Cruel Summer is a massive hit and people can’t get enough of Freeform’s newest show. It really highlights that you can’t judge a book by its cover and also showcases victims of abuse from a new lens. It keeps people guessing from week to week, which is definitely why it’s so addicting.
One unexpected relationship to blossom on the show was between Kate and Mallory, given that Mallory was very against Jeanette’s obsession with Kate in 1993 in the first place. And it turns out that Mallory was able to really give Kate something she needed all along according to star Olivia Holt. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for Cruel Summer, through episode 8].
‘Cruel Summer’ shows Kate Wallis’ ‘perfect’ life crumble and ripped away from her
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Cruel Summer is all about Kate Wallis’ disappearance and her eventual return and the aftermath of it. It also shows how Jeanette Turner’s life and Kate’s turned upside down because of the implications behind it. Everything seems to be an illusion; other than the fact that Kate is a victim, not much else is definitive. And Kate’s relationship with her mother Joy is a major precursor to more hardcore lies later on.
Just as Joy Wallis describes to Vice-Principal Martin Harris the day after Kate’s gone missing, there is a “hush, hush” nature to their small Texas town that bleeds into how the Wallises live their lives. Everything is all for appearances and a lot of Kate’s “perfect” life is for show. As she told her mother in one of their major arguments after she came back: maybe her upbringing is one of the reasons why she was so quick to succumb to Martin Harris’ charm. Because she was raised to be helpful and be accommodating to adult figures in power.
There is also the subject of grooming to note as well, on Harris’ end. He knew what he was doing to make her feel special and stoke the flames of her affection for him when, of course, it was all wrong.
Still, Kate’s polished life with her lace bed trim and big house hide a selfish mother who’s all about looks.
Mallory gives Kate some truth and honesty, which she’s craving
Kate, having Joy who’s so good at lying as a mother, is in dire need of honesty before she can even verbalize it and realize it. Even with her two friends in 1993, it was very shallow. So, when she meets Mallory, that’s when she seems to have a real, true bond with someone for the first time.
In an interview with Seventeen on June 2, Holt, who plays Kate Wallis, said that Malloy’s honesty is changing her in ways that is allowing her to “create a vision for herself” that she hadn’t done before.
“Kate saw her mom, the way she grew up, and wanted to be exactly like her,” Holt explained. “At one point, her and her mom were inseparable. After she goes and experiences this, she starts to unfold in a really complex way, but really beautiful way. She is starting to stand her ground and for her own opinions and there’s something really liberating about that.”
Mallory is never anyone but herself, according to Harley Quinn Smith
While some theories are pinning negative energy on Mallory, it’s easy to see the positive effects she’s had on Kate. From standing up to Joy for smaller things like her birthday being carefree, or bigger issues like the fact that Joy tried to retraumatize her daughter with a fake stalker note, Mallory has been a really solid friend. And again, very honest and open. Mallory has been a constant for Kate when she needs it.
Harley Quinn Smith, who plays Mallory, told Refinery29 on May 26 that regardless of those aforementioned theories, Mallory is who she portrays herself to be: open and honest to a brutal fault.
“Mallory does stay pretty true to who she is as a person, which I appreciate because she’s just the same old Mallory under different circumstances, and in different times in her life,” Smith said. “It’s so interesting to get to play her in those different stages and when she’s going through those different things.”
This will make for a very interesting finale if Mallory ends up actually having bad intentions in the end.
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