In the penultimate episode of season two, Nancy Drew doesn’t waste one minute. Action-packed, emotionally resonant, and yes, very creepy, “The Judgement of the Perilous Captive” sets up an explosive finale that promises to test the Drew Crew. The writing team proves once again that it is always one step ahead of the viewers as an early season villain returns in a twist that leaves Nancy reeling. Will Everett confess to Celia’s murder? How far will Nancy and Gil go to get the confession? Will Nancy Drew finally become Nancy Hudson?
We open on Nancy in a dark room, with Everett tied to a chair. He spits, “Are you insane,” as Nancy paces calmly. Gil stands behind her as Nancy asks how he killed Celia and why. Everett acts surprised, and Gil coolly says they’ll have to make him talk. Everett says he doesn’t even believe Celia is dead, and Nancy pulls up the photo of Celia’s body she took at the crime scene. Gil leaves, leaving Nancy with the taser. Everett asks where he is, and Nancy answers that they are in Lucy Sable’s abandoned house as she was one of his victims. He asks what’s next, and Nancy pulls out her phone to record. She narrates, “This is the confession of Everett Hudson,” staring him down.
Bess runs downstairs at the Drew household, where she and Carson are in a panic. Celia’s body has been discovered, and no one can reach Nancy. Carson hopes she went off the grid after discovering Celia was dead. Bess notices scrapbooks open on the dining room table and notes that scrapbooking calms her down too (Oh, Bess.) Carson says it’s not scrapbooking and he’s not calm — he was trying to figure out what was in the polaroid of Nancy. Carson asks for her help, noting that the Drew Crew sees this sort of thing often.
George and Nick wake up together. It’s romantic, until Nick gets bad news. One of Nick’s tenants, Jake, is filing a complaint about Nick opening a youth center in his building, claiming the construction harm the cafe he runs. They don’t have time to dwell on that as Bess calls George. She tells George Nancy may be in danger and they need to meet at the historical society, but George doesn’t pass this on to Nick. She tells him it was nothing and that he needs to focus on himself for a change. She says she’ll help Bess.
At Lucy’s, Nancy outlines the many crimes Everett is accused of. He says this confession will never hold up in court, and Nancy says it doesn’t have to. She’s planning on releasing any confession to law enforcement to give them a running start on looking for proof. She asks who he paid to kill Celia. He says he didn’t even know Nancy was his granddaughter until she told him in the limo, accusing her of playing on Celia’s sympathies to gain her trust. He goes for the jugular, mocking her mother’s death as he says, “You used Lucy Sable’s one night stand and Kate Drew’s cancer death to make yourself an heiress.” Nancy duct tapes his mouth shut and threatens him, telling him to never say their names again.
At the morgue, Ryan kisses his mother’s head as Tamura watches. Ryan is grieving, and he asks Tamura where his father is. Tamura was hoping Ryan would know, and Ryan says he knows his father did this. He mentions the tape, which proves to be less than helpful as Ryan admits he has no idea who his father killed or where the tape is. Ryan storms off to find the tape — and his father. Gil and Everett trade barbs as Nancy goes to leave. Gil stops her, but Nancy says she knows she needs to find proof of his guilt herself since he won’t confess.
Ace is trying to track Nancy as Bess, Hannah, Carson, and George investigate the entity in the photo. Hannah believes Nancy is suffering from a living hex as they notice more markings in photos from Bess’ phone. Hannah needs to find out when the hex started, and Ace gets Nancy’s location. He sends it to Carson, and Carson rushes out to find her.
Nick goes to see Jake about the complaint. Nick thinks it’s because of all the construction that will need to happen, but Jake says it’s about the kids. He’s concerned about theft and vandalism, telling Nick his story makes him one of the “good ones” but that he can’t be sure all the teenagers Nick brings in will be like that. Nick says this could be the second chance these kids need, but Nick is unmoved. He says he loves Nick’s mission … just not in this town.
Carson goes to the location of Nancy’s phone, and it’s inside a mailbox. She clearly ditched it on purpose. In her car, Nancy sees transactions from Everett’s hitman account as she mutters, “This can’t be right.” Everett tries to soften up Gil when they’re alone, calling Bertram a good man. He says he could use his influence and money to get the Bobbseys out of the trailer park and his father out of prison. Gil asks how much money he’s talking about.
Tamura is outside the yacht club as Connor from the morgue tells him Celia died 22 hours before her body was discovered. This means she was dead before any guests got there, and he notices something odd in the parking lot. Nancy comes back to find Everett untied, with Gil scrambling to explain. Nancy is angry — but not as angry as Ryan. Guessing their location, he breaks in and punches Everett across the jaw (go, Ryan, go!) while Nancy and Gil look on, shocked.
Ryan sidebars with Nancy and Gil as a bloodied Everett sits in a chair nearby. He says he figured out they were here based on Tamura’s description of where his father was last seen, but he knows it will take Tamura longer since no one knows about Everett’s connection to Lucy. Nancy tells him the plan. But she also shares some news that could mean Everett is innocent: the Hudson prenup states that if Celia is murdered, Everett loses out on her estate. Additionally, there have been no recent payments from his accounts. Ryan notes that Everett usually makes his murders look like accidents, especially with money on the line. Gil says it doesn’t add up, and Nancy says it will. She just needs more time. Gil is upset that he didn’t release Everett when he had the chance, saying that Nancy can’t protect their father this way. Everett pipes up to say that she won’t find any evidence because it doesn’t exist — and he can tell she is starting to believe him.
As the Drew Crew continues to search, George asks Hannah a “hypothetical” question about her “friend” who is currently possessed by “Nodette” (excellent work there, George.) Hannah tells her that when two souls merge, the living person will live only a short while after the spirit died, which for George is about ten years. At the station, Nick goes looking for Tamura. Tamura says he was looking for Nick. He found a piece of taillight at the yacht club and wanted to know if he could identify it. Nick clearly does, but pretends not to. He tells Tamura about his situation.
Ryan, Gil, and Nancy try to puzzle out who else could have killed Celia. Nancy realizes Celia’s body was posed like Icarus, and that the list Celia’s ghost kept talking about was the list of names that Ace’s mother had. Everett recognizes the name The Road Back, and he can’t believe Celia would be involved with them. Ryan pulls out the bag of Celia’s things Tamura gave him, and inside is a coin with the symbol of The Road Back. Everett says he may not be responsible, but Nancy is by involving Celia with the group. Nancy just stares ahead, misery behind her eyes.
Nancy rushes outside, breathing heavily. She sobs as Ryan comforts her. He tells her this was not her fault — she was trying to save Ace, and Celia was using her to keep Everett out of jail. Ryan says Celia knew the risks and made her choices. Nancy says she was wrong about Everett, and Ryan tells her she had the right guy, just the wrong murder. They can still get justice for his victims.
Nick goes back to Jake’s cafe, a smile on his face. Nick tells Jake he forgot something the last time they chatted: “I’m rich, Jake, very rich.” Nick bought the abandoned convenience store across the street for his youth center, and because it’s more than 50 feet from the cafe, Jake has no say in it. Even better, Horseshoe Bay PD has agreed to partner with Nick. Nick tells Jake that letting kids know they belong in their own community is a big deal, but the bigger deal is that Nick is also going to set up a rival cafe in his new building. He struts out, leaving a flabbergasted Jake behind.
Gil asks Everett what he plans to do about The Road Back killing Celia. Everett says you become powerful by picking your battles and banishing emotion … which is to say, he’s outmatched here. Tamura calls, and Ryan tries to pretend he’s not with Nancy. Not buying it, Tamura asks him to put Nancy on. He asks what her connection is to Ryan, and Nancy doesn’t budge. Tamura then reveals he knows that Everett is with them, and Nancy hangs up. She turns to the group and says, “Plan C,” which neither Gil nor Ryan knows anything about. Nancy says that they need to get rid of Everett. He may not have killed Celia, but he killed someone according to the Black Crown tape. Ryan pulls her into another room, saying he thought justice meant a confession, not murder. Gil sees his opportunity and asks Everett if the offer still stands. Nancy and Ryan hear a door close, and when they rush into the room, Everett is gone as Gil sits in the chair.
Hannah realizes Nancy has a supernatural parasite attached to her. Hannah says Nancy only has days to live, which Carson refuses to accept. George also refuses, saying, “No, not today, Satan. I am sick of supernatural freeloaders cutting our lives short.” Hannah says there is no camera powerful enough to reveal the parasite’s true form, and George stubbornly says they’ll have to make a new camera. She calls Nick and gives him a rundown of the situation.
At the Hudson lodge, Everett pulls out the tape. But Nancy, Ryan, and Tamura followed him. It was all an act designed to get Everett to believe he was in danger. Nancy knew Everett would go for the tape, and they called Tamura when they let him go. Tamura is even willing to overlook Gil’s involvement entirely. They put the tape in a VHS player, and we see Everett’s brother Josiah in a 1981 surveillance video. Everett enters the frame, and he kills Josiah after a fight. Ryan is heartbroken and angry, having always believed Josiah died drunk in the woods of exposure. Not responding to his son, Everett turns to Tamura and asks for a lawyer.
Nancy and Ryan talk, with Nancy asking how he’s handling this. He says he’s dealing with it by not processing it and tells her she should go home. Nancy asks if they can get lunch tomorrow, and he says yes. Back at Nancy’s car, Carson is waiting. As he hugs her, Nancy cries. She’s scared and says she feels nothing, that she knows something’s not right. She says she keeps thinking of what Kate would think of her actions, and Carson says he needs to tell her something.
He brings her to The Claw, where they take a surprise photo with Nick’s new camera. The picture reveals that the wraith from the bus in the woods has been using Nancy’s life force all these weeks. Nancy says it can’t be the same wraith since she burned the bus. But Carson points out she hasn’t been herself, and Nancy flashes back to all her weakest moments this season. She realizes the wraith has been feeding off her doubt and depression. Nancy stops and quietly says that parasites kill their hosts. As the others stare, she asks, “How long do I have left?”
Nancy Drew airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. Its season finale will premiere on June 2.