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Why Some Fans Were Frustrated With The Finale Of Cruel Summer Season 1

Freeform's breakout hit of 2021 was a refreshing surprise for drama thriller fans. Executive produced by Jessica Biel, "Cruel Summer" explores the interior lives of teenage girls, told through a dramatic mystery that takes place during the summers of 1993, 1994, and 1995. Though full of nostalgia and pop hits of the time, "Cruel Summer" doesn't rest on surface-level aesthetics. Instead, it delves into the overwhelming need to fit in and deep-rooted trauma that comes back to haunt the characters. 

The mystery series revolves around a teenage girl named Jeanette (Chiara Aurelia), who has a tight-knit group of friends. Even so, she longs to be like resident rich girl Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt). She finally gets her chance when Kate goes missing and Jeanette seamlessly fits into her life.

This comes as a shock when Kate not only returns after a year of captivity, but accuses Jeanette of knowing where she'd been the entire time. Told through three interweaving timelines, not everything is as it seems, and it is only at the end of the season that the truth of Kate's situation is revealed. Despite the many twists and turns in "Cruel Summer," fans were a little upset about one thing related to the Season 1 finale.

Many guessed the Mallory twist because of Reddit theories

While being held captive by Martin Harris (Blake Lee), Kate is certain that someone had seen her inside the house. The shocking reveal of the first season of "Cruel Summer" is that it isn't Jeanette who sees her, but Mallory (Harley Quinn Smith), who takes Jeanette's bike. After a season of Kate and Mallory becoming close friends, many fans on Reddit saw this coming.

"After rewatching the show right after the finale, there was SO MUCH foreshadowing for EVERYTHING. the Card on the bike, 'Hey thats not my bike!'", posted u/Jaeger562, who continues by pointing out that "Mallory even being part of the show and ending up friends with Kate meant she had to have been involved somehow with what happened to Kate." 

Many fans guessed the ending because of the subreddit. Many fan theories floating around on Reddit ended up being confirmed when Season 1 ended. While some fans called the show predictable, others blamed the Reddit thread for the lack of surprise, with u/snippystring even saying, "I don't think I would have be able to predict anything if I didn't read the 50+ theories on this sub."

Mallory's role in not helping Kate is not the only twist that fans predicted, as Redditors "also predicted Kate would be the one to shoot Martin given the knowledge we had about her 'being a good shot' and that Jeannette really was aware that Kate had been in there," commented u/No-Commission-915. It turns out that "Cruel Summer" fans have become such savvy watchers that little seems to escape their attention.