Let’s review Cruel Summer for one more week! After the previous episode, Cruel Summer 1×06 “An Ocean Inside Me” finally gives us answers to several of the great answers that the show posed to us. Also, we can understand characters that we didn’t understand before. This episode is the best of the season so far.
Here we go!
Cruel Summer 1×06 “An Ocean Inside Me” finally gives us an answer about what happened to Jeanette’s parents, why they stopped supporting her and how everything fell apart between them.
Jeanette’s mother is sure that she is lying. Something inside her tells her, she just … feels it. So she decides to investigate for herself and finds the key. If Jeanette has that key … she could get in at any moment … but she needs to know. She needs to know at what point she is lying and why. She can’t help her if she doesn’t tell her.
So she tries to get Jeanette to tell her. She can trust her, she doesn’t have to be afraid … but Jeanette assures her that there is nothing to know … when her mother knows there is. That convinces her mother of her guilt. Why else would Jeanette try so hard to lie?
And I have to admit that she has a point here. I mean, why does Jeanette just say it? I think she is afraid. That is, she was breaking the law every time she raided that house and it is not easy to disappoint your parents in that way but, above all, it is not easy to disappoint them by confessing that you have lied in front of the police about such a serious matter or face the most probable suspicions they will have.
The disappointment, the anger, the consequences … they are too much. So Jeanette just shuts up because she fears that her secrets and lies will make her lose them … something that ends up happening in the end.
After Jeanette’s mother realizes this truth, that her daughter is lying to her face and that she is not who she thought she was … she shares it with her husband. She hoped they would be a team in this, that they will face it together … but they don’t. He doesn’t take her seriously and a part of me understands that because it’s not easy to open your eyes to such a difficult truth about your own daughter, but her wife deserves, at least, to be heard.
But she doesn’t. So she feels absolutely lonely. She feels an ocean inside her and that she is the only one who is there to face it, that she is the only one who wants to do it. Because when you open your eyes to the truth that Jeanette may be hiding, to her lies … it is a very painful and lonely place. You even feel guilty and think what you did wrong.
And everything comes to her. Jeanette’s lies and the way she sacrificed her whole life to be by her husband’s side, to raise her children … and just when she needs him most, her husband it doesn’t even take her into account.
So she remembers, she remembers her dreams, her ambitions … and how she left them. For him. She doesn’t want to do it anymore. It’s time for her to take back the reins of her own life now that everything she built is falling apart. But her husband doesn’t understand her either. He takes her like she’s crazy, like it’s all a joke, he underestimates her and that makes me angry. She never underestimated him and always took his dreams seriously … but he doesn’t do the same. So it’s time to stop.
It’s time to stop and think if she wants to move on with that marriage. And I understand it. In fact, I find it very brave and I applaud this decision. I really would have done the same, I would have even been less diplomatic and would have sent him to hell but … Jeanette is still her daughter and she was not there for her either.
Although this cannot be because she didn’t want to. In one of the final scenes of Cruel Summer 1×06 “An Ocean Inside Me” we discover that Jeanette blames her mother for their separation and perhaps she tried to contact Jeanette but she did not want to know about her mother.
In fact, I think this is what happened because Jeanette’s mother looks really worried about her daughter when she is talking to Angela, if she had really abandoned Jeanette, she would not look so worried and so desperate to know that she’s okay.
And this is when Cruel Summer 1×06 “An Ocean Inside Me” shows me how wrong I was. I always thought that Jeanette’s mother had abandoned them but this episode showed me that it was not like that at any point.
While this is happening, what about Jeanette’s father? Well, he ends up finding out that she has Martin’s house key and that’s like a hard blow against reality. In a way, he blames her for losing all. He believed in her before he believed in his wife and that was the trigger for losing her. That’s why he’s so cold a year later …
The following year, in 1995, he tries to get closer to Jeanette. He realizes that she is not to blame for that and that it was his own actions that caused him to lose his family. And Jeanette is totally alone. The friends she thought she had withdrew their support as quickly as they gave it to her, she couldn’t find anyone on her side, she didn’t feel supported … that’s why she cries in the presence of her brother, she finally cries and lets out a little of all that is suffering.
But the burden of loneliness is something that always accompanies her and her father, finally, begins to realize it. So he tries to get closer to her and just that simple scene, of them playing and laughing like before is tremendously powerful. It’s a start. The thing about trust is that it is very easy to lose it … and very difficult to regain it.
Jeanette lost the trust of her parents when she lied to them and now she must fight to regain their trust. But they too must fight to get hers back because Jeanette feels that they abandoned her and that is not something she will forget overnight.
Jeanette and the mother of her now enemy share a secret. When everyone believed Martin’s facade, she did not hesitate to try something with him, moreover, to be insistent on it … even revealing a truth that she kept hidden … a truth that Jeanette listens to.
At the time, it’s just a truth that Jeanette doesn’t know what to do with. As something that she knows that she has no right to know and she doesn’t know how to react to it, whether she should forget it … or not. But information is power and it is time to do something with that secret. When the journalist is ready to throw her to the lions, she threatens to reveal everything. That way, not only would her credibility be affected … if not her entire life as well. That is enough for her to stay true to the arrangement with Jeanette and neither she saw her that night nor did Jeanette see her.
However, I want to analyze a few things here. The first thing is how easy it is for this “journalist” to lie. In every aspect of her life … and everyone considers her a decent and honest person. Everyone believes her facade and the person she pretends to be.
With Jeanette the opposite happens, everyone judges her and condemns her without considering another possibility, without listening to her, without letting her defend herself, without believing that they may be wrong because Jeanette has that key and has sometimes entered that house is a clue, but not a proof to condemn her.
She didn’t have to see Kate if she did not enter the house when she was abducted or, if she did, if she didn’t listen to her or did not approach the basement where Martin had her kidnapped … but everyone thinks she’s guilty. Including her family. And that is one of the mistakes Jeanette makes, that of not being honest with her parents so that they understand why she had that key, as we have commented.
These two contrasting stories are the perfect example that appearances can be deceiving …
I have to say that I love the friendship between Jeanette and Vincent. Besides Angela, he is the only one she can count on. Right from the beginning. She blamed herself on the stolen disc to save him, and the following year they reconnected, keeping a secret that Vincent begged her not to tell. And she didn’t hesitate to put it away.
It is obvious that it is not easy to be around Jeanette right now. In fact, practically everyone has abandoned her. But Vincent didn’t. He is by her side and doesn’t care what people think. In fact, with him, Jeanette feels almost normal, almost as if nothing had happened and she is still in 1993, being a cute, nerdy, dreamy girl … with a bright future ahead of her. Almost.
And here ends our Cruel Summer 1×06 “An Ocean Inside Me” 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.