we Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 5 Review: As The Carny Gods Intended ~ Naija Poets

Don't let the flashing lights and rides of the County Fair fool you. The true draw was the sinister origin of Martin putting his first moves on Kate.

The July 29th events on Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 5 were an important chapter for the story of Cruel Summer Season 1.

Both Kate's and Jeanette's plots revealed key parts to their stories and how they grew into their 1995 selves. Just like the episode title teased, the carnival delivered what it intended.

"As The Carny Gods Intended" gave Jeanette the much-needed sympathy she didn't have.

Jeanette put up a huge wall in 1995 after being targeted by everyone due to Kate's accusations. She pushed everyone away -- her dad, brother, lawyers, Angela, and even the viewers. She treated the worldly coldly to pretend like she didn't care.

Her karaoke breakdown with Angela was the first gleaming bit of hope in 1995 that showed us a hint of the Jeanette we knew from the 1993 and 1994 days. Beneath the rough and rebellious shell was a person scared of the trial and losing.

Granted, Jeanette could still be at fault; her singing and tears with Angela didn't clear her of suspicion. But, the panic attack humanized 1995 Jeanette and chipped away at the walls.

Regardless of her winning or losing the trial, Jeanette was still a teenager treated terribly by the world.

What did she expect to happen after talking to Kate during the 1994 County Fair?

Kate made bold accusations against her that weren't going to be resolved after one chat. And if anyone else saw her pursuing Kate through the mirror maze, that would make her look like a stalker tormenting Kate further. Jeanette didn't need more bad rumors in her town.

Derek was right in his advice. Jeanette needed to leave Jamie and Kate alone because they had their opinions about her, and nothing she would say could change that.

Her only mistake was not starting her legal recourse sooner to clear her name (if she's innocent).

Her downward spiral has been at a sharp pace throughout the summers. After Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 1, everything in Kate's life takes a hit, starting with 1994.

Even her awkward date with Gideon in 1993 was a better time than her current life.

This summer exposed three significant details for her: 1) Mallory was a terrible friend, emotionally manipulating Jeanette to do things that made her uncomfortable, 2) Jeanette cared too much about other people's opinions of her, and 3) Jeanette idolized Kate.

Jeanette: Why are you doing this?
Angela: You deserve kindness, Jeanette.
Jeanette: I don’t want it.
Angela: You’ve built a fortress around yourself for good reason. But if you never leave the fortress, even to sing a little karaoke, it’s a prison.

This probably explains why Jeanette dropped Mallory at the first chance to be popular. She lived her Kate fantasy and became friends with the people she wanted to hang with. Jeanette was a good person in 1993, but she was too envious of who she wasn't.

It's a shame she had to hurt people like Gideon in the process.

"As The Carny Gods Intended" revealed Angela's origin story and when she met Greg for the first time. Did anyone else like their meet-cute?

Greg and Angela's first chat was so random that no one could've predicted they would get together in the future. Though Vince totally felt the sparks in the video store, he knew something was up from the way they looked at each other.

And based on Cindy's day-drinking at home, the bumps in their marriage may be kicking into gear now. Greg could handle the town gossip, but Cindy was not strong enough.

Greg: Being on your side cost me my job, my reputation, my family as I once knew it. I bet it will probably cost me this house too.
Jeanette: So, that’s a yes?
Greg: If anyone asks, you were the perfect daughter. Your first word was “Dada” and you wouldn’t hurt a fly.
Jeanette: Thank you.
Greg: That I know of.
[He drinks a beer]

In 1995, Greg had a great conversation with Jeanette about what he sacrificed by saying he believed her.

His marriage to Cindy was a huge casualty. Cruel Summer is showcasing how strong of a character Greg is to the Turner family. He kept things together, even when everything fell apart in his life.

Jamie, on the other hand, came across terribly during every moment with Kate.

Did he truly believe that gaslighting Kate was going to work out in his favor? Seriously, blaming Kate's trauma for "seeing a fake kiss" was possibly one of the worst things he could've said.

Jamie: What about Jeanette? I didn’t kiss her … since before. I promise you.
Kate: I want to believe you, but…
Jamie: You can believe me! I don’t know what you’ve heard, but I’m telling you right here…
Kate: I didn’t hear anything, I followed you that night!
Jamie What?
Kate: I saw you with my own eyes.

Kate wasn't gullible; she followed him and knew exactly what he had done with Jeanette. Jamie needed to own up to his lies and come clean that it was a parting goodbye.

It's good that he apologized to Kate in 1995, but it was too little too late. He made Kate doubt her mind and placed the blame on her for seeing things.

Jamie is the worst.

Speaking of also being the worst, Martin went into full grooming territory.

The scenes at the 1993 County Fair were important because they showed that Martin's tactics were working. He was subtle, he lowered Kate's guard, and his chat influenced her to think of him differently.

Sylvia: [Via tape recording] Are you familiar with the concept of grooming?
Kate: Are you saying Martin befriended me because he planned to kidnap me?
Sylvia: On some level, yes.

On Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 4, Martin and Kate had an ambiguous flirtation, but their chat at the water gun booth was a glaring red flag!

Martin was hardcore flirting with Kate. Kate lightly flirted right back. It was a recipe for disaster based on everything we know of what happened.

Could the flirting and Kate's crush be why Martin's ghost called her a liar?

The important detail to the case here was that Martin was grooming her. He was an older authority figure in her life who treated her with kindness and manipulated her. She had no way of knowing that he was going to kidnap and torture her.

Having her bury the pink stuffed bunny at his grave (and destroying the tombstone) was a great symbolic scene because she was letting go of all the guilt and anger she kept tight.

Martin did a lot of damage, both physically and mentally. While looking like a simple toy, the bunny meant so much in the grander scheme of things, and getting rid of it will give Kate strength to move on from the past.

Last Timely Thoughts:

  • Martin's face when he had to give Jeanette the scrunchie was equal parts sinister and terrifying.
  • There hasn't been a scene of Jeanette and Kate talking with each other since the series premiere. They've only been chasing each other to talk, like on Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 3.
  • Mallory and Kate going to the County Fair in 1995 to see if Jeanette was running the dunk tank was peak pettiness.
  • Jeanette and Kate both like to save things. This could be foreshadowing something major for the future.

Now, over to you, Cruel Summer fans!

What did you think of "As The Carny Gods Intended"?

Did Angela win you over with karaoke? How does Martin's obsession evolve next? Why didn't Jamie just come clean when Kate revealed the truth?

If you missed the latest episode of Cruel Summer, you can watch Cruel Summer online via TV Fanatic. Come back here and share your thoughts in the comments below.

source https://www.tvfanatic.com/2021/05/cruel-summer-season-1-episode-5-review-as-the-carny-gods-intende/


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