Post Mortems

Nancy Drew Star Breaks Down Season Finale's 'Tragically Beautiful' Ending

Nancy Drew Recap

Nancy Drew‘s freshman season reached an early conclusion on Wednesday with a devastating reveal, a curious new clue and a haunting glimpse of the horrors still to come. Just another week in Horseshoe Bay, really.

Before we dive into our Q&A with Kennedy McMann, here’s a quick recap of what befell the Drew Crew this week: Nancy discovered that it was actually Lucy’s brother Joshua (aka her uncle) who murdered Owen, which she learned by reintroducing herself to Patrice as her granddaughter; George confronted Ryan about the damage their affair had on her ability to show affection, which helped her grow one step closer to Nick; and Bess noticed that the Aglaeca appears in one of her great great great grandfather’s paintings, suggesting a potential link between the vengeful sea spirit and the (equally vengeful) Marvin family.

The Aglaeca ended the season with a parting gift for the Drew Crew, and that’s when things got really real. George and Nick had a vision of themselves drowning, Ace saw himself being gutted by a meathook, Bess witnessed herself burning alive, and Nancy watched history repeat itself as she fell from a cliff to the jagged rocks below — just like Lucy.

Below, McMann discusses Nancy’s (potentially) full-circle demise, the ongoing tension between her two dads, and her very real fear that she might accidentally throw up on camera:

TVLINE | I know this wasn’t written or filmed to be the season finale, but I think it kind of worked.
For sure. I think it totally works. The way our show is structured, we’ve had a few episodes that could have worked as season finales. But this one in particular really hits you at the end. It’s our highest stakes yet, so it’s not a bad place to leave off the season. I’m really happy with it.

TVLINE | I feel like the season could have ended a few weeks ago with the back-to-back Lucy twists.
That was one of the coolest moments ever, watching people find out and seeing their reactions on Twitter. We had known for so long, and we cared so much about getting it right, so to see everybody find out was so cool.

TVLINE | How did you feel when you learned that Ryan is Nancy’s father?
I actually kind of figured out [that Lucy was Nancy’s mother] pretty early on. I knew there had to be a reason why she was inserting herself into Nancy’s life. So there was never really a moment where I was told — it all just sort of unfolded in my brain. And what a realm of possibilities we have here. One of the biggest aspects of our show is this chosen family, so this is a chance for Nancy to really evaluate what a parent means to her, what family means to her. It’s going to be such a cool journey for her relationship with Ryan, her relationship Carson, and for Ryan and Carson’s relationship.

TVLINE | On a more depressing note, is Nancy going to feel even guiltier about Owen’s death now that she knows he died protecting her from Joshua? 
Isn’t that so sad? Just gut punch after gut punch. It’ll be with her for a long time. She’s gotten herself really deep and really wrapped up in everything that has happened to her this season. She’s seen it impact the people around her, so she has a natural sense of guilt, especially when things don’t go according to plan. Or when she doesn’t feel worthy of her friends’ generosity. That guilt is always in play for her. So regarding Owen’s death, it’ll live with her for a while. The one good thing about thinking you might die at the hands of evil sea spirit is that it’s a distraction from all of the other things you’re feeling.

TVLINE | Speaking of that sea spirit, you’ve really gone through it these past few weeks with the Aglaeca’s portents. Which was the hardest to film, seaweed in the throat?
The seaweed wreath was definitely up there. I was actually really excited to do it. I thought it was awesome, and it turned out great. That one was really hard, though, because everyone in the room sort of went through it together, especially our camera operators. Everybody was gagging. It was the same with the choking in this last episode. When you simulate that sort of thing, your body thinks it’s happening. So with the seaweed, I was worried that I was going to throw up and they were going to catch it on camera.

TVLINE | Nancy’s latest portent, which ended up being the final shot of the season, was the most chilling one yet. How did it feel recreating such an iconic moment?
It was really special. As much as it was terrifying, it was cool that that’s how Nancy might die at the hands of the Aglaeca. It felt very full-circle. There was something tragically beautiful about revisiting that. Nancy was going there to try to reconnect with Lucy, to try to find some direction. Up until this point, Lucy has been such a guiding light for her. Now that that’s been resolved, she doesn’t really have anyone to lean on. This relationship she cultivated with Lucy as a ghost was really valuable to her. Now, not only is that gone, but Nancy also saw herself meeting the same fate.

TVLINE | Speaking of ‘tragically beautiful,’ I loved that scene between Nancy and Patrice. Might Nancy try to pursue that relationship a little more in the future?
I think it might be something Nancy pursues once she feels ready for it. Now that she knows who Lucy really was to her, I think she craves the relationship that she never got with her. Patrice might be the way into that, so there’s a lot of potential for a very special, very heartwarming relationship there. Seeing how immediately Patrice accepted her and embraced her was so beautiful, and it was exactly what Nancy needed in that moment.

Your thoughts on Nancy Drew‘s early ending? (Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only 18 of the season’s 22 episodes were completed.) Grade the finale below, then drop a comment with your full review.