Freeform’s Cruel Summer has largely left viewers in the dark about what really happened during Kate’s time inside Martin’s home.
But Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 9 finally lifted the lid on some of the biggest mysteries of the series while simultaneously showing the way Martin manipulated Kate.
TV Fanatic had the chance to speak with Olivia Holt (Kate) and Blake Lee (Martin) about the chilling episode.
Holt revealed that the installment was awesome to film for man reasons but stresses that it was also heavy.
“There’s a lot of layers to this episode,” she stressed to TV Fanatic.
Unveiling what happened in the house included showing the true extent of Martin’s manipulation, and the actors wanted to make sure they were executing it in the right way.
“It was definitely like one of the most challenging experiences I’ve ever had as an actor,” added Blake.
“It felt like a marathon. We were like in this house for ten days, pretty much morning till night shooting and dealing with such heavy stuff.”
“And it was the most incredible collaborative experience I’ve ever had,” the actor added.
One of the most pivotal scenes involved Kate leaving the house and viewers learning that Martin was awake when she returned.
I asked Blake whether he thought Martin awoke the moment she left.
“I honestly think that that when she leaves he’s unaware, because I think that he’s in a place where he started to see the cracks,” said Blake.
“He sees her depression starting to set in. So I think that he would have done anything he could to keep her or make her stay.”
“I genuinely feel like he was awoken when she came back into the house. And I think that it’s very, very manipulative to use it against her when he does.”
“He knows not to say anything at that moment because she came back. So he knows that he has the power still. It very much just falls in line with all of the grooming that he had done to her up until that point, where he’s like, ‘I’m going to use this when I need to.'”
The power dynamic in the relationship changes dramatically when Martin realizes Kate left for some time in the middle of the night, something Blake believes is the turning point for Martin.
When confronted about leaving in the middle of the night, Kate describing Martin as her kidnapper results in a change of demeanor in him.
“I think hearing her say basically you’re a monster and it’s everything that he knows he is, but that he is been running away from his whole life,” adds Blake.
“I think hearing the person that he quote-unquote loves more than anything say that is the, the breaking point for him.”
Another big moment involved Jeanette making her way into the house after seeing Martin at the mall. This also revealed how the snowglobe got out of the house, but we also learned Jeanette knew somebody else was in the house.
Olivia believes Jeanette kept that secret to herself because ultimately she didn’t want anyone to know she had a key to the house and was making her way in there at her own leisure.
As for the relationship with Martin, we do see Kate skip school, remain in the house and try to make a frozen pizza for Martin, but Kate was adamant about not being a very good liar.
“She liked spending time with Martin. That quality time, It meant a lot to her because I think she really trusted Martin, but I also think that she was scared to go home back to her mom after the state that they were in at that time,” Holt shared.
An earlier scene in the episode was pretty telling about Martin’s plans for Kate. He gave her books and told her to research destinations for places they could go for her 18th birthday, but it turned out there was an around the world theme for the school dance, one that Kate would never be allowed to attend.
“I actually think that that’s the very first time that he really starts to see her missing her life outside of his house. So I think at that moment, it’s more of just a distraction,” Blake shared.
“It’s it’s him going ‘How can I give her something to do that will also give her something to look forward to?'”
“It was just another manipulative thing on his part. I think it was just him giving her hope in some way, something to look forward to,” the actor explained.
Blake also touched on the scene with Martin pouring two drinks, noting that it was all intentional, feeding into the manipulation.
“It’s all on purpose.”
As we look towards Cruel Summer Season 1 Episode 10 — the season finale, we’re in for the mother of all revelations.
“We’re gonna find out who Annabel is,” Holt teased.
“They’re going to be blown away when they find out,” Blake added, before saying that the cast share all of the theories they see on line with each other.
Okay, Cruel Summer Fanatics!
What are your thoughts on the big reveals?
Are you excited for the finale?
Hit the comments with your best Annabel theories!
Remember you can watch Cruel Summer online right here via TV Fanatic.
Catch the season finale, Tuesday, June 15 on Freeform at 10/9c!
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.