It's a blast from the past for Jeanette Turner on Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 8.

After being a town pariah for so long, it would catch anyone off-guard when a few familiar faces popped back up in her life -- some welcoming and caring for her well-being, while the rest having their own reasons for reconnecting.

And with the court case looming, Jeanette can't risk anyone throwing a wrench into her plans. Though, the past is sure to dig up some skeletons that could unravel everything.

"Proof" was an interesting transition chapter that added more doubt to Jeanette's story.

Much of the pacing focused solely on Jeanette and the points where her life would turn each year. We had Jeanette in 1993 abandoning Mallory and seeing an opportunity to rise, Jeanette in 1994 with everyone hating her, and Jeanette in 1995 with the new evidence.

Her story originally seemed like Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 1 was where everything turned bad for her, but I'd say the years in "Proof" were the points that changed Jeanette's life.

Jeanette ditching Mallory and hearing about Kate's disappearance gave her the push to be popular. Her dealing with the bullying at school led her to stay home/resent the world. And now, there's a snow globe she's afraid of that could ruin it all for her.

There's been a turning point each time that seriously changed her life in big ways.

The end of Mallory and Jeanette's friendship was a long time coming. Not just because we already knew it would happen, but based on the tension between the two, Jeanette and Mallory were not good friends.

It was only a matter of time that one thing would drive them apart. The video prank on the teachers might seem small, but it gave them the chance to face the issues they pushed down for so long.

Mallory did lash out and push Jeanette to do things she didn't want to do. A little encouragement is always good between friends; however, Mallory's words felt like venom and spiteful whenever Jeanette showed any hesitation. She crossed the line into being a bully at times.

The need to finish their summer list wasn't worth how she was treating her friends. Or, pulling off a prank that everyone would forget after a week.

Jeanette, on the other hand, found the first opportunity to end her friendship.

Did anyone else feel like she did it as a defense mechanism for not coming clean about overhearing Joy/Martin? Like, she'd rather end her friendship than admit she went to talk with Joy?

Jeanette seemed like she pulled anything out of her hat to fight Mallory and her cutting words. Mallory abandoning them during the CD theft was the first thing that came to mind and she used that to hammer in another reason why she hated Mallory.

Jeanette: I have news, Mallory.
Mallory: I don’t care! You abandoned me!
Jeanette: I have a good reason. Kate Wallis…
Mallory: Shut up about Kate Wallis! A) she’s the worst, and B) she’s way out of your league.
Jeanette: She’s not.
Mallory: What’s wrong with your league? Our league with me and Vince?
Jeanette: Nothing! That’s not what I meant.

If Jeanette and Mallory wanted to be friends again, they could've resolved this. They had a high school fight about issues they kept buried deep; all they needed to do was chat it out since their problems were so small.

Both of them still being angry showed just how petty they were.

Speaking of Joy's meeting with Martin, add this scene as another reason why Joy is the worst.

Granted, she wouldn't have known that Martin was involved in Kate's kidnapping, and she only thought Kate ran away. However, she treated the disappearance like another socialite move she could control with her inner circle and connections.

Kate was missing for several days; Joy needed to take it more seriously. Get the police, check with her friends and their parents (who obviously knew nothing about it), Jamie, or the people close to them. And, don't rebuff anyone who wants to help, even if it was Jeanette 1993.

Joy didn't handle the situation properly. She should've dropped all pretensions the second she heard Kate wasn't at school.

Ben and Vince's first meeting was so sweet and tender. They didn't need some elaborate date to show their interest; all they needed was a deep chat.

Bonding over their similar losses was a great character development moment because it explained more about their pasts and how the loss affected them in the present. Flirty looks always help, but them understanding each other made more sense as to why they connected so quickly.

And the scene of them locking pinkies in the gym should've been framed with the perfect rom-com music!

Jamie: Everyone at school today has been torturing her!
Vince: You kinda made it open season when you gave her a black eye!

It's a shame that Ben's accident in 1994 might be how their relationship ends. It seems like Ben's reaction to the injury will cause him to push Vince away.

There's nothing Vince did or could've done to fix it; the change was out of his hands. Sometimes that's how a relationship ends, and if Ben isn't letting Vince in, there's nothing he can do to make it work.

Ben should be mad at Jamie for driving drunk. Jamie should've known better than to drive after wallowing in his car about Kate and Jeanette; he keeps causing chaos for people around him.

Jamie's story is a case of a downward spiral. He had everything pre-1993 summer, but a few decisions toppled his life like a stack of dominoes. Some of it was out of his control, while the rest he made himself, like lying to Kate on Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 5.

Jeanette: Why did you do it?
Jamie: I thought I was defending Kate. I didn’t have a reason not to believe her.
Jeanette: Over me? You knew me!
Jamie: Yeah…
Jeanette: And now? Who do you believe?

There's a bit of sympathy for his troubles finding a job; he could probably be a good employee at Angela's bar had the policy given him a chance. Though, there seem to be more issues at play that he needs to overcome, like his sadness and drinking.

Jamie apologizing to Jeanette was the right thing to do; it should've happened much earlier, but he finally got there.

Regardless of her seeing Kate or not, Jamie hurt Jeanette in many ways, like punching her. And Vince was right: Jamie played his part in painting a bad picture about Jeanette. He's just as much at fault for making her a pariah as everyone else in the inner circle.

"Proof" had two big revelations introduced that placed doubt on Jeanette's story.

Firstly, Jeanette was all smiles after she talked to Joy about Kate's disappearance. She wouldn't have "seen" Kate at that point, but you would expect her to look a little more concerned than she did, knowing that Kate was missing. Jeanette looked like her chance to be popular finally happened.

Jeanette: Kate Wallis went to Martin Harris’ house willingly.
Denise: This is not the narrative that she’s presented on the record. It’s a glaring inconsistency in Kate’s story. This could help demonstrate that Kate bent the truth.
Jeanette: Kate won’t contribute to a narrative that paints her anything less than a saint. In reality, she’s a huge liar and now we have proof.

And secondly, Jamie's recording of the answering machine led Jeanette to demand a snow globe back from Mallory.

Will that snow globe play the same music? Did Jeanette steal it from Martin's house?

If it's true, then that means Jeanette would've stolen it sometime after the holidays and possibly could have seen Kate during that time. Either the snow globe will prove Jeanette knew Kate was in that house or it will prove that Jeanette was in Martin's house again. Both outcomes will not be good for her case.

Last Timely Thoughts:

  • Cindy should've worded her advice to Jeanette in a completely different way. It shouldn't have been framed as what she's doing to Kate, but rather that Jeanette needs to accept her part in this trial once it's all done. Like, whether she wins, loses, how it affected her, and that she sued a kidnapping victim.
  • Angela and Greg are so cute and good together. It's great that they talked things out to avoid any confusion about Greg's previous marriage.
  • The evidence is mounting against Jeanette: she had Martin's house key, her necklace was found at his home, her trips to his home, and now the snow globe she might've stolen.
  • How did Mallory miss not seeing Kate in her recording of Martin's house? Granted, Martin looked for it, but the proof was right there in the VHS tape.

Now, over to you, Cruel Summer fans!

What did you think of "Proof"?

Will the snow globe be the smoking gun that proves Jeanette did the crime? Did you side with Mallory or Jeanette during their friendship implosion? Does Ben's accident drive a wedge with his relationship with Vince?

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.



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