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Nancy Drew - The Reaping of Hollow Oak - Review: “Welcome to Grim Night!”

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This episode is definitely my favorite so far this season.

(One of my best friends (let’s call her Terri) who had a friend who would call my house to chat with Terri while she was visiting me for dinner. That rudeness would make be crazy.)

I’ve never had any friends who would drop in (and stay) while I was on a date.

I was stunned Nick didn’t close the door in their faces. Not stunned that Nancy and Ace would ignore Jade and proceed to bombard Nick with their problems.

Power to Jade for drawing a line in the sand about what she will and will not accept in a relationship.

This episode had some really nice Nick moments. Nick wasn’t just calm, he was the voice of reason. “We definitely shouldn’t cheat!”

Nick not only got to save the day, he got a real hero’s battle sequence and he got the girl…as the hero should.

* * *

Nancy quickly deduced that Chunky Valez bit Ace.

She wasn’t too happy with is reaction to seeing her dancing with Tristin. She finally asked Ace to let her move on.

She lamented the ease with which the crew deals with supernatural emergencies, but their romantic lives are…confounding seems like an understatement.

Seems like normal life to me. Work is usually easier to deal with than anything having to do with emotions.

* * *

So it does appear as though the Historical Society lock-out, while legal, happened faster than normal.

Chief Lovett not only has her own agenda, but she has secrets in her past that she doesn’t want anyone to know.

Ryan has been honing his investigative abilities, but also blending in some of his father’s best tricks.

Just the hint of what he could do with those tricks allowed Ryan to get the sheriff to back off Bess.

When we first met her, I couldn’t decide if she was a good guy or a bad guy, but, when she said she moved to Horseshoe Bay to help rebuild a “wholesome community” it became clear.

She’s a bad guy.

The sheriff may not be working for the Families For Truth in History, but she has an agenda that isn’t going to benefit ALL of Horseshoe Bay.

What was surprising was that she echoed Judge Abbott’s warning…The Drew Crew is on a course that will lead to bad things.

How does she know? What does she know that we don’t know yet? Does she know where the black door is?

Which of the bad things they were referring to threatened Bess? I doubt it was the FFIH, something so ritualistic doesn’t seem their style.

Yeah, I am enjoying this season.

* * *

It seems Nancy assessed the crew’s artistic abilities (those drawings of the creature from the woods were sad) weren’t going to be very helpful, so she’s changed her focus.

I still don’t think the creature and the black door are tied together the way Nancy and the crew think they are. I can’t wait to find out if I’m right.

So, to find the black door, they now want to question former councilwoman Brie’s dead father, Ron.

Nick finds the last thing Ron touched before he died in order to strengthen their ability to talk to him in a seance.

Most of us have seen movies where games force the players to play them for real. (Jumangi and Zathura: A Space Adventure) are the two that come to mind.)

None of these film properties were as creepy as “Underworld of Hollow Oak.”

When Nancy accidentally dropped, the dice the game assumed they wanted to play. Then the game ensured they played until someone won.

These types of games never like cheaters, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen one with a penalty for taking too long to make a move.

I enjoyed this entire sequence.

I really appreciated the Drew Crew’s conscious unwillingness to take the game into town where someone could possibly get hurt. (There’s a “Transformers” rant embedded in there.)

Given what happened to Bess when she was forced to take her turn in the Sheriff Lovett’s office, we learned that all that needed to be transported were the dice so Bess could roll her turn.

I loved that Nancy texted the answer to the riddle to Bess. Unfortunately, it wasn’t fast enough to keep Bess from being shot in the back by an arrow.

I did have to suspend my disbelief a tad.

Nancy’s dropping the dice didn’t feel completely natural.

Also, given what these guys have been through since the series started, I don’t really believe they would cheat in a game where you could die because you took too long to roll your dice.

But those points were easy to ignore because I was having so much fun!

Nick’s reward for being the only one who did NOT cheat?

Fighting the grims by himself!

Nick not only got to be the action hero, he got the macho end of fight dialog.

The writers of the episode also avoided one of my pet peeves. When Ron started speaking through the feather, there was no cutting off communication before the salient point could be said.

George right to the point. “Where is the black door?”  Thank you, writers.

Ranking: 9

Bess got called out. Nancy got a major clue in her quest to fight a corrupt, supernaturally influenced judicial system in Horseshoe Bay and keep anyone else from getting killed. And Nick got to be the hero and get the girl.

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