Is Jeanette Turner lying about not finding Kate Wallis? That's the big question everyone was trying to figure out on Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 3.
Kate pointed the finger at her, but the only proof Jeanette had was her word.
If there's one thing that was made clear about Jeanette, it's that her word can't fully be trusted. Jeanette likes the thrill and stretching the truth where she can.
"Off With A Bang" laid the groundwork for why there's doubt in Jeanette's innocence.
In a mystery, this type of chapter exposes the loose threads that unravel the expected assumptions. Specifically, it's the leading theory that Jeanette was innocent and Kate lied because of the Jamie situation. The theory is still active, but Jeanette simply saying she's innocent can't be taken at face value.
[Jeanette turns to Jamie]
Jamie: You were the one that told me that Kate went missing, remember? How it seemed like at the time you were the only person who knew before anybody else did. How was that?
Jeanette: Screw you.
[She turns to leave]
Jeanette lied to her friends and family. Jeanette loved to do dangerous things for the thrill. Jeanette visited Martin's house on more than one occasion.
Jeanette wasn't the complete victim she portrayed herself as.
Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 3 was a slow pace in the storyline, but it's an important one that builds the nuances and character development. We now know more about Jeanette and a few more main characters.
The list between the trio might've been Jeanette's undoing from the start. The drive to be rebellious and complete the list gave her a bit of danger she enjoyed.
Based on the 1995 flashforward, Jeanette snuck into Martin's house A LOT. She already stole a 1992 yearbook (anyone else thought it was a foreshadowing?), but there could be more items she took in the past.
Vince: I need to ask you something, and you need to tell me the truth. Jeanette, how many times have you been in this house?
Jeanette: A lot. I got addicted to the rush of it.
The key to his house, the yearbook, and Mallory's joint were the items she kept onto currently in 1993.
If Kate's accusation was right, it means Jeanette discovered Kate when she snuck in with her key to take something. And if that's the case, Kate was already kidnapped when Jeanette first snuck in to steal the yearbook.
The most confusing part of "Off With A Bang" was Jeanette's handling of Mallory's weed.
Why didn't she just keep it instead of pretending to flush it? Why need an elaborate lie to keep a joint?
Mallory only wanted to smoke it after it was taken as contraband anyway, but she probably would've been fine if they kept it. All Jeanette's lying did was get Mallory grounded and nearly broke-up their friendship.
The lengths Jeanette went to steal it, lie about it to everyone, and make amends with Mallory over a joint didn't help her case at all. She proved to be a character who would double down on a lie.
Could Cindy's mother's intuition be right? She was the only Turner to doubt Jeanette and her innocence.
Cindy's doubt could be what eventually broke up her marriage.
The looks and whispering she saw during the 1994 fireworks BBQ made her visibly uncomfortable. Cindy wants to be in the popular crowd, and if her daughter made her a pariah, that would add a lot of tension within the family. Plus, Greg dismissed her worrying about Jeanette, so that wasn't a good side.
The seeds of what tore up Greg and Cindy's marriage were planted. We're getting a deep, slow look into how handling the rumors drove them apart.
Jeanette and Kate's confrontations are the most electric parts of Cruel Summer.
Kate's anger on the street could've put everything to a complete halt. She would've ended things right then and there if Jeanette had gotten out of the car.
Her 1994 movie choices were a bit suspicious: Silence of the Lambs and Misery. (Not counting Groundhog Day, but it worked too with how it related to her.)
You are actually trash, Jeanette Turner!Kate
The movies provided solace with what she went through, but they also brought up key details regarding what Martin did.
Vince's off-hand comment about her choices may not be so off-hand. Either he foreshadowed a sinister plot of her shaping a story against Jeanette, or it's a theory that's going nowhere.
Speaking of Vince, did anyone predict his romance with Ben?
The two looked to be so in love in 1994, and Ben definitely checked out Vince in the convenience store on Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 2. Something must've led them to explore their feelings during 1993 for them to be together in the future.
It's good that they found a nice safe place to be together in their small town, even for a dance.
Also, I loved the cameo of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11 queen Ra'Jah O'Hara as the bartender! It's such a small surprise, but if you picked up on it, it's a sweet treat.
Vince's deposition exposed a lot of his mentality and friendship in 1995. He and Jeanette may not be the closest friends anymore, but he still went out of his way to protect her.
And, it proved that Mallory might be telling a different story to the lawyers. One that will be contradicting Vince and potentially more accurate.
Vince: Really? What? No mocking whatsoever?!
Mallory: She went through something. I’m not heartless!
Vince: Yeah, but you’re you. Look, I find her movie selection creepy.
There's something off about the friendship, almost as if they're all keeping a secret. How did Vince know to check Martin's abandoned house to find Jeanette?
He either knows Jeanette was telling the truth or that she lied. His strained friendship with Jeanette could cause trouble for him when the truth is revealed.
Last Timely Thoughts:
Jeanette shouldn't make excuses for Jamie. Jamie punched her! Kick him to the curb!
Jeanette's story hinged on the necklace she claimed she threw away. The cops should check the cart to see if anyone else bought the same necklace. Also, when did she throw it away?
The rehearsing scene of the emotional testimony was creepier than Jeanette being manipulative.
- Greg was positive that Jeanette leaked the lawsuit against Kate early. If she did it, that's a dumb move, but it wouldn't benefit her since the world already hated her.
Now, over to you, Cruel Summer fans!
What did you think of "Off With A Bang"?
Did Jeanette discover Kate when she snuck into Martin's house? What drove Ben and Vince apart? Will Vince lying about Jeanette come back to haunt him?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.