Cruel Summer Episode 7, “It’s the End of the World” is a fantastic set-up episode, while also closing loose ends of the past. Typically when writing these recap/reviews I do them in chronological order Summer, Winter, Summer. However, since this episode ended on a HUGE cliffhanger during the Winter of 1999, I’ll be changing the format a little bit. So, let’s begin.
Cruel Summer – Summer 1999
The Summer of 1999 continues to have epic music. We open the day after Luke’s birthday party to the girls cleaning and listing to TLC’s “Creep”. Megan is lamenting the entire party calling it a disaster and a huge “sign we shouldn’t be together”. Isabella being the ride-or-die bestie she is tells Megan to calm down and the universe is sure to give them a do-over. If you remember, Luke and Megan almost kiss before he ran off to throw up in the bathroom.
As the Universe will have it, Luke shows up to talk to Megan while the girls are cleaning. Isabella will not have him just standing around and forcing him to help clean. Once they’re finished, Isabella tells Megan that she should leave to go help Luke lock up the cabin for the storm that’s coming. She’s hoping some alone time for them will break the tension and they’ll finally confess their feelings for each other.
At the cabin, Luke and Megan have a conversation about how they haven’t spent any alone time together since Isabella came to town. There’s tons of flirty tension, but Megan keeps changing the subject and being playful. In a box, Megan finds their old walkie-talkies from when they were kids. They share stories about walking every inch of the woods with them. Luke was always lost and scared, but Megan always found him.
Then, Megan shares a story about scaring Brent, but it turns out she had it mixed up. Megan and Brent scared Luke by putting the walkie-talkie under his bed and pretending they were aliens and Luke ran into the lake. The two decide it’s time to test these bad boys out again and go Twilight running through the woods. Finally, at the edge of the woods, Megan says something about seeing things one way your whole life, and then one day you see it completely differently. This resonates with Luke because after his party he can’t stop thinking about Megan as more than friends. But, before he can confess that Megan runs off again.
They decide to head to the dock but are cutting through the Mustard Man, Ned’s land. Luke warns Megan – via walkie-talkie – to be careful because Ned’s crazy. Megan lets Luke know that she and Jeff broke up so they’re both single now. However, before Luke can reply he bumps into Ned. Turns out Luke is the one on his property and not Megan. Luke is terrified, but Ned is semi-nice. He helps him change the frequency of his walkie-talkie but also tells him to “stay on your side of the line” and not trespass on his property again.
After the scare of his life, Luke finds Megan sitting on the dock waiting for him. The two chat a little bit and Luke can’t stop staring. Eventually, the two hold hands while the Counting Crows’ “I am ready” begins to play in the background. Luke brings up how he remembers that they almost kissed at the party. Megan tries to shrug it off, but Luke won’t let her and they kiss.
CRUEL SUMMER – Summer 2000 [PRESENT DAY]
Megan’s lawyer arrives at her house telling her they have to go down to the station. Megan is being charged, but they don’t know what for. Cut to Steve Chambers. It turns out his PI caught Megan selling information to interested buyers and they she’s working with Ned. Apparently, Ned’s been after Steve for years with tons of threats and lawsuits. Steve also mentions a parking lot scuffle between Ned and Luke. So, he is convinced that Luke bumped into Ned at the cabin and he killed him.
At the police station, Megan is told they found evidence of fraud on her computer. She is going to be charged with making Fake ID’s. However, because she was 17 at the time she won’t be charged with a felony or given jail time. Instead, she’s charged with a misdemeanor. Megan freaks out because this means she is going to lose her college scholarship. Later, Megan runs into Jeff at the store and tells him what happened. Jeff apologizes and confesses that it’s all his fault. He got busted with the ID she made him and he ratted her out! The betrayal Megan feels at this moment is monumental. She’s kept his secrets, but he couldn’t do the same for her.
Once Megan is home, Brent comes over to tell her about the PI that his father hired. He warns her about what he found and questions her about her association with Ned. Then, he tells her how Ned stole millions from his last company and assaulted his boss putting him in the hospital. Brent confides in Megan that he knows she didn’t kill Luke, but Ned is going to go down for it and doesn’t want him to take her down with him.
After hearing this news, Megan goes to Ned to tell him about being charged with the misdemeanor hoping he can help. Ned tells her it’s too late because it’s in the system and there’s a paper trailer. Trying to make things better, Ned tries to convince Megan that she doesn’t need a college degree, but she flips out on him. Megan also tells Ned that Steve Chambers is investigating him because he’s convinced he killed Luke. Ned gets incredibly angry storming out and screaming about how “you can’t steal what’s yours to begin with!” Megan finds Ned in his bunker on his computer and he says, “If Steve’s looking into me I’ll look into Steve.” That’s when Megan notices the cameras. She kinda freaks out and asks if they’ve always been there. Ned says yes.
Then, Steve shows up at Ned’s house to confront him. Megan sneaks out the back but runs into Brent who lets her go without saying anything. Steve is screaming at Ned (who is holding a shotgun) about his association with Megan because she’s a child, as well as why he would kill Luke. Ned threatens Steve with the gun, but it doesn’t even phase him. Steve tells him that he’s just waiting for the moment he screws up and he’ll catch him. Then they walk away.
In the final scene of Summer 2000, Megan gets a phone call from the school saying the Principal informed the of the misdemeanor charge and she has lost her scholarship.
CRUEL SUMMER – Winter 1999
It’s New Years Ever of 1999. In the last episode, we saw Luke lie and tell Megan that Isabella tried to kiss him at the plunge. Today, Megan casually asks Isabella how the plunge went to see if she’d say anything. Isabella doesn’t tell her anything about Luke. However, Isabella shares that her new year’s resolution will be about getting a fresh start. Then Megan cattily replies, “You do like it messy, don’t you?” Which Isabella ignores.
Then, while Megan and Luke are shopping at Party City for Y2K party supplies Megan asks Luke what he thinks Isabella’s motives are for trying to kiss him. Megan is questioning things because she didn’t say anything to her about it this morning, and she’s always been super supportive of them getting together. So, it just doesn’t make any sense. Luke lies and calls Isabella jealous and possessive. He says that Isabella is always happiest when she can rush in and fix things. He “believes” Isabella wants to break them up so she can have Megan all to herself.
In the parking lot, Ned runs up to Megan hot and crazy. He grabs her and screams about taking Y2K seriously. This is the scuffle Steven Chambers mentions in the Summer of 2000. Luke comes to Megan’s defense which pisses Ned off more telling him he’s going to get a wake-up call and it “might just be your last!” While Megan is annoyed with Ned, she’s pissed at Luke for fighting with him. She’s concerned about Ned’s behavior because he’s never been like that.
Back at Megan’s house, Luke gets a call that their NYE party might be off because Tim’s parents are going to be home. However, Luke gets the idea to have it at the empty cannery his father owns. He doesn’t want the party canceled. He wants this to be a night “we remember for the rest of our lives.” So, Luke heads to his father’s office to either ask for or steal the keys, but instead, he walks in on Steven on a call with someone about the fight with Ned in the parking lot. Obviously, Steve is pissed. He begins to berate Luke about his behavior and acting like a child. Steve casually mentions how he’s been fighting with Ned for years about their property line, but also how Luke needs to be smarter. He’s a Chambers and his actions have family consequences.
Luke runs out of Steve’s office upset and runs into Brent. They have a brotherly bonding moment about disappointing their father and Brent gives him advice: Keep your head down and it doesn’t matter if you’re right. Luke almost mentioned the cannery to Brent who steals the keys for him. Brent tells him not to get caught cause he won’t cover for him.
Cut to Megan sitting on her bed in her room. Something heavy looming over her. This is the moment we see her take the pregnancy test and read the positive results.
Now, it’s PARTY TIME! Which opens to people dancing, drinking, etc to Crazy Towns “Butterfly”; another iconic song of the era. Everyone is talking about Y2K. Jeff, and his camera, are interviewing people about their thoughts and worries. Some don’t want to die virgins, others are worried about the robot apocalypse. Isabella and Megan chat a little bit at the punch bowl. Isabella asks Megan why she’s not drinking. Megan lies and says she already has so many earlier. As we know from previous episodes, Isabella knows Megan is pregnant and is hoping she’ll confide in her.
Then Megan says to Isabella, “Is there something you want to tell me?” Isabella is confused cause shouldn’t it be the other way around? Then, Isabella tells Megan about how Luke kissed her. Megan tells her Luke’s version and asks why Isabella didn’t tell her. Isabella says that it wasn’t a big deal, it was a mistake, and was going to let it go. But also calls out how Megan probably wouldn’t have believed her anyway because she never gives her the benefit of the doubt.
So, Megan goes to find Luke to get the truth because she doesn’t know what to believe. However, when Megan finds Luke she overhears him bragging to the boys from the beach about how chill Megan is about the tape – that everyone believes is Isabella. As well as how he has both girls wrapped around his finger. He also brags about making a huge move on Isabella at the plunge saying, “I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again. I have to get practice in for college”
Megan is hurt, angry, and all the feelings. So, she runs off to find Isabella. On her way, she runs into Jeff who asks her what she has planned for the new year. She says, “Taking control of my life and stop being played.” Finally, Megan finds Isabella and apologizes for not believing her. She shares what she overheard Luke saying to his buddies and she wants to salvage the night with her. She also doesn’t want Luke to get away with it saying she wants to make Luke wish he’d never met them.
And it begins. Megan puts on a happy face and finds Luke with 5 minutes to go before midnight. When he asks where Isabella is Megan tells him that she left. Then, during the 10-second countdown, Megan has daggers in her eyes while looking at Luke. Then, she whispers in his ear that they should go to the cabin and celebrate just the two of them.
Cruel Summer – 207 – It’s The End of The World – REVIEW
The end of this episode has me begging for next week. After WEEKS of wondering how Megan and Luke get together. What happened at the Cabin? Why is everyone angry with Ned? We are finally getting some answers. I do not understand why Megan’s Principal has it out for her so badly. First, wanting to suspend her for the sex tape and now calling the college to tell them about the misdemeanor? They wouldn’t have found out for MONTHS! She could’ve gone for half a semester before anything happened.
Luke is garbage. When watching the episode I couldn’t even feel happy for Megan getting together with Luke knowing everything that happens in the future. There are so many cameras in this episode I know they all have to eventually come into play! Jeff’s, Ned’s set up. There’s some key information floating around out there and I can’t wait to see what it is.
At this point, Ned is crossed off of my “Who Killed Luke” list. The last couple of episodes have pushed him so hard that there’s no way he’s the killer. I’m starting to lean toward Luke’s death being a suicide. After whatever happens at the cabin to humiliate him, the fact that his dad puts all this pressure on him. I think Luke breaks and can’t take it anymore cause he now believes he is garbage.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!