'Cruel Summer's' Time Jumps Are Confusing — How Long Exactly Was Kate Wallis Missing?
Warning: This article contains spoilers from Cruel Summer Season 1.
The teen drama series Cruel Summer centers around how Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia) goes from being a sweet, quiet 15-year-old who likes hanging out at the mall with her friends and riding bikes to the most loathed girl in America all by the age of 17. The show volleys from the past to the present for its audiences as it tries to uncover the facts behind the mysterious kidnapping and then the sudden re-emergence of local popular girl Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt).
Over the last nine episodes of Cruel Summer, ahead of the Season 1 finale, viewers have gotten seriously invested in what happened to Kate and Jeanette back in the summers of 1993, 1994, and 1995. As the season has progressed, it's become clear that everyone’s hiding secrets. From Kate’s family to her former boyfriend Jamie Henson (Froy Gutierrez) to her classmate Jeanette — who Kate accuses of knowing about her disappearance — as well as Kate herself.
Over time as new revelations are brought to light, the timeline of the new series becomes a bit complex, especially when it comes to how long Kate was missing. Keep reading as we break down the timeline around Kate’s disappearance to figure out how long she was actually missing on the series.
So, how long exactly was Kate Wallis missing on 'Cruel Summer'? Here's a timeline based on Episode 9.
In Episode 9 of the thriller Cruel Summer, viewers learn some pretty important details about the horrible mystery about Kate's disappearance. For most of the season, she has maintained that she was kidnapped and locked up in the new vice principal Martin Harris' (Blake Lee) basement the entire time she had been missing. However, at the beginning of the episode, we shockingly learn that Kate went to Martin's house "willingly" after a huge fight with her mother.
The fight between Kate and her mother takes place on August 30, 1993. When Kate gets to Martin's house, they sit on the couch in his house and talk about the blowup. She ends up with her head on his shoulder and falls asleep on his couch. The next day, she is supposed to go to school but doesn't and spends the entire day at her vice principal's house dressing up in his clothes. When Martin comes home, he demands that she leave because he could get into big trouble if her parents go to the cops.
That doesn't happen, and after the pair get drunk while playing the game I Never, the two of them have a distorted replica of a romantic relationship for months. On Halloween, it makes 65 days that Kate has been missing. It's also apparent that Kate doesn't want to be cooped up in Martin's house anymore but doesn't want to choose the outside over him. On day 120, everything seems to come to a head, which is Christmas Day. Kate has had enough and wants to leave.
At dinner, he tells her that she's never to leave the house again after she sneaks out. Kate tells him that she's had enough and wants to go. Martin tricks her into going down to the basement to get her luggage so she can leave, but he leaves her down there. Kate leaves Martin's house after his death on June 21, 1994.
Kate was missing for just about ten months. For the first four months, she slept in the same bed as Martin and roamed his house freely. For the last six months, she was locked in his basement.
The Cruel Summer season finale airs on June 15, 2021, at 10 p.m. EST on Freeform.