This isn’t the Nancy Drew you remember. And it’s definitely not the Nancy Drew your parents allowed you to read about.
That Nancy didn’t get down and dirty nearly as much as this one does.
But Nancy had to grow up at some point, just like her fans, and after this premiere, we’re glad she did.
This new iteration of the mystery-loving, young adult has staying power despite getting off to a slower-than-expected start.
If I were to sum it up for someone in one sentence, I’d say it has the eeriness of Riverdale while managing to accomplish what Ravenswood, Pretty Little Liars’ ghostly spin-off, never could. Maybe it’s the deteriorating ghost of late Lucy Sable that keeps popping up that’s giving me flashbacks and quite possibly, some PTSD.
If the goal was the scare the bejesus out of audiences while their guard was down, well, it worked.
Ravenswood was prematurely canceled, so the hope is that The CW doesn’t pull the plug on Nancy before she even gets to the meatier stuff.
As a pilot, it was just fine.
Nancy’s backstory was offered up immediately — she was a former sea queen, just like Lucy Sable, who loved solving mysteries until her mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away soon after. (Shoutout to Aunt Jenna from The Vampire Diaries. I didn’t think they could kill her off any quicker than TVD did but Nancy Drew went and proved me wrong.)
After her mother’s death, the life Nancy imagined for herself, which included college, withered away and just a year after her victorious pageant moment, Nancy was working at The Claw, a local diner serving up the town’s special clam chowder.
And really, that’s where the whole murder mystery that draws Nancy picks up.
Through Tiffany Hudson’s death (a socialite eating her tasteless meal outside while her husband Ryan Hudson hung out with the boys inside), we’re introduced to Nancy’s group of co-workers. She made sure to point out that they weren’t her friends.
Initially, the co-workers all seem dull and one-dimensional. There’s no riveting backstory, no true connection to Nancy that offers up insight as to how these 5 will somehow because that “found family” that drives a show’s success.
George is the manager of The Claw and Nancy’s former classmate who holds some kind of grudge over Nancy.
Bess is the Veronica Lodge of Hampton Bay and described as a rich city gal visiting her aunt for the summer.
Ned, or Nicky, is a dude Nancy is hooking up with to numb the pain of losing her mom.
And Ace, well, his character is oddly similar to Alex Saxon’s character Max on Finding Carter.
That’s the perception at first, anyway.
Nancy gets the investigating itch again, which is probably for the best because the cops, specifically the Sheriff, don’t seem like they’ll get this figured out anytime soon.
Small town cops don’t have a very solid track record and the Sheriff isn’t doing much to challenge that belief.
He’s biased against Nancy, so he’s leaning towards her being involved in the murder in some way.
Nancy’s gut tells her to look at the husband first since nine times out of 10, the husband is guilty.
She breaks into Ryan Hudson’s house to see if she could find anything telling and pulls some mariner’s locket that has the same emblem as the sea queen’s crown and an address to a medium.
The trip to the medium turns dark as they accidentally contact the spirit of Lucy Sable who relays the message: find the dress.
Eventually, Nancy does find the dress, in her attic, no less, and this is really where the whole episode comes together and hooks you like a fish in shallow water.
Turns out, this murder mystery isn’t random.
Lucy Sable probably wasn’t responsible, but there’s definitely a ghostly presence in Nancy’s life that will be explored as the season progresses.
As Nancy finds the bloodied dress Lucy Sable died in back in 2000, she finds the trunk she saw her parents burying when she was a child. The same one that sparked her interest in digging and figuring out the truth.
While she’s up there, she also peels back the wallpaper to reveal the terrifying nursery rhyme chanted by children etched into the walls of the attic.
Was Lucy Sable Nancy’s sister?
Did she have some connection to Nancy?
Nancy also finds out a little more about Nicky, the boy she decided to pursue after finding out her father swiftly moved on from her mother with what seems to be the Sheriff’s daughter (and quite possibly her mom’s old bestie) Karen.
His arrest just so happened to be a manslaughter charge. And he was deemed guilty after testimony from a key witness: Tiffany Hudson.
So, you see, this murder mystery is not random.
The dirty little secrets from all the other co-workers are revealed proving that they all had motive to kill.
Bess isn’t rich and instead, lives in a trailer where she stores all of her brand-name clothing that’s likely stolen just like Tiffany’s ring that somehow ended up in her possession.
George arrives at Ryan’s mansion and despite his objections that it’s “too soon,” goes in for the hook-up. At times point, she seems like the likeliest suspect because if you recall, when she went to serve Ryan she confirmed that his wife was outside.
And then there’s Ace, who isn’t as “slow” as he’s been letting on. He’s working as a snitch for the Sheriff meaning he’s likely a cop.
Who is responsible for Tiffany’s murder?
How does Lucy Sable play into all of this aside from being utilized for the scary factor?
Is Nicky dangerous?
I never thought we’d stumble upon a town filled with more darkness and secrets than Riverdale, but Horseshoe Bay is giving it a run for its money.
Rate the Nancy Drew pilot in the comments below!
Nancy Drew Season Finale Review – Who Killed Owen Marvin? (1×18)
And that’s a wrap on an incredible first season of Nancy Drew.
Mystery by mystery, the series has slowly inched its way into becoming my favorite CW series.
“The Clue in the Captain’s Painting” was a full-on murder investigation as the Drew Crew, the Marvin’s, and the Horseshoe Bay police department were all determined to find out who killed Owen Marvin.
However, they were three very different investigations that blended into one led by the town’s sleuthing heroine, Nancy Drew.
If anyone were to figure out who killed Owen, it would be his grieving yet mystery-solving girlfriend.
In a surprising twist, Owen Marvin’s murderer was not the Aglaeca, so his death was not a payment of the blood toll brought on by summoning the sea ritual.
It was the obvious go-to, but it would have put way too much guilt on our Nancy, who was already dealing with quite a lot.
Owen’s killer was of the human form, and I couldn’t help but chuckle when Nancy quipped that things have gotten so crazy none of us considered that it may have been an actual human murderer. We were all so quick to blame the poor spirits!
From there, there were only a handful of people who had the motive and thus, it wasn’t nearly as delicious and shocking of a twist than the Lucy Sable reveal!
The only person that would ever gain anything from Owen’s death is Ryan Hudson, but considering he was just revealed as Nancy’s biological father, the series couldn’t tarnish his name or character like that. He may lead with ego, but he’s not a killer.
And really, that left us with Joshua, the brother of Lucy Sable, who escaped after a near-death encounter with Nancy.
He didn’t have a motive to kill Owen, but he did have a motive to get revenge on Nancy, and the quickest way to get to her was through Owen, who refused to send a text and draw Nancy out.
Owen died protecting her and that honestly makes his death ions more painful.
He was such a good guy — he cared about Nancy in a way no one else has, he accepted her for who she is, he supported her, and he died for her.
It was a premature death that had absolutely no merit. And yes, Nancy did everything to solve his death, but we never even got to see her mourn or grieve him.
Owen didn’t get the goodbye he deserved and it’s upsetting and unfortunate. What a terrible decision by The CW to kill him off when he would have been more useful alive.
And the way they killed him off was so pathetic as it didn’t contribute anything to the plot.
If it was a result of the Aglaeca, I could at least accept that it was a lesson for Nancy and the Drew Crew that there are life or death repercussions to their investigations, seances, rituals, etc, but having him be an innocent victim killed by Joshua was a disappointing turn of events.
My only hope is that the fact that this is a supernatural show somehow brings him back to life, but that seems like wishful thinking.
Making a protagonist suffer tends to be how a show encourages, but in this case, it hinders Nancy’s growth and upsets a dedicated fandom.
On her mission to solve the murder, Nancy managed to tell Lucy’s mother the truth and thus, established a relationship with her grandmother.
She also came face-to-face with Joshua and saved his life so that he could rot in jail.
And again, Owen died for nothing.
As Bess investigated Owen’s murder, she too got to know her family on a deeper level and realized that they’re all mean-spirited, narcissist, which honestly, is not someone I’d ever want to be around. Why is she still so desperate to become a Marvin?
Aunt Diana encouraged her to leverage her relationship with Lisbeth to find out what she knows about Owen’s death, and this is the second time that Bess has been put in a compromising position when it comes to her relationship.
Even Lisbeth informed her that she’s going to have to choose between the relationship and being a Marvin at some point. She can’t have both.
Still, Bess is choosing to embrace her family by accepting Aunt Diana’s invitation to live at the mansion.
Of course, one is to assume such an invite comes at a price… but what is it?
The only good thing that came from Bess embracing her Marvin side is that she got a brief history lesson into her great, great, great (a lot of great’s) grandfather Douglas Marvin who painted all the paintings in the hall of tragedies (apparently, rich people have these) and in one of them, she saw the Aglaeca.
What did good ‘ole Douglas know about the creature that’s trying to destroy them all? Was the Aglaeca a Marvin?
Hopefully, Bess finds out fast because the portents are only intensifying and the latest one showed them all visions of their own death.
Bess died by being burned alive, Ace was hooked and hung, George and Nick drowned inside their car, and Nancy Drew met a fate similar to Lucy Sable’s — she fell off a cliff.
Talk about things coming full circle. How can they get the Aglaeca off their backs?
Other Horsehoe Bay Musings
- George figured out why she’s so emotionally unavailable and it all boils down to how she was treated by Ryan Hudson. He preyed on a 17-year-old girl with a crush who didn’t know any better and made her think that being a “secret” was normal. It was incredibly sad to see George break down and finally realize the damage Ryan caused her, but it was necessary for her to confront him, make him realize that his actions have consequences, hold him accountable, and move on. I like her and Nick together.
- I initially thought George was keeping her relationship with Nick under wraps out of respect for Nancy.
- There’s definitely something happening between Ace and Nancy, and while it’s too soon right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the series went there. I love the way he cares about her. I think he’s been harboring feelings for her but realizes that the timing simply isn’t right.
- I wondered how Nancy Drew would keep up the scare factor, but guess what, they managed to make the Aglaeca even scarier than Dead Lucy. I didn’t think that was possible, but here we are.
What did you think of the Nancy Drew season 1 finale?
Are you happy Owen’s murder was solved? How will the Drew Crew fend off the Aglaeca?
QUIZ: Which ‘Nancy Drew’ Character Are You?
Is Owen Marvin Really Dead on ‘Nancy Drew’?
In the past few episodes, Nancy Drew has thrown some wild twists at the Drew Crew, and it has left the audience in a state of constant shock.
*SPOILER ALERT — the post contains spoilers. We advise you to stop reading if you’re not caught up with episodes*
One of the show’s biggest twists was the reveal that Nancy Drew is not Carson and Kate Drew’s biological daughter.
Nancy has been haunted by the ghost of Lucy Sable, and initially, it seemed like she wanted Nancy to solve the mystery of her death before an unlikely connection revealed that Lucy was Nancy’s biological mother.
And that means that Ryan Hudson is her father! It’s been a few weeks since the reveal and it still has my mind spiraling in all different directions.
The series didn’t even give us (or poor Nancy) any time to recover from the twist because the following episode resulted in the tragic death of Owen Marvin, Nancy’s love interest.
Owen’s death was a result of Nancy and her friends summoning the Aglaeca and not paying the blood toll.
The Aglaeca latched onto Owen during the spell, but Nancy and the Drew Crew were able to pull him back without losing too much blood.
Nancy hoped it was enough, but it wasn’t as the portents began shortly after they conducted the spell.
Nancy and the Drew Crew then opted to perform a ritual to mask Nancy so that the “spirit” couldn’t find her and she could cheat fate and continue on without paying the toll, but the portents only intensified.
That’s when it dawned on Nancy that the Aglaeca must have been a human entity and thus, the ritual only infuriated it.
As a result, they found poor Owen dead in the bathtub with a bloody, gaping hole in his stomach likely from the fisherman hooks.
Of course, upon seeing such a gruesome sight, everyone’s first reaction is that “Owen Marvin is dead.” And I’m not arguing with it, but I’m also not 100% convinced.
Many shows rooted in the supernatural have a penchant for bringing people back from the dead, and that goes double for any CW series.
Nancy and the Drew Crew dabble in all kinds of seances, spells, and rituals, so there’s a huge likelihood that they can find a way to bring Owen back.
Maybe the can make a deal with the Aglaeca? We’ve only scratched the surface of fully knowing what it wants and how it operates.
There’s also a chance we see Owen Marvin in the spirit world since Nancy has a way of reconnecting with the dead and/or being haunted by them.
What I’m saying is that dead doesn’t really mean dead on television.
However, Miles Gaston Villaneuva’s Instagram suggests that his character, Owen Marvin, is dead dead.
In a post from three days ago he wrote, “RIP Owen. so sad & disappointing. definitely not my choice. definitely blindsided. no one told me why.”
Miles seems very triggered and upset by the death (as he should be) as he alludes to the fact that it was a decision he was not forewarned or consulted about.
After thanking friends for their support on this “short run,” he goes on to encourage people to be better and to stand up against those in your “inner-circle” badmouthing others.
Is he alluding to some tension on the set as the reason he was written off? Was there some drama between the cast behind closed doors?
While he seems to be coming from a real place of hurt and anger, there’s a slight chance Gaston Villanueva is trying to make us believe his death is permanent.
Is he throwing us off?
On one hand, it would be foolish of The CW and Nancy Drew to kill off a promising character. Nancy just found out her father and her boyfriend are rivals, which would undoubtedly make for compelling television.
There were so many story avenues to explore with Owen’s ties to the Marvin’s and his relationships with Nancy and Ryan.
His death seems premature and foolish.
However, on the other hand, as an audience, we’ve grown so accustomed to death on shows never being final. It’s the very reason why this article exists.
While I’m an Owen Marvin fan and hope his death is reversible, there’s something to be said about a series upping the stakes in a permanent fashion that’s refreshing and keeps audiences on their toes.
Horseshoe Bay is a town filled with uneasy spirits. Nancy’s decision and actions to wake the dead and follow mysteries must have repercussions not only for herself but for her friends as well.
Killing off someone that had the potential of becoming a main character pushes the boundaries, it changes the narrative, and it forces characters into uncomfortable and painful situations that inspire character growth.
It’s a stark realization that what they do matters and has permanent consequences.
And for the audience, it means that we’ll never see what’s coming next.
Update: Gaston Villanueva tweeted us after we published this article and yep, he’s a ghost.
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