Hello, Drew Crew! Welcome to our eighth 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 next episodes of Nancy Drew season 2!
“The Drowned Woman”
Written by: Noga Landau and Melinda Hsu Taylor
Directed by: Larry Teng
- This episode was originally supposed to be the season 1 finale before COVID-19 halted production on the first season of the show. Director Larry Teng came back to film episodes 1, 4, 5, and 6, which were filmed in order over 35 days. There’s a lot to praise in this episode, which in my opinion is the series’ best, but Teng’s direction deserves special mention. The care he takes with the characters and the skill he has at making sure both the scares and emotional beats land is unparalleled.
- George and her sisters are adorable. We’ve only seen the sweet side of George a few times, which makes her attempts to say goodbye without telling her family what’s happening all the more heartbreaking.
- The fight between the Drew Crew is tough to watch. Everyone is at their worst, blaming Nancy and hitting each other where it hurts. I like that there’s a few different ways to read the scene. It could certainly be the fear from their impending doom causing them to be so angry, but I personally believe there was some supernatural influence afoot as well. The Aglaeca does not want its victims to be united because it makes it harder to kill them. In any event, Nancy gets even more guilt to add to her plate.
- Ryan and Carson are always a great duo. They can have emotional moments, but they are also excellent at comedy as well. The scene where they tail Nancy is so well acted by Scott Wolf and Riley Smith.
- Nancy’s narration over each of the Drew Crew heading to their various death sites is a great montage. The tension is palpable, especially when Nancy says, “don’t miss.”
- Each of the Drew Crew confessing their regrets is a beautiful scene. Nancy so rarely shows emotion in front of others, so her confessing that she is sorry for hurting her friends is huge.
- The stunt team on Nancy Drew is fantastic, and they really put in a lot of work to make this episode spectacular (particularly Jenaya Ross as the Aglaeca). One stunt that was performed by the actors was the flooding of Nick’s truck. Leah Lewis and Tunji Kasim were really in there!
- Nancy begging Carson to go back to the way things were when she was younger for a little while before the Aglaeca comes for her is just so sad. Kennedy McMann and Scott Wolf always have great chemistry, but this scene is excellent work for them both. The waterworks are flowing in this episode.
- It’s perfect storytelling that Nancy hears her father’s voice as she dangles over the cliff. So much of Nancy’s insecurity after the discovery that Carson isn’t her biological father is her conviction that he can’t love her unconditionally if they’re not connected by blood. Hearing those words from Carson to baby Nancy gives her the strength to move forward and survive, not just this moment but later as they rebuild their relationship.
- The Aglaeca comes alive in these last few scenes. We understand how she became a monster, and I love how it’s ultimately love that breaks the hold her anger has on her.
- So, we have to talk about the last 15 minutes of this episode. The Aglaeca coming for the Drew Crew and George’s death is stunning. First of all, the direction by Teng has never been as great as it is in this scene. The choice to have the camera bouncing between everyone’s raw reactions gives the scene a visceral impact. Second, the acting by McMann, Lewis, Kasim, Maddison Jaizani, and Alex Saxon is breathtaking. However, Kasim deserves special mention. When he cradles George and tells Ace that, “I’ve GOT HER,” the viewer’s heart shatters into a million pieces. Bess hyperventilating as Ace holds her is also gut wrenching.
- The writers also make it a true turning point for Nancy and George. George admits she loves Nick, which she wasn’t able to say before (Nancy’s soft “Nick … she said she loves you” is a heartbreaker). Nancy makes the non-logical choice to save George with the shroud, with her love for George leading her response. This opens the door for the supernatural to escape the archives, but it also shows how deep Nancy’s relationship with the Drew Crew has become.
- I am a big fan of breaking the fourth wall, so I loved Nancy’s final look to camera. You instantly see how this was intended to be a season ender and it sets up the “after Aglaeca” storyline well.
“The Riddle of the Broken Doll”
Written by: Erika Harrison and Andrea Thornton Bolden
Directed by: Larry Teng
- If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times: when kids tell you they are talking to their imaginary friends, BELIEVE THEM.
- Connor the coroner is yet another guest star who really makes the most of his appearance. He has a series of fantastic one liners and adds a lot to every scene he’s in. His canonical marriage to Lily the florist remains my favorite inside joke the writers have with fans.
- Tamura is another example of the writers’ ability to pivot to an actor’s strengths. When he first showed up, it seemed like he’d be a no-nonsense addition to the show. But with Ryan-James Hatanaka’s comedic ability, Tamura has become a bemused participant in the Drew Crew shenanigans. Watching him match wits with Nancy is always fun, even if he’s usually being a thorn in her side.
- The lamia is incredibly creepy and well designed, much like Nancy Drew‘s other creatures. The jump scare of the body tumbling out of the linen closet is terrifying.
- I love the Drew Crew teaming up to figure out what’s going on with the body exclusively because they miss the excitement. Careful what you wish for! Also, I love the line, “Tamura is not woke to the supernatural.”
- I thought I couldn’t be more scared than the linen closet jump scare, but it turns out seeing a body sit up in the back of a van while a child plays in the front seat is way creepier, so thanks for that!
- George and Ace have the least one-on-one interaction of the Drew Crew, so it was nice to see them have a conversation about their mutual near death experiences. Leah Lewis does a great job of conveying how scared George is while keeping her walls up.
- Ghost kids getting the job done by pulling the lamia underground! Another great horror sequence directed by Larry Teng.
- Carson offering Nancy a job is the olive branch that was desperately needed in their relationship. They work better together!
- I’m sure Odette hitching a ride in George’s body won’t cause any problems later on …
Nancy Drew 2: Monsters Unleashed
- Odette’s arc is a sad one, but I love how the writers use her character to tell the story of so many women of her time period, particularly queer women.
- The Women in White sure were busy, eh? At this point I wonder how they had time for their non-magical activities.
- Nancy releasing all the curses and monsters to save George was a great story move by the writers. It’s always difficult when a season long mystery like Lucy’s death is solved on a show like Nancy Drew. How do you keep the story going without the central mystery there to keep viewers’ attention? By releasing the other monsters, the story is now wide open. Need a new antagonist? Whoops, there’s another one of those curses Nancy released! Need an excuse to reunite the Drew Crew? Another mysterious force is threatening Horseshoe Bay! It turns the show into a procedural-type show that can run for a long time. In fact, with Tom Swift’s addition later in the season, it seems that Nancy Drew could even location-hop if needed. This one plot choice opens so many possibilities.
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 7 and 8 of season 2 for next week’s rewatch!