In the first episode of the teen drama Cruel Summer, viewers see Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia) go from geek to chic. First, we see her in 1993 celebrating her 15th birthday as an awkward brace-sporting teen with her best friends Mallory (Harley Quinn) and Vince (Allius Barnes). The trio goes to the mall, and that’s when we see Jeanette and Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt) interact for the first time. Jeanette pretends to shop at the same kiosk and strikes up a conversation with her.
It is painfully obvious that, even though Jeanette is satisfied with her life and friends, she wishes that she was popular and had a hot boyfriend like Kate. When 1994 rolls around, audiences see Jeanette turn 16 and is now sporting a smile with no braces and straight hair. She is woken up by Jamie Henson (Froy Gutierrez), who’s now her boyfriend.
Kate has been missing for a while, and Jeanette has seemingly taken over her life. She's even becoming besties with Kate’s friends after growing apart from her own. Jeanette, Jamie, and her newfound friends all go to the roller rink for her birthday, and from any onlooker, Jeanette and her boyfriend look like the perfect couple.
However, that quickly changes when Kate is miraculously freed and Jeanette’s new life begins to crumble. She goes over to Jamie’s house when she hears about Kate, and in an appalling moment, Jamie punches Jeanette. The question still on the minds of Cruel Summer fans after eight episodes is: Why did he punch her?
Why did Jamie punch Jeanette on 'Cruel Summer'? Here's one fan's theory.
Fans were totally shocked after seeing Jamie run out of his house and punch Jeanette. The crazy thing is that Jeanette doesn't go and tell her parents what Jamie does but instead says that she got hit by a volleyball and still wants to be with him after he hits her. It would seem that Jamie punched her, thinking that she had something to do with Kate's disappearance, but if he loved her, why wouldn't he first talk to her before becoming physically violent? Is there more to this?
A fan posted on Reddit in a Cruel Summer discussion group about the theory they had on why Jamie punched Jeanette. The member shared, "I do not believe Jamie punched Jeanette because Kate told him Jeanette saw her in the basement. Instead, I think he punched her because Jeanette took Jamie to Martin's house. ... Jamie would feel too guilty about this to tell Kate, and the guilt he feels likely makes him want to be there for her even more."
The fan wonders if Jamie and Jeanette had sex in Martin Harris's (Blake Lee) house, and that would explain why Jamie was upset and so mad. Another fan commented and said, "This is a fantastic theory and the one I’m sticking to for now. The emotion he was displaying could be because they had just had sex in the house and he’s coping with the fact Kate was there the whole time."
In Episode 8 of Cruel Summer, Jamie had planned on going to Jeanette's house to apologize for hitting her.
However, he drinks and drives and gets into a car accident. Jaime does finally apologize, but that doesn't happen until 1995. Audiences saw Jamie beg Jeanette to talk to him in the same episode, and when she ventures to his garage, he admits that he will "regret what he did every day" for his entire life. Jamie tells her that he thought at the time that he was defending Kate when he punched Jeanette. Is Jamie telling the truth? It would appear that way, but with this show, you truly never know.
Watch Cruel Summer on Freeform on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST.