Cruel Summer Season 1, Episode 6 recap: Jeanette takes the fall for Vince.
Cruel Summer Season 1, Episode 6, “An Ocean Inside Me,” finally spotlights Cindy Turner and continues to explore Jeanette’s dark side. This week’s episode is set on approximately August 15, 1993, 1994 and 1995, Cindy and Greg Turner’s anniversary date.
In 1993, their anniversary was a happy affair. Jeanette and Derek make breakfast for their parents. When Cindy and Greg finally emerge from their bedroom, it’s with tousled hair and big grins. They’re in love and content.
Continuing in their new tradition of crossing things off the big summer to-do list, Mallory, Jeanette and Vince head to the mall to “steal something.” Everything Mallory adds to the list is illegal, and she has a bad habit of pressuring her friends into doing things they’re uncomfortable with until they relent.
Having already fulfilled her stealing quota by swiping Martin’s yearbook, Jeanette accompanies Mallory and Vince to the mall for moral support. Mallory comes prepared with a security tag remover. She and Jeanette take a bunch of clothes into a boutique dressing room for Mallory to pick her target.
Outside the room, Tennille Peterson’s mom, Tanya (Kim Jackson Davis), assists Martin Harris! Tanya is all over Martin. She’s clearly attracted to him. With Tanya distracted by the assistant principal, it’s easy for Mallory and Jeanette to make a run for it with a pair of stolen flannels tied around their waists.
Vince doesn’t get off as easily. The second he leaves the record store with a new Liz Phair CD in hand, the security alarms go off, and a rent-a-cop catches them in the act. Thinking fast, Jeanette grabs the CD from Vince and tells her friends to make a run for it. She’s carted off to mall jail, where she comes face-to-face with Jamie, who was also apprehended for putting something in the fountain on a dare.
For someone who has just gotten in trouble, you’d think Jeanette would be more somber, but she’s practically giddy at doing something so reckless. She tells Jamie that she makes trouble all the time. She just usually doesn’t get caught. And at this point, we know that’s true since she’s been breaking into Martin’s house, stole Mallory’s weed, etc.
When Greg comes to pick Jeanette up from mall jail, she tells him the truth about what happened, and he lets her off scot-free. Later, at her house, Vince comes over to help her clean clothes out of her closet. He’s surprised she’s so relaxed about almost getting into trouble. Jeanette says there is something cool about skirting the line. She also mentions how frustrated she is with Mallory’s forceful nature.
Vince picks up the tie-dye shirt we saw Jeanette wearing in one of the earlier episodes when she went to a workout class with her mom. He thinks she could keep it, but Jeanette says that’s it not “her” anymore.
That night, Jeanette makes another visit to Martin’s house to snoop through his CDs. She almost gets caught when Martin comes home suddenly, with Tanya Peterson in tow. The two drink wine and chat, all while Jeanette watches from the nearby audio closet. Tanya even reveals that she has been lying about Tennille’s birth father all along. She’s guaranteed to get plenty of child support in her divorce, and her now ex-husband has no clue Tennille isn’t his daughter. This juicy tidbit will prove important to Jeanette later.
Tanya eventually catches Jeanette in the closet, but they make a deal. Tanya won’t say anything about seeing her there if Jeanette keeps quiet about what she just heard.