Thursday, June 24, 2021

Recap: Returning to School Brings New Questions in ‘Cruel Summer’ Season 1, Episode 8 “Proof”

In “Proof,” Jeanette gains knowledge from unexpected sources as we see the fallout of Kate’s disappearance in 1993. Jamie reckons with the consequences of his actions as we see more of Ben and Vincent’s relationship. The final moments of the episode bring up new questions as everyone looks suspicious. Read on to find out what happened — or didn’t — on Cruel Summer.

Note: This episode of Cruel Summer contains images of domestic violence that may be triggering. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides free, confidential support.

Freeform/Bill Matlock

1994

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Greg is angrily questioning Jeanette about the key. She claims they only used the key to play hide and seek, and that she’s never gone back to Martin’s after that. Greg says this will look bad if she’s not the one to tell the police and that she needs to tell them herself.

1993

Jeanette excitedly wonders if anyone will notice she got her braces off.

1995

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Jeanette and Greg bring her lawyer the chats from Kate’s computer. The lawyer says this could be the break they need, showing that Kate has lied on the record before.

1994

Vincent and Jeanette are waiting to head inside for the first day of school. He reassures her that the rumor mill is temporary and that everyone will forget soon. She asks him if he’s worried about being a “non-couple couple” with Ben in school, and he says he knows it’ll just be weird.

Inside, the girls giggle as they flirt with Ben, which Ben uncomfortably shies away from as Vincent enters. Vincent looks in Ben’s direction while Jamie teases Ben about the girls, and Ben looks away. Linking arms, Jeanette and Vincent walk away.

1993

At school, Mallory notices Jeanette still has Kate’s scrunchie and calls her out, asking why she’s still hanging on to it. They’re about to fight when Vincent stops them. Martin walks over and tells them it’s going to be a great year as Jeanette beams.

1995

Cindy and Jeanette are having an incredibly awkward lunch as Jeanette angrily blames Cindy for leaving. Cindy wants Jeanette to drop the lawsuit, calling it a no-win situation for Jeanette. She starts to bring Greg into it, but Jeanette stops her. She tells her mother that while Greg isn’t perfect, at least he stayed. She storms out. Jamie applies for a job at Angela’s bar, but she tells him anyone with a criminal record can’t be hired at an establishment that serves alcohol.

1994

Renee and Tennille are excited about Kate’s upcoming appearance on The Marsha Bailey Show, demonstrating a stunning lack of sensitivity. Tennille tries to ask Ben out on a date, and he nervously declines.

1995

Jeanette notices a reporter tailing her, and so does Jamie. He asks her to meet him in his garage later, saying that they need to talk. Wanting to get away from the reporter, she agrees before driving off.

1993

Mallory shows Vincent and Jeanette the prank tape she made. Vincent and Mallory are excited but Jeanette seems embarrassed. The two head off to put the tape in the A/V room while Jeanette watches Jamie and his friends. He gets up to look for Kate and sees Jeanette, winking as he calls her “jailbird.” She blushes and follows him inside.

Freeform/Bill Matlock

1994

Jeanette storms out of school, with Vincent trying to follow her. She tells him not to be seen with her. She wants to make sure his relationship with Ben can stay secret. Vincent sees Jamie watching, and he confronts him. Vincent says to stay away from her and that it’s his fault everyone is ostracizing her. Jamie drinks alone in his car listening to a tape.

1993

Mallory starts to execute the prank as Jeanette and Vincent guard the halls. Ben walks by Vincent, and they shyly flirt. Vincent nervously blurts out that both their mothers are dead and that he’d love to talk about it sometime as Ben smiles. Vincent adds, “I don’t know anybody else … like us.” Ben asks if he’d like to talk about it now, winking as he walks away. Torn, Vincent follows him and leaves Mallory.

On the bleachers, Vincent and Ben talk about their mothers. Ben’s mother died of cancer while Vincent’s passed away in a car accident. They talk about what they each last said to their mothers, and Ben says, “There was something I wanted to be brave enough to tell her,” staring at Vincent. Vincent asks what it was, and Ben links pinkies with him.

1995

Jeanette meets Jamie in the garage. Jamie says he’ll regret hitting Jeanette every day for the rest of his life and that he’s sorry. Jeanette asks why he did it, and he says he thought he was defending Kate. Jeanette asks who he believes now.

1994

Jeanette hears Greg and Cindy argue over the phone. When Greg notices she’s there, he says they’re going to the police station right now for her to tell them about the key.

1993

Jeanette sees Joy go to the office and chooses to follow her. Joy sees Martin and asks if he knows where Kate is as he looks up, startled. Martin bluffs and says that she’s probably at lunch. Wanting to maintain the family image, Joy says she thinks Kate might not be at school today and that she wanted to handle this privately. Martin discreetly runs through the absence list and “discovers” that Kate isn’t at school. Joy says that not showing up to school goes beyond the level of teenage pouting and that she wants to involve the police. Martin says no, subtly threatening that if it came out that Kate was missing all night without her parents calling the police, some might call that negligence. Joy places her trust in him, hoping he can handle it quietly and find Kate. Jeanette gasps, having heard the whole thing while eavesdropping outside.

Jeanette follows Joy out to the parking lot, claiming to be one of Kate’s friends. Practically giddy, she tells Joy that if she ever needs anything, she’s there. Joy sneers, “What could I possibly need from you,” turning towards her car.

1994

Greg flirts with Angela at the bar as Rod enters. They stare each other down, and as Rod leaves Greg lets Angela know what happened.

1995

Angela confronts Greg about what Cindy told her. She didn’t know about the key, and Greg tries to explain that Jeanette turned the key over to the police and they were satisfied, so he is too. Angela asks him about the separation, and he says his marriage with Cindy was sensible, but when he’s with Angela, he’s himself.

Freeform/Bill Matlock

1993

Mallory plays the prank tape, but Martin walks in and catches her since both Jeanette and Vincent are otherwise occupied. She tries to explain that it’s just a tape of teachers doing funny things, but he rages when he sees footage of himself leaving his house that morning. He rips the tape out and says she’s going to detention.

Reaching a boiling point, Mallory finds Vincent and Jeanette. Jeanette is overjoyed and is about to tell her about Kate, but Mallory doesn’t want to hear another word about Kate Wallis. She asks why she and Vincent aren’t good enough for her, and Jeanette stutters when Mallory asks why she left the hallway unguarded. Jeanette says it’s natural for best friends to grow apart and that she’s tired of Mallory pushing her around. Mallory asks if she doesn’t want to be friends with her and Vincent, and Jeanette pointedly says she didn’t mention Vincent. Mallory walks away in tears.

1994

Jamie is drinking in his car when Ben jumps in for a ride. As we flash to 1995, Jamie explains that he was driving to apologize to Jeanette last year as 1994 Ben notices Jamie has been drinking. 1995 Jamie says he ruined his best friend’s future as Ben screams for Jamie to hit the brakes.

The police arrest Jamie at the scene of the accident while an injured Ben sits in the ambulance. Vincent runs up and asks if he’s okay. He takes Ben’s hand and says he’ll come with him, but Ben says he doesn’t think he should as others are watching.

Freeform/Bill Matlock

1995

Ben struggles to lift a weight with his arm as he stares at his old football jersey. Jamie tells Jeanette that he blames himself for everything and that every day he wishes things were different. Jeanette notices a tape player.

1993

Jeanette notices Jamie leaving school. Jamie smiles and notices she got her braces off. Jeanette says she overheard that Kate is missing and that since they always suspect the boyfriend, she thought she’d let him know.

1995

Jamie says that around Christmas Eve last year, he got a strange message on his machine that he’s kept around all this time. Jeanette tenses and asks to hear it. He says it’s nothing, but clearly Jeanette knows something. They play the tape, and both hear what sounds like a scared person breathing in and out while a romantic movie plays. But Jeanette hears something in the background.

Running to Mallory’s house, she asks for “that snow globe” as Mallory says she doesn’t have it. She slams the door in Jeanette’s face. Inside, Mallory pulls out the snow globe from under the bed.

Freeform/Bill Matlock

1993

Martin plays the tape he took from Mallory in his office. He rewinds over and over before destroying it. On the tape, a shadowy figure can be seen in the window — is it Kate?

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