11:44 pm EST, February 26, 2020

‘Nancy Drew’ season 1, episode 14 review: Answers at last

Nancy Drew season 1, episode 14, “The Sign of the Uninvited Guest,” finally solved a major mystery. Read our review.

After a two-week hiatus, Nancy Drew has returned, and what a comeback it was! This week’s episode answered some major questions but left plenty of mystery hanging around for the rest of the season.

The show delved into Tiffany’s murder and found a clever way to tie episode 14 back into the pilot without it feeling repetitive, forced, or cumbersome.

Better yet, we got to explore a few of our favorite characters a little more, including Ace, and saw a few relationships either deepen or grow apart.

All in all, this episode packed quite a punch and kept the momentum rolling despite the minor break!

‘Nancy Drew’ season 1, episode 14 review


nancy drew season 1 episode 14 nancy bess patrice sable

The cold open for the episode was quite interesting considering Patrice Sable shows up at The Claw like she works there. It takes everyone by surprise for just a moment, but in the grand scheme of things, this is the least surprising event the Drew Crew has seen in Horseshoe Bay.

Turns out Patrice escaped from Josh as they were looking at a new home for her since the last one kind of…exploded. She used to work at The Claw, and considering she has a habit of being stuck in the past, this makes perfect sense.

Laura Tandy also shows up looking fabulous and rocking a new lease on life. She’s officially zen, which means she wants to move to Paris with Ace and spend her massive fortune now that Tiffany’s death has been officially ruled a murder and she’s no longer a suspect.

Nancy, however, only has eyes for her murder board. Her father’s evidentiary hearing is in two days and she has to figure out how to clear him as a suspect. Luckily, Lucy gives them a rather violent (and wet) sign, which sends them back to the video Nancy took on the night of Tiffany’s murder.

Tiffany’s last day

nancy drew season 1 episode 14 karen

Ace and Nancy confront Karen, which is both cathartic and frustrating. I can’t say I care much for Karen either way. It was a total breech of privacy to go through Nancy’s diary, but once she found the evidence against Carson, I can’t really blame her for acting on it.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Karen has been developed much as a character, which means the tension between her and Nancy doesn’t land as hard as it should. Perhaps she’ll have a heavier role in upcoming episodes and we can really explore what these two women mean to each other.

Luckily, Karen is on board to retrace Tiffany’s steps on her final day. The late Mrs. Hudson stopped at several popular spots in Horseshoe Bay, but it was all a way to conduct her investigation into Lucy Sable’s death without being tracked.

Nancy convinces Ace to go to the library despite the fact that it holds one of his apparently many nemeses. We get to meet Dominique, and even though she only had a few minutes on screen, I’ve completely fallen in love. She and Ace are both hackers and I can’t tell if this is going to be a perfect enemies-to-lovers story or the beginning of a fantastic friendship full of epic zingers.

Either way, I won’t accept a reality where Dominique doesn’t show up again.

Ace digs up an email exchange between Lucy and Ryan in which they confess their love for each other. Soon after, however, Lucy apologizes to Ryan and asks for forgiveness. He calls her a whore and says he can’t forgive her. Sometime later, they agree to meet on the same night she died.

To say something doesn’t add up here is an understatement. It seemed fishy from the beginning, and it makes me think those last two emails didn’t come from Ryan.

The last thing Nancy notices is that there’s a blurry camouflage shirt in the corner of one of the frames of the video from the night of the fireworks.

Back to the beginning

nancy drew george laura nick

Laura lures Ryan to The Claw under the pretense of healing in the wake of Tiffany’s death. Cornered, he agrees to retrace the night of Tiffany’s murder, from the second he walked into the restaurant to the moment they realized his wife had died.

Like I said in the beginning, the show does an excellent job of cutting in scenes from the pilot and adding extra elements we didn’t see in the first episode. In Nancy Drew season 1, episode 14, we’re privy to more details as well as what was going through everyone’s head at the time. It definitely added a fresh perspective.

We learn that Owen Marvin did not show up to meet with Ryan to talk about the murder. The group also realizes there was a window of a few minutes where the kitchen and the food had been unattended. The murderer could have slipped the poison into the food then.

And then something clicks into place. Ryan sent back his salad because it had dressing (the real mystery is how you can eat salad with no dressing), which was then used for Tiffany’s dinner. It turns out Tiffany was never the target — Ryan was.

Inside the restaurant, George, Ace, and Bess are overwhelmed with guilt for their hand in Tiffany’s death. Thankfully, Nick has some sense and reminds them that there’s only one person who killed Tiffany, and it was none of them.

Outside, Lucy nudges Nancy in the right direction, and she eventually confronts Ryan. She accuses him of murdering Lucy for revenge. Ryan rejects the idea that he wrote the email and killed Lucy, but before Nancy can get anything else out of him, Dead Lucy scares him away.

One mystery down

nancy drew season 1 episode 14 ace bess nancy

Nancy learns that Lucy’s email came from her brother’s computer in the shop. When she goes to dig deeper, he confronts her and she quickly figures out that he was the one who tried to murder Ryan and got Tiffany instead.

Josh always seemed like a nice guy, though the motive for Ryan’s attempted murder makes a lot of sense. What I have trouble processing, however, is that Josh would try to kill Nancy, too. It’s unlikely he’d be able to get away with it, but it certainly seemed like he was reacting rather than thinking anything through.

Nancy doesn’t get away so much as get extremely lucky. Josh gets a hook in his back, steps in some water, and is subsequently fried by an live wire. He looks very much dead, but when the police later check out the scene, he’s very much gone.

There are a lot of possible explanations here. Maybe he wasn’t really dead. He could’ve escaped himself or someone could’ve helped him. On the other hand, maybe he was dead and someone removed the body. Or, perhaps something supernatural is taking place instead. It wouldn’t be the first time.

We’re also left with another lingering question — how did Josh obtain the extremely rare poison?

Earlier in the episode, Patrice tells Nick she’s glad Josh hadn’t talked about their family, implying there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the Sables. Could this be related to the poison, or something else entirely?

Get it together

nancy drew bess

Nancy Drew season 1, episode 14 was pretty plot-heavy, but there were a few lingering moments that furthered some character development for our favorite characters.

Firstly, Nick tells Ace not to waste Laura’s time if he really doesn’t want to go to Paris. Ace takes Nick’s advice and is upfront with Laura. This was a wonderful moment full of good communication. Even if the result makes both parties a little sad, it’s for the best.

George and Bess talk about Amaya and Lisbeth. Of course, Bess doesn’t want to hurt Lisbeth, but she also feels obligated to follow through on her promise to her aunt. There also seems to be a little interest in Amaya, and that’s what George picks up on. She tells Bess she needs to decide, one way or another, how she feels because Lisbeth doesn’t deserve to be jerked around.

As much as I think Amaya is an interesting character, I love Bess and Lisbeth together. I hate that Bess has been less than strong in her convictions when it comes to this situation, but it’s also a natural reaction to such a charismatic and intriguing person. By the end of her conversation with George, she promises (more to herself than anyone else) that she’ll draw boundaries with Amaya.

I’m not entirely convinced this is going to happen, but Nancy Drew has a good track record with communication and avoiding tropes, so I’m hoping this love triangle they’ve been dangling in front of us is officially dead and buried. Also, bring Lisbeth back!

Lastly, Bess tells George that if she has feelings for Nick, she needs to tell him about it. She’s right that he and Nancy aren’t together anymore, but I feel like she’s being a good friend to George at the expense of being a bad friend to Nancy.

Nick and Nancy clearly still like each other, even if they’re not in a relationship, and I think Nancy would be hurt by Bess’ advice to George. Still, I don’t blame George (or Nick) for her feelings, but this situation is gonna get messy.

I’m more interested in positive character development and the show’s overall plot than any love triangles or tired tropes.

‘Nancy Drew’ season 1, episode 15, ‘The Terror of Horsehoe Bay,’ airs March 4 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW

Our Score

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