Nancy Drew Season 1, Episode 3 Recap: Secret in an Old Clock

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The CW

Is this show… good? Honestly, it’s harder to write recaps for quality television because there’s nothing to make fun of when the plotlines are tight, the visuals are toit, and the suspense is naturally building. CW shenanigans aside, this Nancy Drew recap took us like an hour to write because we didn’t have any complaints. Seriously.


nancy drew recaps

The CW

This Nancy Drew recap begins with Nancy doing a morning-after snoop of her boyfriend’s apartment, where she learns what we’ve all known for a week: Nick’s burner phone was the last number Tiffany Hudson texted before she died, alerting Nick to something hidden in Nancy’s car. Nancy confronts her beau with this collected knowledge — the call, the car, the murder charge — and Nick refuses to show Nancy the brick he unearthed last episode. We’re guessing Nancy’s not down for round two. Continuing her brilliant plan of showing all of her cards unprovoked, Nancy asks her dad where the bloody dress from their attic went, but he just reminds her that she’s about to be arraigned on felony charges. Nick comes to The Claw to make sure Nancy doesn’t talk to the police after a “random search” of his apartment raises suspicion. It turns out that Nancy swiped Nick’s burner phone and deactivated it, and the small fact that she hasn’t run straight to her father’s girlfriend yelling “Murderer!” is enough for Nick to come clean about the hidden brick in Nancy’s ride.

The Nancy Drew writers aren’t the only ones who owe Nick an apology — that brick wasn’t drugs, it was an old clock. My bad! Nick doesn’t know what the clock means, but Nancy is determined to solve its puzzle. The clock was in Nancy’s car because her mom was Nick’s social worker. Kay Drew is the reason Nick met Tiffany, who began making regular visits to the prison and communicating with Nick through books. Nancy discovers an engraving inside of the clock and realizes it’s an ISBN: Under the Lilacs. This leads the on-again, off-again couple to the Lilac Inn where they find paintings of famous authors, culminating in an Edith Wharton photo that means nothing to me, but apparently means everything to Nick. He takes Nancy to the kitchen cupboard, which reveals a secret passageway just as Carson and Mr. Hudson arrive at the Inn. This time, Edgar Allen Poe inspires Nick to dig a hidden safe out from behind a brick wall, and Nancy realizes the clock houses the key. They escape before Carson and Mr. Hudson realize they weren’t alone, but Carson knows his daughter well enough to find her footprint in a puddle of spilled wine.

Mr. Hudson meets Carson to go over legal jargon and explains that Tiffany was restoring the Lilac Inn as a pet project. Horseshoe Bay has yet another old wives’ tale, this time that the upcoming Nor’easter will bring with it restless spirits. It sounds like this week’s restless spirit is out to get Mr. Hudson, and he can tell. Instead of assuming it the ghost that nearly scared the Beetlejuice out of me, Mr. Hudson thinks it’s the mysterious force Tiffany was convinced was watching them before her death. Mr. Hudson is determined to believe that Tiffany died of natural forces (or, ghosts) because it’s the only way he can inherit her estate and pay back some ominous debts.

George doesn’t believe in curses, but we sure do. Coffee pots are exploding, arrows are falling from the sky, and Bess knows insidious bad luck when she sees it. Along with Ace and a potential new hire named Rita, The Claw team makes a salt circle around George to protect her. Ace and Bess leave Rita alone with George, and not only is George definitely cursed, but Rita is definitely some kind of witch/demon/spirit, and that circle is the only thing keeping George safe. When Nick and Nancy rush into the restaurant, Rita disappears. Nancy Drew glosses over that sh*t pretty quickly in favor of Nick explaining his story as a sign of goodwill. Nick killed a violent football player named Austin in self-defense when Austin attacked his female friend. As Nick’s story ends, so does the Nor’easter, and a surprisingly well-acted moment devolves into the CW’s heavy-handed symbolism and quippy words of affirmation. Oh, and Rita? George discovers she was a tourist decapitated in a boating accident. No biggie.

Cop Karen asks Nancy for dirt on Nick in exchange for an expunged record, and she decides to follow-up in front of Nick at Nancy’s house. All Nancy found is that Karen’s theory was wrong and that Tiffany and Nick were actually pretty good friends. That’s one way to repair a relationship, but Karen refuses to help Nancy’s case. Together, Nick and Nancy find five million dollars in untraceable bonds in Tiffany’s gift to Nick, and neither of them responds appropriately. Nancy is scarily calm and Nick skips right over happy straight to worry. I’m getting second-hand anxiety just wondering where Nick’s planning on keeping these bonds, but there’s no time for that now. The episode’s surprise MVP, Ace, leads Nancy to Bess’s destroyed van/home, synapses he connected while driving around the city. Nancy offers to let Bess crash at her house, and we were stoked for this best friendship to blossom before Nancy found Tiffany’s diamond ring in Bess’s things. In Horseshoe Bay, nothing stays secret for long.

Number of Terrifying Jump Scares: 3

The Most CW Moment

nick and nancy

The CW

When we learned that Nancy met Nick three days ago… making this July 7.

How We Feel


The CW

Honestly, we’re pleasantly surprised. Maybe we’re just comparing this week’s Nancy Drew recap to the truly ridiculous Riverdale episode that preceded it — Chad Michael Murray in a rocket ship, anyone? — but for the first time in two decades of life, we don’t really have any complaints. Sure, we were taken aback that ~all this plot~ supposedly occurred over the course of three days, and we’re completely mortified that in a previous recap we assumed the brick Nick unearthed from Nancy’s car was drugs, but Nancy Drew is finally showing potential to be the next great teen noir. The further it strays from its Veronica Mars roots, the better. This week’s episode had all the makings of a classic Drew novel, right down to the Old Clock, and it wove unexpected but sensible literary references through its major plot arc. The acting was at worst decent, at best pretty good, and the show effectively built suspense through obtuse camera angles and the series’ leads pugnacious inability to turn on a f*cking light.

Actually, we do have one Big Issue: these teens were really out here driving in the middle of a Nor’easter, and no one got into a car accident. We’re not saying we want any of these characters to get seriously injured, but it’s irresponsible to show people casually driving in a flash flood without hitting anything. This could be my California upbringing talking, but those vehicular scenes were almost as scary as the ghost that appeared behind Mr. Hudson in Carson Drew’s office, and that sh*t legitimately made me scream.

We are unironically excited to see where Nancy Drew (and our Nancy Drew recaps) go next.

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