Thursday, September 23, 2021

Nerds Rewatch: ‘Nancy Drew’ Season 2, Episodes 9-11

Hello, Drew Crew! Welcome to our 10th 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. This week and next will each contain a bonus update due to our off week last week. 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 our last 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 Bargain of the Blood Shroud”

Colin Bentley/The CW

Written by: Alex Taub

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Directed by: Amanda Row

  • It’s great to get more of a backstory for the Bobbseys in this episode. The tantalizing detail that Rosemary Bobbsey is not only still alive but also saw monsters before she left Horseshoe Bay leaves a lot of storytelling doors open for the future. It’s also a chance to see more of Gil and Amanda’s dynamic together, showing that they don’t operate as a unit the way it initially seemed.
  • Speaking of Gil, his and Nancy’s relationship begins going in a new direction this episode. We see a vulnerable side to Gil when he’s with Nancy, but as Ace warns, there are definite red flags about his behavior. Will learning the truth about his mother help or hurt their potential romance?
  • A few different book references in this episode! The hidden Bobbsey stash in the rock wall is a reference to The Clue in the Crumbling Wall. There’s also a Nancy Drew book hidden in the wall as an Easter egg, though it’s difficult to tell which one.
  • For Amace fans, there’s a lot to like about this episode, from Amanda opening up to Ace to Ace’s adorable admission that Amanda, “Just opens me up. Like a flower, I’m in bloom!”
  • Carson and Bess are a great team. She loves to be helpful, and it’s a testament to Carson’s parenting instincts that he sees this need to be useful and is able to help her. Bess’ story shows that found family is just as valid and important as biological family.
  • Nick and George’s relationship may be my favorite romance of the series. They talk out their differences well as George learns to share her feelings and Nick learns he can’t protect George from everything, as much as he might want to. The scene at the bluffs where Nick pleads with Odette to let George live is powerful.
  • Not to worry, Nace fans — there are plenty of Nancy/Ace moments in this episode as well! While both are currently pursuing a Bobbsey twin, there are hints that both are sensing new feelings about each other as well.

“The Spell of the Burning Bride”

Colin Bentley/The CW

Written by: Jesse Stern

Directed by: Amanda Row

  • This is an all-time great episode of Nancy Drew. It proves the series can make a goofy premise into pointed social commentary, and it really showcases the talent of its actors, writers, and directors. Kennedy McMann in particular carries a good portion of this episode, and without her grounded yet hilarious performance the episode would quickly cross into “jump the shark” territory. Its serious commentary on the repression of female sexuality is brilliant but the episode is still incredibly fun.
  • Tamura and Nancy’s team up both before and after Nancy is dosed with the love potion is an interesting turn of events. We learn he had a fiancé, but no further details are given. There’s even some sparks between them, especially on Tamura’s end, which is not something viewers saw coming. Could this be yet another ship for Nancy?
  • As usual, Jesse Stern wrote some incredible one-liners for this episode. My personal favorite is George referring to Nancy as “Handsy Drew,” but there are many legendary options to pick from. A brief selection: “Who’s Annette? I’ll kill her!” “I’m positive that I want sex.” “I don’t think we should let the fact that we hate each other get in the way of doing what we really want.” “I once saw a man eat his own bicycle.”
  • Grant is quickly becoming a fantastic recurring character. His incredulous delivery of, “Do any of you actually work here?” is perfection.
  • Amanda Row is a brilliant director who I am glad to see will be returning for season 3. She perfectly blends the humor and emotions in the episode, and it was her (excellent) choice to use the wind machine for Nancy’s lust-vision.
  • Once again, I need to praise the music supervision team for finding the perfect song for Nancy’s love spell. The cheesy 80s track “I’ve Got My Feeling” by Terry Weiss is hilarious and adds so much to the scenes it is used in.
  • Well, looks like Gil won the “which attractive guy in Horseshoe Bay is Nancy really attracted to” lottery! In an episode with an abundance of steamy scenes, that last kiss was something.
  • Val secretly working for Celia is quite the twist! How will this play out with her relationship with Ryan?

“The Scourge of the Forgotten Rune”

Colin Bentley/The CW

Written by: Katie Schwartz

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Directed by: Kristin Lehman

  • Just when you thought Nancy Drew couldn’t get any wackier after “The Spell of the Burning Bride,” the show immediately follows that classic up with another all-time great. This episode utilizes the full Drew Crew as they deal with amnesia while solving a case. The sequences where the Drew Crew gain and lose their memories repeatedly are so well done and funny, but the tension still remains.
  • Another Nancy Drew book reference: Nick asks for a lift to River Heights Drive. Nancy’s hometown in the books is River Heights.
  • This episode is directed by Kristin Lehman, who is also an accomplished actress best known for her roles in Altered Carbon, Midnight Mass, Motive, The Killing, and more.
  • Tunji Kasim takes on a bigger role in this episode as he plays a version of Nick who doesn’t remember who he is. It’s sweet at first as the others attempt to tell him about Nick’s life in a way that doesn’t sound as unbelievable as it is, but when he finds out about his manslaughter conviction, it turns sad quickly. Kasim is one of Nancy Drew‘s greatest assets, and I’m glad he got this episode to show off.
  • Hats off to the editors and director for the creative editing during the Drew Crew’s attempts to defeat the monster. It makes everything 100% funnier while also maintaining the sleek look of the show. Also, another shout out to the music team for this gem.
  • The various descriptions the Drew Crew write for their future selves are all accurate (and hilarious), but my personal favorite is Bess reminding herself that she likes women, followed closely by George telling herself that she shares a body with Odette.
  • RIP, Aristotle. Your mansplaining and horrible history podcast will not be missed.
  • Grant is Ace’s mysterious brother! We’ll have to wait for next week to see what that means for the story going forward, but the reveal is another example of how good the writers are at introducing twists that make sense.
  • Nancy officially asking Carson to move back in as she deals with her complicated feelings towards Celia is a great scene. McMann and Scott Wolf continue to have incredible chemistry.

Notes From the Memory Board

Colin Bentley/The CW
  • Gil is a fascinating character to watch develop. Rewatching the series with the full reveal of how the wraith influenced Nancy makes it hard to ignore how angry he is and how controlling he can be towards Amanda (and others). Praneet Akilla makes Gil menacing, but he has enough good in him to make the character compelling to watch.
  • Nancy Drew has really found its groove in terms of integrating humor into the main storylines. It is a difficult line to walk — too much comedy and the drama doesn’t land, and too much drama can weigh down the comedy. But the writers manage to find the perfect balance, and these episodes are a particularly good example of this.
  • There are many, many fan theories out there about Grant and Ace potentially being a famous sibling pair … but we’ll have to watch season 3 to see if those theories are correct. I certainly hope we get to see more of Grant regardless. He is a fun character who works well with Ace and Thom.

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 12, 13, and 14 of season 2 for next week’s rewatch! You can also watch the first trailer for season 3 here.

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Jules
I am a nurse and dedicated nerd from Boston, MA. When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing, or listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense.

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