Well Drew Crew, after a long hiatus, our favorite sleuth is back! Nancy’s got a lot on her plate this year, from serial killers to relatives returning from the dead to romantic heartache. “The Warning of the Frozen Heart” picks up right where season 2 left off, and the episode dives right in as a killer stalks Horseshoe Bay while Temperance Hudson roams free for the first time in seven generations. There’s a lot to unpack, so let’s get to it!
We Are Family
At the end of season 2, the Drew house gained a new resident in Ryan Hudson. In this episode, we see how the Drew-Hudson-Marvin household functions (Hint: barely). Ryan arrives home having spent $600 on groceries that weren’t on the list and forgot to buy Nancy’s must-have sorbet. Carson spends the episode befuddled by Ryan, from the way he cuts his mushrooms to how he bought several different kinds of mustard when, as he points out, “We don’t even NEED mustard!” It’s not just domestic squabbles affecting the family. Every night for seven nights, they hear knocks on the front door only to find no one there. Is it a prankster, or something more sinister?
But despite these obstacles, it seems half of Horseshoe Bay is interested in joining the Drew family as Carson is the recipient of many home-baked treats courtesy of every single lady in the town. Oblivious Carson doesn’t get the hint — “It’s a very giving community!” — but Nancy, Bess, and Ryan point out that he’s the most eligible bachelor in town.
This backfires spectacularly when DA Rosario visits to ask for his help on a case, bringing a box of chocolates with her. It’s relevant to the case, but a nervous Carson tells her he’s just not in a place to date right now as she gives him a confused look. Scott Wolf is hilarious as poor Carson has to stumble through an apology, but Jean’s willingness to overlook the faux pas signals that maybe Carson wasn’t so far off.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
If anyone deserves to have some no-strings-attached fun, it’s Bess. Bess attempts to get over her grief at losing Odette by making it her mission to have trysts with every single woman in town. While George has some choice words for Bess’ methods (“Tell Bess to stop parking her conquests out back, they’re blocking the fire door”), it seems that Bess is relatively happy. However, we see how afraid of commitment she is when one of her dates actually asks her out for coffee instead of just wanting to have sex. She calls on her platanchor Ace for a distraction, which Ace provides in typical Ace fashion. He speeds up to the coffee shop in Florence, screaming about a work emergency.
“BESS! We need you at The Claw. No one’s waiting tables, there’s a line around the corner. Chef Jamie is threatening to go back to France … the man’s never been to France, Bess!”
After he rescues her, Ace gently probes Bess about whether it’s time for her to put herself out there for more than one night stands, but Bess isn’t ready yet.
(I Think I Wanna) Marry You
Love is in the air as George waits for Nick to answer her proposal of marriage from the season 2 finale. While George told Nick to think it over for a week, he seems to have taken that literally as he hasn’t spoken to her since she asked. Poor George is at her wit’s end until Nick reveals why he’s been quiet.
In the most romantic move ever, Nick and the rest of the Drew Crew planned an elaborate proposal for George, which George’s sisters note she always wanted. Nancy rents out a warehouse, which they decorate with beautiful paper flowers. Victoria sent special hair pins from China while George’s sisters present her with gifts. In a great callback to “The Celestial Visitor,” Ace brings a record player so they can play George’s favorite song “Cabinet Man” during the proposal. Nick gets down on one knee and tells George his answer is yes. He tells her he will be there for her for as long as she has left, saying that, “I am never saying goodbye to you, in this life or the next.” In an uncharacteristic moment of pure emotion, George cries as she accepts Nick’s ring.
Being Good Isn’t Good Enough
As Nancy deals with a new serial killer and Temperance’s return, she has one bright spot to look forward to. Columbia University will soon be handing out admissions decisions, and she’s confident she will get in or at least get waitlisted. She applies for the volunteer position as a Community Police Liaison in case she needs another volunteer position to get her off the waitlist, but Nancy feels Columbia is her destiny.
But in a moment of devastation for Nancy, her hopes are dashed. Columbia releases its decision, and it’s a no. No waitlist, no chance to apply again next year. While this is a realistic decision considering Nancy’s letters of recommendation were probably written by various ghosts, it’s a blow for Nancy. However, the news isn’t all doom and gloom — she is unanimously elected to the Community Police Liaison position after the murders in town make the townspeople realize they want Nancy representing them.
Throughout the episode, it’s made clear that Nancy mostly wanted to go to Columbia because it would mean leaving the shadow of Horseshoe Bay. But after she realizes that the town looks to her for help and that she’s wanted in Horseshoe Bay, she decides to stay. She tells the Drew Crew that, “This town is where I belong. It’s my home, and my heart, and I’m not going to run from it anymore. I’ll grow where I’ve been planted.”
The Heart Wants What It Wants
Of course, there’s something else Nancy has needed a distraction from: her dreamscape experience with Ace. Nancy has not shared what happened with Ace, who returned from his trip with Amanda to help her father readjust to life outside of prison. Bess tries to warn Ace about getting in too deep with Bertram Bobbsey, but he brushes it off. Trouble seems to be on the horizon for Ace as that “favor” he was asked to do for Bertram is the focus of DA Rosario’s new investigation.
While Ace reassures Bess that he and Amanda are doing great, he also tries to get closer to Nancy during the episode when he feels her pull away. He is the first person Nancy tells about Columbia, and his immediate reaction is to tell her she is “amazing” and that “some other school is going to see it right away.” As usual, he is her rock, and she turns to him for advice even while she hides her feelings from him. Tellingly, he also has some words of comfort for George when she frets over Nick’s silence: “Silence doesn’t mean he’s not thinking about you.” Nace fans, buckle in: this is going to be a bumpy ride.
Of course, this wouldn’t be Nancy Drew without a crime to solve, and there’s a doozy of a mystery to start the season. As Nancy prepares for the annual Hudson family carnival, she finds a dead man in a corn maze. The victim was obsessed with the Hudsons, with a notebook with every living Hudson in his tent along with Ryan’s watch and random Bible verses everywhere. The Drew Crew discovers that the killer is freezing the hearts of their victims (Nick: “That’s grotesque … but also useful to know”). Nancy also sees a shadowy figure known as The Man in the Hat in the maze just before finding the body. Is this a supernatural entity killing civilians, or a human threat?
The mystery deepens as Nancy and Ryan head to Icarus Hall when Nancy realizes a rare moth found near the man’s body is the same as the one in the hall. The two are nearly assaulted by The Man in the Hat before Temperance arrives and gets rid of the intruder. And even worse? Nancy finds the next victim on her car. It’s a college boy who harassed her at The Claw earlier in the day and who played a prank on the town by writing a creepy message pretending to be the Frozen Hearts Killer. It now seems that the killer is trying to please Nancy specifically by targeting people who wish her harm.
If that isn’t enough, we get our first look at the new FBI profiler in town to helps solve the murders. He dismisses Nancy’s help in such a charming way that Nancy is briefly stunned. It seems he’ll be yet another member of the police force who Nancy will have to win over, and if Nancy’s reaction is any indication, this relationship could go even further …
Of course, the main event of the episode is the return of Temperance Hudson. After saving Ryan and Nancy from The Man in the Hat, the duo (along with the rest of the crew) meet with Temperance. She explains that back in the 1800s, she knew the Women in White were going to kill her. She cast a hex that would revive her after seven generations when she could return to Horseshoe Bay.
Temperance: “Did any of your records mention how much I loved playing games with death?”
Ryan: “Okay, nobody drink the tea.”
George and Nick are suspicious immediately. Nick points out that the Frozen Hearts Killer appeared at the same time Temperance did. George notes that Temperance could have created The Man in the Hat the way she created the wraith to carry out the murders and throw people off the scent. George wants to go to the police immediately, while Nancy points out that having an immortal suspect might present issues
Ace: “Weirder things have happened! I can’t think of any right now …”
Before the Drew Crew leaves, Temperance starts a new game by reading their fortunes. The predictions are dire.
“One of you will be the other’s demise.
One of you will betray your true love.
One of you will lose your heart.
One of you will wreak havoc on this town.
One of you will forsake what is dearest to you.
And only one of you will fulfill your destiny — and that one will cause the rest to fall.”
In the final shot of the episode, it is revealed that Temperance killed the cat belonging to the boy who was found on Nancy’s car. She takes the blood from the cat’s heart and drips it on a map of Horseshoe Bay. What is she doing and why? And more importantly: Temperance may have killed the cat, but is she really the Frozen Hearts Killer?
Nancy Drew airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. You can find more of our coverage here!