Wednesday, February 3, 2021

REVIEW: 'Nancy Drew' - Nancy Demands Answers as Her Friends Reckon With Their Mortality in 'The Secret of the Solitary Scribe'

The CW's Nancy Drew - Episode 2.03 "The Secret of the Solitary Scribe"

With time running out, Nancy and the Drew Crew come up with a plan that they think might help reverse the curse that the Aglaeca placed on them.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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 Solitary Scribe" was written by Alex Taub and directed by Rachel Raimist

Do any members of the Drew Crew have the luxury to assume they will eventually find a way to prevent the Aglaeca from killing them? They can certainly fight for that outcome. None of them want to die. That's especially true given the gruesome fates they have seen that awaits them in a few days. The clock is counting down to that outcome as well. They can't really be preparing for a future if they don't know that it is going to happen. Nick laughs off George's suggestion of buying a house. It's a practical concern for him. He has the money to buy one. He doesn't need to be couch surfing from one friend's house to the next. And yet, it's not a priority given that the end is destined to occur soon. The friends have that awareness. Fearing that fateful outcome can't completely paralyze them either. George is terrified of allowing herself to feel happy knowing that it may be masking her reality. She can rely on her friends. They can support her no matter what. They understand what she's going through. The show basically makes the case once more that George and Nick are a good romantic pairing. They take the next step of having sex here. It didn't necessarily need to be in the truck as a way to show that they aren't going to live in fear of this vehicle. They reclaim this space for themselves despite the vision that they both drown in it. That is absolutely terrifying. But again, this relationship deserves to grow stronger. They don't know how much time they will have left with each other. As such, they need to grab ahold of these moments for as long as they can. Of course, this isn't a time when the Drew Crew can do anything they want without any expectations of consequences. Ace has broken into the police station dozens of times already. He can take evidence when it is beneficial to Nancy's investigation. Here, the show states that Detective Tamura did, in fact, find Lucy's skull when the Claw was raided last season. He has been holding onto it. He didn't log it into evidence though. That may state that he too has nefarious motives. He can't be seen as an ally to Nancy and the Drew Crew. He is simply the latest figure from law enforcement to grow exasperated by their various antics. He knows that they know more than they are ever willing to share with him. They have valuable insights into what's going on in this town. That simply doesn't make him an interesting counterpoint. The same was basically true of the police chief last season. It was simply a role that didn't require much context and was too constrained to ever amount to anything more rewarding. Some attempts were made. That will more than likely occur this season as well. Ace actually makes a joke about Tamura's lack of spiritual clarity. That is amusing. However, the show just breezes past this character and the stake that he has in this world. Instead, it's all about the gambit to return Lucy's bones to the Aglaeca to honor the deal that was broken. It doesn't work. It's simply an option that Bess suggests because it presents as reasonable. It may have always been too good to be true. When people are desperate though, they will grab ahold of anything in the hopes that it may improve and protect their lives. AJ has lived in agony for decades. He tortures himself to keep the Aglaeca far away. Nancy needs to understand. She needs to know how to save herself and her friends. It may all be for nothing. She simply helps AJ find peace knowing that death comes for him. He doesn't have to sentence anyone else to that fate. It's still horrifying. It does read as somewhat empty though because the show rushes through a lot of these plot points. It suggests the relationships are growing deeper. They are evolving and changing as things go along. And then, the story always seems to bring everything back to the basic structure that once was dominating the proceedings. It's fascinating and somewhat infuriating. The Drew Crew is desperately searching for a way to survive the Aglaeca. They will probably find some solution. It's unlikely the show kills off its main characters. They should still have to deal with the consequences of their actions. That will require true introspection. Realizing they only have a limited amount of time left could have forced those conversations into occurring more quickly. The show continues to prove that Ace is the most engaged character who understands the severity of the situation while fighting hard to prevent it. He opens up just enough to his father to suggest more understanding and compassion. Meanwhile, Nancy continues to make the same mistakes while still always relying on Carson and Ryan to help her whenever she demands it. Again, it's the same story beat done over and over again. It's not inherently bad. The show is simply losing urgency at a time when it should really be amping up because of the threat from the Aglaeca.