Who is Annabelle in ‘Cruel Summer’? Episode 5 Revealed Subtle New Clues

When Cruel Summer Episode 5 aired on Freeform, Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt) only mentioned Annabelle one time. However, viewers saw more in-depth interactions between Kate and the new assistant principal Martin Harris (Blake Lee). The subtle new clues regarding Annabelle point to this one theory.

Cruel Summer Episode 2 Kate and her mother talk before she met Annabelle
‘Cruel Summer’ Andrea Anders as Joy Wallis and Olivia Holt as Kate Wallis | Bill Matlock/Getty Images

‘Cruel Summer’ Episode 5 recap: Every clue about Annabelle

The first new clue about Annabelle in Cruel Summer came in the first five minutes of the latest episode. While Kate listened to her therapy tapes, she doodled the name “Annabelle” three different times on a sketch pad. Recalling herself talking about when she spoke to Mr. Harris at the county fair made her pause. Does Annabelle become part of the Cruel Summer cast?

The rest of the episode might indirectly relate to who Annabelle might be. While at the fair in 1993, Mr. Harris ran a carnival game for Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia) and her date, Gideon (Austin Zajur). However, when two popular friends of Kate’s came over making fun of Jeanette, she ran away from Gideon.

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Later in the episode, Mr. Harris confronted Jeanette about what she did to Gideon. His reaction was harsh, and it seemed like he was personally offended by what Jeanette did. At that moment, the young teenager noticed that the new assistant principal had Kate’s hair scrunchy. She asked to return it to Kate, but Martin seemed hesitant to give it up.

‘Cruel Summer’ Episode 2 recap

Viewers might have missed an important clue that related to Annabelle in Cruel Summer Episode 2. In 1995, right before Kate showed her stepfather, Rod Wallis (Ben Cain), her belly button ring, there was a news report about Mr. Harris. 

“On Chit Chat Tonight, joining the ranks of lady killer Ted Bundy is Martin Harris,” the reporter says. “It seems the assistant principal turned kidnapper’s chilling charm is gripping America even from beyond the grave. The more we discover…”

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Several fans believe that the news report was another clue about Annabelle.

“I think it’s possible there is a past history of grooming that is being discovered by the public still,” one viewer wrote on Reddit.

Who is Annabelle? Another Theory

While fans have numerous theories about who Annabelle might be in Cruel Summer, one keeps coming up again and again. 

“I thought the yearbook was an important piece,” another fan added. “I think Annabelle is the name of a girl from that school. He tried to groom her like Kate, but she, of course, rejected that. It could explain his reaction to Jeanette leaving Gideon.”

Other viewers agreed that Annabelle might be a student from Martin Harris’ previous school.

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“I think so too,” another Redditor wrote. “I don’t think it would make sense from a writing standpoint to have Jeanette take something like a Yearbook and then not use it later. We know from the scrunchie he likes to keep trinkets from his victims, so I’m wondering if the yearbook will have something in it? It also makes me wonder if Mallory found something in the yearbook that she is hiding.”

Viewers will find out more about Annabelle on Cruel Summer Episode 6 on May 18, 2021, at 10 p.m. EST on Freeform. The series also drops the next day on Hulu.