"The Haunted Ring" is the fourth episode of Season 1 of CW's Nancy Drew. It aired on October 30, 2019.[1]


As the funeral for Tiffany Hudson nears, her confused spirit seemingly haunts Horseshoe Bay. Nancy invites Bess to stay with her, allowing Nancy to figure out what Bess is hiding. Nick struggles with what he learned about Tiffany. Meanwhile, George Fan reluctantly seeks help from an unusual source as Ace runs into a significant person from his past. Lastly, Carson continues to advise Ryan, much to Nancy's chagrin.

Plot summary

During their sleepover, Nancy wonders if Bess might be the killer she's looking for since Bess has Tiffany's missing ring. The two are woken in the middle of the night from strange noises leading downstairs. The electric appliances in the house act strangely; lights flickering, the microwave turning on and exploding, the TV turning on and playing Tiffany's final moments before also breaking. 

Carson checks downstairs and welcomes Bess, but wonders what happened to the tv. Nancy suggests the fuse, which Carson readily agrees to check. Bess and Nancy discuss the strange happening when they return upstairs, but Nancy chooses to dismiss it as a strange glitch before turning in... At least out loud. Internally, Nancy's suspicions of Bess grows and theorizes that the supernatural event was Lucy trying to warn Nancy that Bess is a killer.

Nancy dreams of the night of her last winter formal. Her mother, bedridden, encourages Nancy to attend while Carson sits at Kate Drew's bedside. It quickly shocks her awake when she leans down to kiss her mother goodbye only to come away from Kate's tombstone. 

At breakfast, Bess acts awkwardly when Carson asks about the health of Diana Marvin, her aunt. Nancy visibly disapproves when Carson informs her he'll be with Ryan Hudson for Tiffany's funeral. He also informs them the autopsy report said Tiffany died of natural causes. Nancy skeptically makes a mocking remark and the two Drews tensely finish their conversation when be leaves. Bess is satisfied and happy that the report means they're all off the hook. Nancy, however, doesn't buy it for a second.

Nancy drops by the captain of the Tiny Vessel, the Marvins' yacht, subtly inquiring about Bess. The captain, bemused, says he's never heard of Bess in the 20 years he's worked for the Marvins.  Meanwhile, Nick sets up a camera in the garage aimed toward his safe where he keeps his inherited bonds. When Nancy calls him, Nick gently tells her that if the story spins the way the Hudsons want, it's a literal get-out-of-jail-free card; they can all move on with their lives and Nancy could even reapply to Columbia University. 

Nick returns to work, and Nancy picks up a free newspaper about Tiffany's case, which is rudely ripped out of her hands by the passing Laura Tandy. Laura has the dubious honor of being the last living Tandy and Tiffany's younger sister. 

Laura storms the police station demanding justice for Tiffany. She's just as convinced of the "natural cause of death" as Nancy is, and is very vocal about it. Later, the chief calls Ace and tells him he needs to find out what Laura knows about Tiffany's death. Which, turns out to be complicated, since Ace and Laura are exes. 

Ace feigns a hacking cough to get out of work and since George is a mite paranoid about the blood bucket curse, she orders him home. Ace passes by Bess, who'd been in the middle of hearing strange whispering.

Nancy breaks the autopsy report to George, who is briefly relieved before Nancy bluntly states she doesn't believe it. George is exasperated and Bess backs her up, but Nancy is undeterred.  Bess sneaks into the freezer to admire Tiffany's diamond ring and puts it on. When she, again, hears strange noises. This time coming from deeper inside the freezer from beyond a grate. Bess anxiously asks what the whispering voice wants and the grate pops open in response.

George, Nancy, and the Clam's customers hear Bess' screaming. The two rush to the freezer and find Bess crawling on the floor, terrified. Her legs are scratched up with long bloody claw marks. Nancy is absolutely flummoxed. 

George orders the kitchen crew back to work while they help Bess and tend to her wounds. That's when George spots Tiffany's ring on Bess' finger. George incredulously asks if Bess killed Tiffany. Bess immediately denies it, but even Nancy's tone turns accusatory now that the theft is out in the open. Bess, voice still shaking, explains she found the ring near where Tiffany died, not knowing it had been the latter's, and by the time she realized who it belonged to, they were suspects in Tiffany's death. And also, Bess likes sparkly things. 

More importantly, Bess tries to get them to refocus on the fact that she was attacked by something. George tries to figure out why a ghost would attack Bess, and Nancy calmly states she doesn't believe it was Dead Lucy. George, sharply points out that perhaps the ghost who attacked Bess is the one she stole from. Bess stutteringly pulls off the ring and wonders if the ring is haunted. George grudgingly reveals she might know someone who could help.

Back with Ace, he's been stalking Laura around town. It turns out unsuccessfully because Laura cheerily confronts him after he's briefly distracted. She gives him a prize for effort: a box of gushers and a record album (A Live One by Phish) then calls him out on his stumbling stoner persona. Laura swiftly moves on and questions why he hasn't called or texted her since the previous summer. Ace defends that he bumbles just as well without being stoned. Which is fair enough since he's been caught flat-footed. 

Ace offers his condolences as they catch up. Laura admits they fought before Tiffany died. Tiffany was working up the courage to divorce Ryan which Laura wasn't very sympathetic toward; she believed Tiffany should just do it. But then Tiffany's died. Ace admits that his friends were suspects and reveals that Tiffany called the police the night she died and that there's an audio recording of it. Laura, intrigued, asks if there's any way she can hear it. Ace half-heartedly tries to say he can't help her with his hacking, but folds after another word from Laura.

1.04 promo Carson Ryan

Carson going over papers with Ryan.

Carson, who is with Ryan, notes that the latter is wearing his wedding ring again. Ryan lightly excuses himself that it felt appropriate for the day. He also asks Carson to read a letter after the funeral that states that the Hudsons are founding a non-profit in Tiffany's name. Carson agrees it'll go a long way with the community. Ryan then questions what the next step is in getting money from Tiffany's estate. Carson pauses, before laying out what needs to be done. Ryan pats him on the back before walking off, leaving Carson uneasy.

Back at the Clam, Nancy breaks into Bess' locker and finds her British passport under the name 'Bess Turani.' Bess catches Nancy in the act, but Nancy immediately turns it back on her and questions who she is. George interrupts their brewing argument to introduce her mother, a psychic clairvoyant. 

George had always dismissed her mother as a drunk and a fraud, and she isn't especially happy that she finds herself needing her mom's help. George's mom explains that new ghosts can't really speak. They want help but aren't even fully aware they're dead. So they act in unpredictable and sometimes violent ways. And Tiffany is acting out now because it's the day of her funeral and she sees that she's no longer attached to her body but doesn't understand why. To help, they need to put the ring back on Tiffany's finger, which will guide the ghost back to her body. Then place a hand mirror on Tiffany, since mirrors attract spirits. 

The trio makes plans for the Horseshoe Bay Funeral home where the service is taking place. Bess is too rattled to do it, but George offers to do it instead. Nancy, in turn, offers herself privately to George considering George's history with Ryan. But, George says that's exactly why she should be the one to do it. George was actually concerned for Nancy since it was another funeral and might be difficult for her.

After having dressed for the funeral, Nancy snoops Carson's desk papers. When Carson comes in, Nancy points out how dodgy the autopsy report is. Tiffany had a puncture wound behind her ear but it wasn't mentioned anywhere in the paperwork. Nancy admits she knows about it because she put it there when she stole a vial of Tiffany's blood. 

The two get into another argument. Nancy wants to know the truth but everyone, including Carson, only seems to care about looking after the Hudson's. Carson impatiently retorts that Ryan is his client. It's not only his job, but he also has more important things to worry about including paying off medical bills and Nancy's bail. Nancy scoffingly says how convenient that is for him: to have a daughter and dead wife to place his excuses on. The air rings with silence before Nancy leaves, slamming the door behind her. 

At the funeral, Nancy analyzes everyone's behavior. Nancy, upset with seeing Carson with the Hudsons, leaves lookout duty to Bess. But when Diana Marvin approaches her, Bess also leaves the post. 

George, meanwhile, gives a quick apology to Tiffany's corpse, but when she's about to put the ring on the corpse, she has to hide under the casket when she hears approaching voices. Ryan and his father, Everett, enter the viewing room. Everett callously says it's a shame Ryan's didn't get her pregnant. Ryan is genuinely emotional when looking down at Tiffany, but Everett is coolly dismissive. Left alone, Ryan quietly apologizes before also leaving. George quickly gets up from her hiding spot and slips the ring back on Tiffany's corpse before rushing out. Unfortunately, she forgot to place the mirror down as well. 

George and Nancy find Bess together since the latter was supposed to be watching the door. Bess is in a hurry to leave, and a disgruntled Nancy loudly asks why she doesn't just carpool with the Marvins. Diana, who is nearby, turns to look back curiously. Bess, upset, stalks off, but Nancy follows closely behind demanding answers. 

Bess drops her American accent revealing her cockney British speech. She tells Nancy she thinks she's a Marvin but doesn't know for sure. Bess grew up in East London and idealized a Marvin family her mother said they were descended from when times were especially tough. Bess doesn't know if the stories were true, so she came to Horseshoe Bay to find out for sure. 

Bess has a genealogy kit in her luggage, but she still needs DNA from one of them. Nancy incredulously points out that she told everyone that her last name is Marvin. Bess defends that she didn't realize this was a small town where everyone knew everyone. Nancy questions what Bess intends to do if it turns out to be true, but Bess righteously interrupts Nancy. She hadn't been asking for Nancy's opinion after all. Nancy hypocritically says Bess doesn't know her life, but the same can be said about Nancy.

1.04 promo Laura

Laura sitting at Tiffany's funeral.

At the service, Everett makes a speech about Tiffany when her 911 recording call is played out loud. The calls clearly demonstrate that her death was not natural. Laura stands and harshly criticizes the Hudsons before leaving. 

The chief automatically knows Ace was the one who provided the recording to Laura but is more or less willing to let it go, though with a warning. 

Back at the graveyard, Karen tries to get Nancy to talk to her about anything. In front of Lucy Sable's gravestone, Nancy asks if Karen knew Lucy. Karen hesitantly tells her they were in the same graduating class in high school. That the only clues they have for the killer is a bloody knife and tire tracks they left behind at the crime scene. Confused, Karen posits that Nancy is asking these questions to avoid talking about her mom. 

Over Tiffany's grave, George once again apologizes more contritely. As she does so, Tiffany's spirit wafts into the mirror in George's bag. 

1.04 promo Nancy 2

Nancy in front of Kate Drew's grave.

Nancy heads to her mom's grave to see Carson visiting it with two bouquets of flowers. One from Carson and the other is supposed to be from Nancy. Nancy nearly leaves, but Carson calls for her, heartbroken and hurt over the tension between them. Nancy breaks down in tears as she finally voices how much she blames him for not calling her while her mother was dying, while Nancy was obliviously having fun at a dance. However, Carson had wanted to honor his wife's final wishes. She didn't want Nancy there to see her die. This is a problem that has no right answer. The two are pained and wounded with the knowledge that this isn't something that can easily be settled between them. Nonetheless, Nancy accepts the bouquet and the two kneel together at the grave for a moment. 

After Carson leaves, Nancy speaks to Katherine Drew's grave and admits the reason it took so long for her to believe ghosts exist, is because she wanted to believe her mom would've come back for her. That Kate hasn't, tears at Nancy. 

1.04 promo Carson Everett Ryan

The Hudsons threaten Carson.

At the post-funeral press conference, Carson makes the announcement for the Tiffany Hudson Educational Outreach Center. When reporters start asking about the validity of the autopsy report, Carson seeing Nancy tells his truthful opinion on it: That he doesn't believe the report to be accurate. Ryan mutters that Carson's made a mistake as he ends the conference, and Everett subtly threatens that it won't be as easy for him to leave this time. Carson leaves, muscles taunt, but acknowledges Nancy's proud expression as he passes her by. 

At the parking lot of the Clam, Laura apologizes to Ace for using him. Ace pretends like it was fine, but honestly, he was upset when Laura left originally, which is why he hadn't bothered staying in touch with her. The two end up kissing, rekindling their old romance.

Nick returns to the garage to find his lockbox open and rifled through. Thankfully, his safe remained untouched. He turns to his camera with the knowledge that whoever broke in was recorded.

Nancy, in her room, analyzes the video of Tiffany's final moments on her laptop. Watching the video, she realizes Bess was telling the truth since Tiffany is shown dropping her ring. The video glitches out, showing an imprint image of Lucy's ghost before the screen cracks dramatically. Bess enters her bedroom and Nancy apologizes to Bess. She admits she needed a distraction at the funeral and Bess was an easy target. Bess, in turn, admits that she hasn't approached the Marvins yet because if in truth it turns out they aren't actually family, it would devastate her. 

Nancy studies the crack on her computer screen and realizes it's the same way it cracked on the microwave and TV screen. That, it is in fact, cracked in the shape of a map of Horseshoe Bay, with the epicenter being the high school. 

Back with Ned, he watches the security recording to see Laura Tandy stealing the thumb drive. Nancy sneaks into the school and spots a cork board from the class of 1999. Hidden behind some other photos is a picture of Dead Lucy and Karen closely smiling together. 

Meanwhile, after hours in the parking lot of the Claw, the spirit in George's bag enters her. George collapses and reenacts Tiffany's final moments. 

Cast and characters





Bess Marvin. Socialite, liar, thief. Why did Bess say she lives with her aunt when she lives in a van? Why did she have Tiffany's ring? Could Bess be the killer I'm chasing?
— Nancy's inner monologue----
I thought if ghosts exist you would come to me. Why haven't you? Am I not enough to keep you here? Because I really need you.
— Nancy to her mom

Nancy: "I wasn't with mom when she died. I didn't get to see what she was going through or what she was feeling. I was in a gym dancing with my friends. I had my phone. You could have called. But instead, you made me believe everything was okay. But I never got to say goodbye because of you."
Carson: "I was trying to honor your mom's wishes. I thought I was doing the right thing, but maybe I wasn't. Whatever you're feeling... you can carry it with you, but you can't let it consume you."
―  Nancy expressing her resentment to Carson.



Promotional stills


Nancy Drew episodes (2019 TV series)
1. Pilot
(Oct 9, 2019)

2. The Secret of the Old Morgue
(Oct 16, 2019)

3. The Curse of the Dark Storm
(Oct 23, 2019)

4. The Haunted Ring
(Oct 30, 2019)

5. The Case of the Wayward Spirit
(Nov 06, 2019)

6. The Mystery of Blackwood Lodge
(Nov 13, 2019)

7. The Tale of the Fallen Sea Queen
(Nov 20, 2019)

8. The Path of Shadows
(Dec 4, 2019)

9. The Hidden Staircase
(Dec 11, 2019)

10. The Mark Of The Poisoner's Pearl
(Jan 15, 2020)

11. The Phantom of Bonny Scot
(Jan 22, 2020)

12. The Lady of Larkspur Lane
(Jan 29, 2020)

13. The Whisper Box
(Feb 5, 2020)

14. The Sign of the Uninvited Guest
(Feb 26, 2020)

15. The Terror of Horseshoe Bay
(Mar 4, 2020)

16. The Haunting of Nancy Drew
(Mar 11, 2020)

17. The Girl In The Locket
(Apr 8, 2020)

18. The Clue in the Captain's Painting (season finale)
(Apr 15, 2020)

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