‘Nancy Drew’ 1×02 review: Everyone has secrets


Nancy Drew season 1, episode 2, “The Secret of the Old Morgue,” just finished airing! Some secrets remained buried while others came to light.

Nancy Drew is plugging along nicely, with the second episode of the series feeling much more balanced than the first. Although I was a fan of the Nancy Drew pilot, it was filled with a lot of exposition.

All that groundwork was worth it, however, because the emotional moments in episode 2 landed even harder, and the complexities of both murders (Lucy Sable and Tiffany Hudson’s) continued to grow.

So far, this show has made all of its main characters three-dimensional, and has proven that it’s capable of knitting together an interesting mystery. I know it’s only episode 2 and that my hopes are high, but I sincerely wish Nancy Drew can keep up this kind of momentum all throughout season 1.

‘Nancy Drew’ 1×02 review

The episode picks up right where it left off with Nancy in the attic, staring down at a bloody dress and wondering how her parents could be tied to the Lucy Sable murder. Although Lucy herself shows up right behind Nancy, when our favorite sleuth spins around, the apparition is nowhere to be seen.

More on that later.

For now, Nancy needs to come face to face with her father. Once again, Carson is trying to be the bigger person here, and once again, Nancy is acting like a brat. I understand that she’s hurting, but she called her father’s relationship with Karen an affair.

I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

A lot of the issues and feelings Nancy is dealing with right now would be cleared up and put to rest if she just talked to her dad. Unfortunately, we have to wait until the end of the episode for some sort of resolution, but at least the writers did make us wait any longer.

These kinds of situations (where one character makes assumptions and doesn’t confront another character) drive me crazy, and I’m having trouble being sympathetic to Nancy’s current emotional state.

Nancy turns her suspicion of the human race to her coworkers, and at least this time her assumptions are a little closer to home.

She correctly guesses that there’s more to Ace than meets the eye, and says he’s smarter than he appears. As of right now, she has no clue that he’s a double agent of sorts, and I’d be happy if that stayed hidden for a while longer.

She also says George is great at keeping secrets, and reveals that although the school found out she was sleeping with an older man during junior year, no one knew who it was. I wonder if Ryan will ever get in trouble for this, or if the show will ignore any consequences for what happened in the past.

Then there’s Bess, who is supposedly rich but is working at The Claw. Nancy knows something is up with her, too, but she doesn’t have too much time to dwell on any of this because she found out that Ryan Hudson is getting his wife’s body moved to New Hampshire, where they’ll do the autopsy. It sure does seem like he has something to hide.

The police won’t be handing over evidence any time soon, so Nancy hatches her own plan to find out what’s going on. I love the idea that Nancy has favors to call in, like the one to the forensic chemist she helped out of a bind in ninth grade. This is totally logical and lines up with her history of solving crimes as a teenager.

While I hope the show doesn’t fall back on the convenience of Nancy having an answer for everything, I do like the idea that a bunch of people all around New England owe that kid Nancy Drew a favor or two.

Nick: “Don’t tell me you plan on doing something dangerous again.”
Nancy: “I won’t…tell you.”

The only problem now is that they need to get their hands on a sample of Tiffany’s blood. The only way to do this is to sneak into the morgue. Initially, the whole crew is in on the plan, but then Nancy, unsurprisingly, ostracizes George.

George is convinced Ryan has nothing to do with his wife’s murder. She wants to trust him, for obvious reasons, and her defense of Mr. Hudson raises a couple flags for Nancy. When Nancy sends George out to steal Ryan’s phone and catches her kissing him, rescheduling their night together, and ultimately returning the phone, she’s forced to confront the other girl.

Ryan has an excuse for moving Tiffany’s body (she was heavily medicated and he didn’t want the locals finding out), but Nancy doesn’t believe it. She’s also quick to figure out Ryan was the older man George was sleeping with in high school. Even though George hits pretty low, telling Nancy all her friends dumped her as soon as her mom started dying, Nancy doesn’t tell Bess or Ace what she saw.

Now that George is out and the phone is a no-go, the team has to move onto plan B. It’s up to Ace and Bess to slow down the person who’s picking up Tiffany’s body while Nancy breaks into the morgue to get a sample of her blood.

Meanwhile, Ryan is going on the offensive. He tries to get Carson Drew as his lawyer, but Nancy’s father wants nothing to do with him. He says he promised his wife he’d never work for another Hudson, and I seriously wonder if this has something to do with the buried trunk and the bloody dress. Did a Hudson kill Lucy Sable? Did the Drews help them cover it up?

Down at the beach, Ryan plays up the grieving widower act. He accepts condolences from the entire town while simultaneously trying to gain their favor. Whether or not he’s actually guilty, he needs to appear innocent, and the so-called townies’ sympathy will go a long way.

George tries to warn Ryan that something is up, but he’s quick to push her to the side. He doesn’t want to raise any suspicion, and it’s clear that this hits George pretty hard. I was sad that she would’ve betrayed Nancy and the others, but I understand why she wants to think the best of Ryan.

But now everything has changed.

While the rest of the town is occupied, Nancy is on her way to the morgue. She’s been seeing Dead Lucy everywhere and experiences her fair share of hallucinations. I love the supernatural element here, but oh my God this show is pretty scary. I know I’m probably just a wimp, but I jumped so many times, you guys.

For a skeptic like Nancy, this is really messing with her head. She can’t tell if she’s going crazy or if she’s really receiving warnings from beyond the grave. I don’t think Lucy wants to hurt Nancy — she just wants her murder to be solved. Thankfully, Nancy is as adamant about solving Lucy Sable’s case as she is Tiffany’s.

Inside the morgue, Nancy grabs a syringe of Tiffany’s blood while also taking the only belongings Lucy had on her the night she died. It seems likely that the crown and the seahorse they found in the locket will match up, which begs the question as to why Tiffany Hudson would’ve had that little trinket.

Unfortunately, the alarms start blaring and Nancy is locked inside the morgue. I really thought she was a goner here, until George shows up! She can’t rescue Nancy, but the two of them come to a momentary truce. Nancy needs to trust that George is on her side. George also admits she needs to know what happened to Tiffany and whether or not Ryan was involved.

Nancy hands over the items, and then turns to face her consequences.

While all of this is going down, Ace and Bess have been trying to stall the person who was meant to pick up Tiffany’s body. I was a little worried that Ace was going to push some boundaries here, but I never should’ve doubted him. Both actors really shine in these subsequent scenes, and I really can’t wait to see where each of them goes.

It’s clear Ace still has a crush on Bess, but when the morgue van’s driver turns out to be a (super hot!) woman named Lisbeth, we see Bess get flustered for the first time since meeting her. Ace clues into what’s going on pretty quickly, and while we see a little bit of disappoint flicker across his face, he’s nothing but supportive when they get back to the restaurant.

Bess admits she doesn’t date anyone — boys or girls — and I have to wonder if this is somehow connected to her living in a van. Did her parents kick her out when they found out she was queer? This adds a whole new layer to her story, and I’m incredibly excited to see what comes next.

For his part, Ace is just happy to be her friend. He utters the cutest line in this scene, and I’m so glad that they’ve made him a solid dude. I hope their friendship turns into something incredibly close, healthy, and supportive. Bess needs a friend right now, and I hope she lets Ace be her platanchor.

Ace: Well, I can be your anchor. Your platonic anchor. Call that a platanchor.”

George returns with the stolen goods and interrupts the moment, and the show doesn’t waste any time telling us what happened to Nancy.

She sits at Karen’s desk, in handcuffs, as Karen tries to explain to her the consequences of her actions. Nancy looks more annoyed than admonished, and takes an opportunity to send Karen for some water so she can look through the evidence they logged for Tiffany’s case. She finds a bunch of text messages, one of which reads, “Package in car,” and writes down the number.

Even though Nancy isn’t taking this as seriously as she should, I like that the show is providing consequences for her behavior. Her father says, “You’re not a kid. This girl detective stuff isn’t cute anymore,” and he’s not entirely wrong. Getting arrested while sneaking into the morgue housing Tiffany’s body makes her look even more guilty.

I doubt anyone actually suspects Nancy committed this crime, but if she’s not careful, she’s going to make a case against herself anyway.

Carson shows up as Nancy’s lawyer and finally gets a chance to speak to his daughter (“Your bail was paid an hour ago. I just wanted you to talk to me.”) This is the scene I wanted at the top of the episode, but I’m glad we got it at some point rather than waiting even further into the season.

He “lets slip” that Tiffany would’ve testified behind a screen, and therefore, Nick never would’ve known who she was. Nancy also asks about the trunk and the dress in the attic. While Carson is quick to give an explanation (the dress was a prop to scare her mom and the trunk was buried by her great grandma to keep her values safe), this is the first time I’ve felt like he wasn’t telling the truth.

Sometimes I hate when my instincts are right.

Not only did Carson take on Ryan Hudson as a client when he said he wouldn’t, he also goes to the edge of the water and burns the dress on the beach. He’s definitely got something to hide, and while I don’t think he had an active hand in the murder, I do think he’s got an active hand in covering it up.

nancy drew 1x02 carson

If and when Nancy eventually finds out the truth, will she ever forgive him? I’m having a hard time coming up with a scenario in which the righteous Nancy Drew would be okay with her father’s actions, but I also have faith that the show will create one that works.

The end of the episode once again gives us a handful of teasers to mull over while we wait for next week. Nancy apologizes to George, who accepts it but isn’t going to hug it out with her. George also admits that Ryan is always going to hide her, and even though she knows her value, sometimes it’s hard not to give in to temptation.

I love Nancy and George’s growth here, and it makes me even more worried for George’s fate. When she kicks over the bucket at the end of the episode, there’s blood inside. Is this a horrible prank, or is she really destined to die in the coming year? Say it isn’t so!

Nick unveils her mother’s car to Nancy, including a neat little spot to keep her necklace safe, but it’s also revealed (to us, not Nancy) that he’s the one Tiffany had texted about the package. I assume this is the package he found at the end of last week’s episode, and now I really, really need to know what’s going on. How are Nick, Tiffany, and Mrs. Drew connected?

Regardless, Nancy’s mission was successful. She ships off the blood to her forensic chemist friend, and now all we have to do is wait.

‘Nancy Drew’ season 1, episode 3, ‘The Curse of the Dark Storm,’ airs Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW

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