‘Nancy Drew’ Season 1, Episode 15 Recap: “The Terror of Horseshoe Bay”


This week, the Drew Crew angers yet another spirit (just how haunted is this town?!) as Nancy discovers someone close to her has a deep involvement in Tiffany’s murder case. It was a great episode that gave fans more of the supernatural side of the show (and giving us a truly gag-worthy scene in the process.) Read on to find out what happened in “The Terror of Horseshoe Bay” …

The episode opens at Josh’s shop, where the police are trying to find out how he could have escaped (and where he escaped to.)  Nick remembers that Josh had a security camera set up, and they review the footage. It shows that Josh (somehow) survived the electrocution and escaped through a secret door in a cabinet. How did he manage to do this? Nick and Nancy are also troubled by how Josh got the rare poison in the first place.

Nancy wants to follow up on a few leads since Carson’s evidence hearing is tomorrow. She wants to clear his name, but Carson tries to get her to stay home with him. He is pessimistic about the chances of the case being dismissed and wants to spend time with Nancy. But she wants to make sure she’s not leaving any stone unturned. Nancy heads to The Claw, where the rest of the crew is discussing the upcoming Harbor Day festivities (this small town sure does have a lot of random holidays.) Harbor Day lore says that a sea spirit lives in Horseshoe Bay and will grant your heart’s desire if you ask for it. No one has had much success with this urban legend (Ace: “I didn’t get the PS3”), but if this show’s track record is any indication, this sea spirit will be helping out later. The police are on TV discussing Ryan’s escape, and Karen announces the festivities cancellation since a murderer is still on the loose. Ace sees his father helping the police, which throws him off since his father long ago promised not to have anything to do with the force after his accident. Nancy has a terrifying message from Lucy when she coughs and spits out HUMAN TEETH. Nancy is not nearly freaked out enough by this occurrence, and instead takes it as proof she needs to keep investigating.

Nancy heads to the station. She wants to check out Ryan’s stated alibi for Lucy’s death: that he was away at boarding school. She asks Karen for help, and the officer can’t tell her anything legally. But she mentions that if someone was hypothetically investigating the alibi, that someone should check out Ryan’s then-roommate to see if he can confirm the story. Meanwhile, Owen arrives at The Claw looking for Nancy. He’s alarmed to hear of her encounter with Josh and her desire to keep sleuthing. He asks if anyone tried to stop her, and George sarcastically replies with, “have you met Nancy?” He goes to the police station and offers to help her. Nancy reluctantly accepts his help with interviewing Ryan’s old roommate, who is now a tech CEO. Owen jokes that he speaks CEO as the two left. Nick, still troubled by where Josh got the poison, heads to the station with Ace to talk to Ace’s dad.

Image courtesy The CW.

Owen and Nancy track down the tech CEO, who is the exact stereotype of a frat-bro CEO. He assumes Nancy is Owen’s assistant, which Owen tries to correct before Nancy decides to go with it to get more intel. Her “I’m so done with this guy” facial expressions throughout the scene are priceless, even more so because the tech guy doesn’t even notice. When they ask about Ryan and Lucy, he remembers the two having a big fight shortly before her death. He also remembers that Ryan went missing overnight once and got in trouble for it. Was it enough time for him to travel back to Horseshoe Bay and commit murder? As Owen and Nancy head back to her car, Lucy once again tries to communicate with Nancy by showing the parking garage floor covered in bones. Lucy, you really need to work on your communication skills because this random hallucination method isn’t helping your case.

Ace’s father dismays at the idea of helping Nick and Ace at first, but when the boys figure out that there was no way Josh could have known the serial poisoner who created the rare poison, he offers them a big break by finding the evidence log records. It turns out that a few days before Tiffany’s death, the fridge holding the evidence was broken and signed out for repair. Josh could have stolen some of the leftover evidence poison to use on Ryan (killing Tiffany by accident.) Nancy arrives back at The Claw to an urgent text from Nick about this discovery. As she goes to see what’s going on, Owen, Bess, and George head to the historical society to try to find out more about the ritual for summoning the sea spirit.

Image courtesy The CW.

Nick and Ace fill Nancy in and reveal one more clue. The fridge repair was signed for by an employee who must have helped Josh get the poison. They sneak into the evidence area to see the vial for themselves. Karen, noticing they’re up to something, follows them. Nancy looks at the vial and notices it’s freshly sealed, even though the evidence was from 2009. She also notes that the liquid in the vial is behaving like water, not the poison. Karen shows up and tries to arrest Nancy for tampering with evidence, but Ace proves she’s lying in the most Ace way possible: he chugs the vial of “poison” as his very concerned father watches. Nancy confronts Karen, revealing the plan after Nancy produces video footage of Karen collaborating with Josh. Karen wanted revenge for the death of Lucy, who was her best friend. She felt that Ryan got away with murder and wanted to make sure he paid.

Ace talks to his father, who is slightly peeved that his son drank what could have been poison to prove a point. Ace says he’s scared of his father rejoining the force, and his father says that this is what he was meant to do. He has felt this part of his life was missing, and working on this case has made him happy. Ace supports his father despite his misgivings, and the two make up. Nancy tells her father about Karen, and he is shocked. Nancy wants to use Karen’s corruption as an excuse to call into question the evidence against Carson, but he says it’s not strong enough. He seems to have resigned himself to being convicted, which is odd considering he’s facing life in prison.

Image courtesy The CW.

Owen, Bess, and George do some digging and find the ritual. George is nervous since their encounters with spirits haven’t historically gone well. Bess tries to reassure her, and while George may not feel good about the situation, she agrees to help. Nancy wants to do the ritual alone, thinking it’s too dangerous for them all to risk their lives, but the ritual requires six people to be present (I love how even the spirits are forcing Nancy to team up.) Nancy, Bess, George, Owen, Ace, and Nick head to the beach. Each of them drops blood into the water along with a seaweed wreath as Nancy asks the sea spirit for Lucy’s bones (what Nancy thinks Lucy wanted her to do.) The sea spirit obliges, with a stunned Ace saying, “thank you!” as the bones begin to wash up on shore.

Image courtesy The CW.

The ritual calls for an unknown price, and as they start to gather the bones, blood begins to pour from Owen’s cut. They try to pull him from the water, but he can’t be moved. George breaks the connection in the seaweed wreath, allowing Owen to be moved and ending the ritual. But it’s clear they didn’t pay the full price required, and this sea spirit will want her payment.

Owen and Nancy head back to her place where they kiss passionately. George offers Nick her couch to crash on, and he accepts, with George giving an uncharacteristically happy smile when he does. Nothing like a little spirit ritual to bring some romance to Horseshoe Bay! The next morning, Nancy starts to cough and gag. Running to the sink, she pulls the seaweed wreath out of her throat (serious props to Kennedy McMann for her acting here.) The vengeful sea spirit means business.

Nancy Drew airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

I am a nurse and dedicated nerd from Boston, MA. When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing, or listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense.

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