We are at the halfway mark for Freeform’s hit drama Cruel Summer, and there are so many irons in the fire regarding the different storylines in play, the back half of the season really could go in any direction and still find plenty to explore. On one hand, there’s Kate (Olivia Holt) and her relationship with her captor, Martin Harris (Blake Lee), which took a left turn back in 1993 during the final scene of episode five. Then there’s Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia) and the lawsuit she is bringing against Kate and her family for the damaging claims they made by calling Jeanette a liar. Is a trial in the future?
When CinemaBlend had a conversation with Chiara Aurelia about this new series, we asked her if the mysteries of Cruel Summer were choreographed to extend beyond one season. That can be an issue with a specific mystery show. Once the answers are revealed, the drama can potentially dry up. And while Aurelia teased that Cruel Summer absolutely could last into a second season, showrunner Tia Napolitano also told us that the biggest mysteries of the debut season will be buttoned up by episode ten. Napolitano told CinemaBlend in an exclusive interview:
The biggest question that I need answered, and I think most Cruel Summer viewers would agree, is “Who is telling the truth between Jeanette and Kate?” The show has done an excellent job at keeping its audience on their heels, giving ample reasons for us to believe that both Jeanette and Kate have reason to lie. Currently, after seeing five episodes, I’m inclined to think that Kate is setting Jeanette up because she saw her kissing Jaime (Froy Gutierrez) in the park. But is petty jealousy reason enough to destroy another girl’s life?
Then there are plenty of juicy mysteries lying on the fringes of the main conflict, including the fate of Jeanette’s mom -- who is absent from the 1995 timeline -- and an ongoing debate about Kate’s mother’s fidelity. Season One could wrap those plotlines up while still leaving room to explore different subplots in subsequent seasons. To that end, Tia Napolitano also told us:
Good way to keep us tuning in week after week. Cruel Summer airs Tuesday nights on Freeform, then lands on Hulu the following day. It’s an addicting binge if you want to get caught up on the storyline heading into the back half of the season. Episode Six promises to take things in wild new directions starting on May 18.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.