Hello, Drew Crew! Welcome to our sixth edition of Nerds Rewatch Nancy Drew, where we will be rewatching the series from the beginning to prepare for the arrival of season 3 this fall. We’ll be watching three episodes of season 1 per week, then switching to two episodes a week for season 2, ending the week of the season 3 premiere. Never seen an episode and want to dive in? Seen every episode but want a refresher? Either way, we’ve got you covered with both spoiler-free and spoiler-filled discussions of our favorite sleuth and her friends. You can head over to HBO Max to watch seasons 1 and 2 now.
Under each episode heading you’ll find a discussion ONLY of the current episode and the ones preceding it, while at the end of each article there will be a section discussing how the episodes relate to the series as a whole (translation: spoilers). If you missed last week’s rewatch, you can head here for all the action. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the first two episodes of Nancy Drew season 2!
Directed by: Larry Teng
- Picking up right where the season 1 finale left off was a smart move. The first season was prematurely cut short due to COVID, and instead of wasting the intricate storyline already planned, the writers simply found a way to weave the last few episodes into season 2.
- Ace comparing a deadly portent to the “serving suggestion on a waffle box” is so funny.
- Welcome to the Bobbsey Twins! The Bobbsey Twins are classic Stratemeyer Syndicate characters like Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Tom Swift (who appears on Nancy Drew later this season). Gil and Amanda are interesting characters from the start, which only adds to the season as a whole. Praneet Akilla and Aadila Dosani have great chemistry together from the start. Also, interesting nugget about the Bobbseys’ father working for the Hudsons back in the day …
- Tamura vs. Nancy is shaping up to be a battle for the ages. Unlike McGinnis, Tamura doesn’t have knowledge of Horseshoe Bay’s history (both supernatural and historical). Plus, he clearly sees Nancy as competition.
- Bess asking Everett point blank if they’re in his “murder room” is peak Bess. Additionally, Ace telling Everett he has a lovely home after being a prisoner in it is also on brand for him.
- Nancy has only had the information that she is a Hudson for about a day at this point. Her first interactions with Everett with this in mind show just how little time she has had to process everything.
- Ryan’s attempts at a father-daughter relationship aren’t going so well so far. He’s moving in the right direction with regards to his father, but his and Nancy’s emotions are just too raw to discuss what all these changes mean. Case in point: Ryan letting all that anger out at Carson in the parking lot.
- George remains relatable as she suggests they let the Aglaeca win rather than have to tell Nancy about her relationship with Nick. Leah Lewis’ delivery of, “Maybe we drown horrifically in a truck and get out of a really awkward conversation,” is fantastic.
- Larry Teng is such an iconic Nancy Drew director that it’s instantly apparent he’s the director from his visual cues. His choice to film inside the bus and not show us the wraith at first is an effective move to build tension. I am also partial to his straight-to-camera shots, like when the Drew Crew is explaining their portents to the audience.
- I love the creature design of the wraith and the production design of the Gorham Woods. The scarecrows are arguably more terrifying than the wraith itself.
- Fun fact: Nancy’s “bungalow case” is a reference to the Nancy Drew novel The Bungalow Mystery.
- Ace telling Nancy that, “Just because I’m mad at you, doesn’t mean I want to lose you,” is the line that started the Nace shippers’ season-long campaign. Time will tell if these two get closer, but the unexpected emotion from the usually stoic Ace is interesting.
Written by: Andrea Thornton Bolden
Directed by: Eduardo Sanchez
- The accidental relevance of sea shanties to the plot of this show has got to be proof that the Nancy Drew writers are actual psychics.
- A quick round of applause is in order for writer Andrea Thornton Bolden. She has handled some of the most difficult storylines on Nancy Drew, and her dedication to exploring Nick’s story adds a lot to the series. Millie’s introduction is perfect, and I love how the show really dives in to the racial divide in Horseshoe Bay in season 2. It’s also a great opportunity to see Nick articulate why he wants to make his own way in Horseshoe Bay while also showing the impact his conviction had on his family.
- The payoff of the Aglaeca victims each being one-off guest stars in season 1 is just another example of how well the writers foreshadow every plot point.
- Fun fact: Director Eduardo Rodriguez also directed horror classic The Blair Witch Project!
- Leah Lewis knows how to play the many different facets of George’s personality. Her fake happy attitude still feels like George, and her talk with Millie where she lets her real emotions out is introspective and very George.
- Fun fact: Two Nancy Drew book references are in this episode. The Stratemeyer Woods references the Stratemeyer Syndicate. Fernwood Orphanage references the novel The Sign Of The Twisted Candles. There’s also a reference to the games. Aglaeca victim Rita Howell is named for a character from the game Warning at Waverly Academy.
- The quick reference indicating that John Sanders has kept in touch with Ace and sent him links about forensics is adorable.
- The resolution of the Nancy/George/Nick love triangle in a way that preserves the friendship between the three is so rare in teen television. It feels honest and it allows the Fanson relationship to stand on its own.
- The platanchor duo strikes again with some great one liners!
- The entire scene of the Aglaeca victims arriving at the bar is terrifying and shot expertly. The creepy song playing as the ghosts vanish is eerie.
B-Sides From Odette’s Record
- The writers came out strong with season 2. After a season of learning the comedic beats of the show as well as the dramatic ones, the show hits the ground running. Season 1 was already great, but it really finds its groove in season 2.
- Speaking of finding its groove in season 2, Nancy Drew truly kicks the themes of social justice, racial equality, and feminism up several notches. The writing staff fully commits to elevating these storylines alongside the supernatural scares, and it shows.
- Knowing that the wraith preys on Nancy’s insecurities and loneliness, Ace being angry at her is even more interesting. He has been Nancy’s rock from the beginning, always believing and supporting her. Ace doubting her and blaming her destabilizes Nancy right as the wraith moves in.
- It’s interesting how Gil’s actions read in hindsight. Before Nancy encounters the wraith he’s cocky and not the kind of guy Nancy would normally have sparks with. As the season goes on, Nancy’s view of him changes even as his actions don’t. It’s a subtle clue that something is off with Nancy.
- The overall arc of the season surrounding believing women’s stories and taking an alternate view of history kicks off with what we learn of Odette in the second episode.
What did we miss? Let us know in the comments! Seasons 1 and 2 of Nancy Drew are available now on HBO Max. Be sure to catch up on episodes 3 and 4 of season 2 for next week’s rewatch!