Just like that, Cruel Summer Season 1 has come to a close. And while yes, quite a few mysteries were solved — like whether or not Jeanette (Chiara Aurelia) actually saw Kate (Olivia Holt) and what the whole Annabelle thing was about — the finale gave viewers even more to ponder. After recovering from the shock of the last few minutes of Episode 10, you’re probably already mulling over theories about Cruel Summer Season 2. (What, just me?)
Warning: Spoilers for Cruel Summer Season 1, Episode 10 follow. Season 1 ended with the revelation that while Jeanette didn’t see Kate while she was being held hostage in Martin Harris’ (Blake Lee) house, she definitely heard her screaming for help from the basement. Unfortunately, no one but the viewers at home (and Jeanette, obvs) know about this. All Kate knows is that it was actually Mallory who saw her through the window on Christmas Eve (and Mallory said she didn’t realize it was Kate at the time — she thought it was a blonde lover or relative of Harris’). As for the rest of the finale’s ending, Kate and Mallory shared a kiss, Kate told the world Jeanette was innocent, and Jeanette dropped the lawsuit against Kate while gaining fame (and winning the guy).
Considering how drama-filled the story was — especially considering the final twist — it makes sense Season 1 was wildly successful. It was so successful, in fact, that on the same day the finale aired (June 15), Freeform announced the series was renewed for Season 2. While it’s unclear what direction the next installment will take, here are a few plot points that might pop up in Season 2:
1. Kate Will (Finally) Befriend Jeanette
It was clear throughout basically all of Season 1 that Jeanette really wanted to be friends with Kate. When that didn’t happen, she low-key wanted to be Kate. In fact, when the two girls were talking at Martin’s house in the finale, Jeanette told Kate: “All I ever wanted was to maybe feel what it was like to be you. Not to actually be you. I never felt like I was popular or beautiful or enough. I just wanted to know what that felt like. To just once, have the sun shining on me.”
Of course, Kate and Jeanette aren’t exactly pals at the end of Season 1. Regardless, now that Jeanette’s former BFF Mallory (Harley Quinn Smith) is besties with Kate, maybe they’ll all become friends — which would probably get very messy, very fast.
2. Vince & Ben Will Get Back Together
If there’s one thing Season 1 of Cruel Summer was really missing, it was more about Vince (Allius Barnes) and Ben’s (Nathaniel Ashton) love story. The friends-turned-lovers-turned-exes really deserved more time in the spotlight, especially considering how integral Vince was to Jeanette’s entire case. (He did vouch for her saying she was trustworthy, after all.) While they seemed to reconcile during the Season 1 finale, it felt like just the start for this potential endgame couple.
3. The Snow Globe Will Come Into Play Again
The snow globe turned out to be a major clue in Kate and Jeanette’s story, and Season 1 ended with it still being withheld from the authorities. Mallory was last seen packing it into her suitcase when she was going to run away, but considering she stayed in town, that means this piece of evidence is still in town as well. Since Jeanette stole the snow globe from Martin’s house, this could end up linking back to Jeanette’s proclivity toward sneaking into the place where Kate was being held. I can’t see Season 2 happening without bringing the snow globe back into the picture.
4. Jeanette’s Fame Will Ruin Her
All Jeanette wanted — according to her, at least — was to feel what it was like to be popular. It’s clear that even though she was dragged through a very public and damaging legal battle, she came out on top after Kate told the world Jeanette was innocent. Now, Jeanette has the nation’s respect and support on her side, which isn’t too shabby for a girl who once called herself a “nobody.” Perhaps Season 2 will show what Jeanette’s life is like now that the media is on her side... and how the public will react should the truth about her knowing Kate’s whereabouts ever get out.
5. Mallory’s Lying
It seems like Mallory was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when she stood outside Martin’s house on Christmas Eve. Even though she saw ~someone~ through the window, she said she didn’t know it was Kate. But still, Mallory had literal video footage of Kate in Martin’s window (even if Mallory didn’t realize it) and she did hate Kate before befriending her. Sure, she might be telling the truth about not knowing Kate was at Martin’s house, but this is Cruel Summer after all, and if there’s one thing these characters have in common, it’s keeping secrets.
Perhaps Season 2 will reveal Mallory isn’t as innocent as she seems and that there’s actually more to her story. She’s made it clear she’s not afraid to lie and break the rules. Who knows? Maybe she was planning her Christmas Even story for months, expecting Kate to confront her at some point. Considering how twisted the characters are, I’m not #TeamMallory quite yet.
6. Cruel Summer Becomes An Anthology
One of the scariest theories of all surrounds the main plot of the show. While the debut season’s story centered around Olivia Holt’s Kate and Chiara Aurelia’s Jeanette, Freeform president Tara Duncan hinted to Deadline that Cruel Summer could become an anthology series à la American Horror Story. This means Season 2 would probably keep the same year-jumping structure, but center around a new story and new characters. Hopefully, that means the same cast would at least return, but anything’s possible. And as Cruel Summer fans know, you should always expect the unexpected when it comes to this series.
Cruel Summer Season 1 is streaming now on Hulu.