And similar to that, Jamie has entered the fold. Sure, the ladies’ mutual boyfriend had a task to play within the central thriller earlier than, particularly with regard to their rising pressure. But after stripping down his flimsy poisonous machismo and holding him accountable for his horrible, impulsive resolution to punch Jeanette, he’s come off as — for lack of a greater time period — a little bit of a himbo. Cruel Summer Episode 8 offers him a bit extra to do within the grand scheme of issues, from harboring excessive guilt over injuring Ben within the midst of his love triangle to telling Jeanette in regards to the fishy Christmas Eve answering machine message he obtained in 1993. Jeanette’s smugness over figuring out that Kate went to Martin’s home willingly all however dissipates when she hears about that message, which seemingly arrived proper round when Kate claims Jeanette noticed her. What do all these random sounds imply? And what the hell is in that snow globe?!
Answers for one more day, however I digress. This week, it’s the primary day of college for the Cruel Summer children. In 1993, a freshly braces-free Jeanette is admittedly beginning to chafe in opposition to Mallory’s bossiness. But to Mallory’s horror, she’s taken her mom’s recommendation about making new pals to coronary heart, and is able to cease sporting Kate’s scrunchie in every single place and use it as a fateful dialog starter — the difficulty is that Kate is nowhere to be discovered. It’s greater than a contact ironic for Jeanette to chastise Mallory for pressuring her and Vince to interrupt the foundations when repeatedly breaking into Martin’s home has emboldened her to snoop round Kate a lot this episode. First, she hears a deeply hungover Jamie ruminating on Kate’s disastrous birthday the evening earlier than…which additionally occurs to be the final time he noticed her.
Later, when Mallory insists they broadcast a prank tape stuffed with embarrassing trainer moments to the entire college, Jeanette skips out on guarding the hallway when Joy Wallis herself heads straight to Martin’s workplace in quest of Kate’s whereabouts. She’d relatively go to Martin quietly relatively than threat the smallest quantity of city gossip, instantly setting off alarm bells in his head. He assuages her by declaring that going to the police is the other of doing issues quietly, and will even give the impression that Joy is a negligent mom. It’s notably chilling to see how Martin makes use of Joy’s insistence on good appearances in opposition to her when he ensnared Kate by providing a method out of her mom’s inflexible life-style.
But for the second, Joy is happy, and poor Jeanette manages to make her future self look a lot guiltier by smugly telling Joy she’s right here for no matter she wants. She will get Jamie’s consideration that method too, and we’ve lastly bought our reply as to how she knew Kate was lacking earlier than anybody else did. Meanwhile, Vince and Ben have an unconventional meet-cute speaking about their late moms and entwining their fingers within the gymnasium, leaving Mallory fully unprepared when an already on-edge Martin catches her broadcasting the prank video. Him giving her detention as a result of Jeanette wasn’t there to distract him results in the unofficial finish of Mallory and Jeanette’s friendship, however there’s one thing even eerier occurring. Look intently, and the seemingly harmless footage Mallory recorded of Martin getting caught in a sprinkler that morning depicts an almost-ghostly Kate peering by way of the entrance window. Mallory could turn out to be Kate’s closest confidante sooner or later, however I’m wondering how Kate would really feel if she knew her finest pal virtually noticed her, too.
By ‘94, Kate is still absent from school, and an incessantly tormented Jeanette resolves to become a high-school dropout. Greg forces her to hand her key to Martin Harris’ home over to the police, so does she have a spare by ‘95? And does Greg still trust her a bit too much? Something else is definitely going on, but for now, the bulk of the ‘94 flashbacks revolve around Vince, Jamie, and Ben. It’s been weeks since Cruel Summer teased Ben’s position in all this, and Episode 8 lastly supplies us with some solutions. It’s him and Vince’s first day hiding their secret relationship in school, a job made much more tough since Ben must sustain appearances in hopes of successful a lacrosse scholarship quickly. Unfortunately, he decides to belief Jamie to drive him over to observe that day, not figuring out Jamie has been morosely ingesting in his automobile ever since Vince warned him to steer clear of Jeanette. As Jamie explains to Jeanette in ‘95, he impulsively decided to drive to her instead. But he misses a stop in his drunkenness, and because of Ben’s subsequent accidents, his finest pal’s future is thrown the wrong way up. Without his status or hopes of a scholarship, a panicked Ben additionally begins to chop issues off with Vince.
And by ‘95, truly no one is happy. In a visitation meeting, Cindy expresses worry over the trial leaving Jeanette with even more pain and regret. It’s one thing she refuses to contemplate till Jamie performs that answering machine message for her when he lastly apologizes later that day. A panicked Jeanette rushes over to Mallory’s home and begs her handy over some snow globe, which Mallory curtly insists she doesn’t have. But later, Mallory’s breath hitches as she turns what appears to be like like a really odd globe over in her palms. Between narrowly lacking Kate on the prank tape and harboring a suspicious snowglobe, might Mallory turn out to be a harmful darkish horse on this complete thriller? With a brand new macguffin comes a vital reminder: This late within the sport, no supporting participant is protected.
Abby Monteil is a New York-based author. Her work has additionally appeared in The Daily Beast, Insider, Elite Daily, Thrillist, and others.