This week Cruel Summer left us with our mouths open, and it took us a few days to process everything. After the calm of the previous episode, the storm arrives. Cruel Summer 1×09 “A Secret Of My Own” it’s revealed what happened between Martin and Kate, how he wrapped her in his web until he locked her in the basement, and we discover exactly how Jeanette’s necklace got into Kate’s hands… and it’s quite surprising. Ready?
Here we go!
Cruel Summer 1×09 “A Secret Of My Own” is a complicated episode to review because it explains and develops everything so brilliantly that there is little to add. We clearly see how Martin manipulates Kate to the point of wanting to control everything in her life, of wanting to be her whole world, everything she sees, hears, touches or feels, to the point of controlling her.
I think the phrase that summarizes this episode appears at the beginning of Cruel Summer 1×09 “A Secret Of My Own”: “they build the image of saviors when, in reality, they are predators.”
It all starts off exciting, forbidden, almost… innocent (to the extent that a grown man can be taking advantage of someone so young and vulnerable.) Martin had an insane fixation on Kate ever since he met her.
Little by little, he was gaining her trust, and now, he has her right where he had imagined her so many times: in his house, near his bed. And for Kate, Martin was always there in her worst moments. He is so mature, so different from the boys she knows, from her family.
With him she feels safe, she feels that she can trust someone and that, for the first time, someone sees her. That someone sees and appreciates her just for being her, not for being the perfect image that she was taught to show to the world, but for being her with her defects, with her vulnerabilities, with her fears, and her problems.
Kate feels that she can only be herself with Martin because he is the only one who took the time to find out what is underneath the empty shell full of smiles that she shows to others.
That’s why she goes to him … and gets into the wolf’s mouth without knowing it.
In the beginning, everything is exciting and new and Kate feels good. She feels that she is with a friend, someone she can trust – although she never was, if Martin had really cared about her, he would have called her parents the second she appeared on the doorstep. Kate feels better than ever as if she is finally with someone who truly understands her and with whom she connects on a level that she has not connected with anyone. But the bubble doesn’t take long to burst.
Kate begins to feel trapped, suffocated by Martin and that house begins to look more and more like a prison. Every day is exactly the same and the only human contact she has is him. He occupies everything, controls everything, drowns her. This is the time when depression begins.
Kate misses her parents, her family, her life. For her, that doesn’t mean pushing Martin aside, she wants to include him there but he just doesn’t want to talk about it because he knows there is no possibility of that. Once he decided to hide Kate as a secret, he knew there would be no turning back.
And he’s not willing to give her up, he’s not willing to let go of that secret or face the possible consequences. He is not willing to let her go. And Kate somehow knows it.
Suddenly, Martin stops being that person she can blindly trust and becomes someone who stalks her, someone who doesn’t listen to what she is yelling at him: that she wants to get out of there. She knows it. That’s why she doesn’t tell him that Jeanette sneaked into his house.
She could have told him, but, as she relates, that secret was only hers. It was the only thing in which his presence didn’t flood everything and she didn’t want him to invade one more thing in her life.
For that same reason she also goes to see her family secretly. She is about to enter the house, but she sees them laugh, she sees them carry on without her … and she returns to Martin. The irony is that it was only a moment of nostalgia within the desolation, but Kate returns to him. Actually, that scene doesn’t change anything about what she wants, but she needs a moment to process it.
Just she doesn’t have it. The next day, at Christmas, everything explodes in the worst way. Martin no longer pretends and treats Kate like a prisoner, like a kidnapper, and she is afraid of him. You can really feel how scared she is that he will be angry because she has reached the point where she is not sure that he will not hurt her, nor is she sure how he is going to react.
It’s at that moment that Kate realizes Martin’s true intentions: to keep her locked up for at least a few more months. She is not free to go out, to see anyone, to be with anyone but him. But she does. She is not going to let him consume her. She is going to fight tooth and nail for her freedom, for her life … and he locks her in that basement.
I’m speechless. I think that Cruel Summer 1×09 “A Secret Of My Own” perfectly reflects that spider web that predators weave, how they show themselves as saviors and make you trust them to later show their true nature and the way in which the survivor realizes what is happening and fights to prevent it.
A round of applause to the actors, to both them. They deserve it.
In another vein, Cruel Summer 1×09 “A Secret Of My Own” finally revealed what happened to Jeanette and her pendant. She entered that house but didn’t see Kate at any time. Jeanette must have thought that Martin was the one upstairs making noise and that’s why she left so quickly. So why is Kate lying?
I think it’s a mix of things. On the one hand, I think Kate hoped that Jeanette would realize that she was there, in danger, and warn someone and blame her for not doing it and on top of that, Kate feels that Jeanette stole her life so ruining Jeanette’s life seems fair to her.