“The Spell of the Burning Bride” on Nancy Drew could best be described in two different phases. First, there was the cursed wedding gown case that blended both supernatural mystery and a small-town crime. And then, there was the gas contamination that affected Nancy and brought her into obsessed romance mode. Both phases connected together due to the wedding gown, but each phase had a drastically different tone. Between the two phases, the latter half had a more engaging plotline and structure. Nancy Drew seemed to recognize this based on how quickly the first half’s plot was dropped in favor of getting to the real comedy and meat of the mystery. Arguably, that was the right call.
The break-in at the floral shop/the ghostly possession while wearing the gown wasn’t as captivating as expected. Sure, the gown had an underlining intrigue surrounding its origin and powers, but that all felt secondary to the hijinks that would be created down the line. The theft and original possession of the gown came and went without any fanfare. Nancy and the Drew Crew didn’t have to try that hard to put the pieces together before they deduced who was wearing the gown. The first half came across as easy filler, which wasn’t a huge issue since the second half made up for it, but it would’ve been nice if the wedding gown had been tied to an earlier story to add more weight to its appearance.
Nancy being affected by the burnt gas, on the other hand, was pique outrageous fun. Nancy Drew isn’t typically a TV show that houses itself in comedy and humor – it’s a pretty serious and campy ghost drama. So, for the series to let down its hair and take a break to have fun, it felt refreshing and new. Based on “The Spell of the Burning Bride,” the series knows how to have a great time and bring personality to its characters. Why can’t they add more of this light-hearted touch to the Drew Crew? Granted, they’re moody for a reason based on all the issues they’ve faced, but sometimes it would be nice to see them embrace their friendships and have a good time.
Kennedy McMann added so much fun portraying the love-obsessed version of Nancy. She seamlessly adapted her character’s mannerisms and personality whenever she fell under the love spell and obsessed over a new person. And you could tell she enjoyed the hijinks and portraying Nancy in a new light. I loved the editing touches that were added whenever Nancy fell for a new guy, like with the hair blowing in the wind and the slow-motion. “The Spell of the Burning Bride” felt like every cheesy rom-com whenever someone gets hit by Cupid’s arrow – it pulled you into the same swell that Nancy fell into. Each new beau came across as more desirable and swoon-worthy than the last.
Based on the love spell, there were at least three guys who delivered a lasting connection to Nancy: Gil Bobbsey, Detective Abe Tamura, and Ace. Right now, Gil and Abe seem to be the biggest contenders for the next romance storyline because they openly flirted with Nancy or had lingering sparks. As mentioned in last week’s review, I don’t think Nancy’s connection with Gil will last or will be strong enough beyond the season. Their lingering flirtation seemed to be about connection and the mystery surrounding his mother, but once she’s found, the future will be up in the air.
Abe and Nancy played with their love-to-hate flirtation, so there’s something brewing between them. Will they spark something? Possibly. Their dialogue had some similarities to Nancy’s past with Owen Marvin, so there could be that same adversity/playful banter that pulls them together. I’m still hoping something happens with Ace because even “The Spell of the Burning Bride” brought up a few nods toward their burgeoning feelings, like how Nancy thought of his hair and when Ace appeared when they were talking about dating. Nancy Drew was either teasing something or playing with the fandom.
There’s no way Odette will leave George’s body now that she’s crushing on Bess. The ghost was falling for Bess, and in some ways, Bess was falling for her right back. Did anyone else see the hints of sparks in Bess’s eyes toward Odette at the roller rink? Bess let her guard down just enough to be swept up in Odette’s flirtation. It’s too early to tell if something will develop between them, but if the Drew Crew wants George freed, they’ll have to find a way to get Odette to leave.
What will Ryan’s mother do with the information about Nancy’s paternity? Celia Hudson isn’t her husband, so she won’t do something sinister or drastic right off the bat. However, Celia is all about appearances and maintaining the perfect Hudson image – the scandal could put a dent into that façade. It would be surprising if Celia welcomed Nancy with open arms and brought her into the Hudson fold; that would throw everyone for a loop and it would take the narrative power away from Ryan. Still, how did she figure out that Ryan and Nancy were related? Something had to have tipped her off about a possible family connection to do the test.
“The Spell of the Burning Bride” was a fun and comedic break away from the seriousness of the ghost world. The Drew Crew fell under the romantic shenanigans in a big way; from the lure of the gas to the flirtation of a ghost. Sometimes it’s nice to have these more upbeat moments to see new sides of the characters and have more upbeat drama. If only the Drew Crew knew what troubles laid ahead now that some secrets aren’t so secret anymore.
Nancy Drew airs new episodes Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on The CW and streams Thursdays on cwtv.com.