Nancy Drew: Season 1… Episode 2: The Secret of the Old Morgue

Nancy Drew: Season 1… Episode 2

The Secret of the Old Morgue

From the moment I discovered a new “Nancy Drew” television series was premiering… I was hooked! Anyone who knows me… knows that I love Nancy Drew and everything that goes along with her. I missed out on watching the 1977 series with Pamela Sue Martin as I was a new mom with a one-year-old… not much time left to be hooked on Nancy Drew, as I was hooked on my son, Stephen! I vaguely remember hearing about the show on tv, but I had a one year old to chase after and it had been over fifteen years since I’d even cracked open a Nancy Drew book! Later when my daughter, Melissa, was born I began buying Nancy Drew books at tag sales… hoping to make her a Nancy Drew fan… but she never read past the Mystery of the Old Clock. But I saved her books and they now sit on her book shelves for McKinley and Grace to enjoy… and hopefully they will become Nancy fans!

cw nancy

If you haven’t viewed the pilot episode as of yet… I would suggest watching it before reading on… but if you don’t mind spoiler alerts…

Our Nancy does what she does best… sleuthing mysteries!

In the ending of the pilot show, Nancy discovered a blood-stained dress hidden in a trunk… in the attic… and her mind was running full steam ahead. Why was the dress of a murdered girl of over twenty years ago… in her parents attic?

Besides searching for answers to who killed Tiffany Hudson… Nancy also had “Dead Lucy” on her mind! Are they both connected? We all know Nancy would never kill anyone, even though Chief McGinnis has her as a prime suspect… how dare he! Nancy has her own suspects… and she’s not one of them, but she’s trying to rule out her two… not best friends at the moment… and the almost boyfriend… of whom she’s a little suspicious of… while also feeling very guilty! And then there’s her father… who’s looking very guilty!

I’m thinking like Nancy… her father is high on that suspect list. Let’s go back to the pilot episode… Nancy as a young girl sees her father and mother burying a box, or possibly the very same trunk… in their backyard. Suddenly her mother appears with a flashlight and carries her away… Nancy never forgot that night. It seems whatever happened, that both her parents were involved!


Suspect notes in Nancy’s book:

  • Carson Drew (father)
  • George Fan (somewhat friend)
  • Bess Marvin (somewhat friend)
  • Ace… I don’t think he’s even a somewhat friend? He’s only a suspect in Nancy’s book, not on Chief McGinnis’s suspect board!
  • Ned aka “Nick” Nickerson (somewhat boyfriend)

Nancy questions her dad about the blood-stained dress in the trunk… in the attic… and the answers he gives about it being a prop, totally had Nancy’s wheels turning. She wasn’t believing that for a moment… and neither was I! Just my thoughts… but if you had killed someone, why would you save their bloody dress… in your attic? While it’s certainly making her father look guilty… I’m thinking her mother and father both saved it as evidence against someone who murdered Dead Lucy… or could they have found the dress and saved it in thinking they were protecting someone… so many “what ifs.”

Nancy makes a stop at the police station to look at the “cold case” file of Dead Lucy, but stops cold in front of Chief McGinnis’s Evidence Board… where he tells her she can no longer help… as she’s a suspect! But that won’t stop our Nancy Drew!

suspect board

Nancy stared at the suspect board… there was her photo… how can our Nancy Drew be a suspect! She has always been the one hunting the criminals… and now Chief McGinnis has her on his evidence board! This is definitely not the same Chief McGinnis from our classic books who greets her coldy every time he sees her… he never would have accused our Nancy Drew! I’m thinking that he might change his tune over time… he’s going to need her help oneday!

Nancy’s list of suspects and clues…

  • George: She plays the tough girl, but a pro at keeping secrets… like the older man she was hooking up with in junior year; there’s more to George than she wants known. Why does George walk so boyish… and almost bow-legged looking! I hope that walk tones down a bit… as I’m beginning to like her more.
  • Bess: Supposedly she lives with an aunt in her mansion… so why does she need to be working here?
  • Ace: While he appears as a slacker up front… he’s smarter than what he shows.
  • Nick: So what’s his motive… although he seems to be really the only one who has a motive as the now dead “Tiffany Hudson” accused him as a murderer three years ago!
  • Carson Drew (father): Nancy finally questions him… from her jail cell. He immediately tells her…”trust me.” The dress you found was a prop I used years ago to scare your mother. (Hmm, was that the same trunk Nancy saw them digging up in the backyard? Her mother had told her it was all a dream! Now they both have lied!) Carson continued to tell her that the trunk she saw them digging up actually  belonged to grandma Rosalyn… “after she died, we found out she had buried her valuables in that trunk… the bone china teacups… and the silver steak knives in the pantry.” Hmmm… while it sounds kinda fishy… and if true, why didn’t you dig them up during the day… why at night with a flashlight? There’s more to this story!
  • I wasn’t thinking Ace a suspect until “kick the bucket” night when he gets the text from the “weed guy” saying… “Keep me in the loop. Share any results from the morgue.” So who’s he sharing info with… Chief McGinnis? Ryan Hudson? Carson Drew? or maybe Dead Lucy? But why is he using the contact name of “weed guy”… that would throw off most if seeing the call… as they often think he’s stoned!

weed guy text

Actually none of them have a motive… except maybe Nick because it was Tiffany who put him in jail 3 years ago!

Nancy plots… with help!

In learning that an autopsy is planned soon for Tiffany Hudson… Nancy knows she has to work fast if she wants a blood sample for her own investigation. She mentions a teacher??, a forensic chemist who owes her a favor for solving a perfume related mystery in the 9th grade… but she just needs Tiffany’s blood!

In continuing to quietly investigate her own suspects… Nancy visits Nick at J. Dodd’s… the local marine service and repair shop. Upon entering, she quickly notices her mom’s car under the tarp and lifts the corner, showing the famous Nancy Drew blue color. Nick quickly pulls the tarp from her hand, covering back the car. Hmm… why not let her look at the car… are you afraid she might find what you discovered… or did you just leave it laying on the seat? I really want to know what is in that box! It’s not very big… could it hold the crown of Dead Lucy… or the sash that we saw laying on  the rocks? We know it holds something important… maybe Katherine was hiding it from Carson. So many questions… so few answers… until!

Next on to questioning and following George, who quickly offers to lift Ryan Hudson’s phone while he jogs on the trail? Nancy quickly wonders out loud as to how does she knows where he goes… hmm that confirmed to Nancy what she’d already suspected. Even though George didn’t end up stealing his phone… Nancy now knew exactly how George and Ryan connect…. as she was watching!

The more she thought on Bess… the more she wondered… why does Bess work if living with an aunt in her mansion. Surely she doesn’t need the money being a city girl… but we all know Bess likes “pretty sparkly” things… and if you watched the ending of the pilot… you know what sparkly thing Bess was trying on! I bet she won’t be wearing that to work! I’m sure Nancy will be following Bess soon… and I can’t wait until she sees that trailer and goes inside… as she won’t be content until she sees the inside! But aren’t you puzzled with Bess saying… “I don’t date boys or girls”… what’s up with that statement!

Nancy cases the morgue… “Pick a lock, steal some blood… I’ve been doing this since I was fourteen.” Before leaving, Nancy has another “Dead Lucy” sighting in the window and now the ghost of Lucy leaves her touch on Nancy when the dead hand drops down. That ghostly touch leaves Nancy feeling that she now… almost believes in ghosts!

Another break-in for Nancy in this episode, but the last one was a little easier with timing and a quick roll under the garage door. She thought this one was going to be a quick “pick the lock”…. but quickly learned that breaking into the morgue with their new security system was going to take more planning… she now needed an actual key card to break in. With help from Nick, she broke into the medical examiner’s car… another break-in… but not without another ghostly sighting of Dead Lucy… a scream… and blood leaking out from under the car. I think at this point I’d be questioning my own sanity!

When Ace heard of the “Dead Lucy” sighting at the morgue… he immediately told the girls how the morgue is haunted by “Dead Lucy“… how she wanders after dark searching for her long lost body. He continued to say… “about ten years ago, kids snuck in… one died, one disappeared and one lost their mind!” That is when they changed their security system from a lock to key card entry. If I was Nancy… I would have most definitely changed my mind!

Unlike our Nancy in years past… this time she ended up being caught on this break-in, but not before George saved what Nancy had went for… the blood sample of Tiffany Hudson. George could have easily walked away, with an “oh well you’re on your own”… but instead she showed the making of a friend!


Finally Nick pulls the tarp off to show Nancy her mom’s car… so glad it’s a Mustang! I didn’t quite understand why Nick took off her mother’s necklace and put it in the gear shift knob for safe keeping! I’m also wondering if the license plate might mean anything… FCIC2171

While I thought the Summer Festival tradition of bringing a bucket of seawater to leave on your porch… only to kick over at midnight… was a little odd and scary… I loved the storyline! If the seawater flowed out… you lived. If it turned to blood… well, you are marked for death in the coming year. Horseshoe Bay sure has some spooky yearly events… does the entire community believe in ghosts? Thank Heavens this tradition is only once a year… on the final day of summer… something to look forward to… or not!

As midnight approaches… you hear the bells tolling… with it comes another year… who will live and who will die… only the buckets will tell!

“Bucket Kicking”

  • Bess kicks her bucket… she lives.
  • Ace kicks his bucket… he lives.
  • Nick kicks his and Nancy’s bucket… they are safe.
  • George kicks her bucket… blood runs out!

dress dead lucy

And near the end… we see Carson at the beach, but he’s not there for water… now that Nancy has questioned him on the dress… he’s comes to dispose of it, by burning! Will Nancy suspect him even more when she discovers the dress is missing? What’s the old saying, if you have nothing to hide… seems that Carson isn’t thinking in that direction!

Easter Eggs

  • As midnight approaches, the church bells ring… which signals that you are to kick the bucket of seawater… if any is left in the bucket, you are good to go… if it turns to blood, then you’ll die in the coming year. (From the Nancy Drew TV show group… someone mentioned ironically that when you kick the bucket and what’s left turns to blood… you literally “kick the bucket.”) I love how a writer added that pun, and someone caught it… as I surely didn’t! Did the “tolling” of the bells give a nod to the book… “Mystery of the Tolling Bell” (1946). It took me watching a couple of times to actually hear them and put two and two together; that’s why I watch and re-watch.
  • Nancy read George’s lips when talking to Ryan in the woods… telling George, “Oh, I learned to read lips on-line” (LOL). I remember reading that Nancy could read lips in  one of the classic books, but at the moment I can’t remember which book. If you know, leave me a message below and I’ll update with the info.
  • Nancy thinking to herself… “After living in this superstitious town for 18 years...” Love how she’s the same age as our “Classic Nancy.”
  • Is the perfume mention a nod to Red Gate Farm… which had Nancy solving a perfume mystery with perfume seller, Yvonne Wong, who sold for the Blue Jade Co. There seems to be a bigger perfume mystery in Mystery of the Tolling Bell with a Madame selling Mon Coeur perfume from the Mon Coeur Perfume Co., and chapter one ironically was entitled “The Perfume Cart.”
  • With Nick as a suspect in Nancy’s book… she also thought of him as a suspect in Clue in the Diary when he moved her car. She was very suspicious of him, even though she secretly liked him.
  • Nick is slowly exhibiting many qualities as classic Ned and each episode they are slowly coming out. He helped her out of a big jam in the pilot. Who did she come to when she needed a tool for a break-in… into the car of the medical examiner… and he would have helped but she told him no as he was already a suspect. That was funny… who was she, but a suspect, along with George, Bess and Ace… but in the back of her mind, she really meant his previous arrest. In the background, he’s always looking out for her.
  • Nick mentioned he played football at the University of Florida… a nod to our classic Ned who was a football hero at Emerson.
  • This is not the first time that Nancy and the girls have been waitresses… In Lilac Inn, they all helped out as waitresses.

Conclusions and Thoughts:

  • Even though George seems to be hardened toward Nancy… she seems to be showing a trust toward her… Nancy saw her meet and kiss Ryan Hudson and didn’t tell anyone… George mentioned that to her.
  • George admits to Nancy that she now sees that Ryan always… and still wants to keep her hidden. She actually confided that as a deep secret of hers… that’s trust!
  • I’m still waiting for a “Classic Nancy”… It’s Locked!
  • Classic “Carson Drew” would never have told Nancy to grow up, this detective stuff isn’t cute anymore… he encouraged her to solve mysteries!
  • Why did Nancy ask her father “where’d you get the money” when he paid her bail? We never knew Carson Drew to be broke in the books… Nancy never had to work… he gave her a yearly allowance to do with as she wanted. And where did he get the money… from the very person he told he’d never take on as a client… the shady Ryan Hudson; ironically we learned that Carson had been on retainer for his parents many years ago. Seems this family has always had problems!
  • There were several warnings from Dead Lucy to Nancy in this episode… but are they really warnings or prodding her to keep searching… Searching for the truth to set her free!
  • Whenever Nancy dons her sleuth “beanie” hat, the messenger bag and her flashlight… I really am reminded of “Classic Nancy.”
  • Is there going to be more to the mention of why Ace gave his car a name? I thought it odd to mention her name as “Florence” unless he’s a fan of The Brady Bunch… will there more to this car? Maybe they should have named his car Hannah!
  • And why are they leading us to the path of possibly our sparkly, boy hungry, Bess might date Lisbeth… she almost called her later that night… wanting to do dinner! Oh well… time will tell!
  • If the “Hudson’s” only summer at Horseshoe Bay… why so much animosity? They share more of a past… then anyone is willing to talk about right now!Package in car
  • Nancy gets a look at the evidence log showing the last number that Tiffany Hudson called… The message reads “Package in car”   But while later with Nick… Nancy calls the number… Nick’s phone rings… or so we think… does he have a secret “burner” phone. If that’s really Nick’s number, shouldn’t Nancy have already recognized it? Did Tiffany place that package in car for Nick? What could be in there?
  • Loved when Nancy said… Get it together Drew, you don’t believe in ghosts… right?

Hope to see you back for my comments and thoughts on Episode 3… The Curse of the Dark Storm

Click HERE for more Nancy Drew!

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