Wednesday, May 12, 2021

REVIEW: 'Nancy Drew' - Tom Swift Arrives in Horseshoe Bay Needing Nancy's Help to Find a Meteorite in 'The Celestial Visitor'

The CW's Nancy Drew - Episode 2.15 "The Celestial Visitor"

As things begin to go haywire at The Claw, a striking stranger appears looking for Nancy and announces himself as the billionaire Tom Swift. Ace has issues with the way Nancy insists on handling things with Celia.

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 Celestial Visitor" was written by Melinda Hsu Taylor, Noga Landau & Cameron Johnson and directed by Ruben Garcia

The drama has mostly outgrown the need to devote some time in each plot to the people in Horseshoe Bay being skeptical about the existence of ghosts and the supernatural. Not every story is centered around something that can't rationally be explained. Many stories are still informed by forces beyond this world though. Nancy examines the past in the hopes of helping these lost and tortured souls find peace. Of course, she also discovers the brutal and vicious history of this place. It's a place defined by so much trauma and abuse. Those stories are rarely told in the history lessons as well. Nancy shines a light on them hoping to expose the truth for all to see. And yet, she too finds herself having to embrace a lie in order to stand proudly in this world. She needs to be seen as Nancy Hudson moving forward. She needs to become a part of this dynastic family. She is entitled to that good standing. Her presence will still be perceived as a threat. She is uncomfortable in this world as well. She seeks to understand so much. She brings that clarity to everything she does. She is driven by these investigative skills. She can't control everything though. Her friends are willing to make significant sacrifices for her. Their lives are changed as a result. They are still just slowly discovering all the ways in which this world has been corrupted by powerful people looking to shape society. They want their own freedom of expression. That comes with hope for complete acceptance when they present themselves to the world. And yet, Nancy has to prepare to be something else in order to fit in. It could be advantageous for her to do so. Forming a close relationship with Everett can help her gain trust and more insight in this particular world. She wants to expose these many crimes of the past. She doesn't want to be beholden to those who continue to prop up these corrupt systems. She also has the awareness that these situations are much more complicated than they seem. And now, the show is throwing a new character into the mix. It's done with the intention of possibly spinning him off into his own series on The CW as well. That means it's more understandable when Tom Swift engages with the story and is skeptical about the existence of ghosts. To him, that's not a rational thought that could be preventing him from getting what he wants. He's not an arrogant or cruel tech billionaire though. The show puts in the effort to show that he is kind and compassionate. He yearns for power and has a brilliant mind to invent phenomenal pieces of technology. It's all driven by a need for a father's love and acceptance. Him helping his father obtain his lifelong dream of space exploration may not change his mind though. Tom desperately holds onto that hope because it's the easier burden to carry. He arms himself with the code switching necessary to survive. He is capable of having that conversation with people who are completely accepting immediately. The Drew Crew have no biases in their hearts whatsoever. And yet, they too feel compelled to have conversations about race and the fears they have in explaining these bonds in public. It's outstanding actually. These conversations so rarely happen on television. The show discusses anti-Black racism within the Asian community and vice versa. That's something Nick and George have to discuss. They bring it up and have a healthy discussion about it. It's not meant to create drama. Nor is Tom kissing Nick and putting it up on social media. No insincerity or fear exists in that moment whatsoever. That too is revolutionary. Nick is secure enough in his identity to offer that action in service of someone else's journey. It's actually played as a fun moment on display. One that is healing and transformational. One that makes Nick even more secure in his relationship with George because he is that compassionate and loving. Tom and Nancy fundamentally learn things from each other here. They clash. He believes science can solve any problem that can arise. Nancy knows the world has much more dastardly and spiritual forces at bay. They work together for a common goal and learn how to tackle the problems that are currently pent up their emotional lives. They find value and meaning in this short time together. That makes it exciting to imagine what the creative team could do with Tom in his own series. As such, this is a fantastic introduction as it leaves the audience wanting more and knowing that it will also bring storytelling that has rarely been seen on television. Two Black men kiss here. That's powerful and incredibly sexy too.