Not all Nancy Drew mysteries are meant to be solved within the same hour. “The Bargain of the Blood Shroud” was a filler episode that established bigger plotlines for the characters to come. Granted, there was a case the Drew Crew needed to solve or else major trouble would’ve befallen the group, but the ending wasn’t satisfying compared to previous chapters. You’re not walking away from the latest run-in with the Bobbsey twins on a thrilling note. And, the side-plot involving Odette’s latest conflict was a retread of her same self-deprecating dialogue. “The Bargain of the Blood Shroud” won’t stand out as a favorite from Nancy Drew Season 2.
The main plot did, however, have the elements and potential of being a strong story. Gil stealing the blood shroud and plotting to use it to avenge his “dead” mother heightened the tension for George’s life. If anyone ever used the relic, George (and Odette) would be instantly dead. Gil setting a countdown clock for the Drew Crew to solve what happened to his mother put the group on a tight timeline to make miracles happen. What positively made this different than the Aglaeca countdown was that the timeline was much shorter; one episode vs. several honed everything in to create tension and consequences. All the story needed was to hit the landing and the path through the mystery to be just as exciting.
Gil and Amanda’s mother being alive was a tad surprising. Parents on Nancy Drew stick to the trends of either being loyal parents with a secret or a tortured figure from the past. Their mother fit into the same category, but in this case, she simply took off without any warning. If I had to guess, the burning creature who haunted their mother seemed more than likely to be an actual paranormal figure instead of just hallucinations. Nancy Drew has introduced plenty of creatures throughout Horseshoe Bay, so it’s not unheard of for another one to be out in the world causing havoc.
Plus, the secret room with the paintings was a good tease for what the mother went through and its connection to the Bobbsey twins. But does anyone else think the mother will be in Horseshoe Bay after all this time? She has to be around and hiding out. All roads lead back to the quiet town by the sea.
“The Bargain of the Blood Shroud” added more layers to the new romances with the Bobbsey twins: Nancy with Gil and Amanda with Ace. Neither romance truly sparked with the connection you’d want from the pairs. Part of the problem was that the pairings felt very temporary in the grand scheme of things. Will Nancy be with Gil? Probably not. Gil is too self-involved to work in a relationship with Nancy, and he would’ve willingly killed George (i.e., Nancy’s friend) for the chance of some information that might’ve not happened. The same goes with Ace and Amanda. There’s a flirtation between them, but the hurdles kept popping up, like the random phone calls. The Nancy/Ace pairing, on the other hand, was beaming with sparks and potential. How long are these two not going to get together?!
At least with the Nick and George pairing, they’ve established their love for one another and will do whatever it takes to protect each other. Nick always seemed the most elusive out of the pair, so it was a great character moment for him to utter the words that he loved George. Sure, it was to George’s possessed body, but the effect was still there. His pleas kept Odette from jumping off the cliff, and if he hadn’t related to Odette’s past woes, the restless spirit wouldn’t have relented.
Though, this plot exposed an issue with the possession storyline overall. How long can Nancy Drew go with George housing the spirit and losing control? The pair will try to co-exist, but the formula will get tired quick as Odette will eventually want to be freed. And the blood shroud nearly being used showed that her life will always be hanging in the balance if someone discovers it. A resolution needs to happen by the end of Nancy Drew Season 2 to put this story to rest. Unless there’s a progression to the story, there doesn’t seem to be much growth for the plot beyond a reference wacky adventures with Odette leading the group in the right direction during a case.
Bess’s quality time with Carson was a nice and tender break from the two main plotlines. Sure, the story felt like filler and inspired a way for Bess to help save George’s life on the cliff, but it wasn’t going to be the most ground-breaking plot regardless. Bess being in a sad mood tied into what happened during last week’s review, so I’m glad there was so continuity toward what happened to the character. And, Carson couldn’t help but act like a father when he saw her heartbroken.
“The Bargain of the Blood Shroud” was a simple and easy case that set up new stories while continuing the plots from previous episodes. The Drew Crew stayed to form with solving another mystery and battling their temperamental ghostly frenemy. However, the excitement quickly faded and lost the momentum of previous plots. You’re not going to remember this mystery from other Nancy Drew cases – it served its purpose, but it was filler overall.
Nancy Drew airs new episodes Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on The CW and streams Thursdays on cwtv.com.