Friday, January 7, 2022

REVIEW: 'Nancy Drew' - Harsh Truths Are Delivered When Bess Tries to Trick Temperance in 'The Confession of the Long Night'

The CW's Nancy Drew - Episode 3.10 "The Confession of the Long Night"

A truth-inducing ritual takes hold of a town-wide cocktail party, yielding volcanic emotional confessions and a surprising romantic connection for Nancy. One of Ryan's business contacts comes to town with an offer that may be connected to a recent wrongful death.

"The Confession of the Long Night" was written by Andrea Thornton Bolden and directed by Jesse Ellis

Family lineage is incredibly important in Horseshoe Bay. It basically determines expectations for how a person is suppose to behave in this community. This place has a lot of reverence for its traditions. Every week seems to honor some new event recognizing its history. Of course, all of this is built on a legacy of villainous deeds. The land was stolen by the settlers who traveled across the ocean and built Horseshoe Bay. This isn't the first time the indigenous perspective has been vital to what is being uncovered by Nancy and the Drew Crew. However, it reveals more power that predates all that everyone has been told to deem important in history. Temperance's desire for this sacred artifact buried under the town that allegedly breaks the veil between the living and the dead is what led to her banishment from the Women in White all those years ago. And now, she has returned to enact her devious plan. She is actually more truthful with Nick when he stumbles upon her latest ritual than when Bess accidentally doses everyone with a truth serum. Of course, he isn't in a position to tell anyone about what he knows. That too is a frequent storytelling device this show implements. It makes big reveals of value. It knows the power that can come from having those stories shared. And yet, it always creates obstacles to ensure the truth is never fully exposed. That allows people to continue living in their ignorance. Sure, life isn't bad for those who don't know the full extent of the danger in this community. But it can still be terrifying. Even for those who have given themselves over to the sacred nature of this place can be blindly led to some horrifying things. Hannah didn't know what was imprisoned in the cage when she unlocked the door. She just knew it was her sacred duty to do so once a charm lit up indicating Temperance's return. That action unleashed the Copperhead. That also set off the race to collect Temperance's daughter's soul from the four people who carry separate pieces of it. That too notes the power of family lineage in this place. Nancy and Agent Park are tracking down any person who has ancestors who fought at the Battle of Gettysburg. They haven't made quick progress in that search. No one has died lately either. However, people have died because of Hannah's actions. She has to reckon with that. She feels she can no long serve the historical society because she made pledges to associations she didn't fully understand. Even in trying to unearth all these mysteries, the Drew Crew flails along the way. Ace is also trapped in another plane of existence. That crucially prevents him from telling Nancy about his romantic feelings for her. That gives her enough time to hook up with Agent Park. That action was inevitable. It also showcases how the show loves to torture its central couples. Nick and George are also questioning if they should be together. Sure, it's healthy for everyone to deal with their own trauma and grow as individuals before coming together as a couple. It's easy to deflect from those concerns when someone else serves as an enticing distraction. That too is a pattern for these characters. It can now feel like the show going around in circles. It takes a long time before anyone acts with any urgency about Ace's disappearance. That comes even after it's established early on that he and Hannah may only have a few more hours left to live. They are eventually rescued. They are saved. The situation still escalates given Temperance's proclamation about her true intentions. That establishes a threat for the future. Right now, the show juggles a lot hoping it's all meaningful even when it's not explicitly connected to the supernatural. And yet, those tonal issues were fixed a long time ago and this episode struggles a little bit with them once more. That's especially true with the businessman also trying to exploit the indigenous artifact because he's merely a collector. And for an episode full of characters spilling their hidden truths unintentionally, it all feels rather tame. Sure, George and Nick explode as a couple while Nancy and Agent Park get together. But that's personal drama that largely could have been produced no matter what. No shocking reveals actually come from that spell Bess casts in the hopes of getting ahead of what Temperance has planned.