'Nancy Drew': Kennedy McMann on Final Season, Nancy and Ace's Romantic Curse (Exclusive)

Nancy Drew
Colin Bentley/The CW

The actress talks to ET about the fourth and final season of the CW sleuth drama.

Nancy Drew has one last mission to solve -- and it's a big one.

The CW's sleuth drama kicks off its fourth and final season Wednesday with the amateur investigator in quite the pickle. At the end of last season, a deadly curse was placed on Nancy and Ace, forbidding the eponymous detective to act on her romantic feelings. If she does so, Ace will die. When season 4 begins -- the first episode is appropriately titled "The Dilemma of the Lover's Curse" -- Nancy continues to fight the urge to act on those feelings, shifting her focus (temporarily) on a new investigation to find a group of missing bodies from the local cemetery that have been dug up or possibly risen from the dead. 

Of course, it wouldn't be Nancy Drew without some complications thrown her way, especially with the arrival of an attractive new hunk catching her eye. To make matters even more dicey, Ace may be tempted by a new relationship too.

"I am so happy to finally be bringing this season to the fans, and I'm really excited for them to see what we have in this final installment. And at the same time too, a little bit emotional," Nancy Drew star Kennedy McMann tells ET. "It's sad to say goodbye, and it's crazy to finally be here. But I'm so glad we got to have a proper conclusion. And then, I guess, we get to celebrate the life of the show now with fans, so it's really exciting."

The leading lady spoke with ET about the final season, how she feels about saying farewell to Nancy and the show and what's in store for the Drew Crew.

ET: Did you know at the start of the season that this was going to be the end?

Kennedy McMann: No, we had no idea when we started. We were filming episode 8 or 9 is when we found out. I wasn't in the writers' room, I have no idea what they were contending with, but I think as with a lot of things that have happened on The CW network within the last year, the writing was on the wall a little bit. So I think that they were prepared, to an extent, to be able to pivot that way if that's the way that it went. And I'm honestly just so grateful that we were able to find out and write a proper series finale instead of leaving everybody with a terrible cliffhanger that will never be resolved, which was my greatest fear after season 3. I was like, "We have to get a season 4 because if I have to live with this season 3 finale conclusion, I don't think I'll ever have closure in my life."

How would you describe Nancy at the start of the season?

We find Nancy at the beginning of season 4 in a place of desperation for this new life that she's forging for herself. Obviously, she started Nancy Drew Investigations, which is exciting, albeit very intimidating. She's also living on her own for the first time and struggling to pay her electric bill and dealing with all these very adult things, which are, thankfully for her, a nice distraction to what is pretty constantly on her mind and causing her great anguish, which is the fact that her and Ace have this death curse looming over their heads. And we find them beginning of season 4, having not spoken for the last couple of weeks. She's in a bit of a frantic place, trying to grab onto anything she can that will stabilize her.

Colin Bentley/The CW

She's still putting on her sleuthing hat while also dealing with this curse, while also just balancing everything as she always kind of does. How is she navigating everything?

She definitely [has a lot on her plate], which like you said, she kind of always does, and in some ways I think has grown so much in these four seasons in terms of dealing with anything emotional. But I think this conflict that she has with what's happening between her and Ace and this new reality that she feels forced to accept, she's really struggling to admit to anyone just how much she's suffering. And even though she's come so far in terms of learning to lean on people and develop friendships, this feels like such a different realm of intensity. She got to confess to Carson what happened at the end of season 3 and thankfully she has him, but I think she's really trying to shake it off with this newfound fierce independence and self-support that really is, in her own classic way, running from the emotions of that problem and trying to see if she can outrun it. So yeah, it's a lot of, compartmentalizing for her and taking it one step at a time and one distraction at a time.

How does she get out of this curse? Does she figure out a way to break this curse with Ace?

In the beginning of the season, she's so committed to what she has determined is the best course of action, which is making sure Ace never finds out and never thinks that there's any possibility that they could ever be together. And in her mind, that's the safest and easiest way for him to be fully protected emotionally and physically. So she's very stuck in this decision that she's made. Some things definitely jostle her around. As the season progresses, it's almost a Pandora's box that if she dare open the lid of possibility that there is a way to break this curse that she would give everything to that. It would sort of be an overflow.

And I think that the pain of that not working, or God forbid, Ace getting hurt in their attempts, is almost too painful of a reality. But we definitely play on that whole scale throughout the season. We get to see both of them at peak desperation and hope and pain, and it's a real rollercoaster that touches on pretty much all of that, and it's so raw emotionally for both of them. And I think that that always leads to some pretty good TV.

There's also another new character that comes into the world, Tristan. What can you say about his arrival and how that shakes things up for Nancy?

We first meet Tristan in The Claw. He is The Claw's lobster guy. He's a fisherman who helps Nancy in the premiere, in kind of a sticky situation she finds herself in. And really, as the season goes on, he's full of surprises and becomes a really unexpected part of their journey in many different ways, and I think has a lot to offer this season and definitely adds to the general confusion that Nancy feels about everything in her life and how to proceed.

Will we see the gang back together solving mysteries?

Yeah, most definitely. I think all of their individual growth definitely continues. They're all at a place where they're figuring out what's next for them in their lives and it feels like a natural almost graduation moment to what's to come for each of them individually. But there's definitely some great full crew moments. I think that's such a pillar of the show and the real heart of the show, and I think people will really enjoy that, especially some particular antics that they get up to as a group and, of course, how the series closes, which I think will be really heartfelt for everybody.

Not to get ahead of myself, but in broad terms, how do you feel about the ending of this show and the end of Nancy's story?

I think it is just right. Without saying too much and not assuring any particular conclusions, I think it's definitely handled with care from our writers and is really an ode to the audience in a lot of ways.

How would you describe overall the season?

There's a ton to sink your teeth into in this season. Our primary season-long mystery is really developed episode by episode, and there's all of these different paths that Nancy and the crew go down, trying to figure out what's happening. And it's sort of one of those things where you have all of these individual pieces of information in the air that you're not quite sure how they all connect. And then there's one great moment of connection that really launches into the last chunk of the season. So, in terms of the mystery of it all and fans getting invested in that, there's so much room for theories and I'm really excited to see how people experience it in real time.

Nancy Drew premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.