In this episode of Nancy Drew, the series leans fully into the horror territory as Nancy and the crew investigate the case of a mysterious body that seems to move by itself … and follow Nancy (of course it does). George begins experiencing the effects of being raised from the dead by the shroud, and Nancy and Carson’s relationship hits a new turning point as his client is directly involved in the case Nancy’s trying to solve. From creepy dolls to the living dead, read on to find out what happened in “The Riddle of the Broken Doll.”
Life is going swell for the Drew Crew now that the Aglaeca is out of the picture. Bess is on a yacht as Millie and George are bonding over food. George’s sisters are getting ready for Allhallowtide Eve, yet another pagan holiday Horseshoe Bay celebrates. Nancy, on the other hand, is stuck volunteering in the morgue for community service after she broke in last season. She gets stuck babysitting Leo, the son of the coroner, Connor. Leo promptly wins for creepiest kid when he proclaims that his doll Charles can talk, which both Nancy and Connor dismiss. Tamura arrives with an unusual body he needs the coroner to look at. Nancy can’t help but overhear and get involved, asking Tamura who the suspect is. He refuses to tell her, but as she notes, she’ll find out anyway.
The coroner goes to drop Leo off elsewhere, and alone in the morgue Nancy hears a body moving around in the storage drawers. She approaches, and as she moves to open it, her phone rings. It’s Carson, telling her he can’t make it to lunch. He has a big case on the way that could help restore his reputation. It turns out his client found the body in the morgue in her backyard, and he refuses to say another word, not wanting to encourage Nancy to snoop. When she opens the drawer with the body in it, it looks almost otherworldly with white eyes and gray skin. She pulls a string with bugs from the body’s throat before Connor returns. Nancy and Ace are on the phone discussing dinner for game night when Nancy hears mysterious noises in her house. Walking into the kitchen, she opens every cabinet – until the body falls out of one in a terrifying jump scare.
At The Claw, George is bagging some food for her sisters when she suddenly doubles over in pain and accidentally sets a pan on fire by using the wrong oil that she swears she didn’t buy. It seems she’s not immune to whatever the shroud did to her, but she also doesn’t remember blacking out. The crew heads to Nancy’s for game night and are greeted with the cursed body. It turns out it’s the same body from the morgue, so it must have followed Nancy home. Nancy thinks the body wants her to solve its murder since “Tamura is not woke to the supernatural” and they have experience with this sort of thing now. The crew agrees to help, and Nancy goes to talk to the woman who found the body in her backyard.
Nancy talks to Darlene, Carson’s client, who found the body under a tree. Darlene says her whole family avoided the tree, but before Nancy can learn more Carson arrives. Carson wants her to stay out of trouble, but Nancy wants to help Carson, especially now that she knows they’re in some financial trouble and need this case. Carson tells her not to get involved, and Nancy leaves in a huff. Back at Nancy’s house, the rest of the crew is getting ready to perform a DIY autopsy on the haunted corpse on Nancy’s kitchen counter (as one does). Nick asks if they’re sure they want to get involved after just getting rid of the Aglaeca curse, but Ace notes this is the most purpose he’s felt in a while. George identifies the bugs as beetles that have been extinct for 100 years. As Nick investigates further, George starts singing in French. When Nick calls her out on it, she doesn’t remember singing at all. Ace says, “you might not want to look at this, but you should come look at this” as he cuts into the body with Nancy’s pizza slicer. The body is stuffed with animal bones and plants.
Nancy goes to Hannah, who tells Nancy she’s no longer welcome. But Nancy puts her foot in the door and tells her there’s a cursed body in her kitchen. Hannah notes she put the whole town in danger and released hundreds of cursed objects to the world. Nancy says she wants to make it right, and Hannah reluctantly lets her in. Ace and Nick talk about George, with Nick confessing that George won’t talk about her death and recovery with him. Ace notes he has “experience in the basically dead department” and offers to chat with George. Nick says he’d appreciate it as bugs start flying around the room and crawling all over the house (NO THANK YOU). George finds out that the plants and animal bones inside the body are all of extinct creatures. Even worse? The body starts bleeding on its own. When Nancy tells Hannah what the crew found, Hannah tells her to go home and make sure to watch the body.
Connor shows up to drop off Leo for babysitting and sees the body on the counter. He wants to report Nancy for stealing the corpse, but Nancy notes that he could get in a lot of trouble for leaving her unsupervised. He doesn’t call the police, but he does take the body. As he puts the body in the back of the van, the camera pans to the body, whose eyes blink twice as he closes the trunk door.
Nancy notes the blood from the body was fresh, realizing that corpse is not dead anymore. In the car, Connor rants to himself about the unfairness of the world (and his ex-wife) as Leo listens quietly. Nick and Nancy are frantically trying to call him to tell him he’s got a not-so-dead third passenger now, but he stubbornly refuses to pick up. Leo’s doll Charles loses an arm, and Connor begrudgingly pulls over and goes to look for it on the road. Leo plays unsuspectingly as the body sits up menacingly behind him. Nancy and Nick pull over just in time and save Leo as the corpse attacks, but the corpse escapes when a mysterious force compels it out of the van.
The crew arrives to help, with Nancy adding that Hannah has discovered that the body is really a monster called a therion masquerading as a human. Bess drives Leo and a very freaked out Connor back to Nancy’s house as Ace and George head to look for the monster. Nick and Nancy go back to Darlene’s house to find where the body was buried. Inside the house, Nancy sees hundreds of family heirlooms while Nick notices a key matching a box from the historical society. Hannah finds out that the box it matches contains a vapor, the soul of the lamia they’re hunting (a specific type of therion). It was last checked out by Edith Fowler, one of the Women in White who summoned the Aglaeca originally. Back in the 1800s, they sealed the vapor away never to be reopened – but Nancy’s stunt reunited the soul with the long buried body. Nancy finds that in 1847, 12 children were killed on the same day in Horseshoe Bay and the murderer was never caught. They realize the lamia is targeting children on purpose. One of the victims is named Charles Fowler – coincidence? Not in Horseshoe Bay. Nancy realizes Leo has been talking to Charles’ ghost this whole time.
In the car, Ace gently tries to bring up what’s been going on with George. He tells her he used to “space out” after his coma and see strange visions. George says she saw a vision of dark water before Nancy woke her up. Ace asks if that’s where she goes when she drifts off, but George says she genuinely doesn’t know where she goes. She’s scared, but Ace tells her to keep reminding herself that she’s still her.
At Nancy’s house, Connor is having a full nervous breakdown after watching the body run away. Nancy goes to talk to Leo about Charles. Leo says Charles showed up when the body did and has been protecting him the whole time. It’s the reason the lamia ran from the car. Nancy, Nick, and Bess realize if they could get all the victims together it might be powerful enough to stop the monster. Bess turns on her “au pair magic” to get Leo to talk about Charles and his ghostly friends. Leo tells them Charles wants them to take the purple flowers from his grave and use them against the monster. Ace hears that the body has been spotted heading for The Claw, which is currently full of children after the party for Allhallowtide Eve — along with George’s sisters. Ted and Charlie vanish as Jessie finds them missing and panics.
Outside The Claw, the lamia has George’s sisters under a spell and George is hysterical. Nick holds her back as Nancy calls upon the souls of the murdered children to help her. The children drag the lamia under the ground in a very creepy sequence as Charlie and Ted slump to the ground, asleep and unharmed. Ace notes, “those ghost kids were awesome” as George runs to her sisters.
Tamura is suspicious of the excuse that med students stole the body, but Connor backs Nancy up, claiming it was a prank for Allhallowtide Eve. Tamura scoffs that it’s “not a real holiday,” but Nancy immediately hits back with “not a real necktie” and Tamura drops the subject. Connor thanks Nancy for believing Leo about the monster, and Nancy tells him it’s not his fault he couldn’t see “malevolence in human form.” Connor says, “I dated a girl like that once” before they leave the station.
Nick asks George if she’s okay, and she honestly says that she’s not. But she wants to figure it out herself. Carson tells Nancy that Tamura isn’t filing charges against Darlene, which means he won’t be getting the retainer fee he needed financially. But Carson believes in Nancy, and he offers her a job working for him to find cases she can solve and he can get paid for. Nancy agrees to a part time job so she can continue working at The Claw. George breathes in and out as she stares at the mirror and whispers “I’m still here.” The lights flicker, and a voice says, “I’m here too” as Odette steps from the shadows.
Nancy Drew airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW. The series will go on hiatus next week and return on March 10 with “The Legend of the Murder Hotel.”