‘Cruel Summer’: The Most Honest Relationship in the Show, According to Olivia Holt, Might Shock You

Kate Wallis’s story on Cruel Summer is becoming clearer, and she’s been through a lot. It’s also not only apparent that she didn’t have as great of a relationship with her parents as she let on, but also that she wasn’t as in love with her boyfriend Jamie as it might have seemed from the outside. Martin Harris preyed on all of that.

So it makes sense that neither of those are the “most honest” relationship in Cruel Summer according to star Olivia Holt. But it still might surprise you. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for Cruel Summer, through episode nine]. 

Kate Wallis doesn’t have a strong relationship when she becomes enamored with Martin Harris

'CRUEL SUMMER' episode 2, "A Smashing Good Time": Andrea Anders as Joy Wallis and Olivia Holt as Kate Wallis
‘CRUEL SUMMER’ episode 2, “A Smashing Good Time”: Andrea Anders as Joy Wallis and Olivia Holt as Kate Wallis | Bill Matlock via Getty Images

Kate Wallis’s family was all about putting on a good show. Even if Joy and Rod, Kate’s parents, weren’t doing well or if Joy was stepping out on him, things had to be “hush, hush.” Joy was all about plastering on a smile and being fake if it meant having a good front. 

For Kate, she was also raised to always respect authority figures no matter what and she fell right into that “perfect” little life her mother wanted for her. This meant the hot boyfriend, even if he wasn’t a fit for Kate’s interests or if he didn’t quite get her. She wasn’t the mean, popular girl, but just like the girls in those stereotypical roles, Kate Wallis was not happy in her seemingly amazing life. 

This is why Martin Harris was able to weasel his way into it and play into the weaknesses in Kate’s judgment or overall mentality. He groomed her based on her previous relationships with her parents, that home life, and her troubled relationship with Jamie.  

Olivia Holt said that out of all the relationships on ‘Cruel Summer,’ Kate and Mallory are the ‘most honest’

With that said, it makes sense that neither Kate’s parents nor her boyfriend Jamie are things that Olivia Holt thinks are great examples of healthy relationships. But her friendship with Mallory, which was unexpected but now very strong in 1995, is one that Holt admires a lot.

“I actually think that the relationship between Kate and Mallory is the most honest relationship in the show,” Holt told TV Line on June 8. 

Mallory has received a lot of criticism from fans, mostly due to her negative treatment of Jeanette and then her really doting, positive friendship with Kate. The switch-up doesn’t seem fair to some fans. Even so, it’s very clear to see that Mallory cares deeply about Kate and the feeling is mutual. Despite all the negative theories and fan reactions to Mallory, Holt said it “all just plays into the finale.”

Every character has an intention to both of the girls, and ultimately, we’re going to see why some of the characters have made the decisions that they’ve made. I know, right now, Mallory is sort of on everybody’s sh*t list, but I think for good reason.

Is this a clue? It definitely seems like more than just an opinion. We know that Mallory has deep ties to both Jeanette and Mallory, and has known Jeanette longer. She knows that Jeanette went into Martin Harris’ house over the summer, and there’s still a possibility that Mallory has a copy of the tape of Harris’ house with Kate on it. Even though Mallory is shady to the audience, doesn’t necessarily mean she’s dishonest with Kate. 

Harley Quinn Smith said that friends are the ‘most important thing’ to Mallory

As for Harley Quinn Smith who plays Mallory, she also thinks highly of Mallory and Kate’s friendship. Of all her friendships for that matter. 

“Mallory’s friends are the most important thing in the world to her, whether it’s in ’93 with Jeanette and Vince or in ’94 and ’95 with Kate,” Smith told TV Insider on May 25. “She’s incredibly loyal, and although she can be kind of a hard-*ss sometimes on her friends, she really does value her friendships more than anything.”


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It is a little hard to swallow that the way she treated Jeanette was just tough love at certain points. However, maybe Mallory’s mean behavior with Jeanette was just her not knowing how to act with someone she likes or is friends with. She might just have a strong personality and a bad home life or upbringing that didn’t teach her how to act in certain scenarios. Plus there’s the theory that Mallory’s in love with Kate, which would explain why she’s never acted that way with her. Doesn’t make it ok, but it offers some insight. 

“I really do think Mallory is a great friend to Kate. She’s the type of person that Kate’s never really been around before,” Smith explained. “And I think Mallory really wants to be there for Kate during all of this and healing from her trauma.”