Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for the series finale of The CW’s Nancy Drew.
The Big Picture
- The finale of Nancy Drew delivers a satisfying conclusion while leaving room for future iterations or fan fiction, pleasing dedicated fans.
- The episode explores the disentanglement of souls and reveals surprising connections and past lives, adding depth to the storyline and characters.
- The Drew Crew faces a final, dramatic battle against a mob affected by the Sin Fog, ultimately saving the town and breaking the love curse.
Nancy Drew was the little show that could. With a small but dedicated fan base, the series took a supernatural spin on the classic character until Nexstar bought The CW, and the network’s slate was essentially wiped clean. This presented the writers with a challenge: ending the show with only a few episodes’ notice. However, Nancy Drew took this in stride, finding a conclusion to the season’s monster, the Sin Eater, while wrapping his story into Nancy’s (Kennedy McMann) past. “The Light Between Lives” doesn’t wrap everything up with finality but does find a satisfying conclusion that stays true to the heart of the show while showing its appreciation to the fans — which is the perfect combination. Nancy Drew ends with hope — an ending with just enough open-mindedness that could leave room for fans to envision some type of iteration in the future, or at least just enough that there will be plenty of satisfying fan fiction to come.
Nancy Drew’s Final Monster
The finale picks up right where the penultimate episode left off with Horseshoe Bay becoming overwhelmed with violence due to the release of the Sin Fog. The Drew Crew, minus Ace (Alex Saxon), plus Tristan (Henrique Zaga), make their way to the Historical Society, finding that Callie has fled. Bess (Maddison Jaizani) believes that Tristan could possibly go “soul supernova” and nullify the effects of the fog with the help of the team’s acquired skills to build a device that would extend this supernova over the entire town. While they build it, Jade (Arianna Ngnomire), Nick’s (Tunji Kasim) partner, joins the group, refusing to leave him. When their supernatural device is ready, Ace joins the group and with him tons of looks and revelations between the Nancy-Ace-Tristan love triangle. When they connect Tristan to their newly created device and attempt the ritual, it is unsuccessful. Nancy passes out, but has a dream of déjà vu where she experiences moments of her past lives, because yes, she is a reincarnated soul, just like Tristan (and everyone else, assumedly). Their souls are entangled, so these young adults jump to the conclusion of them being soulmates, complicating the love triangle even further.
But, this entanglement prevents Tristan from going supernova, so the Drew Crew then embark on disentangling their souls. To do this, they need to find the source of their entanglement. Using the information gleaned from Nancy’s dream, they deduce the spot where Tristan and Nancy became “soulmates,” and go seek out the location. The Crew runs into a mob affected by the Sin Fog in the process, making the group flee, but the group still finds the location, where they dig up a pair of shears belonging to Lucia Kipp, the wife of Tristan’s past life, and the conclusion is drawn that Nancy is Lucia. The new plan is to now use the shears in a ritual that will lead the soulmates to the moment their souls became entwined, which means Bess will be able to burn Nancy’s soul away from Tristan’s. The catch is that they both need to be on the brink of death to do this, so Ace volunteers to go in with them as a “lifeguard” (another moment in which Tristan, Nancy, and Ace’s expressions are highlighted). Bess delivers the amazing line “Ace will always be able to find you.” and boy, does it ring true.
Disentangling Souls Is a Serious Business
Bess induces the ritual and the three appear in a field and to their surprise find Nashua Kipp, Tristan’s past life, and August Pritchard, the man who created the Sin Eaters, arguing. August wants to spread his Sin Eater ritual to create more beyond Horseshoe Bay, and Nashua won’t let him, so he stabs August with his wife’s shears. Their souls entangle, not out of love, but vengeance, revealing Nancy to be August’s reincarnated soul. This is understandably upsetting for Nancy, to find out she is responsible for much of the evil in Horseshoe Bay, especially when she always had tried to protect it. Their dreamscape is destabilized because of her reaction. Ace consoles her after she finds evidence that August already spread the Sin Eater ritual, which leads Tristan to come to some realizations about Ace and Nancy’s feelings for each other, which in turn leads him to later let her go and end their tryst.
Once Nick retrieves a part of August’s remains, Bess starts the ritual, but the mob approaches the Historical Society, wanting to burn it down due to the history associated with the building. Tristan’s soul is burned from Nancy’s, which damages Nancy’s soul, trapping her in the dreamscape. However, Ace passes into the ritual circle, damaging his soul in the process, to save her. Both of their souls are damaged, but it appears that their curse is as well. At the same time, Tristan leaves to do the ceremony that will save the town, but while Bess waits with Nancy and Ace, the mob sets the building on fire, despite Nick’s defense of his friends. They wake up just in time to escape the building becoming engulfed in flames and to witness Tristan’s powerful soul supernova, saving the town one last time.
‘Nancy Drew’s Goodbye to Horseshoe Bay
With this threat coming to a conclusion, the Drew Crew prepare to leave Horseshoe Bay while Nancy’s dads prepare to settle down, but before they do, Bess informs Ace and Nancy separately that the damage to their soul means that they will never reincarnate again. But later, the friends discuss their plans. George (Leah Lewis) is going to law school in Seattle, Bess will venture on a global expedition to replenish the Historical Society’s lost artifacts and resources, Nick and Jade are going to Atlanta to work with Tom Swift, and Nancy will venture across the States trying to end the Sin Eater practice and right August’s wrongs. In another scene, Tristan announces he is leaving Horseshoe Bay (via boat), finally not trapped in the town due to his Sin Eater curse. Ace isn’t present when the Crew discusses their future, but he later tells Nancy that he is going to go to school to become a medical examiner in the scene he does return in, the one we’ve all been waiting for.
Ace appears when Nancy is cleaning up her things at Nancy Drew Investigations, freshly returned from visiting Alice’s (the ghost) family in North Carolina, the explanation for his earlier absence. Ace in particular went through a lot of whiplash in this episode emotionally as he dealt with his situation with Nancy and then the fact that this would be his final lifetime. Having considered this, and doing some research based on suspicions, he thinks that the Sin Eater curse was broken when their souls were damaged and they were on the brink of death. He suggests that they travel together and take the leap, which Nancy agrees to with an emotional hug and kiss. As they kiss again, assuming that the curse is broken, the camera pans out, hovering on a lit flashlight, signifying that their love curse is indeed gone.
The final scene shows the Drew Crew leaving the Claw, the members dressed in the same colors as they wore in the joint in the pilot episode. Ace carves their initials into the underside of the bar — for himself he pens A.H., revealing his last name to likely be Hardy, a long awaited Easter egg. In an especially touching way, Nancy gives a monologue, circling back to her dad Carson’s (Scott Wolf) earlier advice about having more than one soulmate. Instead of this line meaning that she would need to move on from Ace, she now takes its meaning as found family, noting that she has four soulmates: Ace, Nick, Bess, and George. Nancy Drew ends with Nancy leaving The Claw and turning off the lights — and with all of us viewers crying.
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