Season two of Nancy Drew has hit the ground running—literally. The Drew Crew is trying to outsmart the Aglaeca, Nancy doesn’t want to face her father(s), and in episode 2.01 they run for their lives from a super creepy wraith in the woods. Spoilers ahead!
“The Search for the Midnight Wraith” picks up almost exactly where we left off at the end of season one. For anyone needing a quick refresher: Nancy has discovered her true parentage (Lucy Sable and Ryan Hudson) and now she and the father who raised her aren’t speaking; the Drew Crew unintentionally triggered the ancient Aglaeca’s curse that will kill them off one by one; and Nancy is understandably feeling lost in the mysteries—the biggest of which is her own past and where she will go from here.
While the Drew Crew is trying to decide how to fend off the Aglaeca—and avoid the terrible visions of death the spirit has been sending each of them—Bess panics and puts out a message on social media saying that Nancy needs help from her fans. Nancy is upset by this, but Bess’s post leads to an unexpected riddle in the form of a badly injured young woman found by police in the nearby forest. No one knows her identity, but she has a series of numbers written on her hand in ink. Some dark web sleuthing reveals that the girl, Amanda, and her twin brother Gil saw Bess’s call for aid and stole an important artifact that they planned to sell to Nancy at a high price: the mirror that was used in the first summoning of the Aglaeca.
The area where Amanda was found is supposedly the hunting grounds of the Gorham Wraith, an angry being that feeds on people during the full moon. When Amanda’s brother and the mirror never make an appearance at his sister’s bedside, Nancy decides that they should go find him and retrieve the artifact—and possibly save him from the Gorham Wraith, if she indeed exists.
The Drew Crew makes their way to the spot where they were supposed to meet the twins, and find a phone alongside some insulin. The phone reveals a series of video messages between Amanda and Gil, and disturbingly shows the moment when Amanda is attacked by a strange figure. Deducing that the insulin belongs to Gil, and that he may have also been attacked, Nancy leads the group deeper into the woods.
After the discovery of an insulin pump, things get progressively creepier and they are predictably stalked by the wraith. Taking shelter in an old bus, they find Gil who is about to go into insulin shock. He doesn’t seem terribly concerned about death, instead choosing to ask if they brought the money in exchange for the mirror, but Nick administers the insulin anyway.
Trapped in the bus until sunrise (because according to legend, the wraith smells you out by your fear and is lurking outside—think “Midnight” from Doctor Who), Nancy questions Gil about the mirror. Gil learned about the mirror and the Aglaeca from his father, who had worked as the caretaker of the Hudson lodge. But before they can learn how the mirror might help them, their fear catches up and the wraith starts to tear the bus apart causing the Drew Crew and Gil to flee.
Feeling guilty for having dragged her friends into danger yet again, Nancy stays in the bus to keep the wraith drawn to her instead of the others. She’s able to set the bus on fire, killing the creature. Out of harm’s way, Gil sells her the mirror, and Nancy breaks the glass to reveal a hidden message stored beneath—the key to defeating the Aglaeca is hidden in a sea shanty.
What we’ve learned so far
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the beginning of Nancy Drew‘s sophomore season, considering that they had to cut the first season’s run short due to COVID-19 (it was originally supposed to have 22 episodes, not 18). I had what felt like a hundred questions…would season two progress the way they had initially intended, with the final four episodes of season one being tacked on at the beginning? Or was everything reimagined in the wake of the coronavirus? And more importantly, how would these certain shifts in storytelling affect what our characters are going through?
Regardless of how season two may or may not have evolved, there is no shortage of feelings abounding in Horseshoe Bay. From anger and fear to guilt and identity crises, the Drew Crew has it all. Nancy in particular is dealing with some heavy lifting, and only some of it has to do with the current mystery of the Aglaeca. Most of her internal struggle comes down to to dealing with two living dads, two dead moms, and the self realization that her biggest fear isn’t death but herself. Or, should I say, her lack of self—after all, her life history has just been rewritten and her feelings of false identity are weighing on her soul. Who is she, really? Is she at all like the Hudson family, the very people she abhors? And as she rediscovers herself, can she ever come to terms with the man who raised her in a loving household, but who lied to her consistently?
The season as a whole is certain to explore the themes of identity and found family—let’s not forget that the Drew Crew is growing closer, and are sure to support Nancy as she deals with her family drama. There’s also the underlying issues of what the Hudson family does in the shadows. As one of them, Nancy may have a foot in the door to uncover their dark deeds and bring justice to everyone they have hurt.
Until next week, sleuths.