Never trust something suspicious hiding in the water; as Nancy Drew’s “The Maiden’s Rage” proved, you never know what it could be. And based on the black goopy liquid, we should all be afraid of what will happen next for the citizens of Horseshoe Bay. The second episode of Nancy Drew Season 4 toed a fine balance between a serious case and cheeky comedy. Both tones worked well together pulling the Drew Crew in each direction, albeit through a confusing storyline of sorts.
Now that all is said and done, did anyone get a good sense of the case and Judge Abbott’s schemes? There seemed to be too many questions floating in the air, and a strange decision to dump all the exposition near the end without a clear answer. The Drew Crew were putting pieces together slowly, but this week was another episode where there wasn’t a definitive reason for why it happened. Just like Nancy Drew’s Season 4 premiere, we got plenty of new layers to the overarching mystery, but the twists and turns of the case were merely done to tease the greater story at hand.
Don’t get me wrong, we don’t need a clear answer to everything upfront. A good story needs build-up and layers that add depth to the plot. Between the reanimated bodies, the black liquid in the water, and the judge’s coverup, the main case is shaping up to be an interesting story. The catch here is that Nancy Drew can’t keep relying on vague answers like, “This thread will unravel everything!” or “I don’t know why I don’t remember.” These vague teases are fine for the first two episodes, but we need something concrete by the next episode.
My current theory is that the founders and/or the influential families of Horseshoe Bay are in a secret society and controlling the town. Something shady most likely happened during the founding of the town, which spread evil throughout the generations, and now the spirits are back to clean up the mess and seek revenge. The judge most likely was pressured by the families to cover up Maggie’s assault, which if the truth comes out will unravel the secret. It’s all just a theory, but that’s where my intuition is going.
It’s a shame that Judge Abbott turned out to be the stereotypical corrupt judge. George finally had another mentor who believed in her and could help her law career. You could see and feel the noticeable difference in her at the start of “The Maiden’s Rage”; she was happy, energized, and enthusiastic to do her career as a law clerk. Judge Abbott’s betrayal will undoubtedly affect her and her opinion of the legal system; hopefully, she’ll stay the course and keep fulfilling her dream.
Maggie’s assaulter, on the other hand, wasn’t surprising in the least. Something seemed suspicious in his behavior like there was more to the story than simply him breaking into Maggie’s house on a dare. The black water wouldn’t have targeted Judge Abbott and his case if there weren’t something more nefarious happening beneath the surface. And for him to give Judge Abbott the metal horse as a gift? Stupid! Why would you give a judge an assault weapon?! Whoever he was before the magical spell, he was way too confident and didn’t think clearly.
One of the big draws of “The Maiden’s Rage” was Nancy getting infected by the black water curse. Kennedy McMann, who plays Nancy Drew, was clearly having a great time portraying the brash, toxic masculinity version of her character. All of the cliché tropes, like the manspreading and the bravado, just made the jokes land even harder. She did a good job embracing how unserious the twist was and just having fun! Still, I’m glad the Drew Crew was able to cure her. Toxic male Nancy was becoming a bit too much between the threats to fight people and her growing jealousy.
And Nancy telling Ace the truth about the death curse was the right call. As we discussed during the Season 4 premiere, he needed to know why they couldn’t be together in a full relationship. The lies and distance were only hurting their relationship—no one was happy to see them apart. At least now they can find a middle ground that works for their connection and doesn’t keep them apart. Two heads (and the rest of the Drew Crew) will be needed to break the curse; Nancy couldn’t do it on her own.
Elsewhere in Horseshoe Bay, Bess’ and Nick’s romance troubles were simple plots that didn’t distract too much. Though, they paled in comparison to the heftier stories happening to the rest of the group, like with Nancy, George, and Ace. I’m grateful for the character development moments that pushed their stories further; we need to see them grow and work on themselves. But did we need another round of Nick being he should move on and George was fine with him moving on? The last time was enough.
“The Maiden’s Rage” served as a lighthearted chapter that tackled some serious themes. Instead of feeling like a standalone case, this tale was another layer to the big mystery that we don’t know anything about. We were treated to growth from the Drew Crew, and another reason why Horseshoe Bay isn’t the innocent town it claims to be. An enjoyable hour from Nancy Drew, one that will be important later down the line for the overall story of the main case.
Nancy Drew airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
Feature image courtesy of The CW
'Nancy Drew' 4x02 - 6/10