Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Cruel Summer Season 1, Episode 7
Cruel Summer Season 1, Episode 7 takes place around August 29, 1993, 1994 and 1995, Kate Wallis’s birthday. Similar to the first episode of the season, which introduced us to Jeanette via a window into her birthday spread across these three years, this episode delivers some explosive truths that all correspond with this particular day.
Perhaps the most shocking revelation comes from the 1993 segment when we find out the truth about how Kate wound up in captivity. When Kate’s birthday starts in 1993, everything is mostly cheery. But sadly, her birthday isn’t a happy affair.
It starts out well enough, with Kate going to the mall with her friends and Jamie. Jamie surprises her with a beautiful promise ring. Kate isn’t as enthusiastic about the ring as he might have hoped. Despite only being 16-years-old, Jamie is already imagining their future together with a big house and lots of children. Kate isn’t on the same page but pretends to be to make him happy.
While at the mall, Jamie gets drunk on a flash Tennille sneaks in and ruins the day for Kate. Not only does he manage to spill cheap liquor on Kate’s dress, but his sloppiness makes her late for the Wallis family dinner party planned for her that night.
Trying to get home on time, Kate and Jamie stop in Martin’s front yard so Jamie can pee. As luck would have it, Martin comes outside and catches them. He offers to give them a ride back to Kate’s. In the car, with Jamie passed out in the backseat, Kate tells Martin that she can’t keep the big family secret she’s been hiding anymore (Joy’s affair). Martin advises her to unload if it will make her feel better.
So, when Kate gets home, she finally confronts her parents and tells her dad what she saw Joy doing after the garden party. It goes just as disastrously as you might expect. Joy refuses to admit that her daughter is telling the truth and things become increasingly heated between them, culminating in Joy striking Kate across the face. To make matters worse, Kate’s dad takes her mom’s side, choosing silence rather than sticking up for his daughter.
Kate decides to pack her things and runaway straight to Martin Harris’s house! Yes, Kate chose to go to Martin’s of her own volition. Not that it excuses Martin holding her hostage! She chose him because it was the only place she could think of where her mom wouldn’t find her.
Cruel Summer Season 1, Episode 7 recap: In 1994, Joy tries to convince Kate to go on the Marsha Bailey Show.
In 1994, Joy wants Kate to go on the Marsha Bailey Show so she can tell the world her side of the story. She also starts to become closer friends with Mallory, who happens to be the only person Kate invites over to spend time with on her birthday. They wind up getting high and watching movies together, even inviting Kate’s sister Ashley to join them.
Ultimately, it’s Kate’s dad that convinces her to go on the Marsha Bailey Show. He advises her not to immediately dismiss the idea just because it was her mom’s plan. Rod also apologizes to Kate for not supporting her last summer when the big fight happened between her and her mom.
He also tells her that she’s his daughter, it doesn’t matter if they’re not related by blood, he has been her father since the moment they met. As for how he managed to forgive Joy for her affair, he says Kate’s kidnapping was an earthquake, making everything else feel like a speed bump.
Cruel Summer Season 1, Episode 7 recap: Derek finds out Kate lied in 1995.
Two significant things happen in the 1995 portion of this episode. One, Mallory finds out that Joy is behind sending that letter calling Kate a liar. While going through some of the things the Wallis’s plans to give away, Mallory finds a broken printer. The reason it’s broken is because a piece of paper is jammed inside it, one that is identical to the message left on their front door. Kate confronts her mother about this and Joy admits it.
They start fighting again, but this time it’s far more emotional than their previous confrontations. Joy admits that she didn’t protect Kate from Martin in the past, so she’s determined to defend her against everything else even if Kate hates her for it.
The main reason she left the “Liar” message is that she wanted Kate to take the lawsuit more seriously. She also admits to being jealous of the relationship Kate has with her dad now, as they’re very close in the same way that Kate and Joy once were. Kate hasn’t been able to forgive her mother. But she does admit to missing her.
Elsewhere, Derek and Ashley sleep together. Afterward, Ashley goes to shower and Derek uses her computer to check his email. But in the process, he discovers the messages between Kate and Ashley’s fake account. He prints them out and gives them to Jeanette. The messages reveal that Kate went to Martin’s on her own and Jeanette comments that “this changes everything.”
New episodes of Cruel Summer Season 1 air Tuesday nights on Freeform.