11:36 pm EST, January 15, 2020

‘Nancy Drew’ season 1, episode 10 review: Forgive and forget

Nancy Drew returns with season 1, episode 10, which takes place two weeks after the mid-season finale. Read our review!

Nancy Drew has returned from its winter hiatus with season 1, episode 10, “The Mark of the Poisoner’s Pearl.” In this episode, Nancy follows a lead about Tiffany’s death that opens up an old case of poisoning.

It’s good to be back! I’ve missed having Nancy on my screen, and I’ve been excited to jump back into the mysteries of Horseshoe Bay, both natural and supernatural alike.

This episode made me realize how well the Nancy Drew writers have paired episodic mysteries with a season-long arc. In the end, Claire may not have killed Tiffany, but the connection, however thin it might be, still ties the two stories together.

Plus, Ace is back! I’ve missed him so much, and even though he’s still a little banged up, it’s nice to have his trademark humor back in my life.

‘Nancy Drew’ season 1, episode 10 review

Has Bess finally found her family?

Owen Marvin searches out Bess to tell her they’re first cousins. This, of course, excites Bess to no end, but I have my doubts. Owen never showed her the results, and he was quick to take advantage of her eagerness to help out her family.

It’s quite possible he’s lied about the results. Maybe she’s not a first cousin or maybe she’s not related at all. The fact that Owen told her it wasn’t a good idea to meet the rest of the family really makes me question his motives here.

If she wasn’t a first cousin but rather a younger (half) sister, that would certainly cause quite a scandal. We know Owen is deeply loyal to his family and their reputation. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s keeping the truth on the down low to protect the Marvin name.

But he’s not too worried about letting Bess in a little bit, especially if it means he can get one over on the Hudsons.

Nick admits he destroyed the coins, but before Owen can freak out, Bess swoops in to calm him down. Since both Owen and Nick want the same thing, she suggests they work together. And eat some cake.

When is a Hudson not a Hudson?

The answer is probably never, although Ryan sure is toeing that line.

The younger Mr. Hudson arrives at The Claw to check in on George. It turns out he was at rehab and took some time away to gather himself. The olive branch he’s extending to George seems genuine, but I still think he’s the type of person to put himself first when it really comes down to the wire.

And he proves me right pretty early on. Bess has a plan to use Ryan to get an artifact from the Bonny Scot. She knows there’s isn’t any love lost between him and his family, and she’s hoping he’ll want to do the right thing, even if it means helping out the Marvins.

Unfortunately, it looks like Bess played her hand all wrong. She, Owen, Ryan, and Nick have a meeting to discuss their idea, but after having lunch with his mother, it seems Ryan doesn’t want to team up with them.

All hope might not be lost, however. Mrs. Hudson let it slip that she probably had something to do with Laura’s accident. I got the impression that Ryan is beginning to see the light here, but instead of working with Owen, it looks like he’s taking matters into his own hands.

Ryan tells Owen to stop looking into the Bonny Scot and then immediately calls his mother, telling her that they should have dinner with Hudson Sr. when he gets back into town.

Ryan holds up a vase that, presumably, came from the sunken ship. Perhaps he’s planning to blackmail his own father in order to get some money so he can be independent from his family.

It’s a solid plan, but something tells me his father isn’t going to be a pushover about this.

Ace and The Captain

My favorite part of this episode was, hands down, Ace’s return to form. Like I said above, he’s still a bit banged up, but he’s the same old Ace and I’m so happy to have him back.

I was even happier to meet his father, The Captain. We’ve gotten some information about Ace’s father over the last nine episodes, but there were enough gaps that we didn’t know exactly what was going on with him.

Considering Ace was just in a coma, I’m surprised we haven’t met The Captain before this, but I’m just happy we had our chance in Nancy Drew season 1, episode 10.

Luckily for us, The Captain worked on a case in 2003 that used the same poison which killed Tiffany Hudson. Ace and Nancy visit him, and though Ace warns Nancy that his house is sometimes a war zone, everything goes pretty smoothly.

Ace’s father lost his hearing and now signs and reads lips to communicate. He tells Nancy that he received an email from Liza Ainsley’s killer right before she died. There was a cipher, but he was never able to solve it.

Nancy, of course, gets to the bottom of it within a few hours.

Nancy Drew does what Nancy Drew does best

Our intrepid detective figures out that the cipher was just a distraction. The pictures, which were old and grainy, were the real clue. When you placed one over the other, it revealed a message. The words that appear give the name of the victim and the deadline for their death.

Nancy gets reckless, posting a video challenging the killer to make her the next victim. But — surprise, surprise — the killer doesn’t follow her rules. Instead, they decide to kidnap someone named Claire, and when Nancy involves the cops, the deadline is shortened to just 40 minutes.

All the victims were teachers at Hawthorne High, which had been shut down for quite some time. Nancy follows the clues to the abandoned school, with all of her friends close behind (more on this later).

As Ace says, “Hero of Horseshoe Bay. Hero of Horseshoe Bay’s friends.”

Have I mentioned how much I love him?

Nancy gets trapped in a room with Claire. Poison gas is pumped in, and it’s soon revealed that Claire herself is the killer. She liked getting close to people in their last moments because that’s when they truly opened up to her.

However, she didn’t kill Tiffany Hudson. Her list was very short — fellow faculty members who wouldn’t let her into their circle when they were alive. Someone else murdered Ryan’s wife.

It takes Nick, George, and Ace to figure out the antidote (the titular poisoner’s pearl), open the doors, and hand Claire off to the police. That’s one cold case closed for good!

Lucy Sable is back

While Nancy was still under the influence of the poison, she woke up in the ghost world. She declares that she doesn’t want to die and turns her back on the bright light in front of her. However, she hears a noise and we see a figure crouching on the ground a few feet away.

And even though I knew it was coming, Lucy still scared the shit out of me when she jumped forward.

We learned earlier in the episode that Simon blew Lucy far away from Horseshoe Bay when they reached out to communicate with her. Somehow, however, our favorite ghostly apparition made her way back. And after Nancy wakes up, we learn that she helped bring Lucy back into their world.

We see Lucy in the background when Nancy gets a collect call from her father, who’s been in prison for the last two weeks. Nancy has been ignoring this phone call because of her own guilt (kind of selfish, but I get the sentiment), but finally chooses to answer at the end of Nancy Drew season 1, episode 10.

Lucy disappears backwards into the darkness and Nancy’s door slams shut after her. I’m not quite sure yet what the significance is here. It looked like Lucy was waiting for Nancy to pick up the phone, and while her exit was a bit violent, something tells me that Lucy was proud of her little human friend in that moment.

Oh, and for the record, I still think Nancy’s mother had something to do with Lucy’s death. I’m fairly sure her father is innocent, which means the clues probably point to his wife. If Mrs. Drew did (accidentally or on purpose) kill Lucy, why would he still be covering up for her? She’s dead and Nancy still needs her father, despite being 18 and able to take care of herself.

Best friends forever

“You told them to leave.”
“Yeah, but they don’t ever listen to me.”

This sums up Nancy’s relationship with Nick, Ace, George, and Bess, and I’m loving every second of it. I appreciate that the Drew Crew hasn’t given up on their fearless leader, even if she pushes them away at every turn.

There’s a sweet moment at the end of the episode where each one of them reminds Nancy how much she’s done for them, including saving their lives. Nancy is a good friend to have in your corner, despite the fact that she’s constantly trying to isolate herself.

I will say that’s one aspect of Nancy’s personality that I hope fades out sooner rather than later. The others have proven they’re in it by choice, not just by circumstance. If something bad happens to them, it’s not Nancy fault. They signed up for this gig, and they’re going to see it through until the end.

Nancy will be much safer and happier if she just accepts this.

Then again, it’s not all puppies and rainbows. While those hints at romantic interest between Nick and George were nowhere to be seen in this episode, Nick also made it explicitly clear that he still just wants to be friends with Nancy.

It’s okay. I prefer a slowburn anyway.

‘Nancy Drew’ season 1, episode 11, ‘The Phantom of Bonny Scot,’ airs Jan. 22 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW

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