‘Nancy Drew’ season 4, episode 1 review: Why is Nancy so curse averse?

Nancy Drew season 4, episode 1 picks up right where season 3 left off, along with that vile curse Temperance left in her wake. The real question here is: Why is Nancy admitting defeat without a fight?

There may be a spoiler or two in here as we discuss that curse from Nancy Drew season 3’s finale, so if you haven’t had a chance to watch Nancy Drew season 4, episode 1, definitely go do that first. But make sure to come back once you have!

The curse

Okay, so the biggest un-realized plot point from Nancy Drew season 3 is Temperance Hudson’s final act of villainy. Her curse on Nancy and Ace makes it so that if they ever express their romantic impulses toward each other, Ace would be marked for death. Hammering that feeling home by allowing Nancy a chance to live out an Ace-filled future, only to hold his dead body in her arms after a tragic accident, proves Temperance was a special kind of cruel.

It’s not just a hypothetical future this time. Nancy has had and lost this love, and refuses to be the reason Ace is unceremoniously taken from the earth this time. And who can blame her? That was a traumatic event, and just because it was part of a magic vision doesn’t mean Nancy hasn’t been marked by it. So, that goes a long way to explain why she hasn’t gone out of her way to test this curse by trying to break it.

Nancy Drew season 4

She’s had supernatural chaos descend after trying to right a wrong, solve a mystery, or break a curse (that whole Agleaca thing comes to mind), so it only makes sense that since this time it involves a man she is emotionally bonded to, she’s simply unwilling to take the risk required to break it.

Which is why I’m so glad that the writers and Powers-That-Be decided to let Ace in on the curse in Nancy Drew season 4, episode 1. There were one of two ways to go here. Either she tells him or she doesn’t. Telling him puts him more at risk, because he’s bound to work hard to free them from it, while the other keeps him in the dark and just leaves him feeling wronged by a friend and woman he admires.

I hope that in the episodes to come, we see Ace confront this challenge with great care. Clearly Nancy is not willing to risk his life, but would absolutely love to put this curse firmly in the past. Conquering it will be a true tight-rope-walk, and I think Ace is up to the task.

We also checked in with all our other beloved characters, so let’s take a chance to see what they were all up to as well.

The Horseshoe Bay Historical Society

Bess has taken over as curator and keeper now that Hannah has taken an extended (and possibly permanent) vacation from Horseshoe Bay. It seems that the town is looking hard at the role of the historical society, though, and is considering cutting the budget. Bess is working to prove that the historical society is a necessary and valuable asset to the town by creating a social media presence as well as celebrating the town’s unique and sometimes downright superstitious history.

This entangles her in Ryan Hudson’s season 4 antagonistic storyline, as he deals with the Glass couple, who peddle ancient and supernatural objects on the black market. Sure, selling a token or two would solve Bess’ money problems, but could possibly come back to bite her later.

Ryan is trying to find a way to get the Glasses off his case without having to cross any lines. It’s not gonna be easy, though, as they are willing to shed a little blood to get what they want. And Ryan “owes” them, after their deal made in the season 3 finale for the skinwalker hatchet that killed Temperance.

The Claw

Okay, so The Claw is still there, still up and running, still owned by Nick and run by George, even as they have stepped away from their romance for a while. We get a quick resolution to the wrinkle introduced in the season 3 finale, even if it doesn’t entirely make sense. Nick explains to George that he sold her engagement ring to pay for the repairs to the parking lot, necessary thanks to Temperance’s spell. I’m not entirely sure why this is necessary, because isn’t Nick still pretty well-off? We don’t have any real reason to believe that his pursuits in Horseshoe Bay, including buying the Claw and setting up the youth center, would completely decimate his financial situation, but apparently it has. Hopefully we’ll see his situation explained more fully as we continue on past Nancy Drew season 4, episode 1.

Nancy Drew season 4

The Morgue

So, we don’t actually know much about the morgue, other than Ace is really happy with his new job, but since he almost loses said job in the premiere, I’m hoping we’ll get to see Ace in his element this season. He has always been the dishwasher, the capable and helpful hand in need, but we haven’t gotten to see him insanely passionate about his pursuits. There is never a shortage of bodies in Horseshoe Bay (we saw quite a few in the premiere, just not at the morgue), so there are bound to be plenty of opportunities to see him excel and succeed.

And that brings us to the end of Nancy Drew season 4, episode 1. It was a truly solid premiere, introducing a new mystery that will undoubtedly be season-long and a new town sheriff, but also giving us all the necessary updates on all our faves.

And that is your Nancy Drew season 4 premiere! Next week’s episode, “The Maiden’s Rage” includes Nick meeting someone new, George taking a step toward adding the judge as her law mentor, Ace trying to figure out the details of this curse, and Bess doing her best to impress Addy’s parents. Sounds like another winner to me.

Check out all our other great TV coverage here, and if you’re just a massive Kennedy McMann fan (like us), you won’t want to miss this great article about her next new project.

You can find all the official Nancy Drew Season 4 info, as well as catch the latest episode, on the CW’s website.