Thursday, December 2, 2021

Recap: Kate’s Side of the Story Is Revealed in ‘Cruel Summer’ Season 1, Episode 2 “A Smashing Good Time”

In “A Smashing Good Time,” we view the events of the previous episode of Cruel Summer from Kate’s perspective as we see how the trauma of her experience affected her. We also see that her life wasn’t picture perfect even before she went missing, and that the case against Jeanette may not be as clear cut as it seemed. Is someone lying – or is it just a matter of perspective?

1993

Kate and her mom Joy are getting ready for step class. She smiles into her mirror happily, applying lip gloss.

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1994

Kate is sitting in the same chair, but the mood is utterly different. It’s post rescue, and her mother gently enters to tell her that her friends are here. Joy goes to put an earring in Kate’s ear and sees it has closed from her time in the basement. Desperate to return her daughter to “normal,” she pierces the ear herself as Kate barely flinches. She starts humming “Zombie” by The Cranberries …

1995

… which is the song she dances to in the headlights of a parked car. Her hair is darker, and she’s sporting a more grunge inspired look. We can’t see who is in the car, and Kate stops dancing as the headlights remind her of the light flooding into the basement where she was held captive.

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1993

In the step class, Kate and Joy get their step on as we see Jeanette and her mother also attending. Poor Jeanette is behind compared to the others, but Kate notices and subtly waves hello to her. Jeanette smiles broadly, stress forgotten. After class, Kate and her mother discuss what would happen if Joy wasn’t beautiful anymore, with Joy joking that her husband would leave her for one of the many football fans in town. Kate dismisses this, but before they can discuss it further, Cindy and Jeanette appear. It seems that Cindy has a similar fascination with Joy as Jeanette does with Kate. Kate sees how shy Jeanette is and compliments her necklace (the one Mallory gave her). Joy brushes off Cindy’s request for a “girls’ day” with the Wallis women, but Kate again tries to soften her mother’s blow by telling Jeanette she thinks a day out would be fun. A happy Cindy and Jeanette leave as Kate tells Joy the Turners were just trying to be nice.

1994

Kate lies underwater in the bathtub, only waking up when Jamie enters and shakes her awake. She tells him she’s been thinking about everything she’s missed. Kate asks Jamie how he and Jeanette started seeing each other, with her opening up to him and saying it made her feel replaceable to see her boyfriend start dating someone so soon after her disappearance. Jamie says Jeanette helped him put up missing person flyers and it escalated from there. Kate also says she heard he hit Jeanette and admonishes him for it, saying, “is that the type of person you are now?” He says he’s the same as always and that Jeanette is an imposter she shouldn’t worry about. Kate can reclaim everything she lost. But Kate doesn’t seem to want to.

1995

Kate quietly watches a true crime show talk about Martin Harris as her stepfather Rod enters and turns it off. He asks how her day went, and Kate simply stands up to reveal a new bellybutton piercing. He takes it in stride, even joking with her about how much he hates needles, and it seems they have a good relationship. He notes that Joy is not going to react well, and from the look on Kate’s face, that’s exactly what she was going for. He asks how therapy went, and she says she skipped it since it’s not helping her. She knows Martin is burning in Hell, and she hopes Jeanette joins him.

1994

Joy pleads with Kate to give a statement to the police, but Kate says she’s not ready and for Joy to drop the “mother-daughter routine.” Kate begins to storm off as Joy tells her they can go back to how it was before, and Kate stops. She asks Joy if she remembers the last words Joy said to her, and Joy says she didn’t mean them. Kate stares and says, “well, I certainly had a long time to wonder if you did.”

1993

Kate hears Rod on the phone with Candace, who works with him on the City Council. From the conversation she hears, it sounds like Rod and Candace are having an affair and making plans to meet up at the Garden Party – Joy’s fear coming true. Kate, feeling protective of her mother, just stares after him.

1994

Renee and Tennille attempt to catch Kate up on the pop culture she missed as Kate ignores them both. They ask how she is, and she says she doesn’t know because she has no one to talk to who understands. Renee tries to tell her a rumor about Jeanette, and Kate shuts it down, saying that anyone claiming Jeanette spread stories about her is lying because Jeanette had a vested interest in keeping Kate imprisoned and wouldn’t have spread stories around after seeing her in the basement. She pointedly says Jeanette wouldn’t have wanted to lose her new friends as the two take the hint and leave.

1993

Before the Garden Party, Kate asks how well Joy knows Candace. Laughing, she tells Kate that Candace once pursued Rod before he ended up with Joy, and she smiles as she recalls how jealous all the other women were when they married. Rod is a former football star, and everyone wanted the money and social standing he could give them. Kate asks if that’s why Joy doesn’t like Cindy Turner, and Joy says she can feel Cindy staring at her like she wants to be her. Kate says Jeanette seems nice, and Joy chuckles while saying, “the weird apple doesn’t fall far from the creep tree.” Kate tries to say she doesn’t trust Candace because of her old feelings, and Joy brushes her off, saying “the whole damn town” still has feelings for Rod. As they drive away, they wave at Scott Jones, the landscaper.

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At the party, the men swap football stories. Martin arrives for his first social event since moving to town. He spots Kate right away, but he’s pulled away to join a conversation with Rod. Starstruck, it seems Martin may have been obsessed with more than one Wallis.

1994

Ben and Jamie are sparring in the garage as Jamie says that Kate has been “all over the place” lately. Ben says he can’t blame her, but Jamie just wants things back to normal. Ben says Jamie needs to talk to Jeanette – he never even heard her side of the story, and they were good together. Ben thinks Jamie needs the closure. Jamie says he’ll do it, but he can’t promise he’ll play nice with her.

1995

Ben is meeting with Jeanette’s lawyer, who asks about the meeting he brokered between Jeanette and Jamie. She asks if he thinks Kate lied about Jeanette, and Ben says at first, he believed Jeanette. But now, he’s not sure. She also asks if he blames Jeanette for “what happened” to him specifically. He says he thinks Jeanette started what happened to him, and in a way, he does blame her.

1994

Derek heads to the Garden Party to work as he watches Joy and Rod arrive. He scoffs that it’s not in good taste to host a party right after your daughter returns from an abduction. As he enters the party, everyone whispers. His friend Tucker approaches and tells him he should leave. Derek is confused until Tucker tells him that everyone has heard that Jeanette saw Kate in the basement. Derek hasn’t heard this before and is in shock. Tucker apologizes as Derek leaves in a huff.

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1993

Kate is making small talk with the women at the party as she quietly stresses about the possibility that Rod is cheating on Joy. She sees Candace pull Rod away.

1994

Jamie and Kate sit on her bed, with Kate remarking that at this time last year, she felt safe. Jamie says he’ll keep her safe, but she laughs at his bravado and tells him no one can, not even their parents. He goes to get her water, and his pager buzzes. Kate sees that he’s meeting someone at 9 p.m. When he gets back, she asks him if he’s doing anything that night and he lies to her face.

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1993

Kate pulls her mother aside and tells her what she heard between Rod and Candace. Joy laughs and tells her she must have misheard. Kate pleads with her mother to go inside where Rod and Candace are. Concerned about making a scene (and wanting to maintain ignorance), she tells Kate that she’s making up stories. Kate goes into the house, desperate for proof. But she just hears Rod and Candace talking – Candace was helping Rod plan a surprise cruise for Rod and Joy. Kate realizes she horribly misunderstood what was going on. She goes back to Joy to tell her she was wrong, and Joy is furious. Notably, she is more concerned about the impact that the cheating being public would cause more so than any potential cheating. She tells Kate, “I do not wish to speak to you at this moment” as she plasters on a smile and leaves. Kate, devastated at her mother’s coldness, leaves.

In a montage, we see Joy give the welcome speech in 1993, 1994, and 1995, with each one drastically differing in tone. But the speech in 1993 is interrupted as Jeanette, Mallory, and Vincent throw balloons filled with shaving cream at the guests (a prank on their list that was improved by Ben noticing them buying supplies in the store). The three run, and as they escape, Jeanette locks eyes with Kate, who is sneaking out.

1994

Kate finds a chat room online for trauma survivors, specifically those who were abducted. She sees others who have had similar experiences, and for the first time, she feels seen.

1993

Kate is very drunk and sitting on a swing set, repeating, “I do not wish to speak to you in this moment” over and over. Scott Jones finds her, and she sadly tells him that she thought she and her mom were best friends but that she must hate her. Scott takes her home.

1994

Jeanette and Jamie meet in the park, where she tells him she didn’t do what Kate is accusing her of. She says Kate has been through a traumatic experience, and that it makes sense that she’s not remembering clearly. She skirts around directly accusing Kate of lying but does say that Kate came home to find Jamie in a great relationship with Jeanette. Jamie asks her point blank if she saw Kate. Jeanette looks him in the eye and says, “no, of course not.” She says she would never lie to him, and they kiss. Kate sees the kiss from her house.

1993

Joy thanks Scott for bringing Kate home. They kiss, and the truth is clear – it’s Joy who’s been having the affair, not Rod. A still drunk Kate sees this and hears her mother say they need to be careful around her. Kate leaves unnoticed and runs down the empty streets.  

1995

Kate logs into the chat room and asks what they think would happen if people found out she wasn’t being completely honest. Kate goes for a run, and we flash back to …

1994

… where Kate is at the police station, finally ready to give her statement about Jeanette. She tells the officers that Jeanette saw her in the basement and that she has proof. She pulls out Jeanette’s necklace from Mallory, saying if Jeanette wasn’t there, how would she have the necklace? They ask her how well she knew Martin before the abduction, and she says, “not well at all.”

1993

Kate finally stops running and vomits. Sitting on the curb, she is approached by Martin, who introduces himself and offers to help.

1995

Joy is less than thrilled about Kate’s piercing, but all is forgotten as the anchor on the news announces that Jeanette is suing Kate for defamation. As Rod and Joy frantically call lawyers, Kate has a panic attack and flashes back to pounding on the basement door, begging to be let out. Breathing hard, Kate screams as a shocked Rod and Joy turn to her.

Cruel Summer airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Freeform.

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Jules
I am a nurse and dedicated nerd from Boston, MA. When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing, or listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense.

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