Wednesday, October 16, 2019

REVIEW: 'Nancy Drew' - Nancy Breaks Into the Morgue to Collect Crucial Evidence in 'The Secret of the Old Morgue'

The CW's Nancy Drew - Episode 1.02 "The Secret of the Old Morgue"

When Nancy learns that Tiffany Hudson's corpse is being moved out of Horseshoe Bay for a private autopsy, she puts her investigation into Lucy Sable's dress on hold to pull off one of her most risky missions yet. Bess and Ace enlist the help of a stranger in an attempt to help Nancy. The town gathers to participate in the annual bucket ritual done on the last night of the Summer Festival.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Nancy Drew.

"The Secret of the Old Morgue" was written by Noga Landau and directed by Larry Teng

The audience should probably have some patience when it comes to the more supernatural elements at play within this show. The narrative is certainly going for some unsettling and eery jump scares in the early going. Nancy may be seeing ghosts that aren't actually there. This town is plagued with stories about dead Lucy being responsible for every terrible thing that has happened. The teens have been raised on those stories. Ace can inform Bess about everything that has been speculated about this spirit for the past 20 years. Moreover, there are town events built around the legend of dead Lucy. That's incredibly morbid. But the show is also conditioning the audience to read into these symbols. Nancy may be losing her mind but George is the one whose bucket of salt water has turned into blood. That could indicate that she is destined to die in the next year. That establishes a clear narrative that she will likely want to avoid. It further creates a bond amongst the suspects in Tiffany Hudson's murder. In that regard, the show needs to present Nancy as a capable investigator. Someone who can solve the mysteries of this world better than the actual police can. She too is infamous in this region for her crime-solving ways. Her father and the police largely look at it as an annoying hobby instead of something tangible and legitimate. And yes, she does have wrong impulses to break into places to tamper with potential evidence. People could easily see her as a guilty person trying to cover up her crime. It just happens to be in a broad way that may make it a little too obvious. Nancy has the same bias. She is looking specifically into Ryan as the prime suspect largely because he is the husband of the deceased who was also having an affair. This hour delves further into the socioeconomics of the region. The Hudson family has largely been seen as an affluent brood that looks down on the locals when they come during the summer months. As such, Ryan is on a charm offensive to prove to a potential jury pool that he is just like any of them. He couldn't have possibly killed his wife. Nancy is after the evidence though. The science doesn't lie and can't be deceived. She simply has to act quickly because the Hudson family has coerced the justice system into performing an autopsy out-of-state. Nancy may not get all the answers she needs based on the blood she collects from the body when she breaks into the morgue. That's her caper for the week. She is determined to clear her own name. But the show is mostly just teasing that she is a great detective. It's incredibly obvious that she would need a key card to enter the morgue before she walks up to the door to see it's not a lock she can pick. Moreover, she doesn't have the tools readily available to break into cars. She has to ask for them from Nick even though she sees him as a viable suspect. And yes, the show actively wants the audience to look at him with suspicion because his own connection with Tiffany keeps growing more and more complicated. She was texting him moments before she was killed. He may be hiding that phone as well. Nancy doesn't get that clarity here. She believes she gets answers from her father about the bloody dress in the antic. He gives her a story only to later be burning that precise dress. It's clear something more happened. But the ways in which the two mysteries tie into one another is a little blunt and forced right now. Nancy is determined to save the murders of both Tiffany and Lucy. That may be more than she can handle at the moment. She has the passion to pursue the truth though. It may be the only thing keeping her from losing her mind. She just has to come across as a little more capable at this job. Here, she seems frazzled when it's clear she is going to be arrested for breaking into the morgue. In turn, that forces Carson into once again working for the Hudson family. That's something he is reluctant to do for some pointed but cryptic reason.