This week’s episode of Nancy Drew brought family drama and ghostly discoveries to Horseshoe Bay as Nancy and her friends desperately tried to figure out how to stop the Aglaeca’s curse. George and Nick’s relationship is tested with the arrival of Nick’s mom Millie as Nancy has conflicting feelings about her silence with Carson. From oddly timely sea shanties to big Aglaeca reveals to a shift at The Claw where everyone actually waited tables (miracle of miracles!), there’s a lot to unpack in “The Reunion of Lost Souls”.
We open the episode in the cemetery, where Hannah Gruen is making grave rubbings. Nancy and the crew approach, explaining that they need to find out how the Aglaeca died. They think that if they can help her spirit rest, she’ll move on and the curse will end. Nancy believes the key to finding this out is in a sea shanty written years before that tells the Aglaeca’s story (points for accidental relevance to viral TikTok memes). As Hannah searches for the story in her archives, Nick lets it slip that Victoria kicked him out. Nancy offers for him to stay with her since Carson is moving into his loft, and George urges him to stay with Nancy (still trying to hide that they are together). Hannah finds that the only recording was lent out from the historical society in 1975 to someone named Mac … and never returned. Luckily, there’s an address for Mac in the ledger, so the Drew Crew disperses to find it. Before they leave, Nancy is drawn to a grave for a Captain Douglas Marvin that is covered in scratch marks. She leaves, and the camera pans to the Aglaeca watching her before the spirit turns to the camera and screams.
George is walking to The Claw to avoid riding in Nick’s “death truck” when she is nearly run over by a tourist’s car. She hits the car’s trunk as it drives by her, muttering frustration at tourists. Nancy, Bess, and Ace arrive at the address, which turns out to be a bar. The bartender tells them “Mac” is Johnny Mac, who died 40 years ago after being hit by a truck (Bess’ face as he tells them this is priceless.) All that’s left of Mac is an unpaid bar tab and his lucky flask. Nancy thinks maybe they could use the flask and summon him, so Ace offers to settle the tab in exchange for the flask (turns out $10 in 1975 money is over $800 today, so that’s one happy bartender.)
Back at The Claw, Nick anxiously awaits the arrival of Millie, his mother. She’s visiting from Florida, and he’s determined to show her he can handle being on his own in Maine. But Millie isn’t here to see Nick’s new life – she’s there to convince him to return to his old one. She doesn’t understand why he would want to stay here after losing two years to a wrongful conviction. Nick tries to convince her, and in walks George, fresh from her run-in with the tourist and yelling about it. Nick immediately tells his mother that George is his girlfriend, which makes her blush … until she and Millie realize that “tourist” who almost hit George was Millie. The atmosphere turns icy, and it seems George has her work cut out for her.
At the Drew house, Bess and Nancy are working on the case when Nick shows up. He tells them about Millie, and Nancy relates to his struggle to be his own person. Bess leaves for the evening as Nancy gets Nick bedding for the couch. They talk, and both acknowledge that their relationship skipped the friendship before and that it might have been their undoing. They leave on a good note, but then Nick is awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of dishes smashing in the kitchen. He investigates (mistake #1) by going to the kitchen alone with no flashlight (mistake #2). Suddenly, a ghostly man appears and asks “Buddy” for a drink. Before Nick can respond, the ghost throws a tantrum, smashing everything before vanishing.
The next morning, Nancy, Bess, and Nick are cleaning up when Nick realizes he’s seen the ghost before: he was at the Marvin party, also asking for a drink from “Buddy.” Nick thought he was just another Marvin cousin, but maybe he was haunting Nick. Nancy finds a picture of Mac, and it matches the ghost. She suggests that the next time Mac appears, Nick should talk to him and figure out what he wants. Nick also desperately needs his waitstaff to actually work, since Millie’s in town. Bess reluctantly agrees to help as long as she doesn’t mess up her nails, because according to her she will not die with “gross” nails. Bess’ priorities are, as always, exactly correct.
Ace notices Carson struggling to move furniture into the loft and offers to help. They bring it upstairs, and Carson asks how things are going with him … and Nancy. Ace, the empathetic guy that he is, listens as Carson worries about how Nancy is holding up. Back at The Claw, George worries about impressing Millie as Nick talks to her. Millie reveals that one of Nick’s friends from back home was recently murdered in a case of mistaken identity. She’s sick with fear that Nick is so far from her, especially after his conviction. Nick, on the other hand, wants to make his own life in Horseshoe Bay. It’s heartbreaking, as they both have strong points. Hoping to convince Millie he’s making the right choice, he asks George to show them the town. Nancy meets an old friend of Mac’s who shares that “Buddy” was Mac’s bartender back in the day. She also tells Nancy that Mac used to squat in the abandoned orphanage he grew up in.
Nick, George, and Millie go antique shopping, where George tries so hard to impress Millie that she comes off as stiff and scary (her fake smile is hilarious.) Nick sees Mac again, and plays along this time. Mac reveals that he and “the others” summoned the Aglaeca and that they’re in trouble, but before he reveals more, he becomes angered and vanishes while smashing all the glass in the room. Back at The Claw, Millie, George, and Nick arrive after their run-in at the store. Nick introduces Nancy to her, and naturally Millie loves her immediately since she’s Carson’s daughter and Carson defended Nick. George whispers to Nancy that they “saw Casper the friendly drunk” at the store, and Nancy calls an urgent team meeting.
They figure out that Mac is appearing to Nick because Buddy was also Black and this ghost is stuck in the racial politics of 1975 (Nick’s face at this reveal is priceless.) Nancy calls Ace to see if he can track down the orphanage, and it turns out he’s with Carson. Ace wants to hear his side of the story, forever trying to see the best in people. Carson and Ace talk, with Carson opening up to him about what it was like to live with the terror of knowing that Nancy would someday find out who she was. Ace says he can relate to living in the present to escape the terror of the future, and Carson senses something is wrong. He tells Ace that if he or any of Nancy’s friends need anything, he’s there for them. Ace asks if he knows of an orphanage, and Carson confirms it closed when he was a kid and was abandoned. Legend has it that the ruins are haunted (ANOTHER urban legend to add to the Horseshoe Bay list.)
The Drew Crew head to the creepy abandoned orphanage in the dead of night to try to find Mac’s record (truly the best time to do it, I’m sure nothing scary will happen.) Bess finds a reunion picture of Mac with other orphans as adults, and they make a startling discovery: all the people in the photo are ghosts that the Drew Crew have interacted with, thinking they were real people. This reveal plays off several side characters that appeared for one scene throughout season 1, and I have to hand it to the writers for setting up this twist so early on. The group realizes all the ghosts died in the summer of 1975 – meaning they were the original Aglaeca victims. But “AJ” is the only person unaccounted for, and Ace can’t find an obituary. Nancy theorizes that they never found his body. The group heads upstairs and finds a vent that would seem perfect for hiding a record, but instead find a long dead skeleton instead.
The cops arrive, led by Abe Tamura. Nancy tells him what she knows, including that the body could be AJ’s. Tamura scoffs at her “armchair detective work” (this man is incredibly unlikeable) before telling her they’ll ID the body using dental records. The group heads back to The Claw, where Mac appears to Nick again. Instead of asking for a drink, he asks “Buddy” where he hid the record. When Nick can’t answer, Buddy breaks everything again (some serious rage issues, clearly.) The group realizes that Buddy must have hid the record. Nancy sees Ace gathering some junk items, and he tells her he brought some to Carson. She’s still angry with Carson until Ace softens her with the real reason he stayed to hear Carson’s side. Ace reminds her that if they can’t break the curse, they’ll all be dead soon. He doesn’t want her to die with regrets.
Tamura calls and tells Nancy that the body was Buddy’s – he was beaten to death. He sarcastically asks if she’s got any hunches as Ace turns to John Sanders for help. Millie walks in as they strategize about what to do and demands to know what’s going on. They tell her the truth (leaving out the Aglaeca), with Nancy worrying she won’t believe in the ghosts haunting them. Turns out Millie has no problem believing that ghosts are real, but she can’t understand why Nick would stay. Ace helpfully offers that Maine also “has lobsters and blueberries,” with Bess chiming in with “oh yeah, they’re both delicious! Maybe not together.” Millie calls George Nick’s girlfriend, which surprises Nancy. George and Millie nearly fight, but Nick tells Millie that if she can’t accept his decision, he doesn’t want to speak to her. She leaves.
Nancy finds Nick, and they talk. He apologizes for not telling her about George, but notes that their lives have been hectic lately. She says she understands and that she’s happy for them, putting to rest the idea that she would be jealous of their relationship. Both she and Nick decide they need to make things right with their parents in case their impending doom does come to pass. Nancy suddenly realizes that if Buddy hid the record, it’s probably still at the bar.
George goes to see Millie alone and tells her that she’s not the good girlfriend she was pretending to be. She calls herself “vicious” and explains that she’s had to fight her whole life. George tells Millie that this actually makes her the perfect person to protect Nick and that they both have the same goal. Millie softens towards George, as it seems her real personality is much more in line with Millie’s. George doesn’t say it, but it’s clear that she wants Millie and Nick to reconcile in case the worst happens with the Aglaeca.
At the bar, Millie and George meet up with Nancy, Bess, Ace, and Nick to find the record after renting the joint from the bartender (who will apparently do anything for the right amount of cash.) Nancy sees one record out of place in the jukebox, and as she frantically tries to get it out, Mac shows up and starts beating Nick up, thinking that it’s Buddy. When they start playing the record, Mac stops, and all the other ghosts arrive before vanishing. It’s scary, and a reminder to the Drew Crew that their time is running out. George runs to Nick, and seeing that George really cares for him, Millie gives her a peace offering in the form of teaching her how to make Nick’s favorite homemade meal.
Bess, Ace, and Nancy listen to the sea shanty on the record. It tells the story of Captain Marvin’s wife Odette and how the two fell in love at sea. She was a rich French heiress who died before they reached the shore. Ace notices there’s something wrong with the record and isolates the sound. It’s a woman speaking in French, telling the listener that the story they’ve been told is a lie. She was tricked by Captain Marvin so he could steal her fortune and murder her. Odette, or the Aglaeca, says she will come for those who do not pay her toll in seven days. This means that the Drew Crew has just three days before she comes for them.
Nick and Millie talk, with Millie telling him she understands why he feels he needs to stay in Horseshoe Bay. She heads back to Florida, and their relationship is mended for now. Nancy takes Ace’s advice and drops off a care package for Carson, but doesn’t have the courage to go inside and talk to him. The crew heads to the cemetery to drop off Mac’s flask at his grave when they notice that each of the 1975 Aglaeca victims have fresh flowers on their graves. Nancy realizes that AJ isn’t dead at all – he somehow survived the Aglaeca, and finding him is the key to saving themselves.
Nancy Drew airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW, with older episodes available on The CW app and HBO Max.