This NANCY DREW review contains spoilers.
Nancy Drew Season 2, Episode 4
Leave it to Nancy Drew to humanize a monstrous sea spirit, but that’s precisely what “The Fate of the Buried Treasure” does, an hour that that not just provides context around the life of the woman who ultimately became the Aglaeca, but reveals that she was really just the first in an apparent line of women whose life was ruined by the horrible men of Horseshoe Bay.
(Plus, it looks like Ryan and Nancy have more in common than we thought, in an adorable crime-solving sort of way.)
The Drew Crew decides that their best shot at stopping the Aglaeca lies in the use of a dybbuk box, an object from Jewish folklore believed to be capable of trapping a spirit. But in order to use it, they need a meaningful object from their target’s life as well as a token from their death. The latter, they have covered, thanks to poor dead Owen Marvin, but for the second, they need to figure out the truth of who the Aglaeca used to be.
We already know that she was once Odette Lamar, a rich French heiress who also happened to be a brilliant businesswoman in her own right when Douglas Marvin brought her to America. The sea shanty the group uncovered revealed her true fate, and it didn’t involve dying tragically of consumption. In truth, she was murdered and her death covered up, all so that a greedy group of men could steal her fortune.
To prove it, Nancy and Bess head to the historical cottage where Captain Marvin used to live, where they discover that Odette wasn’t the only woman whose life he stole. His second wife Agnes reportedly went mad and was imprisoned in the basement, and some memory of her lingers there still, a terrifying imprint that haunts the dank room where she scraped nonsensical messages on the walls.
While there, Nancy ends up facing off with a mansplaining Horseshoe Bay tour guide, who is all too eager to declare that Odette was only memorable – and therefore only valuable – because she married a town founder. It’s satisfying that our heroine, currently with less than two days to live before the ghost of this same woman brutally murders her, still takes the time to stand up for her memory, highlighting the violence of what was done to her, and how that ultimately benefited the same town that now ignores her life.
That it feels something akin to the way that Horseshoe Bay embraced the story of Lucy Sable as a cautionary tale for unruly young women without acknowledging the town’s complicity in the things that drove her to her death is not an accident.
Perhaps that is also why Nancy is so loathe to believe that Agnes Marvin was truly crazy, when she’s seen so much evidence of the ways that women’s stories are often twisted to benefit the lives of the men around them And, as a result, she manages to track down, not just the necklace, but proof that Odette Lamar would likely never have married Douglas Martin – or any man, for that matter – in the form of love letters to a woman back in England.
The clever way that the episode reveals this twist, that Agnes was smart enough to craft a cipher from the hymnal she was allowed to keep with her and leave a trail for someone capable of figuring out her message, is deeply satisfying. Just another example of men underestimating the women around them to their own detriment.
Though the fact that Agnes died alone and probably a little mad after all in that sad room is beyond depressing. What good is being an exceptional woman when the system is so blatantly stacked against you from jump?
The fact that Ryan Hudson, of all people, is intrinsic to this part of the story is a deft way for Nancy Drew to underline that the two are kind of alike. I’m looking forward to seeing them hash out whatever this prickly connection between them is, even if that ultimately looks like them being more friends than sharing any kind of real father-daughter bond.
Though I’m curious to see how Nancy explains the destruction of the very expensive magic box Ryan bought for her… assuming she and her friends survive their date with death next week.
The music choices throughout this episode were absolutely fantastic. Anybody know the name of the song when Nancy was digging around in the confessional?
I cannot believe this show wants me to believe that something called ghost goggles not only exist but actually sort of work?
I want an entire episode that is Ace, Carson and Ryan on a roadtrip somewhere. Every scene with the three of them was hilarious and charming – Ace’s “do not make me turn this car around” energy in the midst of the Drew vs. Hudson sniping was so good.
Ace’s apology for not knowing Ryan was lactose intolerant and therefore couldn’t drink the coffee he’d gotten him made me laugh out loud.
I kind of hate to admit this but I had truly forgotten that Lisbeth was still part of this show?
I wish I were more invested in these two and their relationship, because I adore Bess and want her to be happy, but….ugh, to me she and Lisbeth are just snoozeville.
“Rich people tchotchkes are usually your catnip” is perhaps the most succinct description of Bess ever.
Thank goodness that George is not ready to drop the L-word to Nick…I mean, I get that near-death experiences make the heart grow fonder and all, but y’all have been dating like a month!!