Nancy Drew may be one of pop culture’s best-known detectives, but she isn’t exactly in a sleuthing mood atop the premiere of her new CW series. “I don’t go searching in the dark anymore — not after the darkness found me,” she explains, alluding to the one mystery no one was able to crack: a way to stop her mother from dying of cancer.
With her sleuthing days firmly behind her, Nancy — who’s in the midst of a responsible gap year in her hometown of Horseshoe Bay before heading off to college — is now working as a waitress alongside a motley crew of good-looking misfits: There’s George Fan, who still holds a grudge against Nancy for allegedly spreading rumors about her in high school; Bess Marvin, a bougie question mark from the big city; Ace, an affable stoner; and Ned “Nick” Nickerson, a physical specimen who helps with… well, let’s just say that when Nancy visits his car repair shop, she’s the one who gets a proper tune-up.
But Nancy’s simple life of waiting tables and boning mechanics is turned upside down when socialite Tiffany Hudson, the trophy wide of local fancy-man Ryan Hudson, is murdered in the diner parking lot. Aside from Ace, who was attending to Ryan and his associates, no one in Nancy’s inner circle has an alibi for the time of Tiffany’s death. And even if Nancy doesn’t have all of the puzzle pieces together just yet, she’ll soon realize that everyone is a potential suspect.
For example, she’s blissfully unaware that George has been having an affair with Ryan, nor does she know that Ace is spying on her and reporting everything back to the police. She also doesn’t know that Bess somehow got her hands on the ring that went missing from Tiffany’s cold, dead hand. In fact, the only thing Nancy does discover — and it’s pretty bad! — is that Nick previously did time for manslaughter, and that Tiffany was the eyewitness who sealed his fate.
Desperate to take her own name out of the running, Nancy breaks into Ryan’s house, where she discovers a mysterious mariner’s charm. Even more mysterious is the note attached to it, which says, “Tiffany, for your protection. H.G.” This leads her to Horseshoe Bay’s resident medium Harriet Grosset (played by TV’s original Nancy, Pamela Sue Martin!), but rather than communicating with Tiffany, Harriet accidentally channels another spirit — presumably “Dead Lucy,” a ghost who allegedly haunts the town — who demands that Nancy “find the dress.”
It should be noted, however, that Nancy’s detective skills have gotten rusty since high school. For example, she accidentally leaves her hat at Ryan’s house. She’s lucky that the detective who finds it also happened to be her mom’s best friend… and her dad’s new girlfriend. (Nancy is less than thrilled about that second part.)
Nancy continues her investigation, which eventually leads her upstairs to the attic, where she discovers — wait for it — the bloody dress! It also looks like the vengeful spirit of Dead Lucy is creeping up on her, which really isn’t great. For anyone.
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