The newest teen drama to grace viewers’ Freeform channel is Cruel Summer. The show reminds fans of Pretty Little Liars meets Big Little Lies — but for the target Freeform demographic, of course. The show presents a compelling mystery premise while jumping through timelines in the summers of 1993, 1994, and 1995. Many fans are trying to figure out the many mysteries presented in season 1. There’s one Cruel Summer fan theory that could explain why Kate is lying — and what she’s lying about.
[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Cruel Summer episodes 1 through 4.]
What is ‘Cruel Summer’ on Freeform?
Cruel Summer is a teen drama that follows the lives of Texan teenage girls Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia) and Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt). The show hops among three years surrounding the high schoolers.
As episodes go on, viewers learn more and more about the central mystery of the show. How was Kate kidnapped, and did Jeanette really see her?
What we know so far about Kate and Jeanette from ‘Cruel Summer’
At first, viewers see shy and awkward Jeanette jealous of Kate in the summer of 1993. Jeanette shows early signs of a “rebellious” side when she steals a joint from her friend.
Viewers find out that after Kate is kidnapped, Jeanette “replaces” Kate by befriending her buddies, as well as dating her boyfriend. Jeanette leaves behind her old friends for her new life, but is seen worried when Kate returns.
Kate stirs up some drama when she goes on a national television interview saying that Jeanette saw her while she was in captivity. Jeanette counters this by suing Kate for defamation.
Jeanette has conversations with her lawyer on how to be likable and win the case. She also then tries to impersonate a victim on television to adapt a more favorable personality.
While trying to process the trauma of being kidnapped, Kate enters a chatroom. She reveals to another user that she isn’t telling the entire truth about what happened to her.
This ‘Cruel Summer’ fan theory could explain why Kate is lying
One fan on Reddit presented a theory on what Kate could be lying about. The user suggested that Kate and her kidnapper, Martin Harris (Blake Lee), developed an inappropriate relationship prior to him holding her captive. The first few episodes of the show already display them talking. This could be the beginning stages of him grooming her.
The fan theorized that while Jeanette is shown sneaking into Martin’s house in the early episodes, she might continue to do so while Kate is kidnapped.
“One day when sneaking in, she learns of Kate and Martin’s relationship (either through evidence in the house or by actually seeing Kate there),” the fan suggested. “Jeanette promises Kate that she won’t tell anyone her secret.”
The viewer guessed that Jeanette might have suspected Martin of kidnapping Kate. “She sees Kate’s absence as an opportunity to take over her life, and her obsession with Kate drivers her to do exactly that,” the person expressed.
But the fan thinks that Kate and Jeanette never saw each other face-to-face while Kate was kidnapped.
“Kate is furious with Jeanette because Jeanette could’ve tipped police and told them to look for her in Martin’s house,” the person wrote. “However, because Kate still doesn’t want anyone to know of her relationship with Martin, she twists the truth and claims that Jeanette actually saw her when she was abducted.”
The person also theorized that Kate found Jeanette’s necklace possibly by accident one time when Jeanette came to Martin’s house.
The next episode of Cruel Summer airs on Freeform on May 11.
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