Yes, I read Nancy Drew when I was growing up. Specifically, I read the Nancy Drew books my mom handed down to me. Her old hard back books represented everything that Nancy Drew fans seek. The thin pages were showing signs of age, and I still remember the smell of the paper when I opened the books in my bedroom. Some day I hope my daughter feels this same sense of mystery.
Well friends, I just watched the first episode of the new Nancy Drew series on the CW, and it is NOTHING like the books or any other Nancy Drew movie you may have ever seen. This is not your average cozy mystery, and it’s certainly not the typical teenage caper. This is a “who dunnit” mixed with paranormal scares and jumps all wrapped up in bows of sex and scandal. Yes, bows, plural, multiple bows and multiple scandals and multiple “WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON!?”
So let’s recap.
** spoiler alerts **
All hail the sea queen.
Horseshoe Bay has a lot of shadows, and that is the perfect place for a mystery chaser like Nancy Drew (played by Kennedy McMann). In the beginning of the show, we find out that the Nancy Drew we grew up loving claims she is not an investigator anymore. She says she doesn’t go searching in the darkness anymore for mysteries, not since the darkness took her mom. Nancy’s mom died from pancreatic cancer, and this turned her world upside down. Rightly so.
From death to sex, the next scene throws us into what appears to be a garage and when the shelves against the wall seem to be clattering in a certain kind of bump and grind pattern, you realize that this Nancy Drew is all grown up.
Meet Ned Nickerson. His friends call him Nick.
She pulls her skirt back down and press out the impromptu wrinkles, grabs a name tag and runs off to her job at “The Claw” where she is waitressing with two girls, George Fan, the manager, and Bess Marvin, the prim and proper princess who is staying in Horseshoe Bay temporarily. Their cook and dishwasher is Ace, and he’s apparently a stoner who has mastered the art of dishwashing. My feeling is that there is more to him than meets the eye. I’m guessing we will hear more about Ace as the series progresses.
As the diner closes down for the night and the crew begins cleaning up, there is a loud knock at the door. Nancy has placed her phone down towards the window, recording, because the town is setting off fireworks and this will be the first year she won’t be watching them with her family. Anyone who doesn’t realize something is about to go down now is just super clueless or has never read a Nancy Drew mystery. You don’t have something recording, randomly, and then not need said recording later on in the story.
The plot thickens when Ryan Hudson walks in and asks George for a quiet table. Um, the diner is closed, all of the tables will be quiet. Yet our snarky manager who was giving Nancy a hard time earlier in the episode, is now bending over backwards for this Hudson hoodlum. While George is trying to figure out what to do, she tells Nancy to bring food out to Ryan’s wife outside.
Why was the wife left outside? Who are these men? Does Horseshoe Bay have their own kind of mafia mob?
Nancy brings a meal out to Mrs. Hudson who is on the phone complaining. She puts the phone down long enough to take the plate of food and request some kind of fancy white wine. When Nancy goes back inside to pour the vintage vino out of a cardboard box, the lights flicker and go out.
That’s what she does, it’s the premise of the entire series, don’t question it.
And we all know exactly what she will find. Because this is where the video was recording on her phone in the window. Yes, Mrs. Hudson is dead by the side of her car, found by Nancy by the light of the fireworks.
A mysterious children’s lullaby gone haywire seeps our through the speakers of my TV. I don’t know what is going on, but this creepy ass song starts playing. Tying us back to the opening of the show, with the sea queen theme which doesn’t make sense.
Lucy Sable, once was able, to look upon the sea, but someone got her in the water now that’s where she’ll be, count to five enjoy the view, hope the killer doesn’t get you.”
Of course the police suspect the diner employees; they were all there, and they couldn’t account for each other. During this time at the police station, Nancy finds out that her boy toy Nick has a criminal record, but we don’t know why. We also find that George has had a run in with the police. In short, this quad squad from “The Claw” is looking mighty suspect.
Nancy shares that Mrs. Hudson had a big diamond ring, which is now missing. Could this be a botched robbery? It’s possible, but the rest of the staff is on “Team Ghost” believing that the ghost of sea queen’s past has come back to kill. Possible? I don’t know, I can’t keep track of this show, it’s all over the place. The ghost reference makes an appearance because in the video recording on Nancy’s phone, we can see a hooded figure approach Mrs. Hudson in the parking lot where she was then found murdered. It certainly didn’t look like a ghost to me.
Team Ghost? Botched robbery?
The next thing we see is Nancy investigating the Hudson residence which is hella creepy all on its own. It is a big property with a fancy house and long white curtains blowing in the wind. Of course Nancy snoops around in the bedroom and winds up finding a necklace hidden in a secret compartment in the nightstand. It has a note claiming to be for Mrs. Hudson’s protection.
When the police show up because, surprise, the fancy house had an alarm, we find that Nick has followed Nancy to this house and is there to save the day. While they run down the hill to his truck, Nancy loses her cable-stitched hat, which then, yes, is found by the police.
The necklace found by Nancy is a good luck charm. She learns from George that it likely has something hidden inside it. George, Bess, and Nancy are able to get the necklace open by placing it in the water and inside is a pretty little seahorse. The note which claims the necklace should be used for protection also includes an address of a medium.
The girls go to the medium and have a séance. The medium gets spooked when something “speaks” through her and tells the girls to find “the dress.” I’m assuming this links to the sea queen Lucy Sable.
When Nancy returns home that night, she finds her dad kissing Karen, the police officer who found Nancy’s hat.
Are you keeping up with this? Because I’m not.
Nancy runs to the garage and breaks down crying to Nick, because she saw her dad kissing another woman. And how dare he be moving on with this Karen lady when she is still mourning the loss of her mother.
And then we are reminded, yet again, why this new Nancy Drew series comes on at 9 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. Because the reminder of her mom’s death has led her again into the arms of Nick and the video camera pans out as they are undressing.
The next morning when Nancy comes home she sees her dad all dressed in his nice suit, snapping up his brief case. He says he saw who drove her home and that she needs to stay away from Ned Nickerson. Nancy immediately connects the dots and realizes that her dad must have been the lawyer who worked with Nick when he had gotten arrested in the past.
We all know what happens when parents tell teenagers who to date and what to do, right?
Nancy breaks into her dad’s confidential files and finds that Nick was found guilty for manslaughter. There was one key witness who put Nick at the crime and can you guess who that person might have been?
Yep. Tiffany Hudson, Mrs. Tiffany Hudson, the ringless deceased.
Dun Dun Dun
Now Nick is a real suspect with a real motive for killing Tiffany Hudson. Additionally, now Nancy is even more dedicated to figuring out who killed Tiffany.
You’d think the spiraling episode would be done now, I mean that is a cliffhanger right there, but no, certainly not. Apparently, the first episode of a new mystery series has to throw everything at us all at once. Before the episode ends we see George Fan, the necklace lore diner manager, at the door of Mr. Hudson our grieving mob-esque widower. He tells her it is too soon for them to be seen together, and she says it shouldn’t matter because she is no longer a student and he is no longer married. ECK ECK ECK.
But then wait! There’s more!
Ace is filming George and Mr. Hudson! Not only is he getting footage, but he is also sharing said footage with the Chief of Police. What is happening!? See, I told you there was more to Ace than meets the eye.
That has to be it. Gosh, I can barely catch my breath. But nope, there’s more, we see Bess going into a strange camper and coming out with the murder victim’s missing wedding ring. The prim and proper princess lays down with a smug look on her face and puts the diamond ring on her finger. Nothing good can come from this, I assure you.
Then we are back at Nancy’s house, she’s on the computer and the lights flicker.
Oh man, the last time the lights flickered, a woman was killed.
Nancy grabs a flashlight and wanders around in the dark, she hears a loud clattering noise and finds that the door to the attic has fallen open. And yes of course, she goes up in the attic, in the dark, after having found a dead body earlier in the episode.
Still not the end of the episode though, my friends, still not the end.
Nancy turns to the sound of wallpaper ripping. Yes, the wallpaper on the wall in the attic, because that makes perfect sense. Puzzled, she walks over to the wall and continues ripping the paper away.
Guess what she finds written on the wall?
“Lucy Sable, once was able, to look upon the sea, but someone got her in the water now that’s where she’ll be, count to five enjoy the view, hope the killer doesn’t get you.”
It doesn’t end there though. No, why would it, the writer of this show clearly wants to keep your heart pumping and your mind racing. I feel like my body temperature is at 105 degrees as I am typing this out.
Nancy uncovers a wooden trunk in the attic, and when she opens it, she finds a bloody, pink evening gown. The very same evening gown that Miss Lucy Sable has been wearing the night she went missing.
As the scene fades away and the episode finally ends, viewers can see what appears to be a ghostly woman standing behind Nancy.
Sweetest of dreams.
If you’re brave enough to catch the next episode, tune in on the CW next Wednesday at 9 p.m. or check back here for the recap.