Wednesday, May 19, 2021

REVIEW: 'Nancy Drew' - Nancy Realizes Just How Sinister and Lethal Everett Truly Is in 'The Purloined Keys'

The CW's Nancy Drew - Episode 2.16 "The Purloined Keys"

Ryan and the Drew Crew work together to find a way to bring down Everett. Carson gives Nancy a word of warning.

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 Purloined Key" was written by Jesse Stern & Katherine DiSavino and directed by Jeff W. Byrd

Everett Hudson is a monster. The narrative has always indicated that. Everyone walks around Horseshoe Bay with that absolute clarity. He will kill and commit other heinous crimes in order to remain a powerful and influential figure. No one has ever been able to build a successful criminal case against him. His story is deeply connected to Nancy's as well. She has long believed that she needs to appease him in order to protect her own life. Everyone has always discussed this threat in life-or-death terms. That's the basic understanding everyone has regarding Everett's perspective on the world. He will kill the moment he feels betrayed. It's not a subtle characterization. Nor has it really been fleshed out in a meaningful way. It's easy to understand why Nancy got so caught up in the Hudson family drama this season. Ryan is her biological father. That doesn't mean she needed things from this side of her family. And yet, she forged a connection with Celia. She saw a new side of her grandmother. One that was caring. She wanted to protect her granddaughter. That instinct is what ultimately led to her being killed. That moment offers complete clarity over how far Everett is willing to go to remain in control. He will kill his own wife if he knows she has been deceiving him. He sees Nancy as a threat. Celia has been protective of her. Of course, Celia has been concerned about carrying this secret. She saw the urgency of telling Everett as soon as possible. Nancy had to prove herself as someone dependable to the family. She wouldn't be a threat to their overall well-being. That wasn't good enough. Everett still lashes out in this monstrous way. Sure, the narrative just teases that thread throughout this episode. It doesn't confirm that Celia is dead until the very end. Instead, people continually write off her strange behavior as her typically spinning out in the hours before an extravagant event she has planned. Nancy subconsciously knew that Everett would brutally kill people without wanting to hear their side of the story. That's the nightmare she wakes up from at the start of this episode. It terrifies Carson. He knows that Nancy is getting dangerously close to the Hudson family. He sees her following the same tragic path he once did. He managed to escape. Not many people have been able to do that. Everyone still feels a loyalty to protect the secrets of this family. If they speak out of turn, Everett will find out and send assassins to kill the moles. That's the fate that befalls Howard after talking to Nick and Ryan. He points them in a significant direction. One that hints at a video cursed with indestructibility. Someone was clearly scorned enough by Everett that they created this powerful and damning piece of evidence against him through supernatural means. It will be convenient when it finally comes out. And yet, everyone has to survive long enough for that to happen. Nancy has a completely different understanding of her grandfather here. She has always known that he had the capacity to kill her. Ryan has that certainty as well. Of course, he notes that his father would fell bad about it after the fact. His rage is simply too powerful in the moment. That condition seems tacked on in order to suggestion dimension within the character. And yet, this threat is very real. Nancy is essentially operating by herself. Nick and Ryan no longer think she can be trusted in this mission. She is trying to protect everyone. She is also trying to get her bearings in this family. She needs to know exactly what Everett is planning. She knows all of this is a test. He needs to know where the threats are. It's not from the video coming out. It's from the people asking questions. That extends to Nancy. She is naturally curious. She is protective of her loved ones. Val is still forced into hiding because she is caught on camera. Everett has all of these resources to learn the truth. He doesn't exactly need Nancy. He may just be teasing her as he already knows about their connection and the threat she poses to his legacy. Nancy has that awareness now too. And so, she acts first. She strikes with her taser. She has armed herself. She won't be powerless in this situation. And yet, death and uncertainty still loom over the proceedings. Celia is dead. Nancy is marked in the photograph Carson takes. The rest of the Drew Crew are along for the ride and could potentially become collateral damage. Nancy feels the pressure of being everything to everyone at the moment. It's a huge burden. She has to focus on appeasing Everett. And yet, that was never going to amount to anything. She was given hope. Now, she sees things clearly. He is a monster who must be dealt with before anyone else is hurt. That's a tall order. She takes this bold action. It may work. She will also be pulling her loved ones into even more danger when they have plenty of problems on their own.