Freddy Krueger, eat your frozen heart out! The CW’s Nancy Drew had a new nightmarish villain pop up to torment the dreams within Horseshoe Bay. “The Demon of Piper Beach” was an electric chapter that captured the spooky vibes for a Halloween week episode. Most of the plot was set in the dream world, which opened up the special effects and tricks to make it more eerie and paranormal. But, it was the character development of the Drew Crew that stood as out the best parts. Each of the main five, as well as their surrounding allies, progressed in many positive ways for weeks to come. “The Demon of Piper Beach” was another strong episode for the world of Nancy Drew.
It’s not the first time a TV series has tackled a “Sandman” type of plotline and villain. The original Charmed had a few episodes focusing on dreams and the power of nightmares. “The Demon of Piper Beach” fit right at home in that genre of storytelling. The tone had a fine balance of paranormal fear and childlike quality to it, almost feeling at times like a storybook nightmare. We didn’t get much of the Sandman monster, but the few scenes of the creature suited the creepy vibe built up during its adventure. Sandman was a one-and-done villain, but thankfully, they made the most of the fight against the Drew Crew.
Nancy’s nightmare captured her Type-A investigator obsession to a T. She will analyze and obsess over any clue if her intuition pulls her in that direction; her last encounter with The Frozen Heart Killer gave her enough tidbits to reel her in. As discussed in previous reviews, Nancy needs to realize that the weight of the world isn’t on her shoulders. She’s doing the best she can to solve these cases and protect the people of Horseshoe Bay, but she’s not their superhero savior who can solve anything. Nancy is doing the best she can. Her overanalyzing does wonders when finding a break in the case, like her deducing that there’s another Frozen Heart Killer in the mix. But, she has to take a breath and not put so much pressure on herself.
The part of her dream with a lot of promise came from the romantic cuddle with Ace. Did anyone else gasp from their tender moment? She is so into him; the “Nace” shippers must be living for this. One thing that became clear from a structure angle was that Nancy Drew didn’t have them kiss in her dream—there was a lot of cuddling and neck kissing, but not a full kiss. The series may be teasing viewers with the build-up before a full-blown kiss, possibly when they admit their feelings for each other. This romance has emerged as a potentially big plot line, so hopefully Nancy Drew doesn’t drop the ball with it.
George’s nightmare came out of the blue. For much of The CW’s Nancy Drew, there hadn’t been any mention of her father and wanting to reconcile with him before her death. The focus of the Fan family was on George’s mother and her siblings; the father was a non-entity since he was out of the picture. Once the friend request from him came, it was interesting how George’s worries and the focus shifted about what to do next; she cared a lot about reconnecting before her death. It’s great that George found the strength within herself to reach out to him and build the bridge; any opportunity to learn more about George’s past is welcomed. Let’s cross our fingers he doesn’t let her down.
The same goes for Bess and her witchy adventures. “The Demon of Piper Beach” could’ve been retitled to “The Rise of the Phoenix” because Bess rose up to call everyone out on their shadiness and treatment. I cheered for every second of it! The Drew Crew had been dismissing her, ignoring, or generally treating her like trash; for supposed BFFs, they weren’t acting like it. Bess coming in to save the day and using her newfound witchy abilities served it all to their faces as they ate their words. I loved how shocked the Drew Crew members were by how Bess took charge and saved the day. Nancy Drew needs to treat Bess right and keep this progress going; no more dismissing Bess or making her seem like a non-entity.
Nick’s nightmare paired well with the overall plot of “The Demon of Piper Beach.” Opening the new youth center was a storyline discussed over the last several episodes, so having the center finished helps Nick move forward too. His fears were the most relatable as people do have that Imposter Syndrome of thinking all your hard work was for nothing; he put all his effort into making the center a success. The nightmare grounded Nick and made him even more sympathetic as a character. And, him hiring Ryan to work at the center opened the door for more future plots of them working together. It solved two birds with one stone.
Ace’s nightmare, on the other hand, was the most lackluster from the group. Sure, it connected to his fear of Amanda’s dad causing his murder, but it paled in comparison to the action brought on from the other dreams. He had a stepping stone dream, one that was made to tease the next plotline that would happen in the real world. Not very exciting with everything else going on in “The Demon of Piper Beach.” Now that Carson knows Ace is aware of the chocolate drug boxes, we’ll get more chances for Amanda’s dad to be taken down and Ace to be free of the family.
Who could be the second Frozen Heart Killer? They’ve already got one villain behind bars, but the second killer is much more intricate with their killings and heart removal. Jake the café owner being the latest victim wasn’t the most shocking because his return seemed like Nancy Drew was building up to something with his plot. The odds of him returning just for a few sleepwalking gags didn’t seem like the obvious conclusion. Someone wanted Jake dead, so he had to return to make that shocking twist.
“The Demon of Piper Beach” was a fun mystery of paranormal mischief and nightmarish entities. The Drew Crew faced their fears and they became stronger for it. Sometimes these episodes are needed to play with the special effects and move the momentum forward in the fastest way. It’s a highlight of an already strong Season 3 for Nancy Drew.
Nancy Drew airs Fridays at 9 p.m. EST and streams the next day on cwtv.com.