After three seasons of dancing around their feelings, Nancy and Ace at last seem poised to live up to their potential as Horseshoe Bay’s “Couple Most Likely to Solve a Mystery at Their Own Wedding.” Sure, they have a pretty big obstacle to overcome first: Undoing Temperance Hudson’s diabolical curse, which is currently dooming Nancy to choose between confessing her love to Ace and watching him die. But…details! I have faith. If history’s anything to go by, Nancy and Ace (better known as Nace) are going to team up with the rest of their Drew Crew to outsmart and ultimately defeat Nancy’s wicked ancestor. Once that’s done, there will be nothing stopping Nancy from turning her dream life with Ace into a reality.
There’s a ton of evidence to suggest that Nancy and Ace will become a powerhouse of a couple by the end of Nancy Drew’s fourth and final season. (With any luck, it will even happen before the final moments of the finale!) You only need to follow the clues to reach the same conclusion…
#1: “It’s like our brain’s the same brain.”
Ace and Nancy are perfectly attuned to each other and have been since their early days as coworkers at The Bayside Claw, where they developed an easy camaraderie. Before she even knows him that well, Nancy confides in Ace about her struggles with school after her mom’s passing. She’s also comfortable enough with him to joke that he’s growing on his one-time crush, Bess, “like a fungus.” For his part, Ace senses that Nancy isn’t acting like herself before anyone else in her life does in Season 2, when they learn she’s being possessed by a malevolent spirit. Then there’s the fact that they can communicate wordlessly to crack open a safe and have now solved multiple mysteries together. Ace’s comment about them sharing a brain is spot-on, and the two of them being amazing partners in (solving) crime is a big reason why they’re going to make amazing life partners too.
#2: “If you ever want to talk about anything, I’m here.” (“If I find the words, I will share them with you.”)
Communication is vital to a healthy relationship, so it’s worth noting that Nace excel at it. Okay, maybe “excel” is too strong a word, given how long it takes them to admit their painfully obvious crushes on each other. Risking a solid friendship for the chance at a romantic relationship is high-stakes, though, so I cut them slack there. Otherwise they are pretty good about talking things through. When Nancy learns Ace has been working as a reluctant informant for the local police, she’s up-front with Ace about feeling betrayed and unable to trust him. Ace doesn’t let Nancy off the hook when she screws up either; he holds her accountable for putting their friends in danger with her recklessness. But they also readily apologize, work hard to make up for their mistakes, grant forgiveness, and ensure the other knows they still care, even when they’re mad. Best of all is how frequently they check on each other and offer to simply listen, no judgments or unsolicited advice attached.
#3: “I had this dreamscape experience with you on the bluffs, and I had to see you, because it was very powerful, and I felt things…”
The subconscious always knows! Nancy’s almost-kiss with Ace in the Season 2 finale may have surprised her, but it also confirmed her attraction to him had been building for a while. Her steamy fantasy makeout with him in Season 3 merely drove that home. Some part of her had been clocking every lingering look, every excuse to invade his personal space, and every unnecessary touch. (She’s even obsessed with his hair! Understandably.) Ace grapples with a similarly stunning (to him!) realization in Season 3, when he accepts that maybe everyone else is right: He is in love with Nancy. If they’re both dummies, well, at least they’re equally-crazy-about-each-other dummies. Their feelings for each other clearly go very, very deep. Like, soulmate deep. No silly curse is going to prevent these two magnets from finding their way back together. Ace put his cards on the table by confessing: “I have feelings for you.” Nancy’s going to get her chance soon too. Bet!
#4: “I know Nancy. I know she was right.”
Nancy has great chemistry with…let’s face it, pretty much everyone. So it’s no big surprise that she and Ace light up the screen (and they really, really do). What takes their relationship to the next level is the immense trust they share. Nancy harbors all sorts of doubts about Nick, George, and Bess in Season 1, yet she never seriously considers Ace a suspect in the murder of Tiffany Hudson. Even learning that he acted as a police informant doesn’t put much of a dent in her faith in him–he quickly earns back her confidence, and she never questions it again. Nancy knows Ace will keep her secrets and her heart safe. Not to be outdone, Ace proves he trusts Nancy just as wholeheartedly by drinking a vial of clear liquid that Nancy has concluded is water rather than poison. She’s correct, and later he calmly tells his dad that he knew she was, as if it’s no big deal that he’d put his life in her hands. If that’s not romance, what is?!
#5: “I couldn’t lose you.”
Nancy and Ace are both special people who would go to–and have gone to–extraordinary lengths to protect the ones they love. When it’s one of them in danger, however, they go feral! Ace basically plasters himself to Nancy’s side while she’s sick in the Season 2 finale, and he’s the first to arrive when she screams in that corn maze in the Season 3 premiere. Nancy makes a few grand gestures too, like making a deal with the devil (her manipulative grandmother) to save Ace from certain death and then explaining she had no choice: she could not bear to lose him. There’s also Nancy being the only one to sense his presence while he’s stuck in another dimension… Plus, oh yeah, pretending she only has platonic feelings for the man she loves (canon!!!) to shield him from Temperance Hudson’s curse. They’re already willing to go to hell and back for each other, so just imagine how safe and cherished they’ll feel in each other’s arms as an official couple.
What clues are you reading a little too much into as you work to solve the case of Nancy and Ace’s season 4 storyline? And have you also come to the (correct) conclusion that Nace is absolutely, positively endgame?
P.S. To keep calm during the next few weeks, I will be turning to some of my favorite fanworks, like this gorgeous edit by TeamHodgins. I would be delighted to hear your Nace recs!
Can’t get enough Nace? You may also enjoy this list of 5 Friends-to-Lovers TV Romances Just Waiting to Happen.