'Cruel Summer Episode 8' Recap and a New Annabelle Theory

The Freeform TV series Cruel Summer Episode 8, “Proof,” recap covers August 30, in 1993, 1994, and 1995. The perspective switched back to Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia) while Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt) wasn’t in any scenes this week. Viewers found out more about Jeanette and what happened on the first day of school in every year. Fans also finally found out what happened to Ben (Nathaniel Ashton) in Cruel Summer. Plus, a new Annabelle theory from a fan is intriguing. Did Jeanette see Kate in Martin Harris’ (Blake Lee) basement? Who is Annabelle? Below are the latest Cruel Summer theories.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from Cruel Summer Episode 8.]

‘Cruel Summer’ Episode 8 recap: 1993

In 1993, Mallory (Harley Quinn Smith) grilled Jeanette about why she was still wearing Kate’s hair scrunchy. Vince (Allius Barnes) tried to smooth things over between the two girls. Then, Martin Harris showed up to greet the teens and invite them back to school.

Mallory insisted that Jeanette and Vince finish their last item on the summer to-do-list. She finished the prank VHS and forced Jeanette and Vince to keep a look out for her while she slipped it in the AV room and hit play for the afternoon announcements. Vince ran into Ben Holloway (Nathaniel Ashton) in the hallway and he invited him to go chat together about their moms both dying. They opened up to each other and bonded in the gym bleachers. Ben regretted not telling his mom that he was gay before she died.

Later, Jeanette overheard a conversation between Kate’s mom, Joy Wallis (Andrea Anders), and Martin. Joy asked the assistant principal if he knew where Kate was. Martin confirmed that Kate did not show up to school, and Joy explained how her daughter ran away. Joy suggested that it was time to involve the authorities, but he insisted it wasn’t necessary and Kate would return home. 

Since both Vince and Jeanette ditched Mallory, Martin Harris found her in the AV room and gave her a detention. Mallory yelled at Jeanette for not keeping watch for her. In response, Jeanette told Mallory she was sick of being bullied and might want to make new friends. This scene looks like it was the official end of their friendship.

Jeanette ran into Jamie Henson (Froy Gutierrez) after eavesdropping in Cruel Summer Episode 8. So, another piece of the puzzle came together. Jamie thought that it was incriminatory that Jeanette knew Kate was missing before many other people. However, it was only because of the conversation she overheard.

Later in 1993, Martin watched the tape that he confiscated from Mallory. He rewound it several times and noticed that behind him, anyone who watched it could see Kate in the window of his house. So, Martin smashed the tape to pieces on the floor.

‘Cruel Summer’ Episode 8 recap: 1994

In 1994, Cruel Summer Episode 8, we found out that at this point in 1994, Kate’s mom, Cindy Turner (Sarah Drew), left their family. Plus, her dad, Greg Turner (Michael Landes), grilled Jeanette about the key to Martin’s house and how many times she used it. Jeanette swore she only used it once for a summer list item in 1993 to play hide-and-seek in an empty house.

Plus, viewers watched Jeanette return to school after rumors began swirling that she saw Kate held captive but didn’t report it. Her best friend, Vince, told Jeanette that tomorrow the rumors won’t be about her anymore. He also took several candid photos of Jeanette in her car (this may come into play later).

However, things went worse than Jeanette imagined at school. Her former friends, Renee (Aaliyah Muhammad) and Tennille (Shelby Surdam), turned on her. Everyone whispered about Jeanette and outright called her names so she cut school early. When she arrived home from school, her father questioned whether she wanted to become a “high school dropout.”

Jamie tried to keep an eye on Jeanette, but Vince caught him and told him to suffer with his guilt. Instead, he turned to alcohol. He sat in his car drinking until his friend, Ben, showed up. Then he planned to drive over and apologize to Jeanette for punching her, but instead he got into a car accident. Ben never played football again.

‘Cruel Summer’ Episode 8 recap: 1995

In 1995, Jeanette gave her lawyer, Denise (Nicole Bilderback), the private chat room discussion between Kate and her sister, Ashley Wallis (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut). To recap Cruel Summer Episode 7, Jeanette’s older brother, Derek Turner (Barrett Carnahan), secretly printed out the conversation. He’s dating Ashley, so he has access to her computer.

The lawyer called the discussion “a glaring inconsistency” in Kate’s story. In the chat room, Kate admitted that she went to Martin’s house willingly. Greg, Denise, and Jeanette were excited about the findings from Derek.

Later, Jeanette attacked her mom for “abandoning” their family while she was “rotting” in Skylin. Cindy also tried to talk Jeanette out of the lawsuit against Kate. In another 1995 scene, we see that Jamie couldn’t find a job because of his “record,” and he begged Jeanette to finally talk to him. She ventured to his garage to talk, and he admitted that he will “regret what he did every day” for the rest of his life. He thought he was defending Kate at the time when he punched Jeanette. He wanted to apologize to Jeanette in 1994, but never made it there because he spiraled out of control.

Jamie also played a voicemail that he got on Christmas Eve a few months after Kate went missing. It freaked Jeanette out so much that she ran to Mallory’s house and asked for the snowglobe back from Martin Harris’ house. Mallory insisted she didn’t have the globe, although she did.

Meanwhile, Angela (Brooklyn Sudano) confronted Greg about not being honest with her. Cindy told Angela that she asked for space. However, Greg insisted that Cindy walked out on them. Angela didn’t want to stand between two people who should still be married. However, Greg insisted that he’s more himself with Angela than he ever was with his wife.

‘Cruel Summer’ Annabelle theories

Every Cruel Summer episode viewers think they might get closer to answering the question of who Annabelle is. However, since Cruel Summer Episode 4, not much was revealed about this mystery character, item, or split-personality. One viewer thinks that Annabelle is a teenager who appeared to Kate the night that Martin was shot.

“Months before she got rescued, Kate said she saw Jeannette. I think she actually saw a different girl: Annabelle,” one viewer wrote on the YouTube trailer. “Annabelle is also the girl from Martin’s old high school, that girl we learned about in episode 7. She was a victim of Martin’s but nobody believed her, so he never got charged. She didn’t feel like she could share what she saw when she found Martin’s house, and saw Kate in the basement.”

Cruel Summer Episode 9 returns to Freeform on June 8, 2021, at 10 p.m. EST. The Cruel Summer Season Finale airs on June 15, 2021.

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