[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the Season 1 finale episode of Nancy Drew. Read at your own risk!]
Season 1 of Nancy Drew came an abrupt, but also kind of satisfying ending this week that has us more than ready for the show to pick back up with Season 2. Due to COVID-19 shutdowns, production on Season 1 was cut short, making Episode 18 an impromptu season finale, but we (and series star Kennedy McMann) could not be happier with the final product.
In the wake of Owen's (Miles Gaston Villanueva) death, the gang was left shell-shocked and fearing for their lives, thinking the Agleaca was on a rampage after not getting paid its toll. As it turns out, Owen's killer was actually Joshua (Kenneth Mitchell), Dead Lucy's brother, who was on a mission of revenge for his sister. That mystery got tied up with a neat bow, but the cliffhanger ending gave us visions of Nancy, Nick (Tunji Kasim), Bess (Maddison Jaizani), George (Leah Lewis), and Ace's (Alex Saxon) gruesome deaths. Very spooky!
However, there are several storylines that didn't quite get the attention they deserved considering the shakeups that have hit these characters in recent episodes. To help us break down what we missed and what we'll likely see incorporated into Season 2, TV Guide went to Kennedy McMann herself for answers.
Have you had discussions with the showrunners about what storylines got cut short and which will get incorporated into Season 2?
Kennedy McMann: Yeah, they're so open with us, which is really awesome. But I don't exactly know what we're doing for sure. I mean, I know obviously the Agleaca storyline will carry us over into into Season 2. There's some really awesome stuff that's been set up in Season 1 that I think people will find really unexpected and realize that it's actually totally related to the overall story that we'll come across in Season 2. So I'm really excited for what happens. But yeah, we don't know exactly what's happening, story-wise, or with scripts that we had before. We'll just see. It's a bit of a fresh slate, I think.
I feel like we left a lot of the interpersonal relationships hanging a little, so which of those are you excited to dig into in Season 2?
McMann: I think mostly because me and Scott [Wolf] kind of are like best friends on set, I would love to see them come together again, to see Nancy and Carson come together again. I don't know how long that's gonna take, but that's definitely at the top of my wish list. Because it's just, it's so sad. I feel so bad for both sides of that conflict. It is just awful. And I love what's brewing with Nancy and Ryan (Riley Smith). I think that's a really interesting relationship that's pretty full of possibilities. I'm really interested to see where that character goes. And yeah, obviously, we'll have to have the compensation — or not even a confrontation, but just the realization with George and Nick that, you know, something has changed, and it'll affect Nancy for sure. But I'm really happy with with where we've gone in regards to that sort of situation. We haven't really followed a normal like "girl code broken" trope, which is so awesome. I mean, I think it's really refreshing to see young women who know how to cope with things changing, and friends pursuing their own happiness. So yeah, I'm really happy with how we handled that particular storyline.
Nancy seems adamant that she does not want a relationship with Ryan, but do you think there's part of her that's curious about getting to know Ryan?
McMann: I definitely think she's curious. I mean, right now, I think most of all, she's just unbelievably overwhelmed with everything that's happens and doesn't have a lot of brain space to even imagine what that sort of relationship might look like. But I think. you know, Nancy is all about the truth and all about figuring things out and diving in to other people. And I think this is a chance for her to sort of dive into herself and who she is and explore all of the parts of her that have made her who she is. So, I'm really excited to see how that develops.
On the Carson side of things, what do you think it would take to get that relationship back to a good place?
McMann: Nancy is just incredibly hurt and feels really betrayed. You know, she went to the ends of the earth, essentially, to get him exonerated again and to renew this trust in him about the entire Lucy scenario. And having that just shattered and the fact that she found out herself, I mean, that's just going to take a really long time for her to realize. Or, it's going to take a really life-threatening circumstance that kind of makes her realize her priorities. And that may be what we're looking at here at the end of our season finale. Things are not looking good for the lives of Nancy and the crew, and that might just be the catalyst that she needs to realize what really matters and who she really cares about.
Nancy was really sort of devastated by Owens death. Why do you think this one hit her so hard?
McMann: I think Nancy, by nature, loves to escape. When things get really hard or really overwhelming, she puts her walls up and kind of runs from them or looks for something that will take her mind off them. I mean, she did it with Nick at the beginning of Season 1. That's how we open, to find her, you know, running from the pain of her mother's death, and now she has all of this other trauma that has come up. For her, Owen being sort of removed from it all, somebody on the outside who didn't have to know all the details, he is an escape for her. [He is] somebody that doesn't necessarily prod her and she can just be with and forget about the reality of her life. I think having that ripped away, at this time in particular, is just incredibly heartbreaking. And also she's wracked with a lot of guilt in the beginning, thinking that it would be a Agleaca that took his life and that was all her fault because of wrapping him into this ritual. I think that she takes those hits extremely hard, when she feels like her sort of reckless pursuit of whatever she's going for involve other people and you see those other people getting hurt.
Do you guys feel like you got lucky in the sense that this episode actually worked pretty well as an impromptu season finale?
McMann: Totally. I know that there was some talk about where they wanted to end it and all that sort of stuff, but I think this was the perfect ending. I mean, that ending of everybody seeing their death. It's like, "Well, yikes!" That's a way to end the season. I think it worked great.