Cruel Summer is back for another week! After the previous episode, Cruel Summer 1×05 “As The Carny Gods Intended” offers us one of the best episodes so far. We start to see how Martin and his tentacles reach Kate more and more and how she is dealing with everything that happened, while we see more from Jeanette’s perspective and she realizes that she is not alone. Let’s review!
Here we go!
Despite what happened in the previous episode, Jeanette has in mind to see Jamie again. Luckily, her brother is more honest with her than ever and makes it clear that would be a mistake. No one has the right to treat her like this, and she deserves so much more than that. We’re glad that Jeanette seems to take note of this.
However, she also has the idea of meeting Kate. She thinks that talking to her can solve everything. Kate is lying and Jeanette thinks she knows why … if she talks to her about what she is feeling and the reason for that lie, everything will be fixed. And she almost manages it. She meets Kate and Mallory but neither wants to know anything about her and they avoid that meeting as best they can.
I understand Jeanette, she needs to fix it and she can’t relax and do anything but sometimes things are more complicated than a conversation. This is one of those situations. Kate can take advantage of everything Jeanette does, even if she has good intentions. Kate has the upper hand.
Kate, for her part, has her own problems beyond Jeanette. And her problem has a name: Jamie. She saw him kiss Jeanette and she blames him but he denies it. Regardless, I’m still amazed at how coldly Jamie is able to talk about Jeanette. He proves more and more that he never loved her and was only a replacement. Jeanette deserves better. And Kate too.
Because Jamie not only lies to Kate’s face about that kiss but he turns in her trauma and even her therapy against her, treating her as if she were crazy. And I can’t help but applaud Kate when she tells him to his face that that’s too low to sink, even for him. And I applaud her even more when she makes him fall into that little pool. Yes, queen! That’s what that garbage deserves. Jamie disgusts me. I said what I said.
Luckily, it seems that Jamie manages to grow up a year later and realizes how bad he was and that there is no excuse for what he did. Thus, he apologizes to Kate and she accepts his apology – being much more benevolent than me. In fact, she kisses him on his cheek because she needed that, for him to say out loud that she wasn’t crazy and that she was right.
Kate hasn’t felt like herself since it all happened. Sometimes she felt like she was too paranoid and yes, maybe a little out of it. When Jamie accused her of that it, for her was like taking a hit to the stomach that made her doubt herself more than she already did. But now, when he confirms that she was right … she just needed to hear him to let her know that she was not crazy or paranoid.
Martin AKA the predator, increasingly spins his web around Kate. And the actor is really excellent. Because he takes me from one extreme to the other. From an expression of approval for what he says to Jeanette – there he is absolutely right, even if I hate giving this to him. That was not right Jeanette, leaving someone who was super cute with you to pretend to be something that you are not – to an expression of absolute disgusted when I see how he treats Kate.
The way he looks at her, the way he flirts with her and even wants to keep her scrunchie as a “souvenir.” Everything disgusts me. She is a 16-year-old teenager and, for age, he can be her father, but even so, he flirts with her and even hints that he is attracted to her. Can I vomit? Because it’s what I want.
Kate also feels this attraction but it is normal. She is a teenager, this pig is manipulating her and she feels that he understands her, that she can be herself with him, that he is there for her, to support her … Martin is the adult here, he is the one who should put a stop to this but he takes advantage of it. After all, he is manipulating her so that Kate trusts him, so that she doesn’t see the danger, so that she falls into his net … and he’s succeeding.
Angela is a queen? Angela is a queen! I have no doubts about it. She’s the only one who has taken the interest of really talking to Jeanette and trying to reach her, trying to make her feel safe, to lower the walls that she had to build a little, to stop being alert and to start to open up so that everything that she’s saved doesn’t end up destroying her from within.
Jeanette’s brother supports her, yes, but we’ve never seen him try to make her open up or really try to cheer her up. In fact, what little we see of them as brothers is in the summer of 1994 but I don’t remember seeing them together in the summer of 1995 and that gives me things to think … a new unknown that Cruel Summer leaves us.
Although in the summer of 1994 we do see how he is by her side and tries to take care of her … he really doesn’t pressure Jeanette to open up more. We imagine that with good intention to try to give her the space that she needs. And, in that moment, she did. But in 1995 everything is even darker and Angela is the only one who is really by her side because her brother … we don’t see him.
And her parents are worse. Her mother couldn’t face everything that was happening and she found comfort in drinking … she abandoned Jeanette and her family. We understand that what was happening was hard but … it was also hard for Jeanette and very few were there for her.
As for her father, at first we did see him support her but in the summer of 1995 we do not see it that way. In Cruel Summer 1×05 “As The Carny Gods Intended” the two of them have a conversation that sounds more sincere than anything that had been said before. In this conversation, her father makes it clear to Jeanette that he is on her side but he also makes it clear that doing so has cost him his life, his job, his family … everything. And we wonder, is that really being on her side?
Because it seems more than he blames her and holds a grudge for having lost everything. And that’s not being on Jeanette’s side or supporting her. But at least Jeanette knows what to expect because this is the first time that they have removed their masks and stopped tiptoeing around each other and talking heart to heart. This is what he feels and Jeanette has nothing left to do but accept it and get over it.
So the only one she has is Angela who is taking care of her and trying not to let everything that is happening to her cause her to fall into depression. That is why we love her.
The last scene of Cruel Summer 1×05 “As The Carny Gods Intended” is very powerful. Martin, the filthy pig is dead, and Kate needs more than ever to feel that he really is, that he can’t get to her anymore, that he won’t hurt her anymore. So she wants to bury that rabbit that he gave her, that rabbit that is the symbol of how the abuse began and the damage that he did to her. The symbol of the predator. But she ends up doing something else.
Kate smashes the grave of that garbage with a shovel. And I can only applaud her for doing it. Hard. The disgusting guy doesn’t give me any pity and I hope he’s rotting in hell. Kate lets out all that anger, all that pain, that rage and even that guilt. Because what happens with survivors is that a part of them thinks it was their fault.
They think “if I had not done this, if I had not smiled at him, if I had not spoken to him, if not …”. But the fault is never with the survivors. The only culprits are the predators. Nobody else.
So Kate unleashes all that is drowning her and is poisoning her inside. That’s why that last scene is so powerful. And so necessary. Sometimes forgiveness is not the solution. Sometimes taking out all the bad feelings that you keep inside and that dominate you for a moment is.
Now, it is clear that Kate is lying about Jeanette and that is why she imagines that pig calling her “liar,” her trauma and perhaps her consciousness come together to form that nightmare image but … how far will Kate go with her lie?
And here ends our Cruel Summer review. We will be back next week with a new one!
Agree? Disagree? Don’t hesitate to share it with us in the comments below!
Cruel Summer airs Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m in Freeform and you can stream next day on Hulu.