‘Nancy Drew’ Recap: Season 3, Episode 5 “The Vision of the Birchwood Prisoner”

14 Min Read
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The Nancy Drew writers really brought the pain tonight as Ace is placed in an impossible position and Nancy gets closer to uncovering the mystery of who (or what) is responsible for the second set of Frozen Hearts murders. From daddy issues to relationship squabbles and an undead cat, there’s a lot to unpack this week!

Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father)

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George and her father Edwin have an awkward reunion at his dental office. George reveals she’s kept tabs on him for years, but always at a distance. As they talk, a small boy arrives with a dental emergency, and George watches as he tenderly takes care of him. When the boy leaves, George explodes after Edwin reveals he left Victoria because he wanted to have a life. George rightfully tells him that because he was selfish, she lost her own chance at a childhood. She tells Edwin she deserved a father and that a friend request 18 years later isn’t enough.

Edwin tells her he read the Fan Fans website, and that he knows how amazing she is. He makes the mistake of calling her strong, and George is angry he seems to think she was better off without a father. George reveals that once, a few years ago, she almost left her family because of all the stress of being, for all intents and purposes, a single mom. But, she says she stayed because her sisters needed her and it was the right thing to do. He asks if she thinks he’s a monster, and she says he’s just disappointing as she leaves.

A Matter of Trust

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Nick is stressed due to his entire staff being completely MIA … and George being gone on an important errand she won’t tell him about. Nick leaves message after message, but he’s interrupted by Thom looking for Ace. Carson texted Thom to vaguely say that Ace was in trouble, and Nick offers to go with Thom to Fred’s Towing since Ace told Thom he had car trouble.

Nick calls George, and she answers while she watches her father. Nick asks her if everything is okay, and she blames her anxiety on her shortened lifespan. She hangs up, with Thom asking if everything is okay. Nick changes the subject, and he and Thom discuss Ace … before Thom brings the conversation back to George and Nick’s wedding. Nick asks how Thom knew his wife was the one for him, and Thom says he “didn’t want to grow old without her.”

George later tells Nick about meeting her father, and Nick is hurt she wanted to handle it without him. George sees it as her growing as a person, but Nick sees it as a pattern of keeping things from him. Nick’s afraid she doesn’t trust him, and the tension stays unresolved.

What’s New, Pussycat?

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Everyone’s favorite undead cat is back! Bess desperately tries to keep Park distracted as Temperance and Nancy complete their mission. As he realizes Temperance isn’t at Icarus Hall, Park goes to leave. Kegstand shows up, only to promptly die a second time as Bess (who is disturbed by his zombie-ness) says, “Thank god.” In a hilarious moment, Bess fake cries as she begs Park to help bury him, which works … until Park reveals that he knows that Bess is stalling him. But Park agrees to give a speech for Kegstand, and it’s surprisingly touching. He tells Bess he used to work with kids who had trauma and that he learned to talk about death and the afterlife then. As much as he’s a man of logic, he admits that faith makes up the other half of the equation. He leaves as Bess frantically texts the others.

Bess confronts Temperance about Kegstand. Temperance reveals she needed Kegstand’s memories and reanimated him, noting that it’s easier for her to do this with creatures rather than humans. Bess wonders if Temperance is just using her for her energy, and Temperance says she knows Bess is destined for greatness. Temperance sweetly offers to let her stop if she’s uncomfortable, but Bess says she needs to protect her friends. I simply must put in my request to the writers to resurrect Kegstand as soon as possible — this undead angry cat is now an unofficial Drew Crew member.

In Too Deep

Carson is trying to get to the bottom of what happened to his client Asher by questioning Ace after they saw the security tape. Carson is worried for Ace, pointing out that even if he had nothing to do with Bobbsey potentially assaulting Asher, Ace could still be charged as an accessory. Carson urges Ace to go to the police with everything he knows and bring Thom, but Ace refuses based on the possibility that his own father might have to arrest him. He reveals that his mother still doesn’t know the full story of what happened with Grant because she worries and she “has a heart thing” (uh oh). Carson says that if he waits, it will only get worse for him and everyone who loves him.

Ace notices the candy box in an evidence bag, and he realizes he can decode the cipher they’re using to communicate. He tells Carson, and Carson says he’ll try to help Ace get in favor with the DA. As Carson calls Jean, Ace slips out the front door, clearly panicking and wanting to make things right on his own.

Ace goes to The Claw and asks Nancy for help solving the cipher, but without knowing what it’s for, she tells him she can’t: she needs to keep Trott locked up. She invites Ace along, but he tells her he’s busy with the cipher (not revealing why). Carson later contacts Nancy for help, and she realizes why Ace needed to solve the cipher. Nancy quickly solves the puzzle, and it gives an address and a time: 8 p.m. tonight. Carson wonders how he’ll get there without his car, and Nancy notes that Ryan has a car and the Drew-Hudson household suddenly has clean dishes. Ryan probably loaned out his car to get out of doing dishes, and Carson’s face of disbelief is hilarious (as well as his promise that they will have a “serious family discussion” about the chore wheel).

Ace takes Ryan’s car and heads to the spot: the library. Bobbsey picked it because of Ace’s mother. Ace photographs the whole exchange. Turns out that Asher was still involved, and when he spots Ace, they both run … until the cops stop Asher. Thom tipped them off after Carson told him the location from Nancy solving the cipher.

Thom tells Ace it was irresponsible not to tell him what was going on with Bobbsey. Ace counters that maybe if Thom had been honest about Grant, he wouldn’t have had to go looking for him and they wouldn’t be keeping so many secrets, getting in a dig that he learned about secrets from Thom. Rebecca sees Ace sign “secret son” from a distance and wants to know what’s going on. Thom tries to deflect, while Ace wants to tell Rebecca. Thom lashes out and tells Ace if he wants to make judgement calls like an adult, he won’t do it in his house. In a heartbreaking moment, Thom speaks out loud, saying, “I want you GONE. Tonight.” He storms off as a stunned Ace watches, and an emotional Rebecca goes after Thom.

Ace goes to Nick and George’s place to crash, promising he’ll get a second job so he can afford his own place as Nick and George reassure him he’s welcome. When they fight, he goes outside to find Nancy waiting for him. She shares her worries about Trott as Ace escorts her inside, in a moment sure to make Nace shippers happy.

I Wish I Was Him

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At the station, another body has been discovered, and Nancy thinks Park should look into Temperance. But Park reveals that Temperance has an alibi: she was getting coffee with him this morning. He’s more formal with Nancy, and she asks if he’s been avoiding her. She points out that narrowly avoiding death together can be awkward, and Park assures her they’re fine. Park gets a call that Trott is being released from jail — after Jake’s death, the DA thinks a jury won’t convict Trott considering he was locked up during the murder. Even worse, none of the evidence from the house was admissible because Nancy was there and the crime scene was ruined. They have until tomorrow morning before Trott walks.

Nancy remembers that she has a magic relative who can see memories, and she goes to Temperance for help. Bess accompanies them as Temperance’s new student. Temperance says she can help, but she needs access to Trott in his cell. Temperance texts Park to distract him, and Nancy is slightly miffed when he responds immediately to Temperance (who calls him “Nelson”). Bess agress to distract him at Icarus Hall while Temperance and Nancy go to Trott. Bess is thrilled at Nancy and Temperance working together, saying “Team NaTempEss … assemble!” (I would die for Bess.)

At the jail, the memory spell reveals a young Trott meeting a supernatural entity — the Man in the Hat. The Man in the Hat is incredibly creepy, with long fingers that easily freeze the hearts of the rats near its cell. It’s locked up, but by who? And why? Trott reveals he tried to copy the creature’s perfection, explaining why some of the murders were messier. His consciousness fights them, and as they both hurtle back into the jail, Trott slumps to the floor. Temperance pulls Nancy away, and Nancy realizes Temperance hurt him.

Robert Falconer/The CW

At the station, Park arrives as Temperance tries distracting him. Trott is found unconscious, and Park goes to check the security cameras. But of course, they’re a bit staticky thanks to Temperance’s interference. In the parking lot, Nancy accuses Temperance of hurting Trott, and Temperance denies it while also saying that it’s a good thing he’s not awake right now. She wonders aloud about creating a world where people could take justice into their own hands, and Nancy says she never wanted to hurt Trott. Temperance says she has to think bigger if she wants to fulfill her destiny … like her card said.

Nancy tells the rest of the Drew Crew about what she and Temperance found. They need to find The Man in the Hat’s lair to find out what it is — and why it’s graduated from killing rats to killing people.

Nancy Drew airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. You can find our other coverage of the series here!

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By 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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