We got the inside scoop on that heartbreaking finale and what's to come if the show returns for a new season.

Nancy Drew (2019 TV series)

Warning: This article contains spoilers about Friday's season 3 finale of Nancy Drew.

Nancy Drew cannot end like that!

Despite the fact that the CW's aged-up adaptation of the iconic teen sleuth has not yet been renewed for season 4, the season 3 finale ended on more than a few cliffhangers that will likely drive fans up a wall wondering if there will ever be payoff. Nancy (Kennedy McMann) finally acted on her feelings towards Ace (Alex Saxon) — only for him to die in her arms in a brutal car crash after just one month of bliss together. As he dies, that's when Nancy realizes the entire past month has just been an illusion, brought about by Temperance (Olivia Taylor Dudley) to show what will happen if Nancy ever acts on her feelings for Ace in real life. It's the final curse she puts on Nancy before Nancy kills her, ending the impending supernatural apocalypse before anyone in Horseshoe Bay dies.

Then Nancy essentially has a do-over where only she knows about the curse and her previous "month" of memories, so she pushes a confused Ace away to save his life. As the Drew Crew drift apart on their new paths, all of them unaware their own lives have been irrevocably changed by Nancy's actions, Nancy opens up Nancy Drew Investigations to devote her life to solving mysteries — since she won't allow herself to be with Ace in fear that he'll die from the curse.

It's a heartbreaking, lonely end of the season for Nancy — and if the series doesn't return for season 4, we will absolutely riot. Showrunner Melinda Hsu Taylor tells EW "we have our fingers crossed" for a renewal, but while we eagerly await the news either way, check out what she and showrunner Noga Landau had to say about that finale and where Nancy goes from here.

Nancy Drew
Alex Saxon as Ace and Kennedy McMann as Nancy in 'Nancy Drew'
| Credit: Colin Bentley/The CW

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: After the way this finale ends, I'm really going to need Nancy Drew to return for season 4. Fans need to find out what happens next.

MELINDA HSU TAYLOR: If we are so fortunate, we definitely will pick up with Ace wanting to know why Nancy ran out of his apartment like that. His question to her, "Are you in trouble?" is going to be the thing on his mind if and when we start season 4. "Why did Nancy run out of my apartment just when I thought she was going to kiss me? I bet she's in trouble, I need to find out what's going on."

Did you always know you were going to end this season with a Groundhog Day-like do over for Nancy?

NOGA LANDAU: No. Usually we know exactly what we're doing ahead of time. But we always knew that Nancy was going to stop Temperance from destroying the town, that she was going to stop her from opening the veil all the way. But we didn't know and what became apparent as we were breaking the finale was that the episode wasn't ever really about that. It was about beginning a new chapter for Nancy and it was about her and Ace. And it was about introducing this idea of heroism and sacrifice and having to give up everything that you want in order to do what's right. But also it's bringing up this idea of fate and whether or not you can truly fight fate. And that's something we're going to be talking about in season 4.

The finale was an emotional roller coaster and Kennedy was breaking my heart in every scene. How has this vision of the future Nancy almost/could have had affected her going into a potential season 4?

HSU TAYLOR: It's going to weigh heavily on her mind. To her, the experience of being responsible for Ace's death in a car crash was very emotionally real to her. That's going to be quite the deterrent anytime she even wants to give him a look that she wouldn't give to a platonic friend. Her mind is so regimented that she will train herself not to let him know how she feels, which is going to convince him all the more that something's going on, because he knows Nancy wouldn't be one day about to kiss him and the next day like he's just somebody she barely knows. It's going to live in her mind in a really real way and influence a lot of her actions.

LANDAU: Yeah, season 4 is going to be a season of intense yearning for both of them. [Laughs] It's only ramping it up even more, for sure. For me, this show is always about the simmering love and yearning — for multiple characters, but especially for Nancy and now for Nancy and Ace together.

How long is this curse going to last because if I know Nancy, I bet she's going to be looking for ways to break it rather than staying away from Ace forever, right?

LANDAU: Yeah, absolutely. But I think the real challenge is she knows after this season that Temperance's magic is very sneaky and that Temperance has probably built in a lot of failsafes so that she doesn't try to undo this curse. And that's part of the mystery that eventually she probably will try to solve. We can't say if she's going to be successful or not. But yeah, she's definitely going to want to. I mean, the other thing is she doesn't know what the rules of this curse are. All she knows is that she almost kissed Ace and the barometer shattered so this thing is very real and very serious. She doesn't know if she can tell him she loves him. She doesn't know if she can even tell him about the curse without triggering it. So she has to kind of figure out the rules of it, if she's ever going to even consider undoing it.

Nancy Drew
Alex Saxon as Ace and Kennedy McMann as Nancy in 'Nancy Drew.'
| Credit: Colin Bentley/The CW

Is Temperance really dead? That moth flying away has me worried.

HSU TAYLOR: That's so funny, you have been the first person to ask us that. That wasn't our intention originally. [Laughs] But maybe I should just leave it at that. There is something about this threat of Temperance and you just never know. But that's kind of the whole point of how she left things with us. If you've been told some day you're going to fall off a sidewalk and break your ankle, you look at every sidewalk differently. Maybe this is just somebody talking to you, but maybe it's not; maybe today's the day.

LANDAU: What's fun about Temperance is that she's the villain of many faces. She's been played by three different actresses so far, who are all amazing, and so we've already set up that you never know who Temperance could be. So, yes, again, we'll leave it at that.

We get a tease of a new mystery at the very end of the episode with all the missing bodies in the cemetery. Where is this is going to lead Nancy in a new season?

LANDAU: This was the season where Nancy averted a supernatural almost-apocalypse, which is a huge undertaking and a huge thing. [Laughs] What's going to be fun about season 4 is we're very consciously returning to our roots, putting Nancy back in a graveyard with her beanie and her flashlight, and the beginning of a new mystery that should feel a little bit more like the mysteries that we tackled in season 1 and season 2 — for a bit of a palate cleanser. And so as for the graves and the mystery, we'll definitely say that there is a tendril of connection between some of the stuff that you see in the finale and why those graves are like that in the end.

Oh, so this isn't an entirely new mystery? It connects to something we've already seen?

HSU TAYLOR: For sure, we actually planted seeds of it already ... this is a spoiler. In later interviews — if there are later interviews [Laughs] — I can tell you where the seed actually starts in season 3, even before the finale.

LANDAU: I am most excited to come back to the ground after doing such a crazy season with the veil and a witch and magic and a supernatural almost-apocalypse. I am actually very, very excited to go back to the small town mysteries that we took a break from. And I love being able to do a show where we can do both — where we can do a witch is trying to end the world and we can save it while also being like, "Who stole my grandfather's ashes and why?"

I'm excited Nancy opened up Nancy Drew Investigations. Does this signal a new chapter for Nancy and the series moving forward?

LANDAU: Yeah, she is. She's growing up.

HSU TAYLOR: It's fun to have the opportunity for people to just walk in the door and say, "My cat is missing," or whatever. A cat's not a good example because of Kegstand, we so wanted to bring that cat back, but it was just the schedule. We love the cat. His name is Duncan. But it's a lot slower to film with Duncan the cat than it is to put that meow in at the end at the graveyard that she hears off screen. It's offscreen Kegstand.

LANDAU: That was Kegstand, by the way! You get to break the news because nobody else has asked us about that cat meow. Yes, that was Kegstand, people! He's back!

It's an EW exclusive!

HSU TAYLOR: [Laughs] It's so legit.

Nancy Drew
Kennedy McMann as Nancy.
| Credit: Colin Bentley/The CW

On a less fun note, it's heartbreaking that Nancy seems to be working alone as of now. Is she going to start recruiting new people or will we see the Drew Crew come back together?

HSU TAYLOR: Oh, they'll always come back together, for sure. For sure. We now kind of have people in different areas of law enforcement. George is going to be pursuing law, and Ace works at a morgue, Bess has got the mystical thing covered which, technically, is a community leader and has a lot of connections to the town. There's a lot of opportunity for teamwork. I'm excited for the friend group and how they come back together in a slightly evolved, not like the other thing was bad but just as people get more life experience, your friendships evolve as well. I'm thinking of this best friend of mine from childhood who, we always stayed in touch but we reconnected as grown ups and then we became friends as grown ups. It wasn't out of nostalgia for our childhood friendship, we actually became friends as our adult selves and I love that about our friendship. Her name is Leah if she's out there reading this. [Laughs] She's terrific.

What's going on with those creepy artifact sellers and their weirdly intense new hold over Ryan?

LANDAU: It's not good. He's going to get stuck in something he doesn't want to be a part of, but he kind of made a deal with the devil in order to get that hatchet that killed Temperance. And so now the devil has come to collect and the devil happens to be in the form of a nice couple that sells trinkets on eBay but actually are very scary relic hunters.

Is he ever going to find out about how he almost died and how Nancy actually mourned him for an entire month in that illusion?

HSU TAYLOR: Maybe. That would be an interesting thing for them to talk about, actually. Because I think that, as people try to get under the surface of what seems to be bothering her, if for instance Ryan and Ace have a heart to heart and Ryan's like, "Let me ask her some questions," he might be an inroad to feeling like, "Nancy has these very vivid ideas about things that could happen in the future. I told her it was just imagining and she told me it was more than that and then she clammed up." It's the kind of thing that could come up in conversation.

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