How Cruel Summer’s Ending Changes Everything For Season 2

Cruel Summer

What follows is a complicated tale of secrets and half-truths that sees each girl lie, betray, and suffer at the hands of the other. That the finale manages to tie up the bulk of the season’s plot threads is pretty remarkable, that it all ends up making sense, even more so. Before the final credits roll, we find out how Kate managed to escape Martin Harris’s clutches, who really did see her that night, and the timeline of Jeanette’s ill-fated Christmas break-in. And the hour ends with both Kate and Jeanette essentially starting new phases of their lives, one as America’s long-suffering new heroine, and the other in a healthy relationship for what may be the first time in her life.

Even its shocking Season 1 finale stinger – in which Jeanette, who spent the entire season denying that she’d seen Kate being held prisoner at the home of the assistant vice principal, was revealed to have been aware of her captivity the entire time – was firmly grounded in seeds planted throughout the season that became even more obvious upon reflection. (See also: Jeanette’s obsession with Kate, her smiles at inappropriate moments, her creepy ability to mimic the other girl.)

But after a first season that essentially wrapped up most of the show’s primary plotlines, the news that Cruel Summer would return for a second came with no small number of mixed emotions attached. After all, the series’ first outing was so strong and so satisfying, it almost feels as though there’s nowhere left for the show to go but down. Can a second season maintain the first’s high level of quality? What story is even left to tell? 

Will There Be a Cruel Summer Season 2?

Though it may be obvious that Cruel Summer was initially conceptualized as a limited series, it’s equally clear why the folks in charge want to change that. This little drama has been one of the buzziest series of the summer, breaking ratings and streaming records for the cable network Freeform and spawning everything from personality quizzes and Spotify playlists to complicated and occasionally extremely weird fan theories (that Kate gave birth to a baby in captivity, that Joy somehow paid Martin to kidnap her daughter).  

Of course, Cruel Summer got a Season 2. But though we know the show will return, there’s little clarity at this moment about what that might actually mean.

Will Cruel Summer Season 2 Continue Kate and Jeanette’s Story?

As mentioned previously, there aren’t a ton of questions left that Cruel Summer still needs to answer. At least not when it comes to the world of Skylin, Texas. We know about Martin and Kate’s relationship, we’ve seen how Kate escaped her basement prison, and the truth has come out about exactly what Jeanette saw and heard at the Harris house. And, at the end of the day, that story just feels as though it’s finished. Allow Kate to have some peace at last, and let Jeanette stay a stomach-twisting cautionary tale.

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