The hunt for “The Frozen Heart Killer” (name pending) took us to another classic Nancy Drew plot trope. If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that Nancy makes a rash decision that throws a huge hurdle into the investigation. “The Journey of the Dangerous Mind” was that episode, and now that biggest piece of evidence that could’ve solved the mystery will be inadmissible in the court of law. When will Nancy learn to work with the police instead of going rogue? These issues would happen less and less if she did.
Being the community liaison should give her some leeway to work with the detectives, which it did as it led her to a break in the case. However, sneaking into the house and setting off the nail bomb caused a lot of chaos. It will be a miracle if the police are able to use any of that evidence or house in their case. For us as viewers, Nancy’s covert break-in did give us a lead as it confirmed that the killer is still in town and they were burning the evidence (i.e., the hearts). Why would the killer destroy the hearts after taking them? Was it to cover up their crimes?
I’m still leaning on the side that Temperance Hudson is involved in these murders somehow. Witchcraft and magic seem to be an emerging theme in Nancy Drew Season 3, especially with the protection rituals and Temperance aiding in the investigation. Possibly this could be a separate entity trying to use the hearts to stop Temperance and take back the town. Or, someone dabbling in “magic” to clean it up. It’s an interesting angle that might change the relationships and tone we’ve seen in the past. Nancy Drew had been more focused on the paranormal and ghosts in the earlier seasons, but magic brings the story closer to Horseshoe Bay’s secrets and their town traditions. Plus, the true-crime angle with the Alaskan killer could be a red-herring to throw us all off.
Speaking of magic, Bess needs to watch her back while working with Temperance. Her heart was in the right place by creating the protection spell for Ace, but she was very inexperienced in magic. She wouldn’t have known if the spell would work or not; after two years of dealing with poltergeists, toying with rituals wasn’t the smartest idea. And going to work with Temperance could be the most dangerous risk of all. Temperance could be using the opportunity to manipulate Bess’s magic, which might start her re-establishing a coven or achieving her dark goals. Whatever spells she’s conducting, she’s no doubt up to no good. Just look at the cat’s glowing eyes! (There’s evil coming up in Horseshoe Bay.)
Ace’s mishaps at The Claw were funny and very reminiscent of the Drew Crew’s time dealing with the Aglaeca. His accidents felt like scenes from Final Destination—we didn’t know what bad stuff would happen, but the trouble was bound to happen. If this were a darker show, Ace would’ve been hurt more than just a sore eye. Thankfully, the chaos was resolved quickly and Ace survived. Nancy Drew shouldn’t do anything to tear up Nancy and Ace before they’ve had a chance to get together, even if it’s for magical comedy relief.
One of Ace’s biggest hurdles came from Amanda’s sketchy dad. Ace made the right call by shutting him down and refusing to get involved. The last thing he needed to do was be implicated in crimes he had no part in—Amanda’s dad was on probation/parole, so he’d get in more trouble if caught. Amanda’s dad knew exactly what he was doing and how it would affect Ace; he didn’t care that his actions could hurt his daughter’s boyfriend. Look, Ace might like Amanda, but it’s clear the risk is too dangerous and he’s not fully into the relationship. It’s time they part ways and remove the family from his life.
Nancy also needs to face her father’s issues head-on too. I’m glad Ryan confronted Nancy about her treatment because it was a long time coming. She has two fathers now, but she can’t keep playing them off each other to her own advantage; using Ryan for her investigations with no context doesn’t do anyone any good. Carson and Ryan have built a good friendship over the last two seasons—they need to be on the same page if Nancy continues to go rogue. One of Nancy’s consistent bad habits is shutting people out and giving half-truths; it’s going to get someone hurt one day. Well, it will be them hurt AGAIN.
The other big mystery of the week came from George misplacing her engagement. This storyline was the epitome of a filler plot; it served more as a way to build Nick’s relationship with George’s sisters instead of pushing the narrative forward. It’s fine to have these storylines earlier in the season before the bigger action happens, but they’re pleasant time-wasters. Nothing exciting or important pulled us into the arc.
“The Journey of the Dangerous Mind” was a stepping stone mystery for the greater case overall. Nancy’s toxic traits came out in full force to hinder her investigation while the rest of the characters were kept busy with filler plots. Sure, the plotline was nice and some key details were placed for the storylines to come. However, nothing big happened that would make this a memorable chapter. A very average episode in the grand scheme of events.
Nancy Drew airs Fridays at 9 p.m. EST and streams the next day on cwtv.com.