This week’s episode of Nancy Drew throws it back to the classic Nancy Drew novels in a tribute to the teen detective that sees Nancy, Bess, and George team up to investigate a murder hotel (never not fun to type). Ace and Amanda Bobbsey get to know each other better as Ryan and Nick plot to take down Everett once and for all. Read on to find out what happened in “The Legend of the Murder Hotel.”
The episode opens at the Breaker Hotel, where three college volleyball players are in a supposedly haunted hotel room (appropriately called “The Murder Room”). They’re hazing the newest member of the volleyball team, Jennifer, leaving her alone without a phone in the room. One of the girls, Isabel, kindly tries to put her at ease before closing the door. Jennifer begins to cry as she says she hears chains rattling. The girls on the outside laugh it off until Jennifer starts desperately pounding on the door and screaming. Isabel insists they open the door. They go inside, but Jennifer is gone despite the lack of an exit from the room.
Meanwhile, Carson gives Nancy her first case: organizing files from a divorce case. Nancy thought being Carson’s assistant would be more exciting, but Carson tries to get her excited with a three-hole punch (dad jokes, got to love them). He not so subtly puts a brochure for Columbia University among the files, but she throws it away. She notes she didn’t even retake her SATs because she was busy fighting an evil sea witch AND she got arrested — what college would want her now? She goes to leave, but Carson tells her that if she ever wants to go to college, he’s ready when she is.
George is trying to complete a DIY exorcism in The Claw as Odette watches from a mirror. Nick asks if she’s okay as she frantically hides everything. Bess notices that Nick is worried and tries to reassure him, but Nick says he can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong with George. He leaves to run an errand, and George runs past a confused Bess as soon as he does. The three girls show up at Nancy’s door, telling her they need her help. At first Nancy wants them to call the police, but then they reveal that Jennifer went missing at the Breaker Hotel. Nancy immediately realizes they were in “Room 413” and that this is definitely a Drew Crew job. They ask her again to help them, and Nancy chuckles while saying “how could I say no?”
Ace heads to the hotel with Nancy, where he tells off a man screaming at Amanda Bobbsey over missing towels. She’s working the front desk, and he strikes up a conversation with her as Nancy enters. Amanda thanks Nancy for saving Gil as Nancy pulls Ace away. He is clearly intrigued by Amanda, but as Nancy notes, this case is time sensitive. Ace asks what the case is, and when she tells him he says “ghost abduction? that would be, like, my third guess.” According to Nancy, four people have died in this room and supposedly the walls weep with the blood of their victims. Nancy sees the window is broken and thinks Jennifer just managed to escape with no supernatural intervention. But right on cue, blood starts pouring from the window. This is clearly a vengeful spirit at work.
Ryan meets with Nick and tells him that he thinks his father has killed before the Bonny Scot incident. He says he needs access to his offshore accounts and has been asking his father’s accountant for access. Nick realizes Ryan hasn’t been subtle about asking around for information. Ryan rushes off to get “advice,” asking Nick to trust him. The trio, Ace, and Nancy start researching back at Nancy’s house to see if they can figure out which ghost is haunting the room. Apparently, a lot of people have died in the creation and operation of this hotel over the years, making their search difficult. Ace notes the hotel used to be a mansion “like on Downton Abbey,” which the girls call him out for (cue Ace’s immediate blushing). Isabel asks Nancy when her semester starts, assuming she’s in college, and Nancy stutters and brushes her off. Nancy has a thought and rushes back to the hotel, leaving Ace with the worried girls.
At The Claw, Nick asks if George is okay, and George lashes out in exhaustion. She apologizes immediately but it’s clear something still isn’t right. Odette is in the mirror again, scaring George and causing her to drop her glass. Bess runs in to help and gets an SOS text from Nancy about Jennifer. George tells Odette she’ll deal with her later as she leaves with Bess to help Nancy.
Ryan goes to Carson for help undoing his grandfather’s will. Ryan says if Everett dies or is convicted of the murder, Ryan gets the company – but if he’s discovered plotting against the company in any way, he loses everything and it goes to his heir: Nancy. Carson says the will can’t be undone since his grandfather is dead, but Ryan reveals he’s scared for Nancy. She’s the reason Everett is on trial for murder right now, and if word gets back to Everett that Ryan is poking around and that Nancy is his granddaughter, Nancy is in danger, since the company would pass to her if Everett is convicted. Everett knows Nancy would burn it all down, and he’s killed before to keep control. Carson tells Ryan to stop whatever he’s planning against Everett for now, but Ryan says it’s too late. Carson says that now they only have one option: make sure Everett never finds out who Nancy really is.
In the hotel room, Bess and George are fighting over whether the cold in the room is ghost or draft related. Nancy realizes there could be a hidden door for staff in the room from when the hotel was a mansion. Bess uses her knowledge of the Marvin mansion to find the hidden staircase (a tribute and visual callback to the first Nancy Drew novel The Hidden Staircase). Ace is having a hard time babysitting the trio as they make themselves at home at Nancy’s house, so he calls in Nick for backup.
Nancy, George, and Bess head through the door, where they find a scrap of Jennifer’s shirt. They also find a broken dumbwaiter, and Nancy theorizes that Jennifer ran from someone and fell down the dumbwaiter shaft. They go to the basement, where Bess finds jars of blood and tapes of women screaming in a closet. The three realize that someone is using the hotel’s history as a cover for serial killing as a male voice shouts “you shouldn’t be in here!” Nancy recognizes him as the hotel owner as Bess and George run past him. Nancy tells them she knows what’s really going on here: the owner is using fake blood and tapes of screams to fake the hauntings and drive tourism. Nancy also saw a camera in the basement, so she needs to hack into the security feeds to show what really happened to Jennifer.
Nancy goes to Amanda, who says she’s a “thief not a hacker” and can’t help, especially since the computer is slow. Nancy calls Ace for help, who is still managing the wayward college girls (a highlight: “Zoe, you can’t cook pancakes in the oven. Who raised you?!”). He happily escapes to help Nancy, leaving Nick with them. Ace helps Amanda with the computer, and he impresses Amanda with his speed. He even flirts with her, saying “I can type more slowly, if you want” before she responds with “if you want …” in an effort to spend more time with him. Nancy, Bess, and George wait for him to upload the footage, and as they watch, they see a mysterious figure chasing Jennifer. The person turns to the camera, and it’s George. She’s shell-shocked as Nancy and Bess turn to her.
George is forced to tell them the truth about what’s been happening with Odette, calling her possession “time sharing” and that she tried to get her out (Bess: “You did an exorcism without me?”). They realize that to find Jennifer, they need to get Odette to talk. Meanwhile, Nick is getting relationship advice from the girls after they hear him call George again. It’s inconclusive, and he’s still lost.
Nancy realizes that they can get Odette to come out by threatening to burn the last letter from her love. Odette possesses George to stop it (great acting from Leah Lewis as she shifts between George and Odette). Odette says Jennifer is “with the hounds now” before giving George back. Bess worries that George killed Jennifer and doesn’t remember. Nancy takes George’s phone to track where her body went last night, and it turns out “the hounds” was actually the Greyhound bus station.
Jennifer is sitting alone on a bench when Nancy approaches. She tells Nancy that in her panic about being alone, she ran down the stairs where she found “a weird French girl who didn’t know what a cell phone was”. Odette/George gave Jennifer George’s phone, and Jennifer left. She confides in Nancy that she wanted to leave, that college wasn’t what she thought. She feels like she doesn’t know who she is anymore. Nancy asks why she hasn’t left – there have been three buses that could have taken her home. Nancy tells Jennifer she gets it since she’s the “high school burnout” with big college dreams who gave up on them. Nancy gives Jennifer a brief rundown of the emotional turmoil of the past year, and Jennifer incredulously says “you solved a murder after all that?” Jennifer says her problems seem small in comparison. But then Jennifer says that there’s a reason Nancy keeps thinking about going to school, that maybe Nancy isn’t the dropout failure she thinks she is.
Nick is upset when he discovers that Ryan is working with Everett. Ryan tells Nick that he’s using Everett because Everett needs Ryan’s public forgiveness ahead of his trial. Ryan tells Nick he needs to be close to him to deal Everett a fatal blow, but that he needs Nick’s help to get the information and keep Nancy safe. Jennifer returns to the trio, who are overjoyed to have her back. Jennifer tells them she appreciates it, but that she doesn’t want to play volleyball anymore. They support her, and the four leave.
Nancy looks at the Columbia admissions site and has a small existential crisis as she gets to the “last name” section of the application. Bess urges George to tell Nick what’s happening, but George says Nick wakes up screaming with nightmares of losing George. Odette takes over George, saying the only way to get rid of Odette is to kill George. At the hotel, Ace checks in on Amanda, who calls him out for taking the footage. She thinks it was all an act, but Ace innocently assures her “the flirting wasn’t a ruse.” Amanda tells him to stay close so they can keep talking as a customer goes to check in. The man has an Australian accent, and he asks Amanda if she’s seen his wife. Ace startles when he sees the picture on the man’s phone: it’s Bess.
Nancy Drew airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW, with season 1 available on HBO Max.