Chiara Aurelia as Jeanette in Freeform's 'Cruel Summer' also on Hulu

We Need To Talk About Cruel Summer's Absolutely Unhinged Ending Right Now

Just when you thought everything was nicely resolved...

Freeform/Bill Matlock

After weeks of nonstop twists, it looks like viewers finally got their questions answered on Cruel Summer... sort of. The Season 1 finale ending was a whole lot of things, and while the mystery of whether or not Jeanette saw Kate on Christmas Eve was definitely solved, it didn’t exactly wrap everything up in a nice little bow. In fact, there’s a good chance you’re having a hard time picking your jaw up off the floor after that last scene. Here’s a breakdown of what might be the most shocking ending on TV in 2021:

Warning: Spoilers for Cruel Summer Season 1, Episode 10 follow. Heading into the June 15 finale, fans knew the stakes were high. Jeanette (Chiara Aurelia) and Kate (Olivia Holt) were going head-to-head in a legal battle. Kate said Jeanette saw her being held hostage by their vice principal Martin Harris (Blake Lee). Jeanette said she didn’t, and that Kate’s accusations (which she made on national television), ruined her life; therefore, Jeaneatte took Kate to court and sued her to the tune of $11 million.

After Kate’s chatroom messages were exposed in court (you know, the ones in which she admitted she wasn’t telling the full truth about her time with Martin) she asked Jeanette to meet her at Martin’s house. This was partially to talk — if Kate lost the lawsuit it would bankrupt her parents — and partially for Kate to try to figure out who the mysterious Annabelle was. Kate’s therapist suggested going back to the house and down to the basement in an attempt to fill in the blanks in her memory.

Freeform/Bill Matlock

Upon meeting at Martin’s house, Kate and Jeanette finally rehashed exactly what went down, and it all centered around Christmas Eve. When Kate saw Jeanette getting on her bike (the one with the playing card in the tire) after breaking into Martin’s house, she clearly said she saw Jeanette look back at the house. Except that the bike with the playing card was actually Mallory’s bike, and Mallory was the girl Kate saw who looked at the window (she had followed Jeanette because she wanted to see her get busted for breaking into Martin’s house). After seeing Jeanette leave Martin’s house, Mallory went to Jeanette’s house and confronted her, and took the snow globe Jeanette stole.

After the two girls realized it was actually Mallory who saw Kate, Kate asked Jeanette to go down into the basement with her. It was down there that Kate remembered the story of Annabelle. It turns out, that was the name of the gun Mr. Harris' dad used when he died by suicide. While Harris planned to shoot himself with it in the basement, he eventually dropped the gun, which Kate picked up and used to kill him.

Freeform/Bill Matlock

After the revelations, Kate went to confront Mallory. Mallory said she indeed saw a blonde girl in Martin’s house on Christmas Eve, but she just assumed it was his girlfriend or sister — when she looked at the window one last time (which is when Kate saw her), all Mallory saw was darkness. It wasn’t until Kate escaped from Martin’s that Mallory realized what had happened, that she’d seen Kate being held captive that night.

Mallory said was hesitant to say anything about seeing Kate after Kate escaped because, well, it hand’t looked like she was being held captive. And then she and Kate became besties, so then she really didn’t want to spill the beans. Kate ended up forgiving Mallory and later the two shared a kiss, hinting there might be more than friendship on the horizon for the pair. Kate also told the world she was wrong about Jeanette, and Jeanette dropped the lawsuit (and gained plenty of fame along the way).

However! That’s not where the story ends. While it seemed like everything wrapped up on a happy note, the very last scene of the episode abruptly flashed back to 1994. Viewers saw Jeanette sneaking into Martin’s house again, and upon entering, she heard Kate in the basement screaming for help. Kate said who she was and that she was being held captive, and before Jeanette opened to door to free her, she hesitated, dropped her hand, and smiled.

So like... Jeanette really *did* know Kate was being held in that basement. Even if she didn’t see Kate like she claimed she didn’t, she definitely heard her. Sounds like Cruel Summer Season 2 is going to be a doozy.

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