In an episode full of shocking twists, Nancy inches closer to the truth of who (or what) the Frozen Hearts Killer really is as Bess, Nancy, and Temperance team up with Park to take down a demon with its sights set on Temperance. Ace and Ryan find themselves trapped with a ghost as a person from Nick’s past arrives in Horseshoe Bay. Read on to find out whether memories can kill as Temperance’s sorrows come back to haunt her.
At The Claw, George finds Eve, a friend of Nick’s from childhood. She calls him “Ned” and knows about George being his fiancée. George admits he’s missing and asks Eve to join her so they can get to know each other. Jessie is suspicious, but George brushes her off. At the youth center, the kids ask Eve about Nick’s past.
Addy tells George what happened the day before as George gets a text from Jessie. Without showing what it says, she goes to leave as Eve follows. Jessie had shared a social media post proving Eve had been to Maine with Nick years ago, which she lied about. George leaves her at the center to find Nick herself.
Later, when both are unsuccessful, George and Eve meet at The Claw. Eve reveals that she was the one Nick was protecting when the fight broke out that led to his manslaughter conviction. Eve says Nick never answered her letters and that’s why she came to find him. She was scared to tell George because she feels partially responsible. Suddenly, Eve realizes where Nick must be.
Nick is at the field he played on at football camp, the last place he went before everything changed. George urges Eve to go to Nick alone, and she does. Eve tells Nick he built a good life here, and that she’s sorry. But it turns out she needs help: Eve thinks she killed someone.
Ace and George are frantically looking for Nick as Ryan arrives to help. George goes to The Claw while Ryan offers his services to Ace. Ace accepts, “unless you’re having an existential crisis and you don’t want to be alone with your thoughts” (cutting right to the chase).
The two head to the historical society, where they hear knocking sounds (Ace: “It’s probably just old pipes.”) They head to the archives where Ace pulls security footage. Ace asks Ryan if “that feeling” of guilt from couch surfing ever goes away, with Ace sharing that he feels guilty for needing George and Nick’s hospitality and is feeling directionless overall. Just then, the door slams shut on its own and won’t open when Ryan tries it. Ace yells “Hey, let us out!” on the assumption that it was probably a supernatural being, and wouldn’t you know it, he’s right! The pipes clang again as Ace sagely tells Ryan, “I’ve developed a feel for these things.”
Ryan calls Nancy mid-demon attack (more on that later) to ask for help. Ace stops him from sharing that they’re in danger. Ryan asks what’s going on, and Ace says, “I’m tired of leaning on other people to fix my messes for me,” adding that Ryan does the same. Ryan tells him that whatever’s happening between Ace and Nancy, Ace shouldn’t take it out on him. Ace insists it’s not about Nancy as Ryan scoffs, “Keep telling yourself that.”
Ryan realizes the knocking the ghost is making is a message. They’re timestamps, and Ace goes to the security footage. It’s all the moments an unknown entity interfered in — the caution tape, Addy kissing Bess while the paper unrolled by itself, and the coaster moving from where Bess placed it. There’s a glitch in the footage each time. Ace tells the ghost that he needs his editing equipment to figure out the glitch, and the door opens. Ace sends Nancy the photos of Burke’s writing.
Ace listens to the footage alone later, which only contains a voice saying “Die” over and over again.
Better Than Revenge
Park arrives to the Drew home with ominous news: Trott is dead from the effects of the stroke that Temperance caused. He’s investigating the death as foul play, and has some pointed questions for Nancy. She answers them successfully, but it’s clear he’s not fully convinced.
At the historical society, Bess excitedly tells Temperance about her research into “Copperhead” (her name for the entity). She found a political cartoon from the Civil War featuring men with a similar look, forgetting that Temperance was born in 1824. Bess continues to spill, telling Temperance about how Nancy found the entity’s lair. Temperance sees an old torture device that Bess found in the archives, with Bess explaining that the device can be used to trap supernatural entities. Bess wants to trap the Copperhead, and Temperance agrees to help. As they talk, a roll of caution tape unrolls by itself, hitting Bess’ foot (gee, I wonder what the spirit world is trying to tell her!). In a fantastic shot, the camera (and Temperance) focus on the soul splitter. Bess proudly explains what happened with Odette, and Temperance tells her she’s talented and that she’s glad she put her faith in Bess.
Nancy rushes in, telling Temperance that Park knows about Trott. She tells Temperance that she made a pledge to rid the town of all evil, and that includes her now. Temperance saunters out, telling Nancy she’s making a mistake as Bess tells Nancy to apologize. It’s clear Nancy’s guilt about her involvement in Trott’s death is clouding her judgement and causing her to be more reckless than usual.
Bess goes to Icarus Hall without Nancy to beg Temperance to stay. Temperance notes that she’s done nothing but help Nancy while Nancy insists she’s a villain, asking Bess to pick a side. When she leaves, Bess steals the supernatural bait Temperance was going to bring for her (what could go wrong?). In the woods, she and Nancy set up the trap. As they wait for the entity to appear, Park shows up to ask further questions, but as he does so, a beam of light is trapped in the device. Temperance arrives and pushes the three down to save them, getting hit in the process. It burns her, and they run to the hall.
As Bess freaks out, Park has a rough introduction to the existence of the supernatural as the light demon escapes, following them. But he takes it in stride, surprising Nancy with his casual acceptance. He says, “Just because science can’t explain it, doesn’t mean it’s not real.” He asks about the Copperhead, and Nancy tells him they need to deal with this monster first.
Bess finds the monster’s name in the archives: the Burning Sorrows. It burns people to feed on their greatest heartbreaks. The only way to stop it from killing Temperance is if it eats her worst memory before she dies — then, the venom will neutralize and the monster will go dormant. Nancy and Bess woke it up. As Bess and Nancy discuss previous cases, Park is once again accepting that this has happened before. Bess thinks that if they feed it with their own heartbreaks, it won’t kill Temperance.
She goes first, listing her traumas as Nancy joins in. To their surprise, it works. Then Park chimes in with just one name: Eleanor Harris. But it still doesn’t work, and Nancy goes to Temperance, asking her to recall her greatest heartbreak. A ghostly apparition of a woman in Civil War clothes appears, and Temperance is heartbroken. It’s her daughter Charity, and when Nancy asks her to feed that memory to the monster, she angrily shouts that the monster cannot have her as she collapses.
Park finds out about Temperance’s true nature, which he again handles very well — much to Nancy’s surprise. He notes that nothing is more heartbreaking than the loss of a child, with Nancy realizing that’s why the demon wants that memory. Bess warns Nancy to tread lightly, but still angry at Temperance, Nancy coldly asks her how Charity died. When Temperance refuses to answer, Nancy looks up Charity in old records. Charity died at 18 in 1863. Temperance writhes in pain as she tells them Dow is the reason Charity died. Charity was a nurse in the Civil War who died in the Battle of Gettysburg. Suddenly, the hall fills with the ghosts who died that day, creating a picture of the horror Charity saw.
Temperance risked everything by coming out of hiding to save her daughter and say goodbye one last time, but she got there too late. Dow used the soul splitter to try to save Charity at the direction of the Women in White specifically to keep Temperance from getting to see her daughter before she died. Charity’s soul split into four pieces, each going to a different soldier on the battlefield that day. This meant Temperance could never find her. Nancy rushes to open the windows as all three believe there couldn’t be a greater sorrow than that one. But it’s not enough, and the wound spreads.
Bess uses leftover blood of Nancy’s to heal the wound, with Nancy adding fresh blood to help. When she is on the phone with Ace, she asks him to look at the photos from Matthew Burke’s tent (the first FHK victim). He was having recurring nightmares about a battlefield.
Park bandages Nancy’s hand as she asks him about Eleanor. Eleanor was a six-year-old patient who died in a school shooting while Park was doing a rotation in the ER. Her death was brutal, and it shook Park, inspiring him to become a profiler. Nancy notes he doesn’t carry a gun, and Park says Eleanor is the reason he doesn’t.
Park asks Temperance what really happened with the Women in White. We see the day Temperance was banished, with Cora Dow taking little Charity away by turning Charity’s father against Temperance. Cora, Charity’s father, and Charity appear as ghosts. Charity’s doll is the doll from the entity’s cage. As Temperance’s mind resists the demon, the three ghosts become real in a creepy sequence, going after Bess, Park, and Nancy. They open a window to let the demon in, destroying the ghosts.
Nancy runs to Temperance, asking what greater heartbreak could possibly have happened. Temperance says that Charity betrayed her, and teenage Charity’s ghost appears again. She married Beckett Dow, Cora’s son and the inventor of the soul splitter who eventually tried to save her with the device. She also told Cora that her mother was still alive. In one last fight, Temperance tells Charity she hopes she dies on the battlefield, an angry moment she regrets. This is the memory, and when they fling open the windows again, Temperance screams in agony as she burns.
Outside Icarus Hall, Nancy tells Park the truth about Trott. Park says she was never a suspect, but he could tell she was lying. He also tells Nancy Temperance is awake, and she goes inside to ask about Burke. Temperance tells Nancy his Gettysburg memories are a result of Charity’s split reincarnated soul, noting that only the Copperhead can find her now. The Copperhead is Beckett Dow, transformed by his mother’s magic. The connection between the victims is that they all carried a piece of Charity’s soul. Burke and Jake were two out of the four pieces, and once he gets the final two, the Copperhead will destroy himself. Temperance weeps as she says she just wanted to touch those pieces one last time.
Temperance says that her body is corrupted, but that she can use a lock of Charity’s hair to renew her body in a ritual. Nancy, Bess, and Park all offer to help, but Temperance says she has to do it alone. In a twist, Temperance returns: but in Charity’s body (welcome to Horseshoe Bay, Olivia Taylor Dudley!). All seems well … until Temperance writes a letter to Charity explaining her evil plan. Temperance intentionally baited the Burning Sorrows to get Nancy to trust her. Nancy is the key to her plan to unite her and Charity’s souls once again … “and finish what we started.” Temperance picks up the original soul splitter and stares at it fondly as the screen goes black.
Nancy Drew airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. You can find our other coverage of the series here!