Nancy Drew Recap: “The Trail of the Missing Witness”

So far this season, George is sharing her body with Odette LaMar’s ghost, Nancy’s true Hudson heritage could spell danger, Ace has finally met his long-lost half brother…and that’s just the beginning of what’s been going on with the Drew Crew. Spoilers ahead!

Episode 2.12 focuses on the mystery of Ace’s brother Grant, who has finally gotten up the courage to reveal himself to the Drew Crew. He’d been working as a line cook at The Claw for a few weeks in hopes of learning more about his half brother, but hadn’t had the guts to introduce himself—until he realizes that he needs the help of Nancy and co.

Grant explains to Ace and Nancy that he and his mother are in urgent need of assistance; Grant has been receiving threatening phone calls from someone who claims to have kidnapped his mother because she stole something important back before she was placed in witness protection some twenty-odd years before. The kidnapper demands that Grant locate what was stolen and hand it over, or else. Nancy finds what she believes is the stolen item and the trio enlists the help of Carson to make sense of the whole thing. Carson is able to provide a tape that contains interviews with a group of witnesses detailing shady work they did for a company called the Holt Group. Among the witnesses is Grant’s mother Suzie…along with Daniel West, the man who has kidnapped her in the present day.

The Trail of the Missing Witness
 Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The device Daniel wants so badly is locked with a riddle, but they surmise that it must contain the full list of his fellow witnesses—everyone who testified against the Holt Group and was later placed in witness protection just like Suzie. Since Suzie is the one who purloined the list, placed it on the device, and then locked it, they realize that to open it they’ll probably need to confront the only person around who knew Suzie back then…Ace’s father Tom.

As it turns out, Tom never knew that Suzie was pregnant before they parted ways (which is a relief to Ace, who had feared his father was intentionally keeping a secret). But he gives them the clue that they need to unlock the device: the last date that they spent together. Unfortunately everything backfires when Daniel kidnaps Ace to force Grant give up what they’ve learned. Since Daniel was a highly paid hitman for the Holt Group, Nancy knows that he won’t hesitate to kill Ace if they don’t comply. Nancy and Grant go to rescue Ace, knowing that they have no choice but to give the kidnapper the list of names. During the exchange, Daniel mentions that he needs the names for “The Road Back” and insinuates that the Holt Group was a front for something else. By giving “The Road Back” the names of everyone who ratted on their enterprise, he’ll be back in their good graces. Although Ace doesn’t want Nancy and his brother to do what Daniel says, Grant gives him the list anyway, and Ace and Nancy share an emotional embrace. “I couldn’t lose you,” Nancy tells him. (Anyone else ship those two?? It can’t be just me.)

Ace is upset because he hadn’t wanted the eventual murders of the witnesses on his conscience, but Nancy has already thought ahead. Before she and Grant went to meet Daniel, she had called the last person we thought she would work with: her grandmother, Celia Hudson. Celia arranges an interception of Daniel using her own resources, and gives Nancy the list back. They decide to hide it in the Historical Society Archives, which thanks to Nick’s recent alarm system installation is possibly the most secure place in Horseshoe Bay. We don’t know what happened to Daniel, but it is assumed by the Drew Crew that the witnesses are safe…at least, for now.

Grant and his mother must go back into witness protection, but before leaving with the marshall Grant gets to meet Tom in an emotional scene. When Ace and Grant say goodbye, it seems like they may not get the chance to meet again because of the program’s restrictions—but knowing Nancy Drew, something this big isn’t introduced for a one-off episode. This is more than Ace’s convoluted family dynamics, it’s potentially introducing the next big bad. Who really was the Holt Group, and what were they a front for? (My money is on the Hudsons, or something related to the Hudsons).

While all of this has been going on in the foreground, Nick has finally made contact with someone detailed in Tiffany’s drive. A man that she referred to as “The Saint” gives Nick bank statements, wire transfers, and other documents that reveal Ryan’s own father, Everett Hudson, has framed him for the hiring of hit men, the arrangement of car accidents and bombs, and more. Ryan is devastated to learn that his dad was orchestrating this for years, as his parents were having him sign paperwork he didn’t understand at a very young age. Meanwhile, we learn what Nancy had to give Celia in exchange for the retrieval of the witness list: per Celia’s request, Nancy amends her statement regarding Everett to the DA saying that she was incorrect and emotional at the time of the trial.

What we’ve learned so far

While the bulk of the episode focused on the witness list, the Hudsons, and Nancy’s deal with Celia, we also discovered more about Bess and Odette’s relationship. The ghost inside George’s body has left love letters for Bess, which she responds to in kind. George discovers what has been going on, and confronts Bess about having feelings for a spirit. Bess, who is still mourning being cut off from the Marvin family as well as her apparent separation from Lisbeth, says that Odette’s attention is filling the void. George, having none of it, tells her that it needs to end now. But who is going to tell Odette that?

But Odette’s time-share with George might end up being the least of everyone’s worries if things come to a head with the Hudsons in the following episodes. What will happen when Everett walks free? Celia seems to think that he will be grateful for Nancy’s rescinded testimony and that her chances of staying alive are greater this way—but as we have seen in episodes past, Everett is a ruthless individual who isn’t just okay with murdering people…he’s totally happy to frame his own son for it. He’ll certainly have no love for Nancy, even if he learns that they are related.

As for Nancy’s personal life, I think that we just got a big glimpse into what her true feelings are for Ace. Each one of them is seemingly involved with one of the Bobbsey twins, but in the wake of Nancy’s sacrifice for Ace I doubt that those relationships are going to last.

Until next week, sleuths.