Nancy Drew’s third season came to a close on Friday with an epic, devastating, and eternally twisted hour in which the titular sleuth fulfilled her destiny. With one big caveat, “The Ransom of the Forsaken Soul” contained plot twist after plot twist, several painful almost-deaths, and the love confession of Nace shippers’ dreams.
To make a long story short, Nancy killed Temperance and stopped the apocalypse, only to lose Ryan in the fight and Ace a month later. Sure, we finally got the ground-breaking Ace/Nancy sex scene of our fantasies, but it simply added to the tragedy of his demise. Even tragicomic. We were relieved, though, when Temperance reappeared to explain that everything Nancy had experienced after their final struggle had been a vision and that if Nancy murdered her, it would come true. Let’s read the full recap below.
Nancy and the gang run into Temperance in the woods, and Nancy begs for a cease-fire. She’s offering Temperance her blood in return for the soul splitter, which will save Ace. This isn’t their recommended course of action. We see Ace attempting to steal the soul splitter from Icarus Hall before being miraculously discarded. George and Carson try to persuade the town to issue a mandatory evacuation order, but they are unsuccessful. As a backup plan, Ryan goes chasing an item that Addy knows about that can kill witches. Temperance accepts the agreement in the present, dubbing the Drew Crew “the world’s saddest record cover.”
Nancy delivers the blood at Icarus Hall, while George splits Ace with the splitter. The Drew Crew, on the other hand, double-crossed Temperance by poisoning Nancy’s blood. When the blood is transplanted, temperance is knocked out. As the final fragment of Charity’s soul jumps into Temperance, they give Nancy the antidote, ensuring Ace’s safety. Temperance is left behind for the Copperhead to find. However, when they flee into the woods, they discover the creature dead on the ground, his heart missing. Temperance has vanished from Icarus Hall. She was pretending to be them, and now she has everything she requires.
Ryan goes to the Glass House to obtain the hatchet indicated by Addy. When Ryan mentions that they have a demon repelling device and that he knows the keeper of the Horseshoe Bay Historical Society, they invite him in, giving each other skeptical looks.
George and Nick are frantically attempting to flee Horseshoe Bay on their own, with little success, as George sneers at Nick for allegedly returning to Florida. As Temperance begins her ritual, Park and Carson attempt to activate the police station’s emergency sirens in order to alert the town. Nancy rushes to Temperance’s aid, begging with her that the persons present aren’t the same ones that harmed Temperance previously. “Have you convinced yourself you care about Horseshoe Bay because it’s the only place you’ll ever matter?” Temperance asks Nancy. (Ouch!) Temperance confesses that she only ever had a child because the ritual requires the use of a living soul, and she extracts the remaining piece of Charity’s soul. Ryan approaches Temperance with the axe, but when he throws it, she shoots the soul piece at him, scattering axe shards. Temperance’s tarot card readings reveal that she knows exactly what will happen and when it will happen.
Does Temperance really die?
Temperance struggles to get the last piece into the ground, which has begun to open up, as she and Nancy battle on the ground. Nancy kills Temperance with Ryan’s axe, keeping the veil closed while Charity’s soul slips away. The crew reassembles at The Claw, Ryan having been struck by shrapnel. Overall, he’s fine, and everyone exhales a sigh of relief that it’s all done.
Ace draws Nancy aside to inquire about what Temperance meant when she referred to Ace as Nancy’s “blind spot” at the Veil. Nancy asks Ace to walk her home (without saying “I love you,” of course, because this is Nancy Hudson Drew.) The beautiful moment, however, is cut short when Ryan collapses, gasping for air. Carson dials 911 as Nancy rushes to Ryan’s side in one of the most heartbreaking and horrifying sequences we’ve ever seen on Nancy Drew.
Ryan begs Nancy not to abandon him, telling her that he is terrified and does not want to die. She tears, saying for the first time, “I’ve got you, Dad, don’t go,” as he grabs her hand and repeats, “I’m not ready.” In Nancy’s arms, Ryan passes away. Riley Smith is deserving of praise for how well he handled this situation. His Ryan has always been witty, with a sense of seriousness that stems from his terrible upbringing. But he’s a terrified child at the time, and it’s physically painful to watch him die in the arms of the daughter he’s grown to adore.
Let’s fast forward a month. Nancy is alone in her room after Ryan’s burial, and she hears Ryan’s voice asking her to complete this the way he did at the Veil. She’s preoccupied with locating Ryan’s stolen car, believing it to be the key to determining why he died. Nancy seemed to be bereft of emotion. Bess is offered Hannah’s position as a keeper at The Claw, but she declines, telling Nancy. She and Addy both want to get away from the otherworldly. With Carson’s support, George is studying for law school, and Nick is returning to Florida for a bit while Addy oversees the youth center. Even Park shows up and informs Nancy that the Frozen Hearts Killer case has been solved, therefore he’ll be returning to Boston.
Except for Nancy, everyone else has moved on. Ace arrives with sorbet, attempting to console her (a ritual he appears to have continued since Ryan’s death). Ace expresses his delight at seeing her and tells her that he misses Ryan and understands her situation. Nancy admits that she is still haunted by her remorse over Temperance’s murder and Ryan’s death.
Ace, as usual, will not allow Nancy to feel horrible about herself. He takes her on a tour of the town, eager to show her all of the people she has helped (and even to disclose that Connor and Lily have reconciled!). “They adore you,” Ace says. “I’m right there with them,” Nancy informs Ace that she has something to say to him, and the two return to his apartment. The two have sex as they finally declare their affections for each other in a scene that has been three seasons in the making. It’s so hot that the barometer in his room breaks (I promise, this has something to do with the narrative!) Nancy wakes up the next morning in Ace’s arms, so in love and sweet that Nace shippers all over the world were ecstatic. Nancy tells Ace to stay in bed while she goes out to get breakfast for the two of them. Nancy notices Ryan’s car being towed outside and inquires as to who now owns it.
Nick’s farewell celebration is held at the youth center, with everyone offering heartfelt remarks in his honor. Ace and Nancy drive home that night, discovering that the witchy couple from whom he obtained the axe had purchased Ryan’s automobile. Nancy thinks aloud about their relationship with Ryan. Nancy’s automobile is attacked from behind at the last possible moment. Ace is flung from the car (wear your seatbelts, kids!) and dies on the side of the road, with Nancy covered in his blood and begging for help. The second driver turns out to be a still-alive Temperance, who says to a distraught Nancy, “Should have watched your blind spots.”
Nancy choose between Ace and a wrecked Horseshoe Bay,
Temperance, it turns out, planned everything that happened shortly after Nancy “killed” her to demonstrate to Nancy what would happen if she murdered Temperance. Temperance warns Nancy that if she kills her, she will be cursed to die if Nancy ever acts on her affections for Ace. Nancy will have to choose between a bright future with Ace and a wrecked Horseshoe Bay, or rescuing her town and losing her best friend. We return to the present, where the Drew Crew is yelling at Nancy to complete Temperance. Nancy puts down the axe and takes Ace, telling him to flee rather than murder Temperance.
How did Nancy kill Temperance?
As a tidal wave approaches Horseshoe Bay, Temperance completes the ceremony. When Nick notices it, he cries for George. As the town collectively runs, George activates the emergency siren at the station with her handy crowbar. The wave destroys everything in its path as it sweeps across the town. Nancy apologizes to Ace and then flees away, leaving Ace perplexed. As Temperance curses Ace with her final breath, Nancy rushes back to Temperance and finishes what she started by killing her with the axe. Unlike before, Nancy comes to Ryan’s rescue this time. The town is put on high alert, yet no one is killed. Ace senses something is wrong with Nancy, but in order to avoid triggering the curse, she chalks it up to Temperance’s death.
Nancy owns Icarus Hall one month later in this timeline. However, in this version, George no longer wants to be a lawyer, but Bess believes the community needs her more than ever and accepts the position of a new keeper. Nick has remained in Horseshoe Bay since his parents wish to assist in the reconstruction of the town following the tsunami. Nancy was confused when Ace gave his notice at The Claw. She sets out to locate him.
Nancy discovers Ace, who is now working at the morgue alongside Connor, at the loft. Ace believed Nancy thought he was “lacking,” which is why she had avoided him for the past month. As he proudly lists his new successes, she softly says, “You were never lacking.” He’s been trying everything he can to persuade Nancy to give him a chance, despite the fact that he’s been convinced all along that she can’t see a future with him. The barometer breaks, reminding Nancy of the curse, and they almost kiss. She tells Ace flatly that she has never loved him: “Those feelings you have for me? I don’t tell anyone about them, and I’m never well.” Even as his heartbreaks, Ace insists that something is wrong and that she isn’t telling him everything. Nancy sobs in the corridor, leaving a sad Ace behind, injuring him to save his life.
Nancy sobs in Icarus Hall, telling Carson that she had to make a terrible decision to rescue her village. She claims it’s the same feeling she had when her mother died and she couldn’t stop it. Carson claims that despite the fact that their relationship ended in tragedy, he never regretted loving Kate. He claims that just because he’s with Jean now doesn’t mean Kate wasn’t his soulmate, and Nancy finds solace in the thought that there might be another soulmate out there for her. As they embrace, he informs her that she is in charge of her own destiny. Nancy discovers the tarot cards, and we now have a better understanding of everyone’s position. Each reveals is shown in a montage.