Cruel Summer Season 1, Episode 6 recap: In 1994, Cindy reaches the end of her rope with Jeanette.
The bulk of the 1994 segment revolves around Cindy and the dissolution of her marriage to Greg. Their anniversary is hardly a cause for celebration this year, even as Jeanette tries to salvage the morning. Cindy is impressed when a big gift basket arrives, thinking Greg got her something nice. But the card is addressed to Greg. It’s a thank-you for helping Angela find her house. Cindy’s question says it all, “Who’s Angela?” Did Greg cheat on his wife?
All of the rumors and vitriol aimed at the Turner family are taking their toll on Cindy. Prank calls are now an everyday occurrence. While Greg and Dererk are content to believe Jeanette, Cindy’s gut tells her there is more to the story. She investigates Jeanette’s room while her daughter isn’t home and discovers a key taped to the underside of her jewelry box. Mother’s intuition tells her that the key goes to Martin’s house.
Greg doesn’t believe her. His refusal to listen to Cindy is causing serious tension between them. She tries to convince him to test the key, but he doesn’t think it would look good for either of them to be seen near Martin’s house, and he does have a point. But Cindy is undeterred. She does end up testing it.
When Greg gets home from work, Cindy tells him that she’s leaving to stay with her sister for a while. It’s not just all the stress over Jeanette that’s causing problems, but the fact Cindy has put her life on hold for years. As she told Derek earlier in the episode, “complacency is a disease.” She used to want to be a flight attendant but was forced to give up that dream when she had kids.
Simply put, Cindy isn’t happy and hasn’t been happy for a while. The rumors around her daughter, Jeanette’s lies and Greg’s refusal to listen to her are just the final nails in the coffin. She does leave him the key before she leaves and recommends he try it. Greg does, and when he realizes it fits, you can tell he’s now in the same excruciating pain that his wife has been battling for months now.
1994 Jeanette is still close friends with Vince even though she and Mallory have fallen out. She visits him at the video store and catches him with Ben. Jeanette is supportive of their relationship, and for now, things are good between them. But then Tennille and Renee show up, and things get awkward fast. Jeanette tries to extend an olive branch, and they blow her off.
On television, Tanya Peterson goes live on the news to offer her own sordid Martin Harris tale. She claims to have been a “near victim” of his madness, claiming that he was forceful and shared overly intimate details with her during their date. Jeanette knows this isn’t true, having witnessed it, and says it out loud, “She’s lying.”
Tennille turns vicious in defense of her mother, cutting Jeanette down to size with a few caustic remarks before she and Renee storm out, “Let’s just go to Blockbuster.”