Wednesday, April 14, 2021

REVIEW: 'Nancy Drew' - Nancy Is Willing to Risk Her Credibility in Town to Keep Ace Safe in 'The Trail of the Missing Witness'

The CW's Nancy Drew - Episode 2.12 "The Trail of the Missing Witness"

Nancy and Celia Hudson go head to head. Meanwhile, Nick hires a new line cook at The Claw.

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 Trail of the Missing Witness" was written by Jen Vestuto & Melissa Marlette and directed by Kristin Lehman

The show continues to mostly talk around the fact that Nancy and Ace care about each other in a way that suggests a perfect romantic relationship. Of course, the show allows them to be open about how much they care about the other. That next step seems inevitable but remains elusive. Nancy is willing to sacrifice everything in order to keep Ace safe. Now, the viewer can absolutely question how far she is willing to go. She embraces some amoral methods that will compromise what she has long worked for elsewhere in her investigations. To her, Ace is worth it though. She can't lose him. That's what this entire life-threatening situation is all about. Grant makes himself known as Ace's half-brother. He has to be honest and forthcoming now because his mother is being threatened. He needs to save her. He needs Nancy's help to uncover the crucial evidence hidden somewhere in Horseshoe Bay. The story also highlights how Ace and Grant don't present as siblings. They have conflicting opinions. They don't seem to share any common interests. In fact, Grant felt alienated and unable to reach out to the Drew Crew for help. He didn't know how to approach them. Of course, Nancy probably would have listened and helped if he just told her. She is approachable. However, she is an intimidating figure as well. Grant needs Ace to make the ask. Again, Nancy is completely willing and able to help. In fact, she goes above what the situation requires. She is trying to save lives. Yes, Ace's is the most personal for her. That fuels the connection between them. She can't lose him. However, the show also reveals a mysterious group that runs the world and kills anyone who threatens to expose them. That's why this hitman has arrived. It's new storytelling interest that diverges from what the show typically does. It has been refreshing when the show investigates a mystery that has absolutely nothing to do with the supernatural elements of this world. And yet, those elements have so often been the foundation of this show. It's what Nancy and the Drew Crew have to deal with on an ongoing basis. They are always dealing with some threat that has no natural explanation. Even when Nancy tries to expose the truth in a way that can be presented in a criminal case, she finds herself unable to follow through. She needs Celia's help in order to keep Ace and Grant safe. In exchange for that, Nancy recants the story that was the basis for Everett's entire criminal trial. The season has constantly built up that case. It's always been something on the horizon. And now, it implodes mostly because Nancy makes a choice about what's more important in her life. It's an action of self-preservation as well. Celia argues that dropping her story will redeem her in Everett's eyes. That way he won't kill her after learning she is his granddaughter. But again, Nancy can't abide by these methods. She is torn about what she has to do. She still does it though. She is very skilled and determined as an investigator. She is still learning about herself and her convictions on this job. Her friends provide her with strength. She rewards them for that. Their lives are just as vital. They are worthy of protecting. It's moving when Grant finally introduces himself to his father. His entire life has been upended by this reveal. He can't even spend time with him either. It's just meaningful to know that these family connections exist. They may only have these fleeting moments together. However, they do find ways to connect. Grant can sign his introduction. That's meaningful. He also provides Ace with clarity that Star Trek is better than Star Wars. It's simple and silly. But it's also light-hearted enough to break the ice and bring these characters together. These rewarding connections help forge strong bonds and allow the audience to embrace them fully as well. Things may always be dramatic though. Nick learns that Everett has long been planning on framing his son for the various murders the family has ordered over the years. That's a stunning accusation. It's a huge betrayal that only further showcases the horrors present within this family. Nancy needed a favor from them though. And now, those consequences will ring out across the community. She has earned her credibility as an investigator. She has brought peace and clarity to so many people when they needed help. She brings a family together here despite the difficult emotions involved. But she has to label herself as an emotional and distraught woman in order to make these accomplishments elsewhere. That will be just as personally devastating to her as well because it's a breakdown of her character that could amount to a complete loss of her trust.