Thursday, October 24, 2019

REVIEW: 'Nancy Drew' - Nancy Examines Nick's Past to Protect Him from the Police in 'The Curse of the Dark Storm'

The CW's Nancy Drew - Episode 1.03 "The Curse of the Dark Storm"

When a nor'easter hits Horseshoe Bay, Ace warns everyone that the storm has been known to blow restless spirits ashore. Nancy confronts Nick about the secrets he's been keeping.

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 Curse of the Dark Storm" was written by Jesse Stern & Lisa Bao and directed by John Kretchmer

The premiere ended with the tease that the five main suspects the police have targeted regarding Tiffany Hudson's death all had something to hide that could motivate them to kill. It's been fascinating to see the show move at a brisk pace to reveal that those details are much more complicated than they seemed at that moment. With George, her affair with Ryan Hudson could have been her reason to kill his wife. Instead, she sees it as something that may always be kept a secret which has been horribly confining of her life. And now, Nick is presented in a sympathetic life after Nancy learns the true extent of his relationship with Tiffany. At first, it seemed clear-cut. She was the key witness who testified against him during his manslaughter trial. However, she visited him in prison and learned his story. She learned that he was trying to protect a friend from being sexually assaulted. That's what led to him being responsible for someone's death. He was punished for that. He has served his time. His record wasn't sealed though. The police have access and look at him as the likely killer once more. Nancy has the same fear. That's confirmed by the realization that Nick has the phone with Tiffany's last communications on it. She confronts him about his secrets which forces him to be more vulnerable than he would like to be at this stage of the relationship. And yet, he feels the importance of doing so because he could be sent right back to prison. Of course, Nancy is facing felony charges as well because of her break-in at the morgue. These characters are all old enough to deal with serious consequences for their actions. They may treat some things in a silly manner because it's easy to see the ridiculousness of this small town in Maine. However, things really do seem like they are trying to kill George because she is marked for death. It's suggested that a wandering spirit washes ashore during a nor'easter saying that this is George's destiny now. That may feel like one giant but empty tease for the moment. If George were to die, then the show probably shouldn't be foreshadowing it so much with obvious clues as to the many ways it could theoretically happen. Instead, it's much more engaging to watch Nancy and Nick go on this journey to solve a puzzle that Tiffany has left behind for them to solve. It points clues to just how deep and genuine the friendship actually was between Tiffany and Nick. She saw him as deserving of redemption. He was a kindred spirit who deserved a second chance at life. She would never have testified against him if she knew the whole story. She regrets that. She may regret it so much that she is willing to give him millions of dollars. Again, that could serve as evidence against him in her murder case. It could serve as the new motivation for him to kill. But he didn't know what the prize was at the end of this mystery. He needs Nancy's help in order to crack the code as well. It's a little outrageous. That clashes with some of the more eery tones the show is going for in other corners of the world. And yet, this is a place where any building could be hiding some secret compartment that reveals wondrous treasures. Nick may get his here. And yet, Nancy is whisked away to unravel her next potential suspect. Once more, the show is delving further into a supporting character and highlighting how their potential guilt is never as easy as it first seems. Bess may have a perfectly reasonable answer for why she has Tiffany's wedding ring. Of course, the audience may accept that now based on the pattern that has been obvious through these first three episodes. As such, the viewer may not be as worried about Ryan's constant shiftiness. That's a significant problem because the audience should be concerned about the adults of this world who are clearly hiding things and desperately don't want Nancy to get involved and reveal their darkest secrets. But she inevitably will. That quality can fuel some of the proceedings but it can grow tiring if the creative team isn't too careful as well.