10:00 pm EST, January 22, 2020

‘Nancy Drew’ season 1, episode 11 review: Cards on the table

Nancy Drew season 1, episode 11, “The Phantom of the Bonny Scot,” saw a major plot line wrapped up — for now, at least!

This week on Nancy Drew, our titular character struggles with whether or not she’s a good person. There’s a heavy dilemma weighing on her shoulders, and Nancy’s choice undoubtedly sets in motion events that will unfurl over the remaining season.

Once again, this show actively works a weekly mystery (and ghost!) into the overarching plot of the show. While the pace has been steady so far, the end of Nancy Drew season 1, episode 11 will cause major waves.

I’ll admit that Everett Hudson’s arrest was shockingly swift, but I’m excited to see how this will affect his family and the rest of the series. Now that we’re halfway through the season, it feels as though we’re really picking up speed.

‘Nancy Drew’ season 1, episode 11 review

Which ships will sink and swim?

nancy drew season 1 episode 11 owen

This isn’t a major focus of episode 11, but enough relationship drama occurs this week that I think it deserves its own section in my review. The players are as follows: Nancy, Nick, Owen, George, Lisbeth, and Bess.

Lisbeth and Bess are in the best position as a couple, as they’re currently on good terms (plus, the accent is back!). Lisbeth admits by the episode’s end that she’s falling for Bess, and the recently-claimed Miss Marvin returns those feelings.

My favorite thing Nancy Drew has done with all our couples thus far is put them on even footing. We see plenty of PDA between Lisbeth and Bess, and they get their own (modest) sex scene, just like Nick and Nancy have had.

The Marvins didn’t even make a big deal out of the fact that Bess is gay. This is how you do queer representation on TV! Not that the Marvins are great people — Aunt Diana tells Bess they don’t marry drivers, after all.

Unfortunately, a wrench does exist, though it feels a bit unnecessary. Aunt Diana has stipulated that Bess needs to meet with an heiress named Amaya, and while the two of them are only set to have dinner, Bess is acting like she’s being forced to sleep with the other woman.

It seems likely that Bess and Amaya will have chemistry and that the former will cause some turbulence in Bess and Lisbeth’s relationship, but I’m uninterested. Nancy Drew has done a great job so far of having their characters be honest and communicate with each other, and I hope Bess doesn’t try to hide this meeting from her girlfriend.

But while those two are in a relatively solid place, the web connecting Nick, Nancy, Owen, and George is getting even stickier. Nancy dreams of both Owen and Nick, and it’s clear she’s genuinely torn. She kisses Owen at the end of the Nancy Drew season 1, episode 11, but still rejects his dinner date — but stipulates that it’s not because of her feelings for Nick.

Meanwhile, Nick and George grow closer, and it’s obvious both of them care about the other. When Nancy pulls Nick away, George is jealous. I like that Nick makes George a softer, kinder person, but I’m still rooting for him and Nancy to get back together.

I’m still trying to figure out if George actually likes Nick (which, admittedly, is not hard at all) or if she’s working through her feelings about Ryan and is latching onto to someone else. Her interaction with Ryan in this episode didn’t seem like anything other than platonic, and for that, I’m grateful.

Mothers, mysteries, and murder

nancy drew season 1 episode 11 everett hudson

After Nancy’s makeout session in her dream, Dead Lucy not-so-politely interrupts to tell her there’s something she needs to find in the cupboard under the stairs. When she wakes up, Nancy learns that her mother was Lucy’s high school guidance counselor, though the contents of Lucy’s file are missing.

Carson tells Nancy to let it go, but he should know better than that by now. Instead, she visits Everett Hudson and offers up a trade — she’ll figure out what Owen knows about the Bonny Scot, and he’ll make a call to get Carson off the hook.

Nancy tracks down Owen, who has found the sole survivor of the ship, a man named Bashiir. He was able to hide in a cargo container because they were all empty, since the contents were never on board. He tells Nancy, Owen, and Bess that a bomb caused the ship to sink.

However, Bashiir is hesitant to come forward because he’s an undocumented immigrant. Nancy wrestles with the information she has, but ultimately knows there is a line she won’t cross when it comes to getting her father out of prison.

Luckily for her, Bashiir is being haunted by the ghosts of the Bonny Scot. When he provides evidence of the bomb, the haunting stops and Nancy is able to pin it all on Mr. Hudson in an epic betrayal that happens at a rare Marvin-Hudson family dinner.

Like I said before, this seemed like a sudden and almost easy conclusion to the mystery of the Bonny Scot, but I also believe this will cause even more trouble for Nancy. She’s forced her father’s hand now: He must speak out against the Hudsons in order to protect her.

I can’t decide if Nancy is brave or incredibly stupid. Maybe she’s a little bit of both.

Either way, she finds the missing paper’s from Lucy’s file in a trick hiding spot within the frame of a large and slightly awkward family portrait inside the Hudson household. It appears as though Lucy had once been a part of the portrait, but has since been painted over.

The papers include a transcript of a conversation between Lucy and Mrs. Drew in which Lucy says that if anything ever happens to her, it’ll be her mother’s fault. I have a feeling this isn’t as damning as it sounds. Perhaps Mrs. Sable spoke out against the Hudsons and, as punishment, Lucy was killed.

We know this is more than a possibility, especially because the episode ends with Mrs. Hudson hiring someone to kill Carson in order to save their asses and teach Nancy a lesson.

The Claw is in troubled water

nancy drew season 1 episode 11 george ryan

The B-plot of Nancy Drew season 1, episode 11, was firmly in George’s court. The Claw’s owner, Dawn, tells George that the restaurant isn’t doing well and as a result, she has to put it up for sale.

George is devastated. The Claw isn’t just a job for her — it’s her only option. Her family has been tied to the restaurant for generations, and Dawn took care of her when her own mother couldn’t. Victoria Fan ruined pretty much all other options for her family. George can’t risk the restaurant being demolished and turned into condos.

At first, George asks Ryan for help, but he tells her he’s got his own issues to deal with. She obviously feels betrayed, but I’m happy she won’t have another reason to interact with and continue her relationship with him.

Nick offers an alternative — what if they throw a party and remind Horseshoe Bay’s residents how great the restaurant is? George rightfully calls him out on making everyone else a project instead of himself. Having just been released from court-mandated counseling, Nick refuses to go home to Florida to face his family and instead is doing everything within his power to distract himself.

In the end, Nick chooses to risk using his bonds in order to buy The Claw from Dawn. He plans to be equal partners with George, whereby she’ll pay him back once the restaurant starts making a profit. This still feels a little like a distraction to me (he’s never seemed super interested in The Claw before), but at least he’s investing in his future.

Is Ryan Hudson the new Big Bad?

nancy drew season 1 episode 11 ryan

Nancy Drew season 1, episode 11, “The Phantom of the Bonny Scot,” may have put the elder Mr. Hudson behind bars, but it’s opened the door wide open for his son.

“This family has drifted off course,” Ryan tells his mother near the end of the episode. He threatens to turn over a Grecian urn as evidence against his father in the case of the Bonny Scot. She doesn’t believe he’d betray his father, but Ryan seems adamant that it’s his turn to steer the ship.

The past 11 episodes have shown us that Ryan Hudson is not a terrible person. Or, at the very least, not as terrible as most of his family. We know he did care about Tiffany and that he didn’t want to hurt George. We also know he went to rehab and is trying to turn over a new leaf.

On the other hand, he clearly could’ve helped put his father behind bars earlier when Owen approached him the first time. He refused, and it seemed like he was going to use the urn to gain favor with his father — or maybe just blackmail him.

At this point, Ryan could fall on either side of the line. Everett may be in jail, but he’s not necessarily out of the picture. Plus, it’s clear that his wife is just as dangerous as he is. Will Ryan succumb to the dark side, or will he use his power for good?

I haven’t decided which one I’m hoping for just yet.

‘Nancy Drew’ season 1, episode 12, ‘The Lady of Larkspur Lane,’ airs Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 9:00 p.m. ET on The CW

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