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‘Nancy Drew’ 4×01 review: “The Dilemma of the Lover’s Curse” torments our star-crossed lovers

By June 3, 2023No Comments6 min read
Four characters from The CW's Nancy Drew stand at a table, looking over documents.

Nancy Drew‘s Season 4 premiere has ripped our hearts out! You would think that the time away since the Season 3 finale on The CW would have quelled the sadness over Nancy and Ace’s curse, but you would be sadly mistaken. “The Dilemma of the Lover’s Curse” reignited that pain yet again. Ace and Nancy should be together. The somber Season 4 premiere captured the heartbreak and longing of these star-crossed lovers in a case that forced them together. There wasn’t even any debate—Nancy jumped right back in to help her love, and we were right there with her to make it happen.

Ace being framed for the disappearance of several dead bodies fit right in with the tone of Nancy Drew. It’s not the first time that corpses and disappearances have rocked the quiet town of Horseshoe Bay. And if these last three seasons have taught us anything, it’s that usually something paranormal or supernatural would be the cause of the case. So, it was only a matter of time before the Drew Crew would figure out the spooky reason and clear the Ace of the crime. It was way too early in the season for one of the Drew Crew to be sidelined.

Though, one clear issue of “The Dilemma of the Lover’s Curse” came up due to the strength of the case. The Drew Crew put the pieces together of the corpses resurrecting and following the many paths to the site of Horseshoe Bay’s founding. However, we didn’t get any answers for why the corpses rose from their graves, why they vomited the black goo on the spot, and why they all collapsed for the final time this night. It became clear “The Dilemma of the Lover’s Curse” was being used as the introduction to the bigger mystery at hand.

We didn’t need all the answers—that’s the point of a mystery, we’ll eventually solve it and learn more. However, there needed to be more than just one scene of the group discovering the many corpses vomiting and then not pressing it any further. The pacing brushed past it so quickly and didn’t let the group ruminate over anything. There was no tension, no surprise, and no suspense. Everything simply happened, which is a slightly disappointing way to start the overarching mystery. Past season premieres have done it better (does anyone remember the monster franticly chasing the Drew Crew in the woods? That was a time.).

One of the big focuses of “The Dilemma of the Lover’s Curse” was Nancy’s troubles over keeping the secret from Ace and her frustration of not being with him. Nancy sometimes sticks to black-and-white decisions, so her completely pushing Ace away wasn’t a good idea in the long run. She was only hurting herself and her connection with Ace, even if she thought she was doing what was best. I liked the backdrop of the Lover’s Vigil at the historical society because it heightened their tension and gave them moments where they should’ve come clean. Both Nancy and Ace looked miserable, and if Nancy reached the point of writing Ace’s name in the true love jar, she clearly had reached a point where she needed to tell him. Sometimes a great backdrop is all we need to tell a good theme.

What will Ace and Nancy do now that he knows about the curse? The truth has come out, but it hasn’t solved the problems at hand: (1) Ace will still die if he expresses his love for Nancy, and (2) they both want to be with each other. Hopefully, the pair sticks together to unravel the curse. It would be a shame if they started dating other people as backup plans, like Nancy with her new boy Tristan. Nancy Drew made it a little too obvious that he was being set up as a new love interest. Based on Nancy and Ace’s chemistry, it would be pointless to set up a new romance when everything is more focused on Nancy and Ace. Let’s build out that relationship more than introducing a love triangle.

Contrasting them, the George and Nick relationship plot was a good balance. As much as we would like to have them back together, their growth since their breakup has brought them to a healthier and happier place. I’m glad that they can still be friends and work together as the Drew Crew. Sure, it’s unfortunate that Nick had to sell the ring, but he did it for a good reason, and George needs the space to build out her legal career/education. Their resolution was a satisfying ending for where their relationship went: tender, heartfelt, and still heartbreaking.

Ryan should learn he can’t underestimate the evil forces in Horseshoe Bay. Nancy Drew has shown us in the past that humans can be just as evil as supernatural forces. The Glass family are successful criminals; they’ll do whatever it takes to get paid somewhere. He should’ve realized that they wouldn’t hand over his car if they hadn’t done something to it first; he’s lucky he and Bess escaped the car crash alive. Plus, let’s hope that Tristan doesn’t become a thorn in Nancy and the Drew Crew’s side. He might not be at the criminal level as his parents, but I don’t trust that he hasn’t learned a thing or two from them. There’s a little bit of sneakiness behind that smile!

Speaking of new characters, the new sheriff was a nice addition. Nancy Drew tends to bring in a new law enforcement character each season to Horseshoe Bay; sometimes they work with the Drew Crew and other times they pose a threat. This time, it was pleasantly surprising how fast the bandage was ripped out to introduce the sheriff to the supernatural world. This twist will make the story move a lot easier because we’re bypassing all the doubts and barriers the sheriff would’ve undoubtedly done. A very refreshing and welcome twist for the premiere.

“The Dilemma of the Lover’s Curse” was about character growth instead of the mystery at hand. When it came to the Drew Crew and its relationships, the plot hit its stride and pushed the group forward. However, in this weekly case, there wasn’t depth when digging into the graves, as it were. Usually, Nancy Drew does a great job finding a balance between both points, but some of it fell by the wayside. Hopefully, the momentum kicks up for the final season and pushes forward with the greater mystery.

Nancy Drew airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

Feature image courtesy of The CW

  • 'Nancy Drew' Season 4 Premiere - 6/10
Justin Carreiro

Justin is a fun-loving geek living in downtown Toronto, Canada. He’s an avid TV buff, movie fan, and gamer. He's written for publications like Entertainment Weekly's The Community, Virgin, TV Fanatic, FANDOM, The Young Folks, and his blog, City Boy Geekiness.

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