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The Freeform TV series Cruel Summer Episode 9, “A Secret of My Own,” recap covers the fall of 1993, 1994, and 1995. The perspective switched back to Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt) while Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia) was only in a few scenes this week. Viewers watched Kate share a revelation with her therapist, Dr. Sylvia Parks (Lee Eddy). Plus, more details came out about what Martin Harris (Blake Lee) and Kate did together and exactly how long she was locked in the basement.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from Cruel Summer Episode 9, “A Secret of My Own.”]

Cruel Summer Episode 9 recap Martin Harris pours candy into a pumpkin dish
‘Cruel Summer’ Episode 9 ‘A Secret of My Own’: Blake Lee plays Martin Harris | Bill Matlock/Freeform/Getty Images

‘Cruel Summer’ Episode 9 recap: Martin isolated Kate in 1993

Cruel Summer Episode 9 began with Kate stepping inside Martin’s house willingly. After a blowout fight with her mother, Joy Wallis (Andrea Anders), she came to him on Aug. 30, 1993.

“I just feel so lonely in my own house and in my own life all of a sudden,” Kate told Martin. “How did that happen?”

In Cruel Summer Episode 9, Kate and Martin sat on the couch in his house and talked when she first arrived. She leaned her head on his shoulder. Then he let her sleep on his couch, covered her up, and took off her shoes.

“You’re not alone. I’m here. I’m listening,” Martin said before she fell asleep.

On day two, Kate ventured to the basement to look around and look for Martin. He made her breakfast and headed out the door to a staff meeting. Martin asked if she could make it to school on her own, and she said she could. However, after he left, Kate tried on his clothing and never went to school. 

When Martin came home, he insisted that she leave because he could get in trouble if they went to the cops. However, as she was about to leave, a call came through that she was officially a missing person. So Martin poured both he and Kate a glass of dark alcohol.

“Don’t drink that,” he told her, “I forgot you were underage.”

She suggested that they get out a distraction to help them think, such as Monopoly or a deck of cards. Since he didn’t have any board games, Kate came up with “Never Have I Ever.” They talked, drank, and got to know each other. At one point, Martin asked if she had ever kissed anyone “significantly older.” When Kate said she hadn’t, she also asked if that “was a dare?”

‘Cruel Summer’ Episode 9 recap: Joy and Rod Wallis

In Cruel Summer Episode 9, in 1993, Rod Wallis suggested that they go to the police since Kate didn’t come home the night before. However, Joy believed Kate was safely staying at a friend’s house. Joy didn’t want the police to label Kate as a “bad kid.” Rod said they would “sort everything out as a family.”

‘Cruel Summer’ Episode 9 recap: 1994

In another session with Dr. Sylvia Parks, Kate opened up about her abduction. Throughout Cruel Summer Episode 9, viewers heard Kate’s thoughts as she told her therapist about her time with Martin Harris.

“There’s something I haven’t told you,” Kate told her therapist. “I wasn’t always locked in the basement.”

The psychologist tried to explain to Kate the concept of “grooming.” She informed Kate that a groomer “isolates their victim.” However, Kate admitted she still felt bad for Martin because they became friends. He made her “feel seen.” 

“That false sense of security he built was a well-laid trap,” Sylvia explained. 

‘Cruel Summer’ Episode 9 recap: Day 21 to Christmas Eve

Three weeks later, on day 21, Kate and Martin played hide-and-go-seek throughout the house and then kissed. They looked like they were in love and having a great time. She sang in the shower while Martin turned off a news broadcast about Kate missing. 

On day 30, she asked Martin if he would stay home and hang out with her. He suggested she look through his travel guides. Martin said it could be where they go when it’s safe, “on her 18th birthday.” Kate decided she wanted to go to Thailand, Bora Bora, Morocco, or another exotic place.

On day 34, Kate told Martin her friend’s parents were 15 years apart in age. She couldn’t wait until she was old enough for them to be together openly. On a Sunday, Jeanette Turner’s father, Greg Turner (Michael Landes), unexpectedly knocked on Martin’s door. Martin shoved Kate into his closet and answered the door. Greg got a flat tire outside of Martin’s house and asked to use his phone. Greg noticed the two coffee cups and travel magazines. The whole incident made Martin a nervous wreck. He immediately put curtains up over the front door. 

Day 65 was Halloween. Kate and Martin watched scary movies and ate candy and popcorn together. Kate asked what everyone at school thought and began to question what would happen next. 

On day 89, Kate asked if Martin saw her parents. She wondered about Ben at school, and Martin said he was too busy at work to notice.

‘Cruel Summer’ Episode 9 recap: Christmas Eve

By Christmas Eve in Cruel Summer Episode 9, Kate said her “homesickness was crushing.” Kate stayed in bed all day and told Martin that she missed the mall, the movie theater, sunlight, and other people. 

That night, Martin went to the mall and freaked out when the police pulled up. Meanwhile, Kate called Jamie and left a strange voicemail with the snow globe music and a movie playing in the background. Since Jeanette saw Martin at the mall, she knew it was safe to visit his house. However, when Jeanette unlocked the front door, the curtains blocked her from seeing Kate. 

Jeanette grabbed the snow globe and ran out the front door when she heard something. Kate noticed that Jeanette left her necklace, but didn’t tell Martin. That night, she snuck out of the house and looked in on her parents laughing together on Christmas Eve. However, Joy admitted that was the first time she laughed in four months. After Kate left, her parents returned to crying. Viewers saw that Martin opened his eyes after she returned home.

‘Cruel Summer’: What happened on Christmas Night?


‘Cruel Summer’: What Happened to Ben? Why Did He and Vince Break Up?

On Christmas, Martin gave her a pearl necklace, and she got all dressed up for dinner together. However, he asked her if she was feeling guilty for sneaking out the night before. Martin insisted that she could never go outside again. Kate told Martin she was ready to leave. He told her to think about what would happen if she left. Martin begged her to stay, but she insisted that she was prepared to go. Martin told her that her suitcase was in the basement and then he locked her down there.

How long was Kate Wallis missing in ‘Cruel Summer’?

Kate went to Martin Harris’s house on Aug. 30, 1993, and left his house after his death on June 21, 1994. Kate Wallis was missing for almost 10 months on Cruel Summer. However, for the first four months, Kate slept in bed with Martin and roamed the house freely. For the last almost six months, she was locked in the basement.

The Cruel Summer Season Finale airs on Freeform on June 15, 2021, at 10 p.m. EST.