"Secrets and Lies" is the fourth episode of season one of the 2020 Hulu television series The Hardy Boys.

Premise

Official episode premise for "Secrets and Lies" from Hulu:

When the thief’s campsite is discovered, Joe is terrified that the toolbox he lent the man on the beach has been found by the police. Trying to hide his connection to the criminal, Joe enlists Biff to help him get his monogrammed soldering iron – that he kept in the toolbox – out of evidence at the police department. Frank confronts his Grandmother after learning she had an argument with his mom.

Plot summary

Jesse radios in and reports that she’s concluding her search of the fugitive’s campsite. Joe returns to the campsite to retrieve his toolbox only to find the beach swarming with deputies cleaning up the scene.

Joe follows the deputies back to the station on his skateboard. He tries to look for his toolbox in the back of Deputy Hooper's patrol car but is confronted by Biff. Rather than telling her the truth, he says that he was merely planning on shutting the trunk. Jesse returns and greets Joe, who leaves abruptly, leaving Jesse to question his odd behavior.

Frank calls Emma, who asks if he’s making any friends, particularly anyone she should know about. She asks when he’s coming home, but he’s not sure. So, Emma breaks up with Frank and tells him that it's time for them to move on.

Joe reveals to Frank that the police have his toolbox

Joe reveals to Frank that he lent JB his toolbox and now the cops have it in their lockup. Joe is frantic and terrified with the possibility that he could go to “kid jail” for aiding and abetting a fugitive, but Frank is only concerned about his breakup with Emma. Joe then adds that he engraved his name on his soldering iron, which will lead the police back to him. Frank assures Joe that he has his back and that nothing will happen to him before turning his attention to their evidence board. The only thing they know for certain is that JB and the Tall Man are both after the stone.

Trudy confronts Frank, addressing the fact that he hasn’t been talking to her much ever since the carnival. He apologizes as it wasn’t his intention to make her feel that way. As Frank leaves, Trudy tells him that Gloria wants him to come over to talk about something important. Lastly, she warns Frank to be careful around his grandma as she’s cut from a different cloth than them, explaining that there’s a lot more that separates the Hardys from the Estabrooks than just money. She reminds Frank that his mom was from that world and she left with good reason.

Frank goes to the Bridgeport public library and asks the librarian about the book his mother checked out — “The Strange Tales of Bridgeport.” The librarian realizes that he’s Laura’s child and gives her condolences. Frank asks why his mother would’ve torn out an entire chapter. The librarian believes it has something to do with Laura’s investigation into Bridgeport history. Laura came down several times to access the archives. Frank asks to see them as well but that is against their policy. The librarian remarks that she remembers Laura’s last visit clearly. She was sitting over at one of the tables drinking a cup of coffee from Wilt’s.

While Frank serves customers at Wilt’s, Callie and Chet attempt to convince him into joining Bridgeport’s baseball team, but Frank doesn’t wish to play anymore. He hasn't had the desire to since his mother's death. Frank then asks Wilt if his mom came in for coffee the morning she died. Wilt admits that she did. He could tell Laura was upset from the way she walked in that morning. He suspected that she had gotten into a fight with her mother, Gloria.

Jesse visits the Tall Man in the hospital. He’s in a coma after being shocked with the power mains from the carnival, which should’ve killed him. Unfortunately, they’re not sure when he’ll awaken from the coma. After Jesse leaves the room, the Tall Man opens his eyes.

Gloria tells Frank that she spoke to his mother about him on the day she died

Frank meets with Gloria as planned. She called him over to fill out his application to Rosegrave, which was founded by his great-grandfather, George Estabrook. First, Frank asks his grandmother about the last time she spoke to his mother. Frank reveals that he knows the two spoke on the day she died. Gloria claims they only talked about Frank and his future. Laura supposedly didn’t want him to go to Rosegrave. Gloria claims that she kept this from them because she was simply trying to spare them. Callie arrives as Gloria has been helping her fill out her application to Rosegrave as well.

Joe enters the police station and sees his toolbox sitting in a chair. The desk sergeant asks if he needs something and then tells Joe to scram.

Callie arrives at Wilt’s and confesses to Frank that she overheard his conversation with Gloria. She heard them talking about the argument between Gloria and Laura on June 30th. Callie was there that day to see Gloria as well,. They were yelling at each other about secrets and lies. It ended with Laura yelling “This all has to stop,” before storming out, meaning that Gloria lied to Frank

Joe packs a bag of clothing and survival gear as he plans to run away before the police can come looking for him after they look into his toolbox. Biff arrives, and Joe tells her that his soldering iron with his name engraved on it is at the police station, meaning that the police will be coming for him. Biff suggests that they sneak in and steal the soldering iron.

Frank tells Callie how his mom was writing an article to expose Bridgeport and its secrets. She was looking into the town’s archives, which he doesn’t have access to. Fortunately, Callie tells him that she knows of a way to sneak inside.

The Tall Man assaults a doctor and stuffs him in a locker before escaping the hospital in a gown and trench coat.

Callie sneaks Frank into the library through a back door. Frank finds his mom’s archive log file while Callie retrieves the keys.

Joe and Biff enter the police station and inform the desk sergeant that they’ve come to pick up a donation box. They overhear a deputy inform the sarge that they got a hit on the prints they pulled from JB’s campsite before heading into the back to get the "donation box." In reality, they break into the evidence locker and steal back Joe’s soldering iron. Biff hears her mother’s voice as she enters the station and flees out the back door. However, Joe stays behind to take a look at JB’s file in hopes that it’ll lead them to him. While reviewing JB's file, Joe is apprehended by Jesse, who scolds him for sneaking into the chief’s office.

Frank looks into his mother's research

Frank and Callie break into the archive. She finds an old letter from a man who claimed that he witnessed the event at Demon’s Paw. He claims that they unearthed an object of such uncommon power that no one man could be trusted to hold it. The letter also says that long after the dust settled, the land would remain accursed and would forever persist in making its ghastly emanations. Frank has discovered that his mom was looking into the explosion of 1915 and its aftermath. Frank shows Callie a map of the region from 1914, but it was bare land back then. Then the explosion of 1915 happened and the land went from dry and dusty to green and fertile. Furthermore, Frank has found an op-ed from 1934 that reads: “From the ashes of the explosion at Demon’s Paw arose a group so powerful it would control Bridgeport with an iron first behind a wall of secrecy.” The editor who published the article was fired the same month. Meaning that there’s a secret society in Bridgeport controlling everything. In a moment of transparency, Callie tells Frank that she sneaks into the library often to study. She does so to get away from her dad, who wants her to stay in Bridgeport and run the shop, though Callie wishes to become a doctor. After their mom left when Callie was young, he raised her on his own and never got over her mom leaving. Frank admits that he misses his mom often and wonders if Cali feels the same way. The two are forced to hide as the security guard enters. He briefly looks around before heading back up.

Jesse asks Joe why he is looking into JB’s file. Joe thinks that JB might have answers as to all the strange happenings in Bridgeport. He asks her to tell him whatever secrets they uncover but Jesse explains that she can’t do that. Jesse then drives Joe home, where Trudy waits outside with Frank. Joe exits the car and Trudy orders the boys inside. Jesse reveals to Trudy that Joe was looking into information about the man from the beach. As mad as Trudy is with Joe, she’s more concerned about Frank, who doesn’t talk to her. Jesse reminds her what it’s like to be 16 and assures Trudy that she’ll be fine.

Trudy explains to Frank and Joe that she isn’t used to looking after kids. Starting now, she’s implementing new rules. She tells them that moving forward they will treat her with respect. The second rule is they’ll clean up behind themselves. And lastly they have to start being honest with her.

The following day, Biff gifts Frank and Joe a copy of JB’s report. She tells Joe that he owes her before leaving.

Nigel returns after following up with the foreign minister and tells Mrs. Khan that he has agreed to her terms. She then asks Nigel to inform Gloria of their return to Bridgeport. He wonders if she’s recovered her property yet. Khan replies they’ll know when she finds it and that how bad things get will depend on more than just Gloria.

Appearances

Cast and characters

Starring

Co-starring

Locations and organizations

Other

  • Gold idol, an object uncovered at sea by crew aboard the Astghik, which Joe finds an ancient stone inside.

Quotes

  • Callie to Frank: An old letter from a man who claimed he witnessed the event at Demon's Paw. It says, "The calamitous events unearth an object of such uncommon power that no one man can be trusted to hold it, lest he, too, be corrupted." [...] There's more. "Long after the dust settles, the land will remain accursed, and will forever persist in making its ghastly emanations."
  • Callie to Frank: My mom left us when I was real young, and so my dad raised me by himself, and I'm all he's got. He really wants me to stay in Bridgeport. I don't think he ever got over my mom leaving.
  • Frank' to Callie: "From the ashes of the explosion at Demon's Paw arose a group so powerful it would control Bridgeport with an iron fist behind a wall of secrecy." [...] The editor who published this article was fired in the same month. If this group's still around, they're keeping it pretty quiet.
  • Frank' to Callie: The police think my mom's death is an accident. I don't. So I've been retracing her steps, trying to figure out what she's been investigating, 'cause it might lead me to who killed her.


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