Friday, January 14, 2022

REVIEW: 'Nancy Drew' - Nancy and the Drew Crew Try to Save the Copperhead's Next Target in 'The Spellbound Juror'

The CW's Nancy Drew - Episode 3.11 "The Spellbound Juror"

While serving on a jury, Nick realizes that one of his fellow jurors may be the next target of the Frozen Hearts Killer as Carson goes to court against his new girlfriend, D.A. Jean Rosario. In the aftermath of recent romantic turns, the Drew Crew deals with tensions of their own.

"The Spellbound Juror" was written by Celine Geiger and directed by Larry Teng

Can the Drew Crew save the lives of those carrying the remaining remnants of Charity's soul? Horseshoe Bay has already been haunted by countless deaths. Of course, it's silly for anyone to seemingly reminiscence about a time of peaceful tranquility in this town. That just proves how oblivious they have always been to the true depths of this place. So much lurks within the darkness of this community. That threatens to rob people of their own agency as well. The people who carry these precious artifacts have no awareness that they are special in any way. Once the murders started happening though, they lost their minds. It's inexplicable to them. They want to continue living their normal lives. And yet, they are slated to die as a result of this feud that goes back centuries. Temperance is collecting the pieces of her daughter's soul in order to send the world spiraling into a hellscape. Nancy figures out her true motives without risking Nick's safety or those he cares about. That actually turns out to be an idle threat Temperance made when Nick stumbled upon the truth. He isn't really conflicted either. That's lackluster and disrupts the overall momentum of the narrative. Nick still serves a vital role in the development of the story. But it's mostly to help guide the Drew Crew to the next person being targeted. The Women in White created the Copperhead in order to protect these pieces once Temperance inevitably returned to Horseshoe Bay. Its powers are capable of fighting her. But again, it's a mission consumed by death and despair. The Drew Crew hopes to save lives. They couldn't do so for the victims in the initial murders. They didn't know why they were being targeted or what the killer was collecting. Now, they are rewarded by information. They have the tools to track down who may be the next target. They have the resources to protect them. The story ends the same way though. The only twist is Temperance being the killer. She collects the prize. That comes after she isn't seen or heard from at all in the rest of the episode. She simply pops up in the end to retrieve what she desires. That creates an eerie threat. The Copperhead serves in that role effectively as well given the sound effects applied whenever it enters the scene. The heart and the humanity of the conflict comes from the Drew Crew trying to do some good. Part of their discoveries happen out of convenience. Nancy and Ryan learn about Temperance's motives simply by going through the remnants of the Hudson estate set to be auctioned off. That provides clarity to them. They immediately understand Temperance can't be trusted. She will always manipulate them to achieve her ultimate goal. That is out in the open now. Everyone must prepare for that. They can no longer be blind in this endeavor. They hope to be proactive. It still isn't enough. Of course, Nick does achieve a victory in trying to safe the life of a man on trial for a crime he didn't commit. The rest of the jury is ready to convict him. All it takes is one passionate speech from Nick for them to see the error of their ways. It's very simplistic overall. It's the show suggesting a future for these characters in the law. They have purpose beyond investigating the supernatural. And yet, those eerie mysteries always disrupt their ambitions for normal lives. That's the case when Ace finally admits his romantic feelings towards Nancy. She is left speechless by that declaration. Again, that highlights how much she has denied that these feelings were there. It's been obvious for awhile. Fear has got the best of them until now. Even after Ace's admission, there is no guarantee that things will be fine. They may ultimately be distracted by the larger threats to their world. That too is convenient and manipulative. That can be tolerated in small doses. This episode just calls for a lot of that sign off without necessarily providing the resolution that rewards it all in the end. Victories do occur here. The Drew Crew identifies a carrier of Charity's soul. Nick saves a man from going to prison. The show just undercuts the importance of those actions by providing resolutions that would create the same outcomes no matter what the main characters actually did. That's striking and makes some of the action come across as little more than filler.