The new Nancy Drew episode features a logic-loving tour guide named Aristotle downplaying the role of women in the city’s history, and Nancy speaks up.
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Nancy drew Season 2, Episode 4, available now on CW.
Nancy drew Always highlights the strength and power of women. From the titular detective and her friends Bess and George to the powerful sea spirit Aglaeca who is chasing them, women always carry the story. Nowhere is this more evident than in Season 2, Episode 4, “The Fate of Buried Treasure”, when Nancy actually criticizes a historian for his exclusion of women from the history of their shared city. Even better? The historian is clearly a substitute for the Greek philosopher Aristotle.
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The most recent episode follows Nancy and her friends on their continuing quest to break Aglaeca’s curse. Their journey takes them to the Horsheshoe Bay Historical Society and to the leader of the walking tour named Aristotle, who might learn more about Aglaeca’s original human form, Odette Lamar. Nancy and Aristotle’s conversation quickly uncovers their biases in understanding history and turns into a viral tirade against dismissing the past influence of women.
What makes Nancy’s attack on Aristotle so cool is that it also works as an attack on the most famous guy by that name. The episode establishes its historian character Aristotle as a clear reference to the famous Greek philosopher, not just in name but in action. His role as a walking tour guide feels like a direct reference to old Aristotle. Peripatetic school of the philosophy that was based on walking as part of the process of thinking and philosophizing. Both Aristotle are therefore leaders of walking groups and lovers of logic.
More troublesome Nancy drewAristotle seems to reflect some of the ideas of the philosopher Aristotle as well. misogynistic ideas. Ancient Greek believed that women were less than men and therefore should be subordinate to male rule. While tour guide Aristotle doesn’t go that far, he expresses Odette’s unimportance, stating that “the only reason she matters in Horseshoe Bay is that she married the founder of the city.” However, reducing her to the role of wife erases her history and lived experience, including her murder.
Nancy criticizes the modern Aristotle and reminds him that women are more important than their social roles. She describes Odette’s life before coming to Horseshoe Bay running an olive oil empire in France, and how the city’s founders subsequently assassinated her for her money to build the city. Odette was not only more than the wife Aristotle introduced, it was her work and her blood that made the city possible.
Aristotle tries to combat Nancy’s comments, stating that “history is not felt, it is a fact.” Immediately clinging to logic to maintain your advantage feels exactly like the move a philosopher would make, reinforcing his connection to his former namesake. However, history is rarely as easy as “fact”: Nancy reminds you that historical sources, such as wedding documents, can tell a biased or false story and are subject to further interpretation. While an Aristotelian objectivity may be a valuable goal for the historian, it is seldom possible.
Bringing in an ancient Greek philosopher was an unexpected move for modern supernatural drama Nancy drew. But regardless of whether it fits in with the rest of the show’s setting, Nancy’s perfect attack reaffirmed a contingent take on the story and the often-forgotten impact of women. While the character is an odd addition, Nancy’s feminist stance is certainly familiar.
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