Our long wait has ended, Drew Crew! Nancy and friends returned from their hiatus with an explosive episode filled with twists, a truth spell, and so much romantic angst it is sure to inspire hundreds of new AO3 fanfictions. Will Ace get through to Nancy? What is Temperance’s real endgame? And how many Drew Crew members will be adding Taylor Swift to their post show playlists? Read on to find out what happened in “The Confession of the Long Night”!
Upside Down, Bouncing Off The Ceiling
In the upside dow — parallel reality, Hannah reveals that when Temperance returned to Horseshoe Bay, she saw a signal of six roses. As Keeper she was instructed to open the cell no matter what was inside it. As soon as Hannah unlocked the Copperhead’s door, Hannah was trapped. She chastises Ace for not knowing it was her, and Ace sarcastically replies that a ghost, “was a better guess than Hannah turned invisible and is trying to signal us for help by throwing things at me. I nearly got a concussion.”
Hannah shares an even more troubling factoid: when the moon is full, all living beings inside their parallel reality are “purged” forever. The next full moon just so happens to be tonight. Ace immediately wants to find Nancy, but Hannah thinks she won’t figure it out based on her fruitless knocking. Ace quietly says that, “I can get through to her, trust me,” in a move sure to make Nace shippers swoon. At the police station while Connor talks to Nancy, Ace realizes radios should get Nancy’s attention. He speaks to her through the radio, with Nancy hearing static bursts from a police radio. But Park turns the radio off in what is either an accident or brilliant scheming depending on his motivations, and Nancy walks away.
Later, after Ace gets through to Nancy, Temperance tells the group about the artifact as they assemble to save Ace and Hannah. Cora Dow had created it to experiment with time, but it decayed, releasing the energy that created the space Ace and Hannah are in. She needs a Hudson and a Marvin to help with the ritual as Bess and Nancy join in. After Ace and Hannah are saved, Hannah quits the Historical Society, feeling responsible for unleashing the Copperhead.
Nancy comes downstairs to find Jean in the kitchen — meaning she spent the night with Carson. Carson arrives to interrupt the most awkward of morning-afters. It’s revealed that Nancy had told her father she was spending the night at George’s before Ace didn’t show for his love confession — meaning poor Nancy clearly thought a romantic night out was in her future.
At the station, Park helps Nancy with a broken copier. In a hilarious moment, Park goes to wipe ink off her cheek … as Nancy leans in for a kiss and is forced to swerve. This poor girl is striking out on all fronts today as Park blushes and stammers. Left alone, Nancy gets a call from Nick about the body outside the youth center. Nancy arrives with Park, and George immediately picks up on the uncomfortable energy. Nancy sheepishly shares what happened as George snorts, “You got swerved?” Nancy feels like she’s off her game, and George realizes what happened with Ace as she “pretends” not to know they’ve been crushing on each other. George pulls Nick away as Park offers to drive Nancy back, an offer she declines as she rushes for the safety of her own car.
At the ball, Ace tries to get close to Nancy. Connor reveals Ace missed his interview (“Hair that good never works in a morgue”), which tips Nancy off that there’s something serious happening with Ace. On the dance floor, Ace wants to try reaching Nancy again as an exasperated Hannah tells him that just because he’s in love doesn’t mean Nancy will hear him. Park finds Nancy in a coat closet, and they hash out their differences. Park reveals he can’t stop thinking about everything he loves about Nancy (SWOON). He says, “I knew if I kissed you, I wouldn’t be able to stop,” as he leans in. They make out (and perhaps more) in the closet, because Nancy is a woman with priorities and I respect her for it.
After their private party in the closet, Nancy and Park head to the dance floor as a crestfallen Ace watches. Ryan and Nancy make up from an earlier fight, and Ace attempts to tap Nancy on the shoulder as he whispers, “I need you to know that I’m here, Nancy.” Nancy feels something on her shoulder, but can’t make out what it is. Ace is tapping in Morse code on her shoulder, and she finally makes out A-C-E. The rest of the message comes through, and Nancy goes to Temperance for help.
Ace returns right behind Nancy when the ritual is complete. She hugs him, and he reveals his closeness was on purpose: “I figured if I was going to be obliterated from existence, it might as well happen while I was looking at … a friend” (Oh, Ace, my beloved.) Park asks Nancy out to dinner, which she happily accepts with a kiss as poor Ace arrives looking for his jacket just in time to see the kiss. Cue the wallowing Taylor Swift song of your choice, I personally threw on “All Too Well” but there’s no shortage of options! Nancy apologizes for not realizing Ace was missing sooner, and Ace immediately empathizes and tells her not to worry. They awkwardly say good night as a devastated Ace hides his pain.
A Little Party Never Killed Nobody
Bess is trying to extract information from Temperance as they prepare for the Long Night Ball that evening. She is not at all subtle about this, but she notices that Temperance’s blood map is spilling over. Temperance seems just as surprised as Bess. Bess keeps frantically calling Ace for help as Temperance finds the small medal the technician died holding. Bess casually asks if this has anything to do with the “blood map” and Temperance gives her a not-at-all reassuring, “All will be revealed in good time,” as she saunters away.
Bess goes to Addy for help, but Addy isn’t sure about the significance of what Temperance found. Bess decides to dose Temperance with a truth spell at the ball. Everyone looks spectacular at the ball as Nick and George dance. Nancy asks Ace via text why he stood her up as Park arrives. Bess puts her plan into motion as Temperance gives her speech. Unfortunately for Bess, Temperance realizes what happened and has everyone light their candle from hers, spreading the spell.
Nancy asks what Park looks like naked while George confesses her secret misgivings about her relationship with Nick. Addy appears unaffected and frantically tells Bess something went wrong, but she can’t stop talking either. Connor the coroner even confesses to leaving his socks in the freezer and blaming it on Leo. Bess realizes she’s been played as Temperance looks on. Addy accidentally reveals that she does know what the ore is, but didn’t share it because it is sacred to her people. Jean asks why Carson didn’t tell Nancy about her, and Carson shares he was afraid after Karen.
In the most devastating moment of the ball, George and Nick fight, with George saying he needs to save everyone and that that’s why he loved her while Nick asks if she ever really loved him. George says she does, but she doesn’t compare to his fantasy girl who needs saving in his head. Nick walks away, and both are devastated. Temperance tells Bess she is trying to collect all four pieces of Charity’s soul to bring her back, supposedly under the influence of the serum. She also tells Bess that she purposely spread the truth serum to get back at Bess for trying to trick her.
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Early in the episode, a man fixing a pipe frantically looks at a small item as sensors go off everywhere. Suddenly, a green mist overtakes him, and he passes out, choking. At the youth center, Nick and George talk about a burst pipe incident as Addy notes the two are no longer engaged. Nick chases after a loose ball and finds the technician from earlier in his tent.
Park says it’s tough to rule out natural or supernatural causes of death yet for the technician. Additionally, the utility company has never seen this man before. Connor the coroner, my favorite recurring character, returns to tell them that he has no idea how this man died, ruling the cause of death as inconclusive for now. He says, “It’s like the life was sucked right out of him. And I would know since I sat through Leo’s first grade production/debasement of Our Town” (I love this man.) Connor does have an ID: the man’s name was Michael Isaacs. He casually mentions that Ace had an interview with him scheduled for the afternoon before leaving, surprising Nancy.
Ryan’s old friend Tyler arrives. Ryan thinks he’s here for business, but Tyler is looking to find someone to clean up his image from “bogus” ethics complaints. He’s impressed by Ryan donating to the youth center and cleaning up the Hudson name. If Ryan can do the same for him, he’ll make Ryan the head of corporate giving at his company. Ryan calls Nick regarding Tyler’s offer as Nick frantically tells him now is not the time considering there’s a dead body in the parking lot. Ryan pitches George and Nick on Tyler’s donation as Addy overhears. She tells them that Tyler’s business is deeply unethical, tainting the water supplies of several communities. Ryan protests that Tyler’s making amends which Addy says isn’t enough. Nick has reservations about the way Tyler want the money used. Addy points out that the field Tyler wants them to build a pool on is sacred.
Ryan goes back to Tyler, who reveals that the real reason for asking to build the pool is to get at a rare mineral under the town. He notes his competitor at Swift Enterprises (Hi Tom!) probably figured out the ore was there first. He promises Ryan that the offer is real — he just needs that pool. At the ball, Nancy and Ryan fight over Tyler and the ore, both saying heated things they don’t mean as the truth spell takes over.
Ryan, wanting to prove Nancy wrong, doses Tyler with the truth serum. It works, and Tyler reveals everything as Ryan records him. It turns out Tyler is actually after an indigenous artifact and will try to seize the youth center land by eminent domain to get it. Ryan threatens to release the audio unless Tyler gives up his quest for the land. After the ritual, Addy kisses Bess to remind her that she loves her and that she shouldn’t beat herself up. Addy wonders why the artifact was buried in the field as they slow dance.
At the youth center, Nick remains playing basketball. He sees Temperance in the tent and confronts her. Turns out, Temperance’s plan was a bit more complex than she told Bess. Once she reassembles Charity’s soul, she needs to bring out the darkness under Horseshoe Bay to destroy the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead (seems simple, what could go wrong?). This is why the Women in White kicked her out. She says Nick will give her access to complete the ritual and not tell anyone, or she will kill every child at the youth center via a hex (harsh, but effective.) She needs three days, and her symbols around the tent light up as Nick looks on in horror.
Nancy Drew airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. You can find our other coverage of the series here!