Bill and Ted, eat your heart out. It’s Ryan and Carson’s excellent adventure this week on Nancy Drew. “The Gambit of the Tangled Souls” channeled peak 90s buddy comedy energy with the proud dads having their own wild adventure. While everyone focused on the seriousness of separating the souls, the dads kept the mood light with plenty of shenanigans. This chapter showed yet again how Nancy Drew can balance tense paranormal plots with campy comedy to create strong episodes.
Carson and Ryan’s younger years had only ever been discussed in passing. We’ve learned more about Ryan’s reckless past, like his years with Lucy Sable or his trust fund kid attitude. And he was pretty young when he fathered Nancy, so there wasn’t a huge divide. Carson, on the other hand, was a fully formed parent as of the series premiere. “The Gambit of the Tangled Souls” was a fun time experiencing how Ryan and Carson would’ve been as teens, and how those archetypes would’ve interacted with the Drew Crew. Granted, the gas caused them to act more juvenile than a grounded teen, but the twist added to the punchline whenever they did something reckless.
I loved whenever Nancy and Ace jumped in to stop Ryan and Carson from doing something outrageous. The pair looked like frustrated parents trying to wrangle in their wild kids. At this point on Nancy Drew, Ryan and Carson are basically brothers, so their fun sibling energy added so much energy to the plot and jokes. Ryan crashing the legal meeting and Carson trying to talk to his crush were the best moments while they were under the gas. Both came across as awkward teenagers trying to pull it off—Nancy Drew needs to give Ryan and Carson more comedy moments; they easily can hit it out of the park.
Though, the best joke came from an off-handed remark by Ryan to Ace. Seriously, what is Ace’s last name?! It’s one of the biggest mysteries the show has yet to solve. My theory is that he will be revealed to be a Hardy Boy, and then his brother will return so that the dynamic duo will reunite. There’s already a TV show about the brothers airing right now (The Hardy Boys on Hulu) that might be preventing Nancy Drew from revealing the twist. Until then, we’ll have to keep waiting until the truth is revealed.
The gas plot during “The Gambit of the Tangled Souls” thankfully solved two lingering threads that had been dragged on. The first was giving Ryan and Carson a strong plot that made them the focus. What better way to get them front and center than by making them a thorn in the Drew Crew’s side? And the second is Carson admitting his crush on the prosecutor. Those two had major sparks whenever they clashed or worked together! It’s about time Carson started exploring his romantic options and moving forward in his life; this romance might be what he needs.
Is anyone else ecstatic that George got freed from Odette’s soul? Beyond her now living a full life, the twist gives her more room to grow and think about the future. George had only focused on the now because her time was limited, but she’ll have the chance to rebuild bridges with her dad, take care of her family, and live with Nick. And it was time for Odette to move on to the afterlife. Staying trapped inside George’s mind wasn’t a good outlook for anyone; it only prolonged the inevitable of her living or dying. “The Gambit of the Tangled Souls” gave us as viewers and the show a great transition to the next phase of the Drew Crew.
For instance, Bess fixing her love life. Just like George above, it was time for her to move on from Odette. Focusing on a past love that she couldn’t be with only clouded her judgment. Bess is a hopeless romantic; casual flings weren’t going to satisfy her, especially with a good dating opportunity in front of her. Bess is heading in the right direction for her happiness.
Nick, on the other hand, has to work on his baggage. He can’t keep focusing on the past and what happened pre-series; he grew from it and became better on the other side. Still, his disappearance should be a cause for worry. Did he leave to face his past? Or could it be something paranormal in the mix? Now that George is happy and healthy, this could be the next hurdle standing in the way of the couple. I’m not sure if I’m ready for another big challenge so soon after a ghostly death curse.
“The Gambit of the Tangled Souls” pushed the Drew Crew to wrap up the plots that affected them during the second season. No more Odette, death curses, or Bobbseys in the mix to cause tension for the time being. It’s onward and upwards for the Drew Crew, and this chapter kicked the momentum in a positive direction.
Nancy Drew airs Fridays at 9 p.m. EST and streams the next day on cwtv.com.