Wow, Drew Crew, just … wow. What an episode. Nancy Drew finally clears up the Lucy Sable mystery, but that’s not even the biggest twist this hour. “The Haunting of Nancy Drew” felt like more of a season finale than just a regular episode, but it says something about the quality of the show that I am confident in its ability to hold our attention even after solving the two major mysteries of the season and giving us a bombshell reveal. This episode also gave us the best performances of the season from Kennedy McMann and Scott Wolf. Wolf in particular nails a very difficult sequence at the end of the episode, and I cannot wait to see how these two actors handle the twist when the show returns in three weeks. Without further ado, let’s get to the major revelations …
The episode opens with Nancy getting ready for her father’s evidentiary hearing. She has until 3 p.m. when she is called to testify, so until then she’s looking for more clues. The scientist she has frequently called on for in the past will be there in person soon to examine Lucy’s bones, and Nancy is also looking through old case files. Exasperated, she yells at Lucy, wanting help. She notes she’s trying to solve her murder. Lucy appears, causing a windstorm and leading Nancy to her pantry. At first, Nancy is confused, but she sees that Lucy is drawing her towards her mom’s set of steak knives. One knife is missing, and Nancy suddenly realizes the missing knife is the murder weapon. There was also an unidentified female hair at the crime scene – could Nancy’s mother have been involved in Lucy’s death?
At The Claw, John Sanders has arrived to examine the bones. Nancy asks him to run a DNA test on the hair at the crime scene, sharing her fear that her mother was involved. It comes out that Nancy slept with Owen, which Nick tries to act nonplussed by. Sanders is slightly dismayed by the complete lack of sterility in the restaurant kitchen, but agrees to forensically look at the bones anyway. But before he gets the chance, the police arrive. A buddy comedy ensues as the crew scrambles to hide the bones, with Ace and Sanders stuck in a walk in freezer and forced to hide the bones under their jackets. The line of the episode goes to Sanders, who when confronted by the police states that he is the “senior” busboy. The new police chief is here to check out the crime scene, since he is now the officer in charge of the investigation. It’s clear he will be far less helpful to the Drew Crew than Chief McGinnis was. When the danger passes, George and Nick talk about their relationship. The sparks are still there, and they kiss.
Nancy notices that the email calling Lucy a “whore” wasn’t written by Ryan since he uses single spaces after periods and the last email has double spaces (what a Nancy thing to notice.) She confronts Ryan and tells him she knows he didn’t kill Lucy, but that his father could be involved. She needs the whole story of their relationship. Ryan caves, and the story is much sadder than it initially appeared. The show did a great job of humanizing Ryan, showing how he genuinely loved Lucy. His father was the one who threatened her and broke off their relationship, not believing that Lucy was worthy of Ryan. He shows Nancy “their spot”, which was an ice cream shop in town. The woman working the counter says she remembers seeing Lucy the night of the murder and even called in a tip about it, only to be ignored by the police department. Lucy drove off in a car that matches the description of Ryan’s father’s car, and now it’s looking like he’s the prime suspect.
Nancy and Ryan confront his father, who admits to giving Lucy a ride and telling her to stay away from Ryan. But he says it was Karen who last saw Lucy, and he could see them fighting as he drove away. Karen says she had switched the ballot boxes so Lucy would win Sea Queen, wanting to cheer her up. But this led to more heartache for Lucy as the town accused her of sleeping her way to the crown. But Karen does have one major piece of evidence: Lucy kept a journal that was never found.
Nancy and Ryan head to Lucy’s abandoned house to find the hidden diary. When they enter, they observe a bee’s nest and both remark that they are allergic. Lucy appears, seeming angry and wanting them to go away. Why doesn’t she want them to find her diary? They find writing on the walls that calls back to the writing Nancy found in the walls of her attic. She realizes the diary must be in the wall itself, and sure enough, Nancy finds it. She begins to read the diary and her face falls – she realizes what truly happened to Lucy.
She rushes to the courthouse, where she reads the diary out loud for everyone assembled. It turns out that after the extreme bullying she suffered at the hands of the town (and the Hudsons), Lucy planned to commit suicide at the bluffs. She didn’t want her mom to know how she died, which is why ghost Lucy didn’t want Nancy to find the diary. The forensics team confirms Lucy’s handwriting and the authenticity of the diary, ruling Lucy’s death a suicide and clearing Carson. But there’s more to this story. Why did Lucy haunt Nancy specifically? And what about that unidentified hair? Nancy heads back to The Claw, where John Sanders tells Nancy the results of the testing are in.
Nancy makes her way home, where Carson is cheerfully cooking her favorite dinner to celebrate. But when he sees Nancy’s devastated face, he stops. Nancy says she wants the whole truth before she tells him what’s wrong, and Carson drops a bombshell. He says that the night of the suicide, Kate Drew got a distressed call from Lucy. She and Carson rushed to the bluffs, where they found Lucy holding a newborn baby. Lucy was pregnant with Ryan’s baby and had hid it all this time. They cut the umbilical cord with Kate’s knife as they tried to talk Lucy down, telling her they’d be supportive of her and help her. This seemed to work, and Lucy handed the baby to them. But they turned their back for a moment, and Lucy either slipped accidentally or threw herself off the cliff. Carson tried to find her body, but all he found was her dress. The two went home with the baby, since Lucy was terrified the Hudsons would try to harm the infant. Kate and Carson decided to leave Horseshoe Bay and pretend the baby was theirs. And that baby grew up to be … Nancy Drew.
The acting in this sequence was phenomenal, with Scott Wolf and Kennedy McMann delivering devastating performances. It’s clear this revelation will have a huge effect on the series moving forward, especially since the two main mysteries have been cleared up. It also explains why Lucy was haunting Nancy all this time. Ryan also doesn’t know Lucy had his baby, and certainly not that that baby is Nancy. And even more ominously, the detective found a piece of Lucy’s skull at The Claw and now has it in his possession. It seems this new detective will be a new thorn in the side of the Drew Crew from now on.
Nancy Drew airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET and will return from hiatus on April 8.