By Sydney Bucksbaum
April 14, 2020 at 07:27 PM EDT

Nancy Drew (2019 TV series)

Redheaded sleuth Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) has successfully defeated human and supernatural forces alike, but she finally came up against one thing she couldn't ahead of Nancy Drew's season 1 finale: death itself.

Wednesday's episode of The CW's mystery thriller series, "The Clue in the Captain's Painting," will see Nancy and the rest of the Drew crew dealing with the fallout of Owen's (Miles Gaston Villanueva) shocking and heartbreaking death as a result of not living up to the bargain they made with the Aglaeca, in what is now the season finale. "We are calling this a season finale," showrunner Melinda Hsu Taylor tells EW. "There is plenty more story to come, which we will pick up with in season 2. We’re excited for that, but this is now the season finale."

Nancy Drew
Credit: Kailey Schwerman/The CW

While the episode was not originally written to be the end of the first season before the global pandemic hit, showrunner Noga Landau promises that "it really does" feel like a perfect end to the season. "It’s kind of amazing how well it actually works," she adds. "We were very lucky in that this episode really, really works as a cool cliffhanger for season 2."

Below, the showrunners dive deep into what fans can expect from the season 1 finale and where it leaves the show heading into season 2. Plus, check out EW's exclusive sneak peek at the finale with the photos above and below.

Nancy Drew
Credit: Kailey Schwerman/The CW

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The final moments of the last episode revealed that the Aglaeca is not who the Drew crew thought she was. Where does that mystery lead them in the finale?

NOGA LANDAU: Because the event at the end of episode 17 is such a shocking gut punch to the crew — they’ve lost Owen — they have to pivot very quickly and deal with the fallout of Owen’s death. That certainly takes them through Aglaeca territory in this episode but as far as peeling away the layers of everything we’re going to find out about the Aglaeca, we get a little bit there in this episode but there is a lot more to come in the premiere of season 2.

MELINDA HSU TAYLOR: The Aglaeca makes herself known a couple of times in this episode in a very dramatic fashion.

How does losing Owen affect Nancy moving forward, especially since she’s still dealing with the shock of learning the truth about her parents?

LANDAU: We don’t kill a lot of characters on this show. We want the loss of our characters who we love dearly to feel very grounded and impactful when it does happen. It's going to impact her a lot. She was just beginning to get to know Owen when he gets taken away from her. It’s going to be a really serious grieving process for her.

How is the Aglaeca mystery going to compare to what we saw the Drew crew dealing with before with the Dead Lucy mystery?

HSU TAYLOR: This episode, in addition to having a really exciting ending that propels us into season 2, is also going to provide some closure in other ways. It’s a fun way to experiment: we start the episode with a problem and by the end of the episode, we have solved it. Maybe others will emerge in the meantime. We want to try that out a lot going forward. We want people to be able to step into the world of Nancy Drew with a very low bar of entry and a very high satisfaction feeling at the end of the hour.

What kind of feeling will fans be left with at the end of the finale?

LANDAU: Hearts pounding. [Laughs] Terror in our hearts. There’s a very cool Aglaeca-related ending that makes us really up the stakes for what’s about to happen as a consequence of them not paying the toll in episode 15.

HSU TAYLOR: It also leads us into the question of season 2, which is how much of your fate has been set in motion before you have any kind of hand in it and how much of it can be changed through free will?

Nancy and the crew have slowly begun to accept that the supernatural is real through the mysteries they've solved. How will that continue moving into season 2?

LANDAU: There will always be a supernatural presence in the show. It can come in many forms. It will always be rooted in something human and earthbound that’s happening in Nancy’s life and Horseshoe Bay as a town. We’re going to keep delving deeper and deeper into that genre aspect of the show as we move into season 2.

What are you most excited to explore in season 2?

LANDAU: The places that the Aglaeca story goes are really surprising and bring out what we do best on the show, which is to tell earthbound mysteries that have supernatural components to them. It really resonates with what’s going on in the lives of our characters. I’m really excited to show everyone how the rest of the Aglaeca story plays out. Also being able to show where Nancy is going to go as a character after this revelation that she’s not the Drew’s biological daughter and her parents are Ryan Hudson [Riley Smith] and Lucy Sable [Stephanie Van Dyck], and just trying to piece together "Who am I?" in season 2 is going to be great.

HSU TAYLOR: The father-daughter triangle we have with Nancy, Carson [Scott Wolf], and Ryan is going to be fun to explore in season 2. Carson is going to be trying to put his law practice back together, Ryan is going to have to decide how much of a role he wants to take in the family empire now that his dad is facing trial for murder. All of these things are going to lead to fun stories for everybody.

Nancy Drew airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.

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