"What Happened in Bridgeport" is the eighth episode of season one of the 2020 Hulu original series The Hardy Boys.

Premise

Official episode premise for "What Happened in Bridgeport" from Hulu:

Frank befriends Stacy, the new girl in town, after an accident. The Hardy boys start the school year in Bridgeport, since their dad is still away. Frank discovers his mom used to write for the high school paper and was investigating the most powerful families in Bridgeport... including the Estabrooks. J.B. Cox tries to put the squeeze on Joe to find out what he knows about The Eye, but Joe denies having what J.B. wants... his lucky charm.

Plot summary

A young lady named Stacy Baker exits her car after running the Tall Man over. Frank attempts to calm Stacy down as Joe approaches the Tall Man’s lifeless body. Chief Collig arrives on the scene and pronounces him dead.

Chief Collig takes Frank and Joe to the police station and asks why the Tall Man was targeting them. They claim that he probably wanted revenge for trapping him back at the farm. When Jesse joins them, Frank asks if Stacy is okay. Jesse reveals that she’s being checked out and giving a statement. Again, Collig asks if they know why the Tall Man was after them, but Frank and Joe maintain their innocence. When Jesse tries to get Chief Collig to back off, he sends her away. Chief Collig continues to question the boys. However, Joe does a bit of questioning of his own in regards to the Tall Man’s escape from the precinct. Trudy arrives and Collig asks if she knows why the Tall Man is after them. She says that she doesn’t, and then Collig warns her to keep Frank and Joe under a more watchful eye. Jesse meets them outside and tells Trudy that the Tall Man is dead. As they’re about to pull out of the station, Frank waives at Stacy.

Frank, Joe, and Trudy return home. She tells them that she’d be at a loss if anything ever happened to them. Joe insists that they’re fine. Frank then notices the book sitting across the room. With their father still gone, Trudy reveals that they’ll be attending school in Bridgeport.

Biff arrives at the police station with dinner for her mother. Biff asks her mother if she trusts Chief Collig. Jesse says that she does and wonders why Biff's asking odd questions. Biff makes her mother swear to secrecy before revealing that Frank and Joe suspect that Chief Collig is corrupt and that he was doing something shady near the brick factory. Jesse comes to his defense, reasoning that he’s a good, trustworthy man.

JB returns to his motel room, where Stefan awaits. He explains to JB that he failed to hand over the piece as is, which is why he wasn't compensated. They didn’t want the idol, they wanted what was inside. Meaning that JB’s delivery wasn’t complete and that he won’t get paid until it is. JB attacks Stefan out of anger, but he doesn’t land a single punch.

Callie, Chet, and Phil arrive at Wilt’s for their annual BTS brownies, as in back to school. Biff explains to Joe and Frank that they “Stuff their faces with brownies and ice cream to lament the loss of yet another summer.” Wilt tells Frank to take an early break and join his friends. Phil inquires about the details involving their last run-in with the Tall Man, expressing an alarming interest in all of the gory details. They change the subject to school and offer Frank and Joe tips on the do's and don'ts of Bridgeport public school. Wilt then brings over the BTS brownies, and they feast.

Joe returns home with a stomach ache. He looks around and notices that his room has been ransacked. Later that night, he stares at a photo of his mother, who he misses greatly and then proceeds to hide the photo and wipe his tears as Frank enters. Joe reveals that someone searched his room and it wasn’t Aunt Trudy. Joe suspects that someone is still looking for the piece from the idol.

Frank and Joe begin their first day at Bridgeport public school. It’s their first first day of school without their mother. They reminisce about how she used to put smiley face stickers on their notebook or how she’d leave messages on their lunch bags.

Ms. Dias, Frank’s teacher, reads his name off of the attendance and states that she knew his mother. Stacy then enters, who Frank greets with a smile.

Joe assures Biff that the Tall Man is dead. Biff confesses to Joe that she told her mother that he and Frank suspect Chief Collig of corruption. She fears for her mother and wants her to be aware of any potential danger. Biff then gives Joe a radio and tells him to call if he ever needs her.

Jesse brings Chief Collig a cup of coffee and finds him reading over the Tall Man’s report. Jesse recalls the chief saying the case was out of their hands and wonders why he’s still looking into the dead escapee. Chief Collig claims that he’s simply being vigilant, as the Tall Man died in their town. Before leaving, Jesse tells Chief Collig that she’s about to head out to the old Matthews Brothers brick factory after getting a report of activity the other day. The chief claims that he hasn’t been around there for a while and hasn’t heard any reports. Jesse realizes that this is a lie and leaves out the back, where she examines Chief Collig’s tire and finds brick dust.

Frank approaches Ms. Dias after class. She apologizes for acting so impulsively and telling the entire class about his mom. She tells Frank how Laura was tenacious, driven, and loved baseball. Ms. Dias and Laura grew close while working on the school paper together. Frank asks about Dean Paul McFarlane. Ms. Dias reveals that he worked on the paper with them and that Laura and Paul were quite the team. Frank mentions Rosegrave and Ms. Dias becomes unnerved and leaves.

Frank, Callie, and Chet discuss how Ms. Dias began to act strange after he asked her about his mom. Frank then flags Stacy down and invites her to join their table. Chet asks where she’s from. Stacy says that she’s from Franklin — a little town up north of Grisham. Her dad travels a lot and so she’s living with her aunt and uncle. Frank tells Stacy that he’s sorry about what happened and thanks her for saving him and Joe from the Tall Man.

Joe enters Wilt’s to buy some snacks. While looking through the aisle, he is pulled into the supply closet by JB, who needs the piece from inside the idol. Joe claims that he has no idea what JB is referring to. JB pleads with him, but Joe says that he can’t. So, JB makes Joe an offer. If he hands over the piece then he will get Joe information on his mother in exchange.

Joe reports back to Frank about his exchange with JB. Joe wants to go to Biff’s mom for help. Joe suggests that he go to Jesse after school and tell her that JB is back in town. She’ll come back with him and arrest JB as well as whoever he is delivering to. Frank advises Joe against such a reckless plan, as so many things can go wrong.

Trudy invites Jesse over for snacks and a movie. They talk about Frank and Joe, who Trudy worries for often. She wants to be their friend but she also wants to be their aunt. Jesse assures Trudy that she’s a good aunt. Everyday, no matter what they deal with, they come back to her for safety. Jesse then reveals to Trudy that Frank and Joe believe that Ezra might be involved in something corrupt. Jesse isn't sure if they're right yet, but she is certain that he’s hiding something. Trudy refuses to live in the dark any further, stating that she comes from a family of detectives so she’s going to snoop.

Callie and Chet meet in the stairwell and discuss college plans. Chet wonders if she still intends to go to Rosegrave despite all they’ve learned. Callie isn’t entirely sure what she wants to do. Rosegrave isn’t what she thought it was but it’s still a big opportunity for her.

While the boys are at school, Trudy snoops through their rooms looking for any kind of inclination as to what they’ve been up to.

Callie approaches Frank at his locker and asks about Stacy. She noticed that the two of them were getting close and bonding over the accident and the fact that they’re both new to town.

Frank asks Ms. Dias for a couple minutes of her time. He recalls Dean McFarlane mentioning that his mother changed after finding something out when she was in high school. Ms. Dias reveals that one day Laura came in and told her how she discovered something strange about her family and the power structure of Bridgeport. She said that her family was running the town and wanted to expose it. She wrote a piece but it was shut down by the staff advisor, most likely at the Estabrook’s request. Frank asks if there’s a copy of this article anywhere. Ms. Dias tells him to check the newspaper archive in the basement.

Frank notices Stacy having a hard time at her locker. She reveals that she’s constantly overhearing the other kids making jokes. She doesn’t know if she’s a celebrity or a freak. Frank assures her that it’ll past, but he isn’t entirely sure that it will, as people still look at him and his brother with pity. Frank tells her not give up on Bridgeport because there’s a lot of great people. He would like to walk her to class but tells her that he has something more pressing to attend to.

JB returns to his motel room with a newspaper. He notices an article about Gloria Estabrook. Attached to it is a photo of Gloria with Stefan, who JB recognizes from their last encounter. He now knows just who his buyer is.

Phil tries to convince Joe to attend the Conspiracy Theory Club meeting, but he has more important matters. He drops his walkie talkie while riding off on his bike. Phil recovers it but fails to alert Joe in time.

JB intercepts Joe on his way to the police station. Now that he knows that Gloria is the buyer, he intends to use Joe as leverage and puts him in the back of his car. Phil catches up to Joe just as he is taken away by JB. So, he radios in to Biff to inform her of Joe’s abduction.

JB drives Joe into the woods. Joe searches for his walkie but realizes that he no longer has it. Joe suspects that JB means to kill him but JB explains to Joe that no harm will come upon him. He simply has to tell the buyer where to find the piece so that he can get paid.

Frank goes looking through the school’s archive for information on his mother’s work. He finds a list of all her articles, including the exposé, where she accuses the Estabrooks, Khans, and Nabokovs of being the secret controllers of Bridgeport. However, when he looks for the actual article, it is missing from its file.

After failing to find anything of substance in either of their rooms, Trudy heads into the attic, where she finds Frank and Joe’s investigative board.

Frank arrives at the Estabrook estate to speak with his grandma, but Stefan informs him that she’s on a call and that it would be better if he came back at another time. They suddenly hear a noise come from her study and find Joe and JB. JB has come for payment whereas Joe wants answers, as he believes that JB’s employer had something to do with his mom’s death, which leads back to Gloria.  

Appearances

Cast and characters

Starring

Co-starring

Locations and organizations

Quotes

  • Stacy to Frank, Callie, and Chet: I'm from Franklin. It's a little town up north of Grisham. My dad travels a lot, so I'm here with my aunt and uncle, and that's the fascinating story of how I come to Bridgeport.
  • Ms. Dias to Frank: Uh, not at first. We worked on the school newspaper together. You know, she had this certain knack of finding stories people couldn't see. Yeah. Her intensity put people off, but I came to admire it.

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