20 Juli 2024

Cruel Summer Showrunner Explains Shocking Season Two Conclusion

4 min read

Warning: This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Cruel SummerThe final episode of sophomore season of Cruel Summer took viewers for quite a ride. The second season of Freeform’s anthology series revolved around the friendship of high school students Megan (Sadie Stanley) and Isabella (Lexi Underwood). While Megan is initially weary of Isabella, a foreign exchange student that moves into her home, the two eventually develop a strong bond.


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As Isabella begins to incorporate herself into Megan’s world, and establish friendships with her close friends, a love triangle develops between the two girls and Megan’s long time bestie, Luke (Griffin Gluck). While a romantic relationship between Isabella and Luke begins to blossom, Megan reveals that she has feelings for him, leading Isabella to step back from pursuing Luke. As Megan and Luke’s relationship becomes more serious, Isabella begins to feel left out. The trouble doesn’t end there. When Luke is confronted by the two girls after making a pass at Isabella, things take a turn for the worst. Days after the confrontation, Luke’s body is found in a lake.

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Last night’s final episode, Endgame, finally revealed Luke’s killer with a shocking conclusion. An innocent Megan is charged with Luke’s murder, which leads Luke’s distraught older brother Brent (Braeden De La Garza) to come forward with his story. The night of Luke’s death, the two brothers argue, and when Brent pushes Luke, the younger brother falls, hits his head and goes into the lake. Brent looks for Luke in the dark waters but is unable to find him. Brent tells his father, who promises to protect Brent, and the family’s reputation, at all costs. But Brent can’t watch Megan take the fall for his crime and comes clean, leading to his arrest.

As Megan, a skilled hacker, goes to the lake to say her final goodbyes to her first love, she notices a camera off in the distance. She decides to hack the camera, and what she finds is that Luke had been able to find his way to shore when Isabella reappears and pushes him back in the lake, leading to his death. Showrunner Elle Triedman spoke to PEOPLE about Isabella’s “snap” decision to kill Luke.

“What’s important to keep in mind is she doesn’t go back to the cabin to kill Luke. She goes back to him, maybe she’s going to threaten him, but she’s literally going there to talk to him. She thinks she is a better friend to Megan. She thinks with her at her side, Megan will have this big, wonderful, exciting world and life that she thinks she deserves. Whereas in her mind, Luke represents staying in this small town, living this tiny life … Isabella is a real catalyst for Megan, and she sees herself as sort of this guide for her.”


Cruel Summer Explores an “Incredibly Intense” Female Friendship

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Freeform

After Luke’s body is found the friendship between Isabella and Megan unravels, and while Megan continues to push Isabella away, the latter continues to seek a resolution and rebuild their friendship. Triedman explained that, going into season two, she knew that she wanted to explore the topic of female friendship:

“I came in knowing that I wanted to tell a story about an incredibly intense, but non-romantic friendship between two girls. I remember, especially at that age, you can have a friendship that is so much more intense than a romantic relationship.”

As a shocked Megan cries when uncovering the truth behind Luke’s death, Isabella is on a plane on her way to Ibiza. She is seen befriending a new girl, looking for that new intense friendship, and going by the alias of Lisa. While viewers will likely never know if Megan went to authorities with the found footage, Triedman says she hopes that viewers enjoyed the season:

“I hope they [the viewers] have a really good time. It’s been fun for me to watch people looking for clues and coming up with theories along the way … I love a good murder mystery. I think it’s also a nice time capsule of the late 90s. It’s a time without cellphones. It’s a very different world.”

The first two seasons of Cruel Summer are now available on Hulu.