"The Drop" is the fifth episode of season one of the 2020 Hulu original series The Hardy Boys.

Premise

Official episode premise for "The Drop" from Hulu:

Joe and Frank decode a message that leads them to try and make a drop at the warehouse, despite the fact the message was intercepted by Police Chief Ezra Collig. The drop goes awry, but later when the boys return looking for more clues, they find a piece of fabric that the person fleeing the warehouse left behind. When the Tall Man escapes from the hospital, the boys reveal their entire investigation to their friends and get their help to lure the Tall Man to Chet’s farm.

Plot summary

The Tall Man breaks into a shop during the late hours of the night to steal a hunting knife as well as some clothes.

Frank calls Sam over and asks if he found out anything about JB Cox. Frank reveals how Joe ran into him on the beach and helped him fix his radio. Frank claims that Joe’s a bit freaked out so he wanted to know more about him. Sam reveals that JB is a professional thief-for-hire. He likes high risk jobs for high paying clients. Frank asks if JB is connected to Mrs. Khan. If there is a connection, Sam has yet to find it. Trudy returns home, and Sam claims that he’s just stopping by to check in, as he hasn’t heard from Fenton in days. After Frank leaves, Sam reminds Trudy that this isn't the first time Fenton has gone dark on them. Trudy argues that Fenton knows better than to do that now given Laura's passing. Sam isn’t worried about him just yet and tells Trudy to call if she needs anything.

If Joe’s right, today is the day JB is going to meet his buyer, but he’s yet to decipher JB's code. They don’t believe that JB knew about the stone in idol but they’re certain that the Tall Man does. JB’s code is a list of five flowers: Magnolia, Iberis, Carnation, Begonia, and Hibiscus. Joe yells down to Aunt Trudy and asks if there’s any place in town named five flowers but there isn’t. Then they notice an arrow and realize that it’s a guide to following the words in a specific order. M.B.R.O.S is what they're able to uncover. Joe then asks Trudy if there’s any place in town named M. Brothers. Trudy recalls the old Matthew Brothers brick factory that closed down years ago. The Hardy boys have figured out where the drop off takes place. Now they need when. They notice two more arrows within the coded message that mimic the hands on a clock, 8:30 to be exact.

Callie and Chet have breakfast at Wilt's Deli. Wilt mentions how they only have one more year of Bridgeport before they can leave and never look back. Chet assures Callie that she’ll be accepted into Rosegrave and with Gloria offering to sponsor her, money isn’t an issue. Chet tells Callie that she has to follow her dreams no matter what. She advises him to do the same. If Chet doesn’t make the big leagues, he says that he’ll have his agricultural scholarship to fall back on. Unlike Callie, he’d rather stay closer to home. She wonders where this leaves them as a couple. But Chet doesn’t care to have this discussion at the moment.

Frank and Joe plant the idol

Frank and Joe break into the Matthew Brothers brick factory and take cover behind a wall as they wait for the buyer to arrive.

Gloria arrives unexpectedly at the Hardy residence and finds Trudy painting. She’s come over to bury the hatchet, but Trudy is reluctant to trust her, as Gloria has never been kind to the Hardys. Until the boys moved to Bridgeport, she hadn’t seen Gloria for two years. Gloria admits that she’s made mistakes and wants to mend what she can. Before leaving, she informs Trudy of her friends in the city who own galleries and might be interested in showcasing her work.

Frank and Joe lie in wait for the buyer. Joe remarks that he’s never missed their dad as much as he does now. Frank wants to back out, as Joe is clearly scared and they’ve put themselves in a dangerous position. Unfortunately, they don’t get the opportunity to leave, as the buyer arrives. They watch as he picks up the idol and smashes it onto the ground. However, he takes off running after Joe makes a noise. So, the Hardy boys chase after him. Frank runs ahead of Joe and chases the buyer out of the building, who locks the door behind him. Frank then notices that he left Joe behind and goes looking for him. Frank finds Joe just outside the building with JB. Much like Frank and Joe, JB came to see who his buyer is, as he still needs to be paid. JB warns them that they’re dealing with dangerous people and suggests that they let it go.

Jesse comes over, and Trudy tells her how Gloria is stopping by later for tea, much to Jesse’s disbelief. As much of Trudy dislikes her, she also doesn’t want to interfere with Gloria’s relationship with the boys. Frank and Joe then return home. She informs them that the Tall Man escaped custody and advises them to stay in doors for the time being. Trudy then asks where they have been, both claiming they were at Wilt’s.

The Tall Man calls his employer from a phone booth. She asks if he has the stone. When he says that he doesn’t, she tells him not to fail her.

Frank and Joe read their dad's law enforcement guides

Frank and Joe plot their next move with help from their dad's law enforcement guides. They realize that they have to go back to the brick factory to look for any potential clues left behind. The Hardy boys begin to retrace the buyer’s steps as he fled the facility. They find a patch of fabric wedged into the door frame and take it with them as they race out the building after being followed by the Tall Man. Frank and Joe get through the back door and use a plank of wood to bar the door shut.

Frank and Joe meet with Callie, Chet, Biff, and Phil and share with them their encounter with the Tall Man at the brick factory. Joe briefly shows them the stone and tells them how it’s magic. Frank and Joe want to trap the Tall Man and question him, as they believe that this is all somehow tied to their mother’s death. Biff reminds the group how her mom’s a cop and claims that she can help, but Frank and Joe aren’t sure who they can trust. Biff leaves, reasoning that if they can’t trust her mom then she can’t help them. However, Callie, Chet, and Phil agree to help.

For the first step of their plan, Joe makes a stone replica to lure the Tall Man out. He later finds him casing the house and hits him with a bag of trash before joining Frank in Chet’s truck and driving away, hoping that the Tall Man will follow them to Chet’s farm.

As planned, Trudy and Gloria have tea. Gloria suspects that Joe is a fairly accurate facsimile of a young Fenton. Trudy admits this is true. Fenton was such a terror that Trudy could do what she wanted because no one was paying attention. And still, she was well behaved because she figured that someone had to be good. Gloria reminds Trudy that she’s still young and has plenty of time to explore. Trudy is surprised that Gloria isn’t telling her to be more proper. Gloria reveals that people don’t respect her because she’s proper, adding that no one is ever obliged to be what people expect. Trudy admits that she’s worried about Joe, who has been acting out. Gloria reasons that he’s simply adjusting to the world around him. Frank on the other hand, Gloria says is more like Laura. He is exactly the same age Laura was when she decided to turn her back on Gloria. Laura was complicated, and Gloria wouldn’t allow for complications. It’s one of her biggest regrets — not being a good mother. Although, she’d like to be a good grandmother.

Frank, Joe, Callie, and Chet wait outside the stable for the Tall Man’s arrival. They are startled by Biff. She says that they’re wrong about her mom. Nonetheless, she wants to help. Phil then radios in to warn them that the Tall Man is approaching.

Joe runs out into the open and lures the Tall Man into the stable with the stone replica. Joe offers to give him the stone but only if he promises to leave. He throws it a few feet away and tells the Tall Man to get it himself. Upon discovering that the stone is a fake, Frank, Callie, Chet, Biff and Phil trap him inside a steel cage. They ask who he works for and why their mom was killed. Biff then suggests calling her mom to arrest him.

Jesse drives Frank and Joe home. They claim that the Tall Man followed them to Chet’s farm, where they trapped him in a cage. Gloria enters the room, and Trudy and Jesse decide to withhold the kids latest run-in with the Tall Man from her. On her way out, she tells Frank to fill out her Rosegrave application.

The Tall Man is being kept in a cell at the Bridgeport police station. Jesse asks for his name and if he knows anything about the Astghik, specifically Ern Cullmore, who escaped. She tells him that his prints are being circulated and that eventually they’ll find out who he is. He replies: “What if I don’t exist?”

Frank and Joe call Callie, Chet, Biff, and Phil over to thank them for their help in trapping the Tall Man. They were more than happy to help, pointing out that the town has become a lot more exciting since the Hardys' arrival. Furthermore, they’re willing to help them for as long as it takes.

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

  • Sam to Frank: JB Cox is a thief for hire. A good one. He's only been caught once, and even then, he escaped so quickly it looks like he let himself get caught just so he could bust himself out.
  • Gloria to Trudy: You are the aunt of two young boys. And you've been asked by your brother, and by fate, to be their surrogate mother. And it's not fair. And I haven't been fair to you, either.
  • Gloria to Trudy: Folks around here do not respect me because they think I'm proper. One is never obliged to be what people expect.
  • Gloria to Trudy: Which is why I'm more concerned about Francis right now. He is exactly the same age as Laura was when she decided to turn her back on the Estabrook family. And on me. She was complicated. And... I wouldn't have complications. I was not a good mother, Trudy. I'd like to be a good grandmother. Would you help me try... for the boys?

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