While The Clock Ticked
Episode 13 of The Hardy Boys begins with Callie held captive and promising to make Anastasia pay for what she’s done. Joe receives the dreaded call confirming that Callie has been taken and listens as she demands to have the piece brought to her by midnight at the docks. If he wants to see Callie alive again, everything rests on this.
At Gloria’s house, Frank and Gloria discuss George and what happened with the Eye. She believes it corrupted him and worries that the Eye could be used for wrongdoing if it’s in the hands of someone like Anastasia. When Joe speaks to his brother, he mentions the exchange taking place and how Callie has been kidnapped.
Gloria decides they should try and trick Anastasia into submission. Joe and Frank however, have other ideas and that includes giving the pieces back… but using the fake piece to hand over instead.
With Fenton’s job finished, Kanika bows out of the Circle and the hunt, handing over a tape of evidence which could help incriminate those responsible. He tasks Rupert with phoning Jesse and telling her what they’ve found out.
While the boys work to try and put their plan into place, sneaking out and heading to Wilt’s to devise a new plan, Ezra heads over to Trudy’s to get to the bottom of Callie’s disappearance. He wants to bring Frank in for questioning but instead hangs about for Frank to return.
Instead, he finds Fenton who sees straight through the Chie’s façade and knows that he’s lying. Fenton brings him upstairs and shows that they have enough evidence to incriminate him unless he speaks up. It’s clear that Gloria is blackmailing him with something and he wants to know what.
At Wilt’s, the group discuss the machine Anastasia and the others have been using to detect radioactivity. Phil puts his expertise to good use, deciding to use smoke detectors to fool their foe. It seems to work too and after the exchange, Callie is handed back and brought to safety. As Anastasia thoroughly scans the artifact she realizes the piece is a bust and starts to lose her temper, finally understanding that they’ve been played.
Back home, Trudy confronts Fenton about him leaving the boys to fend for themselves. They essentially had to grieve for him too, given how desperate they were to uncover the truth. Her words get through to him as she asks him to work with the brothers to get to the bottom of what’s happening.
The kids converge at Gloria’s estate, with Biff heading into the hidden room while Joe unlocks the safe to find the pieces of the Eye. Only, they’re missing and happen to be in Gloria’s possession, who has a plan of her own to form an uneasy alliance with Anastasia.
Biff figures out the map and, using the projector, manages to uncover the secret parts linking to the mines. Unfortunately Biff locks herself in the room but using the vent, manages to feed the key back to Joe to bust her out. As Joe opens the door, he pair share an intimate hug afterwards.
With Callie safe and all the kids together at Wilt’s, Joe feeds back news about the truce. However, Biff’s brilliance means they’ve figured out the location for the Chamber of the Eye and are on-course to solve everything. Just before they head out, Fenton shows and tells the other kids to head home. After, he teams up with the kids to track down both Gloria and Anastasia before it’s too late.
Of course Callie completely disregards what Fenton told them and joins the group down in the mines as everyone converges in the Chamber of the Eye. The piece is unfortunately joined together and as everything bursts into a dazzling fantastical ray of light, Frank touches the Eye and seems mesmerized by its power. As Joe screams at him to destroy it, another blast sends everyone reeling and onto the floor.
Frank eventually regains consciousness but finds himself in the past watching a flashback play out. Now we see the truth surrounding what happened with his Mother. Laura confronted Gloria about the boat and told her not to wield the Eye and bring it together.
Laura promised to reveal everything about the Eye and what’s been happening. In response, Gloria threatened Laura and told her if she does this then she won’t be able to protect her.
As the scene jumps around Bridgeport, we see her speaking to Rupert and telling him they need to work together to break the truth. With keys in hand, she prepares to leave and heads out on that fateful stretch of road where she met her demise.
Frank regains consciousness and confronts Gloria about the argument she had with Laura. Gloria chose the Eye over her own daughter but as the ground starts shaking, Frank realizes that Stefan, Gloria’s right-hand man, is the one who killed Laura. He did this for Gloria in a twisted way to make sure she keeps the Eye and she seems as shocked as everyone else.
As the mines look close to collapsing, everyone scrambles up to safety. Jesse arrives and arrests Gloria for Victor’s murder. She apologizes to the boys in vain, who watch her leave as police swarm the warehouse.
With the Circle now broken and the Eye lost, the family decide to stick around with Aunt Trudy for the time being. As the family enjoy their time together, Ezra and Gloria both find themselves behind bars.
Up in the attic, Joe manages to fix the music box and the brothers converge together with Fenton, discussing the mystery and what they managed to accomplish together. In Joe’s room, he finds a note from J.B. apologizing and leaving his radio, ready to answer a future favour if need be.
Meanwhile, in the mines a group of armed guards arrive and find the Eye intact on the ground. Blowing dust off it, they essentially leave the door wide open for a possible second season.
The Episode Review
So the romance encapsulating this series ended with a kiss between Frank and Callie, rounding out this weak subplot in a relatively nice way. The central mystery, while seemingly wrapped up, actually leaves lots unresolved too.
The issue with Anastasia is still unknown at this point, especially given she managed to slip away without any repercussions. With the Eye now intact too, who knows what power that could wield going forward.
In fact, this whole mission around destroying the Eye actually escalated to something far worse given it’s now one whole piece and could be used for wrongdoing – something George warned about in the past. Could a new Circle be formed on the back of this?
I’m not quite sure why there’s an open ending with this one either but from what we’ve seen across this season, a second certainly wouldn’t go amiss. There’s enough Hardy Boys material to adapt (over 15o books!) and this could easily turn into a decent Hulu drama in the future, especially with a more tightly compact and nicely edited run.
While I’m still doubtful about the need for 13 episode, this series could work quite well as an episodic series, with several different mysteries woven together around a larger conspiracy at work.
Still, this first season does a good job reinventing this successful book series to the small screen and was a fun ride while it lasted. Despite a few narrative inconsistencies and plot holes (why did Anastasia run down the Tall Man?), there’s an enjoyable enough familial adventure here worth checking out.