. Then Norman brings up the question of what happened to his dad, as he remembers he blacked out that day when his father died. Norma says to Norman to give her the gun and she will tell him what happened.
As she slowly reaches for the gun, Norma grabs the gun away from Norman and locks their heads together. She reveals to Norman of what happened that day with his father and that he killed him because he was abusing her. Unable to comprehend what happened, Norman can't live with his shame. However, Norma tries to convince him to live or else she will kill herself right after him, as they are the same person and she can't live without him. She will face anything that comes there way as long as they are together. As Norma relentlessly pleases for Norman to not commit suicide, she kisses her son passionately and desperately on the lips and continues to beg him to stay alive. Snapping out his state of depression, Norman agrees to live, by admitting it was his mother's won.
The day of the polygraph test arrives. Norman, Dylan and Norma head to the location of the polygraph test. When they come to the building, Romero greets them all and shows them the way to the testing area. Before Norman enters to take the test, Norma hugs her son tightly until the hug is broken up by Sheriff Romero. Norman enters enters the testing room and the test starts. At the beginning of the test, the polygrapher asks Norman general questions to yes or no to, like is your name Norman Bates and do you live in White Pine Bay. As the testing progresses, each question becomes more perplexing and arbitrary, all accumulating to the final question of "Did you kill Blair Watson?".
Before Norman answers the question, his "inner" mother comes out and tells him that she was the one killed Blair Watson, not him; in actuality it was Norman Bates. His "inner mother" not to tell anyone this and Norman promises to keep it a secret. The polygrapher breaks Norma's illusion and ask if Norman heard the polygrapher's question or not, which Norman says no. The polygrapher repeats the question if he killed Blair Watson and Norman said no. The polygrapher leaves the testing room and tells the good news to the Bates family that Norman passed the test. Norma hugs Dylan in joy and Romero look at the two in uncertainty.
As the final scene comes to an end, the audience is treated with the camera rotating around from behind Norman seating in the lie detector chair to the front of him. The background behind Norman begins to fade as the camera focuses in on his face, forcing him to look directly into it.
- Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates
- Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates
- Max Thieriot as Dylan Massett
- Olivia Cooke as Emma Decody
- Nestor Carbonell as Alex Romero
- Rebecca Creskoff as Christine Heldens
- Michael Eklund as Zane Morgan
- Francis X. Mccarthy as Declan Rogers
- Kathleen Robertson as Jodi Morgan
- This episode was watched by 2.30 million viewers.
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