‘Cruel Summer’: What Was the Plot Twist in the Season 1 Finale?

Cruel Summer Season 1 ended with a bang. Many fans took to social media to discuss the wild ending that changed the entire meaning of the show and one specific character’s whole personality. Here’s the plot twist that happened in the Cruel Summer finale that had fans talking about it for days.

Olivia Holt as Kate Wallis and Chiara Aurelia as Jeanette Turner
Olivia Holt as Kate Wallis and Chiara Aurelia as Jeanette Turner | Frank Ockenfels via Getty Images

Kate learned that Jeanette never saw her in Martin’s house on ‘Cruel Summer’

In the final episode, Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt) and Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia) had a discussion amidst their court case happening simultaneously. The two teen girls confronted each other for a final showdown at Martin Harris’ (Blake Lee) house. While there, Kate described to Jeanette the moment she believed Jeanette saw her. She recalled being in the living room in Martin’s house, making a phone call, then hearing Jeanette break in. She said she went upstairs, then came back down when Jeanette left. Kate claimed she made eye contact with Jeanette when Jeanette was allegedly on her bike.

But when Kate was describing the bike, Jeanette realized that Kate saw Mallory Higgins (Harley Quinn Smith) and not her. Kate then felt awful for naming seeing Jeanette on national television, and retracted her statement publicly. Jeanette subsequently dropped the lawsuit, and all seemed well for both girls.

Maybe — until one final moment that undid everything.

This was the plot twist in the season 1 finale of ‘Cruel Summer’

RELATED: ‘Cruel Summer’ Season 2: What a Second Season Could Explore

In the last scene of Cruel Summer Season 1, Jeanette was shown sneaking into Martin’s house again. At that point, Kate was locked in the basement. Kate heard someone come in, and started yelling. Jeanette was alarmed, and walked over to the basement door. When she heard Kate yell that it was her, Jeanette backed off. She didn’t want to rescue Kate.

So while Jeanette never saw Kate at Martin’s house, which she refuted the whole season, she did in fact hear her. And Jeanette knew that Kate was kidnapped at Martin’s house. That meant that Jeanette did know all along where Kate was, despite Kate not knowing Jeanette knew she was there in that specific way.

Jeanette dropped the case and showed herself as a victim despite knowing Kate was kidnapped in ‘Cruel Summer’

While Kate and Jeanette moved on from the lawsuit, Jeanette still harped on the entire situation by appearing on the same national talk show that Kate went on. Jeanette dressed up like Kate for her talk show appearance, and even wore the same headband as Kate during the interview. Toward the end of her interview, Jeanette said that she forgave Kate for blaming her on national television.

However, despite her “forgiveness,” it turned out that Kate was right about Jeanette in a way all along.

Cruel Summer was picked up for a second season by Freeform, per Deadline, so it will be interesting to see if the show pursues Kate finding out more about Jeanette’s true self.

You can stream Cruel Summer on Freeform and Hulu.