Sunday, December 5, 2021

Recap: Jeanette’s Behavior Raises Questions in ‘Cruel Summer’ Season 1, Episode 3 “Off With a Bang”

In “Off With a Bang,” we see a new side of Jeanette – more manipulative and certainly capable of lying. But is she capable of callously leaving Kate in the basement? We also get more of Cindy’s story as well as Ben and Vincent’s, which once again leaves us with more questions than answers. Read on for a recap of all the twists and turns!

1993

Jeanette is taking a quiz in a teen magazine as Cindy walks in. She critiques Jeanette’s hair and suggests she gets contact lenses as they watch a news report about the 4th of July celebration.

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1994

Cindy watches a news broadcast stating that Kate Wallis has finally spoken to the police and will likely make a public appearance soon. Derek walks by, and Cindy confides her fear that Kate will share the rumor about Jeanette’s actions publicly. Derek points out that half the town already knows, but appearance-focused Cindy refuses to believe it. Jeanette hears it all from the couch and silently turns away.

1995

Jeanette is stopped at a red light as “Sick Sick Sick” by Fairweather Friends plays. When she glances to her right, Kate is also there, stopped at the same light. Kate gets out of her car in a rage, yelling “how dare you?!” She wonders if taking her friends and life wasn’t enough for Jeanette, that now Jeanette needs their money too. Jeanette frantically waits for the light to change as Kate continues screaming. Jeanette speeds away, leaving Kate standing in the road.

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1994

Derek goes to Greg, telling him that rumor has it Jamie gave Jeanette the black eye over “the Kate Wallis thing.” Derek warns that this isn’t going away and that Jamie hit his sister and Greg’s daughter – they need to do something. The two go to Jamie’s house to confront him, which goes badly as Derek’s temper takes over. Greg gets him to the car as Jamie’s confused mother Paula asks what’s going on. Greg says if Jamie comes near Jeanette again, there’s going to be a problem.

1995

Paula opens the door to an officer bringing Jamie home. The officer says Greg Turner reported him for stalking again, and when Jamie retorts that it’s a public street the officer says “pick another one” aggressively.

1993

Mallory excitedly shows Jeanette and Vincent her find – a bag of weed from her mom’s stash. Jeanette and Vincent are terrified as Mallory confidently says she got a contact high at a Hole concert the summer before. Before they can do anything, Greg comes in to tell Mallory that her mother wants her home right away. Jeanette and Vincent worriedly discuss what to do with the weed, and Jeanette settles on flushing it down the toilet.

1995

Jeanette is watching a news report from Molly Green, who’s covered the case for a year. She accuses Jeanette of having no empathy. Just then, there’s a doorbell …

1994

… as Detective Anderson and Officer William arrive at Jeanette’s door. They have questions about Kate Wallis, and Greg insists on accompanying Jeanette along with Cindy.

Freeform/Bill Matlock

1995

Vincent is at work when pulls out an ancient cell phone and calls Ben. He tells Ben he’s being deposed tomorrow and wants to know what to say. Ben says he can’t call anymore, and Vincent says he doesn’t want to stop. Ben’s voice breaks as he says that every time Vincent calls, it causes him pain as he hangs up.

Jeanette cleans graffiti off their car as she blasts “Enemy” by Jennifer Tefft. Greg sees her and asks what the words mean, but leaves her to finish cleaning when she answers him.

1993

Jeanette and Vincent play Jenga together as Mallory returns. Mallory asks for the stash bag since her mom will be missing it. Jeanette confesses that she flushed it and that she was just trying to help. Mallory can’t believe Jeanette would do something like that without even talking to her about it first. She leaves in a huff, and Vincent follows to try to calm her down.

1994

Cindy is freaking out as they enter the interrogation room. Jeanette tries to calm both her parents down.

1995

Jeanette watches as a late-night host mocks her lawsuit. She turns the TV to a clip from a crime show as a young woman gives a dramatic speech to the court. Sitting up, she murmurs, “so that’s likeable” as she mimics the actress’ expressions, placing Kate’s name into the dialogue.

Freeform/Bill Matlock

1994

Jeanette denies seeing Kate, but then Detective Anderson pulls out the necklace. Jeanette is momentarily thrown, but then tells the detectives she threw it out because it was given to her by an ex friend. Officer William asks why Kate would lie about something so serious, and Jeanette says it’s because she’s dating Kate’s old boyfriend. She also casually mentions that she and Jamie just had a fight. Cindy’s face betrays fear as Jeanette’s attitude is a bit too cavalier for the direction this is taking. Officer William asks if the boyfriend is Jamie and Detective Anderson asks if the fight was about Kate Wallis. This stuns Jeanette, and Detective Anderson leaves the room.

1995

Jeanette pulls out the fake waterworks as she continues to stare at the TV and imitate the actress. She repeats “I’m not the villain, I’m the victim” over and over.

1994

Cindy and Greg talk, with Cindy noting that that necklace was definitely Jeanette’s. She wonders what else Jeanette has been lying about as Greg tries to brush it off, buying Jeanette’s excuse that there are a million of those necklaces sold at the mall. He has complete confidence in Jeanette. Cindy goes to get her purse for the fireworks celebration as Jeanette enters. Greg tells her what happened with Jamie, and it’s clear that for Greg, this is all about protecting his little girl. She continues to claim she was hurt in a volleyball accident, and Greg gently tells her that no one should hurt her like that. He says he doesn’t want her to see Jamie any more, and Jeanette asks if he’s told Cindy. Greg jokes that he wouldn’t do that until after the fireworks so she wouldn’t aim explosives at Jamie’s house, and Jeanette smiles slightly.

Freeform/Bill Matlock

1994

Vincent is working as Kate enters. Mallory barges in after, slowing down when she sees Kate. Kate checks out horror movies only before rushing out. Vincent jokes that Kate should only be renting Care Bears from now on, but Mallory says she understands – maybe seeing the scariest movie monsters helps her feel better about her life. Mallory invites Vincent over, but he says he’s helping a friend with something.

1993

Jeanette tells her mother about flushing the drugs, and Cindy tells her she did the right thing. Cindy nudges Jeanette by saying that it’s normal for friends to grow apart, clearly wishing Jeanette had different friends. Cindy reminds Jeanette that Kate complimented Jeanette after the step class and that maybe they could be friends like she and Joy used to be. Jeanette is amazed at this, and Cindy brags that Joy used to follow her around “like a puppy” since she was homecoming queen and a cheerleader. Jeanette sadly says she’s not popular like that, and Cindy says that if she could be, so can Jeanette. Jeanette is still worried about Mallory, and Cindy suggests she get her a gift to make up for it.

1994

Vincent closes up as Mallory gets on her bike. Vincent gets in Ben’s car, and Ben asks if Mallory knows “where we’re going, and what we’re going to do there.” Vincent says she doesn’t, and they drive away.

1995

At Jeanette’s, Derek is home. Jeanette tells Derek about her run in with Kate. Derek tries to comfort her, then asks Jeanette to take their mom’s calls occasionally.

That night, Jeanette moves to leave for the fireworks as Greg stops her. He tells her he knows she leaked the lawsuit to the press before their lawyers even served Kate with papers. She turns and leaves, and Vincent watches her go from across the street.

1994

At the fireworks, everyone is looking at Jeanette, Cindy, and Greg as Jamie snubs her. Cindy is confused.

In Ben’s car, Vincent reassures Ben that Jeanette is telling the truth, saying that he knows his friend. Ben says that if Vincent believes her, so does he.

1993

Jeanette sneaks out on the night of the fireworks and goes to Martin’s house. She knocks at the door, then opens it with the key. She calls out for Martin, but the place is empty.

Freeform/Bill Matlock

1994

Ben and Vincent arrive at a house, and when Vincent asks if he’s ready, Ben softly smiles and says, “With you? Yeah, I’m ready.” They enter, and it’s a secret meet up for LGBTQ people. They quietly and tentatively hold hands as “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star plays. Ben shyly says that he feels like anything he says will sound like a “bad teen movie.” They awkwardly sway, but then lean into each other as they dance. The bartender notices them but lets them stay despite their underage status, saying that they need a safe place.

Jeanette approaches Jamie. He wants to stay away from her after what her dad threatened, but Jeanette breezily says she can handle him. Jeanette can’t believe that Jamie thinks she did what Kate is accusing her of. Jamie says even if she’s not lying, Kate is back now and he won’t abandon her. Jeanette asks for him to get Kate to talk to her, and he says he can’t. He doesn’t want Kate to find out about their kiss. Jeanette tearfully says she’s good at keeping secrets. Jamie stops her to ask a question. He says that when Kate first went missing, Jeanette was the first one to know and seemed to be the only person to know for a while. Jamie asks how she knew. Jeanette doesn’t answer, saying “screw you” as she walks away.

1993

Jeanette moves through the empty house, knowing Martin is at the fireworks. Jeanette finds Martin’s 1992 yearbook from his previous school.

1995

A window smashes as Jeanette breaks into Martin’s house. We flash between 1993 and 1995 as a startled 1993 Jeanette runs from the house, worried about getting caught.

1993

Jeanette brings the yearbook to Mallory as a peace offering. It’s list item 13 – steal something. Jeanette says she wanted to show Mallory she took the list seriously. They make up, and Mallory invites her in.

1995

Jeanette goes to the basement stairs and heads down. In the darkness, Vincent appears, having followed her. He asks what she’s doing, and Jeanette tells him that the first time they played hide and seek she went to the basement. She says part of her thinks she could somehow reverse everything by confronting the root of the evil she feels she unleashed that day.

Vincent says he called Ben, and Jeanette says she thought he stopped that. Vincent says he was hoping time would heal all wounds, but he says that’s magical thinking like Jeanette hoping she could reverse time.

At his deposition, Vincent says he’s known Jeanette his whole life. They ask what their current relationship is, and Vincent deflects by saying Jeanette doesn’t come out of the house a lot. He says he’s never known Jeanette to lie, but then Kate’s lawyer gets his turn. He mentions that Vincent and Mallory were with Jeanette the first time they went to Martin’s house in 1993. He asks if Jeanette has gone back since, and we flash to Vincent in the basement with Jeanette, asking her how many times she has been there. Jeanette says “a lot,” addicted to the rush of breaking in. In the present, Vincent lies and says that to his knowledge, she hasn’t been back.

1993

It turns out Jeanette didn’t flush all the joints, and she poses in front of the mirror attempting to look cool while fake-smoking one. We briefly flash to 1995, where she softly asks Vincent if he has anything else to ask her as the screen goes black.

Cruel Summer airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Freeform, with episodes available next day on Hulu.

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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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