Friday, November 5, 2021

REVIEW: 'Nancy Drew' - Generational Lessons Reflect in the Latest Actions by the Drew Crew in 'The Vision of the Birchwood Prisoner'

The CW's Nancy Drew - Episode 3.05 "The Vision of the Birchwood Prisoner"

After a major setback in the Frozen Hearts case, Nancy asks Temperance for help with an occult approach to getting answers from a murder suspect. The Bobbsey entanglement creates a world of trouble for Ace. George has a long overdue confrontation with someone from her past.

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 Vision of the Birchwood Prisoner" was written by Melinda Hsu Taylor & Leilani Terrell and directed by Ruben Garcia

Nancy is told that she thinks too small. That's what she was told when she initially solved the Frozen Hearts case. That's what Temperance tells her now after they invade the killer's mind for clues about the bigger picture. Nancy carries a great deal of empathy throughout this world. She cares about the people of her community. She doesn't want to kill the man who has plagued this environment. She just wants answers. In doing so, she may have encouraged Temperance to inflict a great deal of harm. Nancy's pursuit of the truth is relentless. She is pointed in the direction of a supernatural entity being responsible for the true scope of this threat. When dealing with those kinds of threats in the past, it's been easier to walk away from the life-or-death stakes of her actions. It's what has to be done in order to eliminate these entities that wish to harm Horseshoe Bay. That has still carried consequences for the Drew Crew. George's life expectancy has shrunk dramatically as a result of Odette finding refuge in her body. That has come to completely recontextualize her entire life. Nick never thought he would be getting married this young. That's the direction he is pursuing though. Of course, he still fears the disingenuous nature of George's love. He believes she always keeps him at a distance. She doesn't seek to include him in the pivotal decisions that must occur in her life. And yet, it's personal for her to confront her absent father. That's something she needed to embrace herself. She finds peace and resolution from that. She acknowledges that she can't carry this anger towards him forever. That isn't healthy or productive given her shortened life. Nick wants to understand. But he's mad because he wasn't personally included in every aspect of her world. That's striking especially when he believes he has to be completely devoted to the person he is marrying. He can't follow the advice that Thom gives him. Moreover, Thom isn't the best person when it comes to offering family advice either. Everyone is wrought with personal drama here. It may all be seen as small in the grand scheme of things. And yet, every action is monumental to the characters. As such, they shouldn't be dismissed for embracing what they love and care about in life. All of this may play into Nancy's growing disillusionment with the justice system. Carson has complete faith in it. He still acknowledges its problems. That doesn't deter him from continuing to operate within it. Nancy has grown much more skeptical. She knows a killer may soon be released. She is willing to cut corners to get to the truth. The existence of the supernatural provides those avenues for her. She has new ways of gathering information. She uses them. She is no longer skeptical or weary of them. They carry consequences. She is still shocked when those arrive. Nancy is made to feel conflicted based on what she can cope with in her pursuit of the truth. She has a path to follow. She has friends who support her as well. They all step up to the plate for each other. It's still devastating when Thom would rather blame his family's troubles on his son's immaturity instead of reflecting on his own accountability. That's long been a burden placed on Ace's shoulders. Thom's fears of his secrets taught Ace how to behave when he too got into trouble. That places him into even more peril. He has walked a dangerous life with Nancy and the various threats in this town. The Drew Crew will continue that as well. Nothing is changing in that regard. That remains solid and stable. The true friction comes from learning behavior that has been passed down from the generations. Temperance operates a certain way. She has adapted quickly to this new life. She can't be trusted. But she operates with confidence and clarity. That is aspirational to some while terrifying to others. She can be both a tool to help and to destroy. These patterns must be recognized and acknowledged. Otherwise, life is doomed to repeat itself. These characters don't always have the best role models to learn from. They still make mistakes. They are still hurt by these costly actions. That uncertainty is left to linger. It's not all neatly resolved at the moment. It can't all change in an instant. Growth has occurred though. It's simply being challenged in new ways that only further highlight just how stark this behavior has been for such a long time in Horseshoe Bay.