So far this season, the Drew Crew is trying to outsmart the Aglaeca, Nancy’s dads attempt to team up to help their daughter, and in episodes 2.04 and 2.05 our protagonists finally realize the truth behind Odette LaMar’s tragedy. Spoilers ahead!
The Fate of the Buried Treasure
The clock is ticking, and the Drew Crew has less than two days to figure their sh*t out before the Aglaeca murders them one by one. Unfortunately, the dybbuk box that they stole from AJ’s cabin may not be the salvation they had hoped for as it isn’t made from the right type of blessed wood—but luckily for them, there’s an authentic dybbuk box located in a Boston museum that should work to trap the sea spirit…if they can just get their hands on it.
The group splits up to accomplish as much as possible in what little time they have: Nancy and Bess hit up the historical hot spots in town, looking for anything that might have belonged to Odette LaMar, while Ace heads to Boston with Carson and Ryan to borrow the dybbuk box under the pretense that the Hudson’s want to display it. Though Nancy’s biological father and the man who raised her still have layers upon layers of stuff to deal with (not to mention the ever present argument of nature vs nurture), they are able to reach a place where they agree that something is up with Nancy and her friends—something that the young adults don’t want to share, but that is obviously important. Luckily, their errand proves fruitful when Ryan buys the dybbuk box for the Drew Crew and they’re able to take it back to Horseshoe Bay.
Meanwhile, Nancy and Bess’s quest is also going better than expected. Or rather, it’s going as well as you can imagine when you’ve accidentally uncovered a tortured ghost reliving her last days trapped in a basement. While at the house that belonged to Captain Marvin (yup, Odette’s so-called husband who murdered her and took her fortune), they realize two key factors—1) Odette had a beautiful necklace that was passed down to Marvin’s second wife, and 2) the second wife, Agnes, was locked up in the cellar after she supposedly went mad.
Thanks to some “ghost vision goggles” from Nick, Nancy is able to see Agnes’s ghost and her living nightmare. She repeats the same motions over and over, to the point where Nancy can’t watch anymore. One of the motions Agnes keeps reliving is the scratching of what seem to be random letters on a side table. A later conversation with Ryan shows that the letters are actually musical notes that correspond to a hymnal that Nancy stole from the Marvin house. Using the hidden cypher, Nancy discovers a secret cache of letters and Odette’s necklace in the church, undisturbed for 200 years.
The bundle of letters, which were between Odette to the Englishwoman she loved, are accompanied by a note from Agnes, revealing that she had learned about the atrocities her husband inflicted on his first wife. Agnes had attempted to confide in Reverend Hudson (yup, Hudson), but he was in league with her husband to cover up Odette’s murder and subsequent use of her money to build the town of Horseshoe Bay.
Armed with the truth about Odette, the necklace, the sand from one of their death portents, and the dybbuk box, the Drew Crew heads back to the beach. After putting the necklace and sand into the box, Nancy places it at the edge of the water and opens it. The Aglaeca is drawn to the mirror on the inside of the box lid, as well as to the objects within. As she reaches for the necklace, the frightening visage of the sea spirit begins to melt away, revealing Odette beneath. Before she can be contained by the box, the Aglaeca takes control and shatters it into tiny pieces—but not before showing the Drew Crew a weakness. The sand they had deposited in the now-destroyed box has turned into a seaweed wreath that nearly chokes her.
The Drowned Woman
With mere hours left before their deaths at the hands of the Aglaeca, each member of the Drew Crew is frantically searching for more of the sand left over from their portents. They’re hoping that since the sand they placed in the dybbuk box transformed into something that could hurt the sea spirit, they might be able to use it against her a second time—and maybe even kill her if they have enough of it.
Nancy heads to the Historical Society to ask Hannah for advice, unaware that Carson and Ryan have teamed up yet again—this time to watch her from a distance and see if they can figure out the source of the crew’s strange behavior. The two men have no idea what is happening with the Aglaeca, but can no longer turn a blind eye when something awful is obviously plaguing their daughter.
Nancy asks Hannah if she knows of a way to track down more portent sand. Hannah lets slip that there are haunted objects stored in the archives and that she will try to find something useful. While Hannah is in the back, Nancy sneaks a look at the society’s ledger and sees that it is filled with entry logs of supernatural objects. Hannah takes the ledger back, saying that the book is for keeper’s eyes only—and that there is nothing more she can do to help Nancy and co as the objects at her disposal are extremely dangerous, and would do more harm than good.
Coming across Ryan’s car in the parking lot, Nancy remembers that there might be remnants of sand here—luckily, Ryan’s car vacuum is in his trunk, and it is indeed full of her portent’s littering. And with that, a last ditch-effort plan is born. The sand is divided among the five friends, who split up to heighten their chances of killing the Aglaeca. Whoever the spirit chooses first will have to use the sand against her like they did accidentally on the beach—and if the first person dies, then the next person must try their hand, too.
Cue super creepy singing, and the replay of the beginning of their individual portents. The Aglaeca appears before George and Nick, and they throw the sand at her. Although his truck does fill with water to drown them both, they are able to escape and believe that they have killed the spirit. But when the group regathers at The Claw, they see a brand new portent—their bodies spread across the floor, each of them dead.
At the end of their rope, each of them decides to spend their last three hours alive differently. Nick hands off Tiffany’s secret flash drive to Ryan, offering him a “game-changer” against the Hudson empire, while Nancy goes to see Carson. “How could you love something that was never really yours?” she asks him about the years he spent pretending to be her real father. When Carson explains that the love he and his wife felt for Nancy will never go away, despite her true parentage and their ensuing estrangement, Nancy has a major lightbulb moment—the Drew Crew went about it all wrong by using the sand, a symbol of Odette’s drowning and trauma, against her. Instead, they should appeal to the love deep in her that will never go away—the root of her humanity, concealed deep within the sea spirit.
Together again at The Claw, the group reads the letters Agnes had hidden aloud to the approaching Aglaeca. At first, it doesn’t seem to be working—she is angrier than they have ever seen. But eventually, Odette appears to hear and remember the words exchanged between her and her lover, and, realizing that she has not been forgotten, she stops her attacks on the group before disappearing into thin air. Unfortunately, during the skirmish, George was severely wounded and is quickly dying. With the phone lines down, Nancy makes a rash decision to take matters into her own hands. Remembering an entry in Hannah’s ledger for a shroud that can revive the dead, she breaks into the Historical Society and steals it. When she returns to The Claw, George has indeed passed away. But laying the shroud over George’s body causes her to revive, and the wound closes mysteriously on its own.
The crew feels liberated, having narrowly escaped death. But not everything is as it seems—George may be haunted and/or possessed by the ghost of Odette, while Nancy has inadvertently let loose a number of powerful haunted objects that had been stored in the archives. As the spirits escape their confines, Nancy turns eerily to the camera and asks, “Did you hear that?”
What we’ve learned so far
There’s no doubt about what we’ve gleaned from these two episodes: the central theme is undoubtedly love. We see it over and over, and not just in Odette’s letters. “Love is fundamental and desperate,” the crew reads, and it’s true. Love makes humans do weird, crazy, and beautiful things, even when it’s not in our best interest.
George loves her sisters dearly, even though she has trouble showing them how much. She worries about who will take care of them and their mother if she dies, and her concern fosters putting pressure on the second eldest Fan daughter—pressure to step up before she’s ready, much like George had to. Pressure to take on a work load, and be more of a mother than a sister. Bess’s love for Lisbeth causes her to withdraw in order to keep Lisbeth’s heart safer. She doesn’t want to burden her new relationship with the truth of what’s happened with the Aglaeca, and is certain that it would be less painful for Lisbeth if she doesn’t feel the desperation that Bess and her friends are going through. As far as Carson is concerned, Nancy is his daughter and the lack of a blood relationship is meaningless. He would do anything for her—and has lied frequently throughout her life for what he believes is her benefit. Now that the truth is out, though, he is opening up and understanding that Nancy needs honesty and transparency in her relationships. Meanwhile, Ryan feels the beginning of a connection with Nancy; they have a lot in common, despite the differences in personality and how they were raised to view the world, and he wants to get to know her better…not just as a new father figure, but as a friend. (And if that isn’t character development for a Hudson, I don’t know what is.) Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Nick’s growing love for George and Ace’s reserved love for everyone around him—and his search for a long-lost brother whom he wants to get to know.
And at the core of it all is the love each character must learn to have for themselves. Nancy’s ongoing struggle with her identity, and her guilt over involving her friends in the Aglaeca problem, are prime examples—these issues cause her to make impulsive and dangerous decisions while also avoiding hard conversations when people in her life call her out on it. In learning that most of her life was a lie last season, she lost her sense of self-love and worth. Will we see her work to regain that over the rest of the season?
And perhaps most importantly, can the friendship and love that the Drew Crew feels for each other help them overcome the next Big Bad of the season—the countless haunted objects that have released evil spirits across town due to Nancy’s desire to save George’s life?
Until next week, sleuths.