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RachelKM

Cruel Summary: Season 1 Discussion & Speculation

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3 minutes ago, peachmangosteen said:

I think so as well, but then I don't know what the gunshot that J/J/V heard the night before Kate's rescue could be. I guess perhaps Annabelle is a gun and it goes off somehow (either because Kate or Martin uses it or accidentally) and then for whatever reason the police suss out that Kate is at Martin's by the next morning (maybe even becasue of the gunshot) and engage in a shootout with Martin.

OK yea that's probably it lol. 

Yeah, since the discussion above about the timing of Kate's rescue, I've been speculating that the gunshot heard by Jeanette, Jamie, and Vincent was the thing that brought attention to the house and resulted in the police being involved.  But it definitely was not itself a "shootout."  That generally means multiple people taking one or more shots each.

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From the Episode thread:

54 minutes ago, moonshine71 said:

To be honest, from the start, I've felt one of the strangest aspects of this show is how interested an affluent, and kind of snobby, group of people seemed in  a new assistant principle and the efforts they made to involve him with their social group. Everyone was just fawning all over him at the garden party, and then inviting on an overnight hunting trip w/ your gun club? The whole thing is weird to me. 

 Yes, this seems weird to me too.  If it was some tightknit private/prep school, maybe. But a public school vice principal is unlikely to make much of a stir amongst the affluent parents. He did buy a rather nice house within the neighborhood.  So maybe that (and being an attractive single man in his early 30s) put him on their radar.  But they were treating him like he was a visiting dignitary. 

As for buying stuff out of town, depending on the size of Skylin, across town would likely be enough.  Heck, maybe he went to a Costco just the once and he buried the feminine products among his other purchases. 

Edited by RachelKM
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3 hours ago, peachmangosteen said:

I think so as well, but then I don't know what the gunshot that J/J/V heard the night before Kate's rescue could be. I guess perhaps Annabelle is a gun and it goes off somehow (either because Kate or Martin uses it or accidentally) and then for whatever reason the police suss out that Kate is at Martin's by the next morning (maybe even because of the gunshot) and engage in a shootout with Martin.

OK yea that's probably it lol. 

Maybe Kate killed Martin then passed out, and when she woke up in the morning was able to call the police? Or she didn't pass out, but it just took her awhile to get upstairs and unlock the door for some reason?

That goes against the idea of a shoot out, though. But maybe the news was being dramatic?

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2 hours ago, RachelKM said:

From the Episode thread:

 Yes, this seems weird to me too.  If it was some tightknit private/prep school, maybe. But a public school vice principal is unlikely to make much of a stir amongst the affluent parents. He did buy a rather nice house within the neighborhood.  So maybe that (and being an attractive single man in his early 30s) put him on their radar.  But they were treating him like he was a visiting dignitary. 

As for buying stuff out of town, depending on the size of Skylin, across town would likely be enough.  Heck, maybe he went to a Costco just the once and he buried the feminine products among his other purchases. 

Kate’s Mum talked about keeping things in the family, so maybe they were ingratiating themselves for their children’s sake.  He did also stand out to the single mothers.  

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34 minutes ago, RachelKM said:

That was really interesting.  Also, every time anyone, mostly Blake Lee, mentioned how please they were to show this relationship without glamorizing or romanticizing what was deeply inappropriate and abusive I could almost hear "Ezria" in its place.

Is that a Pretty Little Liars reference? I only watched a few episodes, years ago, and I keep thinking of the teacher and student (Lucy Hale).  

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41 minutes ago, Anela said:

Is that a Pretty Little Liars reference? I only watched a few episodes, years ago, and I keep thinking of the teacher and student (Lucy Hale).  

Yep.   Aria and Ezra. Believe me, if you only saw a handful of episodes, you have NO IDEA how F'd up it ended up being.  But the original relationship was bad enough

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14 hours ago, RachelKM said:

From the Episode thread:

 Yes, this seems weird to me too.  If it was some tightknit private/prep school, maybe. But a public school vice principal is unlikely to make much of a stir amongst the affluent parents. He did buy a rather nice house within the neighborhood.  So maybe that (and being an attractive single man in his early 30s) put him on their radar.  But they were treating him like he was a visiting dignitary. 

I also thought it was weird.  Janette became fascinated with breaking into his house in particular. He was being invited to events as if he was especially interesting and exciting and there was no one else in town to date or be potentially influential for your kid at school.  He hadn’t even started working there yet.  It’s like the town is supposed to be the size of Mayberry.

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7 hours ago, Blue Plastic said:

I also thought it was weird.  Janette became fascinated with breaking into his house in particular. He was being invited to events as if he was especially interesting and exciting and there was no one else in town to date or be potentially influential for your kid at school.  He hadn’t even started working there yet.  It’s like the town is supposed to be the size of Mayberry.

I think Jeanette was just fascinated with breaking into his house because she had the key. That made it easy. She got a rush, but wasn't a master criminal.

Maybe the adults were just interested in him because he was new in town? It seemed like a lot of them had all grown up their and went to school together and their kids were friends. It was a pretty boring town. So any new stranger coming to town would be exciting.

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23 hours ago, Blue Plastic said:

I also thought it was weird.  Janette became fascinated with breaking into his house in particular. He was being invited to events as if he was especially interesting and exciting and there was no one else in town to date or be potentially influential for your kid at school.  He hadn’t even started working there yet.  It’s like the town is supposed to be the size of Mayberry.

There's a few weird premises that this show is built on. Even the fact that they had "play hide and seek in an empty house" on their to do list(and the list itself is weird to me). 

1. They're about to be sophomores in high school and playing hide and seek is on their list?😒

2. An empty house sounds like the most incredibly lame place i could imagine playing hide and seek. You're literally just opening doors and looking in empty rooms or closets with nothing to hide behind/under/inside. 

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On 6/7/2021 at 8:42 AM, BingeyKohan said:

Remind me, did they *show* us Mallory filming Martin with her video camera, or just the footage she actually captured (in the tape itself, while we were 'watching' it the same time the school was)?

I just read this thread.  You posted this before the latest episode aired so the answer was "no" then but we did see her filming; although there's no indication that she saw anyone in the window.

On 6/10/2021 at 6:38 PM, RachelKM said:

Yes, this seems weird to me too.  If it was some tightknit private/prep school, maybe. But a public school vice principal is unlikely to make much of a stir amongst the affluent parents.

I mentioned in the Ep. 9 episode thread that Martin groomed the parents.  I could see the parents trying to butter him up as well since it is a public school and they can't threaten to withhold money they way they might with a private school.  It's not that they think their kids will get in trouble or need a grade or two fixed but just in case they do, having an in with the Vice Principal could come in handy.

Edited because "read this thread" and "I read this thread are 2 very different connotations. "

Edited by Irlandesa

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It's interesting to me that they showed Mallory filming that. It's such an unnecessary and out-of-place scene in the ep, especially since it seems pretty clear that she did not notice Kate. 

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I think that was the point -- to show us definitively that she didn't notice Kate.

I think the people theorizing that Mallory saw Kate when Jeanette was fleeing with the snow globe could be onto something, though, and I don't like it. I don't like the idea of any of these characters knowingly leaving a young girl held hostage in a basement for months. This show doesn't need a villain besides Martin Harris.

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On 6/7/2021 at 9:42 AM, BingeyKohan said:

Remind me, did they *show* us Mallory filming Martin with her video camera, or just the footage she actually captured (in the tape itself, while we were 'watching' it the same time the school was)?

I only ask because... (hiding it because it's speculation based on something I'm not sure was in an episode yet but might be in a future one)

  Reveal spoiler

I don't remember this sequence being in the episode with her tape. Was it? I don't recall seeing her out doing the actual filming. And here it looks like she is seeing and reacting to something odd about what she's captured (such as spotting Kate in the window at Martin's) But then again she didn't seem to have a particularly freighted reaction to Martin when he found her in the AV room, I didn't think. So color me confused. Or maybe just inattentive (if it actually was in the episode).

 

I think they did show her hiding behind a tree and laughing when he got sprayed with the sprinkler or tripping on a hose or something. And I assume that means that Mallory walked up to the door earlier to arrange that?

ETA: Whoops, sorry—I just noticed that someone else posted that we did see her doing the filming.

 

Edited by TattleTeeny

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I don’t feel like the reveal that Annabelle was a gun would be particularly compelling (also, it seems Kate would have phrased it ‘when he showed me Annabelle’ or at least ‘when he introduced me to Annabelle’ vs ‘when I met’ her.) However — looking again at the tablet where Kate writes the name over and over it looks like she is trying to replicate the way she saw it in type rather than just using her natural handwriting (and making it big and creepy for effect) So I wonder if the gun was inscribed with the name for some reason and that’s what the script looked like. (The little bird Kate also drew could either mean it was a hunting gun or it could just symbolize that Annabelle led to her freedom, in a weird way)

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On 6/10/2021 at 2:15 PM, Cinnabon said:

I agree. The police have to be clear on what happened. They wouldn’t lie to the public about a shootout. If Kate had killed Martin, that would be on the record and she would be fully aware.

Maybe Martin went out of the house brandishing the gun, to commit suicide by cop. 

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Once upon a time, I thought Annabelle was Jeanette's alternate personality.  And she did see Kate.  Kate doesn't remember Annabelle but she does have deep knowledge that Jeanette (or someone looking like Jeanette) knew she was there. 

I share this wild theory because I binged too fast.  I thought I was smart starting when I did.  I thought I'd space it out with two or three episodes a day since everything else is in rerun.  I thought wrong.  I did 4-9 all on Friday evening.  So now I have to fill up the days waiting for the finale.

And yes, that means "once upon a time" was maybe Thursday.

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The Vince actor has already said that Annabelle is not another personality of Kate or Martin. Now, I guess he could be lying but I don't see it. But maybe you're on to something about Jeanette @Irlandesa lol.

At this point I'll be completely shocked if Annabelle is anything but a gun. And part of me wants that shock because nothing else so far has been shocking.

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5 hours ago, peachmangosteen said:

At this point I'll be completely shocked if Annabelle is anything but a gun. And part of me wants that shock because nothing else so far has been shocking.

I get that.  I like being surprised.  At the same time, I really respect a show where the twists and turns are somewhat predictable and not because they're too telegraphed or cliche but because the story and character development was just so solid. 

Edited by Irlandesa
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This show has it share of plot armor and so major plot holes, but characters react how a real person would react, even Martin. No one is some criminal mastermind. In a lot of ways, it feels like it could really happen.

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Final finale spec: Annabelle is the nickname of the universal remote that controls all the devices in the media closet teenage girls keep hiding in. If they try to escape their punishment is learning to use it. Kate, Jeanette, and Mallory band together and form a feminist punk collective called You Go Grrrl. The whole show has been a cautionary tale produced by the 700 Club, designed to show teens the dangers that await if they don’t take a promise ring seriously.

 

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I just have a bad feeling Jamie is going to shoot somebody. They’ve been building him up as a creeper all season, and there’s no way that shot of the gun in his car is going to be a red herring. If he was willing to punch Jeanette in the face because he thought she was involved, what would he do if the stuff about Kate and Harris came out in the trial?

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I don't think Jamie was outside Jeanette's with a gun because he thought she was involved. Episode 8 seemed to establish that he was feeling guilty about everything and has been trying to protect Jeanette but since he's pretty much a drunken mess now he was going about it in a bad way.

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36 minutes ago, peachmangosteen said:

I don't think Jamie was was outside Jeanette's with a gun because he thought she was involved. Episode 8 seemed to establish that he was feeling guilty about everything and has been trying to protect Jeanette but since he's pretty much a drunken mess now he was going about it in a bad way.

I think that makes sense. I think Jamie is also a subtle example of "what you're supposed to be" versus "what you want to be" and the conflicting emotions that emerge from that.

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On 6/10/2021 at 10:20 PM, Anela said:

https://ew.com/tv/cruel-summer-olivia-holt-blake-lee-episode-9-spoilers/
 

I can’t remember if someone posted this.  Slight spoilers about the last episode, regarding how much we will see, when it comes to what happened after episode nine.  

Hmm.  Interesting interview I finally got around to reading.  Actors and producers of TV shows tend to hype up episodes or plot twists more than they sometimes deserve so it might mean nothing but it does have me rethinking theories posted here. 

They don't really give spoilers but I'll tag how they talk about one of the theories just in case:

Spoiler

The Annabelle reveal seems to be pretty big to them. If Annabelle were a gun, would they really be talking about her like that?  Would Olivia really need days to decompress?

Or is it just that we're jaded and can guess things? 

Edited by Irlandesa
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21 minutes ago, Irlandesa said:

Or is it just that we're jaded and can guess things? 

The stuff they said about Annabelle had me wondering but I came to this conclusion. I just don’t think there’s going to be any real crazy twists.

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1 hour ago, peachmangosteen said:

I don't think Jamie was was outside Jeanette's with a gun because he thought she was involved. Episode 8 seemed to establish that he was feeling guilty about everything and has been trying to protect Jeanette but since he's pretty much a drunken mess now he was going about it in a bad way.

Fair points, but in my TV watching experience drunk guy with problems and a gun NEVER ends well.

Edited by Spartan Girl
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One thing I liked: instead of Cindy becoming a totally pathetic wannabe, she chased a somewhat doable dream and became a flight attendant like she always wanted. She was right, she wasn't setting a good example for her kids being so obviously envious of the Walises.   Considering that one of her kids was in college, the other one was in high school and her husband had a somewhat flexible job in town, it wasn't a terrible time to pursue it either. It was one of the nicer twists in this story. If they continue with the Walis/Turners for another season, I kind of want Joy to wind up on a flight that Cindy is working, try to shame her, but Cindy is completely oblivious and even talks about other countries she got to explore thanks to her job. Then see Joy somewhat envious about how fulfilled Cindy is and how Cindy no longer wants Joy's life. 

Edited by Ambrosefolly
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Part of me was disappointed that they didn’t go with the nuanced ending of both girls being victims of a misunderstanding, illustrating how society pits women against each other, etc. But that would have meant hand waving all the red flags about Jeanette, and there were plenty. 

On some level, I get why some people are still trying to make excuses for Jeanette. We’re so used to the Cady Herons and Mia Thermopolises in pop culture: shy awkward girls that that are led astray by the temptation of popularity and winding up learning the hard way that it isn’t all that great. But ultimately, Jeanette wasn’t like them all at all. We saw all the little fibs that gradually turned into bigger lies. We saw she was willing to take advantage of Kate’s disappearance to snag Jamie on the rebound—she was practically giddy when she found out Kate was missing. Her addiction to breaking into Harris’ house. It was a watered down version of Breaking Bad’s character progression where a seemingly “nice” repressed main character gets in touch with their dark side to feed their ego. Just like Walt felt emasculated by Skyler and his humdrum life, Jeanette felt pushed around by Mallory and her lack of social status. In that sense, the twist and the end was Jeanette’s “I watched Jane die” moment: it was horrifying, but in hindsight not that surprising.

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Agree with the above. I kind of respect them for being like - listen, we gave you a basically decent, kind hearted, rootable character in Kate. We gave you someone a little spikier with Mallory, around whom mileage may vary. We are allowed to have Jeanette be a fairly bad person, own that choice, and in the end drive it all the way home!

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2 hours ago, BingeyKohan said:

Agree with the above. I kind of respect them for being like - listen, we gave you a basically decent, kind hearted, rootable character in Kate. We gave you someone a little spikier with Mallory, around whom mileage may vary. We are allowed to have Jeanette be a fairly bad person, own that choice, and in the end drive it all the way home!

I think they made the wrong choice with that last final twist. They should have kept Jeanette ambiguous or not have her have a more torn look on her face instead of a smile.  They made her an even worse person than Martin. Unlike the kiss between Mallory and Kate, which I wasn't wild about but it wasn't entirely implausible given the two girls personalities, it didn't do what the show runners that it did, as they still see Jeanette as not completely evil. Even Walt at the end of Breaking Bad tried to make amends and ended up dying from his choices. 

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In my mind, Jeanette was NEVER ambiguous. She always came across as playing some angle, and never being completely up front with anyone. I could never generate any sympathy for any of her three iterations.  So I was completely upset when it looked like Jeanette and Kate were going to figure out it was all a big misunderstanding and that Mallory had been playing them against each other for some kind of revenge. The only thing that saved the whole show for me was that final scene.

Also, there was a scene with Jeanette's dad, where he invited himself into Martin's home to make a phone call. He acted kind of drunk. Do you think he suspected something and was looking around for some clues?

 

Not sure if I could watch a second season unless it's a completely different story.

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2 hours ago, cardigirl said:

In my mind, Jeanette was NEVER ambiguous. She always came across as playing some angle, and never being completely up front with anyone. I could never generate any sympathy for any of her three iterations.  So I was completely upset when it looked like Jeanette and Kate were going to figure out it was all a big misunderstanding and that Mallory had been playing them against each other for some kind of revenge. The only thing that saved the whole show for me was that final scene.

Also, there was a scene with Jeanette's dad, where he invited himself into Martin's home to make a phone call. He acted kind of drunk. Do you think he suspected something and was looking around for some clues?

 

Not sure if I could watch a second season unless it's a completely different story.

The twist ending ruined the entire show for me. I don't think I will watch next year because I hated that so much, especially if it had a different story. I get Jeanette was a horrible person, but now it seems she might be worse than Martin Harris. It isn't like Kate and Jeanette became friends after they figured out the misunderstanding. At least when we thought Jeanette didn't say anything if she did lock eyes with Kate on Christmas Eve, she could chalk up not telling people about Kate:"She was free to roam the house, she could have left anytime she wanted," because technically, that was true. I would actually prefer that to the twist ending. She went from the normal self center teen to the Bad Seed. Now the bright spot, a realistic showing of the grooming process of a teenage girl, is overshadowed by Jeanette just leaving Kate to Martin, locked in a basement. The town was punishing Jeanette because they thought that she saw Kate locked up somewhere, when Kate was physically able to leave the house, even though she was fully groomed at this point. Turned she did do what they were lead to believe by Kate, but instead of seeing her, she heard her beg for freedom. 

It is possible for someone to be horrible, but still unfairly persecuted. 

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2 hours ago, cardigirl said:

In my mind, Jeanette was NEVER ambiguous. She always came across as playing some angle, and never being completely up front with anyone. I could never generate any sympathy for any of her three iterations.  So I was completely upset when it looked like Jeanette and Kate were going to figure out it was all a big misunderstanding and that Mallory had been playing them against each other for some kind of revenge. The only thing that saved the whole show for me was that final scene.

Also, there was a scene with Jeanette's dad, where he invited himself into Martin's home to make a phone call. He acted kind of drunk. Do you think he suspected something and was looking around for some clues?

 

Not sure if I could watch a second season unless it's a completely different story.

I’m completely with you. I don’t understand the perspective of grasping at straws that Jeanette probably really did something good off camera and called the police and couldn’t have really left Kate there to rot. Uh, yeah, she did! It would’ve been more out of character that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. Everything about Jeanette for 10 episodes has shown us that she lies to people without remorse, is enthralled with the idea of popularity, and gets a thrill out of getting away with committing crimes. I can understand making up theories as we’re watching for things that didn’t happen yet and then waiting to see what comes true. But you can’t just decide you don’t like what happened in the show and make up a whole “off screen” explanation for what you wished happened instead. That’s not how TV works, lol. You want to “write a fan fiction” (is that still “a thing”?), okay. But otherwise what is shown on screen is cannon. Jeanette did know Kate was locked in the basement and specifically chose not to turn the doorknob.

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8 hours ago, JenE4 said:

I don’t understand the perspective of grasping at straws that Jeanette probably really did something good off camera and called the police and couldn’t have really left Kate there to rot.

I absolutely DO NOT believe that Jeanette called in a tip purely because there is no way that she would have gone through a year of being "the most hated girl in America" if she could provide a documented counter narrative in which, B&E aside, she was a hero.  Heck, I don't even believe that Jeanette would have called in anything anonymously, even if she took a minute to figure out if there was a way to be the hero and avoid admitting to breaking in.  But, if she had any true motivation to help at all, being a hero likely would have trumped concern about breaking in with a key.  She could have made up a story about being outside or the door being unlocked or anything, while enjoying being Kate's savior. 

All that said, I do feel there was enough ambiguity in Jeanette that without documented depraved indifference to human life, she would be no worse or better than a troubled girl with some likely diagnosable antisocial behaviors without tripping in to outright villainy. 

Edited by RachelKM
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2 hours ago, JenE4 said:

I’m completely with you. I don’t understand the perspective of grasping at straws that Jeanette probably really did something good off camera and called the police and couldn’t have really left Kate there to rot. Uh, yeah, she did! It would’ve been more out of character that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. Everything about Jeanette for 10 episodes has shown us that she lies to people without remorse, is enthralled with the idea of popularity, and gets a thrill out of getting away with committing crimes. I can understand making up theories as we’re watching for things that didn’t happen yet and then waiting to see what comes true. But you can’t just decide you don’t like what happened in the show and make up a whole “off screen” explanation for what you wished happened instead. That’s not how TV works, lol. You want to “write a fan fiction” (is that still “a thing”?), okay. But otherwise what is shown on screen is cannon. Jeanette did know Kate was locked in the basement and specifically chose not to turn the doorknob.

The perspective is, while we get that Jeanette is selfish, a social climber and manipulative, she wouldn't be so evil to knowingly allow a girl to be held against her will by a sexual predator.  I preferred the ambiguity than out right confirming that she was a monster. Also, that scene was tacked on, as admitted by the showrunners. 

Edited by Ambrosefolly
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The writers are saying Jeanette is ‘not bad, just misguided’ so there pretty much has to be more to it because her leaving Kate locked in a basement with a smile on her face doesn’t mesh with what the writers are telling us.

Even if Jeanette did that though, I don’t see her as worse than Martin but it does make me angry that they have made her do something villainess because it sorta adds to my feeling that they romanticized Martin. Ugh!

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5 hours ago, Ambrosefolly said:

The perspective is, while we get that Jeanette is selfish, a social climber and manipulative, she wouldn't be so evil to knowingly allow a girl to be held against her will by a sexual predator.

I agree that she's a social climber and I do think, if there was a way for her to be the hero, she would have taken it.  I just don't know that the circumstances in which she found Kate lent her to have a hero moment at that time.  Here's why I think, if she did do an anonymous tip, she went that route.

She broke into the house.  She doesn't want people to know she does it.  Her dad still has a job. If she calls, she'd have to explain how she could break into the house without breaking anything.  Her dad could lose his job (which he eventually does.)

So she decides to leave.  Maybe she wanted to think of a way she could "rescue" Kate without exposing herself and, for whatever reason, decided that she couldn't.  Or her plan was an anonymous tip all along.  The tip isn't enough for a warrant but it is enough for the cops to start investigating Martin closely.

The reason she may not have come out later to say that she left the tip is because it may not have exonerated her. People would want to know how she found out where Kate was and why she went the anon route and why she waited.  It also wouldn't necessarily disprove what Kate was claiming since the tip came in months after Kate thinks Jeanette saw her.

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2 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

I agree that she's a social climber and I do think, if there was a way for her to be the hero, she would have taken it.  I just don't know that the circumstances in which she found Kate lent her to have a hero moment at that time.  Here's why I think, if she did do an anonymous tip, she went that route.

She broke into the house.  She doesn't want people to know she does it.  Her dad still has a job. If she calls, she'd have to explain how she could break into the house without breaking anything.  Her dad could lose his job (which he eventually does.)

So she decides to leave.  Maybe she wanted to think of a way she could "rescue" Kate without exposing herself and, for whatever reason, decided that she couldn't.  Or her plan was an anonymous tip all along.  The tip isn't enough for a warrant but it is enough for the cops to start investigating Martin closely.

The reason she may not have come out later to say that she left the tip is because it may not have exonerated her. People would want to know how she found out where Kate was and why she went the anon route and why she waited.  It also wouldn't necessarily disprove what Kate was claiming since the tip came in months after Kate thinks Jeanette saw her.

I can see the logic in why IF Jeanette wanted to help Kate she would do an anonymous tip.

However, from reading the interviews with the Showrunner, I really don't think that is what they intended. She has talked about how she thinks Jeanette is misguided, and how popularity was important to her and so she did a "risk/reward" analysis of what to do. And she's talked about how she feels bad for Jeanette. There has been nothing in the interviews to even hint at the idea of Jeanette maybe calling in a tip.

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16 hours ago, Ambrosefolly said:

The twist ending ruined the entire show for me. I don't think I will watch next year because I hated that so much, especially if it had a different story. I get Jeanette was a horrible person, but now it seems she might be worse than Martin Harris. It isn't like Kate and Jeanette became friends after they figured out the misunderstanding. At least when we thought Jeanette didn't say anything if she did lock eyes with Kate on Christmas Eve, she could chalk up not telling people about Kate:"She was free to roam the house, she could have left anytime she wanted," because technically, that was true. I would actually prefer that to the twist ending. She went from the normal self center teen to the Bad Seed. Now the bright spot, a realistic showing of the grooming process of a teenage girl, is overshadowed by Jeanette just leaving Kate to Martin, locked in a basement. The town was punishing Jeanette because they thought that she saw Kate locked up somewhere, when Kate was physically able to leave the house, even though she was fully groomed at this point. Turned she did do what they were lead to believe by Kate, but instead of seeing her, she heard her beg for freedom. 

It is possible for someone to be horrible, but still unfairly persecuted. 

The way she treated the young man she was set up with to go to the fair is a good indication of the type of person Jeanette is. No remorse for hurting his feelings, no care at all for what might have happened after she walked away from him. Is it something careless young women do? Of course.  Often, though, they feel some remorse for it. She was shown to have none. 

Her constant lying to her father. Her terrible treatment of her mother, thus separating her father from the one person who probably saw her most clearly. She is a narcissist through and through. Not troubled, not making bad choices. She never shows one moment of regret for any of it. Even after Jamie punches her in the face, she's still trying to "talk" to him to make it all better, against all advice from her brother and father, who, rightly, want her to have nothing to do with someone who would be physically violent with her. 

Her reaction when Kate is found is sheer surprise that she is found "alive." That tells me that the twist ending was meant all along, or something of that sort, because she emphatically chose to leave Kate there to whatever might befall her (regardless of what the showrunners say). That's not just making a bad choice. That's choosing selfishly to remove an obstacle from her life. 

"You stole my life!" "You didn't even want it!"  

Wow, no apology, nothing. Jeanette is a real piece of work.

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You make good points, but the writers point blank said they came up with the last scene last minute and that they don't believe Jeanette is bad, just misguided. They're lucky that their other random ideas made it so that their last minute shock addition actually did make sense. And if they intended Jeanette to look misguided, they could have actually easily done it by not having her smile.

Honestly, for a writing team that just made this story up as they went along they actually did a really fantastic job lol. I mean, the show was really well done. Even the ending is good, it's just kinda dampened by the writers comments.

But, the fact that the writers have no idea yet what they're going to do for season 2, admittedly make shit up as they go along, and clearly don't really understand what they presented this season makes me very apprehensive about season 2.

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6 hours ago, cardigirl said:

The way she treated the young man she was set up with to go to the fair is a good indication of the type of person Jeanette is. No remorse for hurting his feelings, no care at all for what might have happened after she walked away from him. Is it something careless young women do? Of course.  Often, though, they feel some remorse for it. She was shown to have none. 

Her constant lying to her father. Her terrible treatment of her mother, thus separating her father from the one person who probably saw her most clearly. She is a narcissist through and through. Not troubled, not making bad choices. She never shows one moment of regret for any of it. Even after Jamie punches her in the face, she's still trying to "talk" to him to make it all better, against all advice from her brother and father, who, rightly, want her to have nothing to do with someone who would be physically violent with her. 

Her reaction when Kate is found is sheer surprise that she is found "alive." That tells me that the twist ending was meant all along, or something of that sort, because she emphatically chose to leave Kate there to whatever might befall her (regardless of what the showrunners say). That's not just making a bad choice. That's choosing selfishly to remove an obstacle from her life. 

"You stole my life!" "You didn't even want it!"  

Wow, no apology, nothing. Jeanette is a real piece of work.

I will start with this: I agree with RachelNM that throughout the show they did lay out that she was capable of leaving Kate to Martin. They also laid out traits which showed she might not  do that. What the show tacked on (which was worse than the scenario that Kate accused her off) looked totally last minute to me, even without the interviews from the showrunners. 

When she had her visitation with her mother, and Cindy asked Jeanette if she hated her, Jeanette, even though she was visibly angry and confrontational, admitted that she didn't hate her, and it looked genuine.  Even Angela told Cindy that Jeanette missed her, even if she didn't call. 

On the 15th birthday, she said it was okay for Derek to skip her birthday dinner in favor of a date. Her 16th year, when she became the town pariah, she still helped with setting up her parents' anniversary birthday breakfast.

She did take the rap for Vince for shoplifting in order to protect him, even though, there wasn't anything in it for her and she could have escaped with Mallory.

I thought how Jeanette treated her family in all three years, was fairly typical of a teenager. She did cuddle with Cindy, in '94 & '95and didn't openly abuse her in front of others. 

When I was a preteen, my supposedly close friends ditched me on a mall trip without apology . When I was in college, my former roommate, gave me a nasty breakup friendship email after she got her use out of me. As little as think of those women to this day, I seriously doubt any of them would leave a person to get murdered, even if she was dating her boyfriend. 

Lying to her parents, ditching a boy to save face, still a long way to go to depraved indifference of letting a romantic rival, who she initially thought well, locked away in the basement of a man's home. I do think there was a twinge of remorse in her face when Martin confronted her of her treatment of HQ's real life boyfriend. Whether she didn't like how she looked or she felt bad, she didn't carry herself as defiant of Martin's accusations.

When she screamed the phrase that Kate didn't want her life they were 1) in a heated argument that Kate started, 2) she quickly ditched her boyfriend and friends after she returned, 3) unfortunately, Jeanette did read Kate's online conversations.

Also, if it was planned along, Kate would have asked if Jeanette if she ever broke into the house after Christmas, seeing as Kate banged on the door and identified herself when she heard someone upstairs, even asking if it was someone else other than Martin. I am sure that Mallory and Kate were bad mouthing her, she would have brought up Jeanette's creepy penchant for breaking into Martin's home. Jeanette came across as a plausible liar, but considering Kate is the daughter of Joy Wallis, she might a sense when someone is covering their tracks vs telling the truth, especially if it Jeanette was caught off guard with a new accusation, like she flinched when she brought up her breaking into the house on Christmas Eve. 

Edited by Ambrosefolly
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5 hours ago, cardigirl said:

The way she treated the young man she was set up with to go to the fair is a good indication of the type of person Jeanette is. No remorse for hurting his feelings, no care at all for what might have happened after she walked away from him. Is it something careless young women do? Of course.  Often, though, they feel some remorse for it. She was shown to have none. 

Her constant lying to her father. Her terrible treatment of her mother, thus separating her father from the one person who probably saw her most clearly. She is a narcissist through and through. Not troubled, not making bad choices. She never shows one moment of regret for any of it. Even after Jamie punches her in the face, she's still trying to "talk" to him to make it all better, against all advice from her brother and father, who, rightly, want her to have nothing to do with someone who would be physically violent with her. 

Her reaction when Kate is found is sheer surprise that she is found "alive." That tells me that the twist ending was meant all along, or something of that sort, because she emphatically chose to leave Kate there to whatever might befall her (regardless of what the showrunners say). That's not just making a bad choice. That's choosing selfishly to remove an obstacle from her life. 

"You stole my life!" "You didn't even want it!"  

Wow, no apology, nothing. Jeanette is a real piece of work.

I don’t think she can be blamed for her parents’ separation. It was up to them to work through any issues (and there were more than just Jeannette). I have also seen many teens blow off a date like Jeannette did (both male and female), and the regret often comes much, even sometimes years, later. I know I did some thoughtless things as a teen that I didn’t clearly look at until I was an adult, and then felt a lot of regret. Our brains aren’t fully formed until our mid-20s.

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3 hours ago, Ambrosefolly said:

I will start with this: I agree with RachelNM that throughout the show they did lay out that she was capable of leaving Kate to Martin. They also laid out traits which showed she might not  do that. What the show tacked on (which was worse than the scenario that Kate accused her off) looked totally last minute to me, even without the interviews from the showrunners. 

When she had her visitation with her mother, and Cindy asked Jeanette if she hated her, Jeanette, even though she was visibly angry and confrontational, admitted that she didn't hate her, and it looked genuine.  Even Angela told Cindy that Jeanette missed her, even if she didn't call. 

On the 15th birthday, she said it was okay for Derek to skip her birthday dinner in favor of a date. Her 16th year, when she became the town pariah, she still helped with setting up her parents' anniversary birthday breakfast.

She did take the rap for Vince for shoplifting in order to protect him, even though, there wasn't anything in it for her and she could have escaped with Mallory.

I thought how Jeanette treated her family in all three years, was fairly typical of a teenager. She did cuddle with Cindy, in '94 & '95and didn't openly abuse her in front of others. 

When I was a preteen, my supposedly close friends ditched me on a mall trip without apology . When I was in college, my former roommate, gave me a nasty breakup friendship email after she got her use out of me. As little as think of those women to this day, I seriously doubt any of them would leave a person to get murdered, even if she was dating her boyfriend. 

Lying to her parents, ditching a boy to save face, still a long way to go to depraved indifference of letting a romantic rival, who she initially thought well, locked away in the basement of a man's home. I do think there was a twinge of remorse in her face when Martin confronted her of her treatment of HQ's real life boyfriend. Whether she didn't like how she looked or she felt bad, she didn't carry herself as defiant of Martin's accusations.

Also, if it was planned along, Kate would have asked if Jeanette if she ever broke into the house after Christmas, seeing as Kate banged on the door and identified herself when she heard someone upstairs, even asking if it was someone else other than Martin. I am sure that Mallory and Kate were bad mouthing her, she would have brought up Jeanette's creepy penchant for breaking into Martin's home. Jeanette came across as a plausible liar, but considering Kate is the daughter of Joy Wallis, she might a sense when someone is covering their tracks vs telling the truth, especially if it Jeanette was caught off guard with a new accusation. 

 

 

Mallory also treated Jeanette shockingly badly, in that when Kate finally got out of Martin’s basement, she knew that Kate was free on Christmas Eve, while Martin was away. She didn’t say anything, and let Jeanette’s life be ruined. She may have even known Kate saw HER, and not Jeanette. While I completely understand why she didn’t tell the truth about Kate, she really threw Jeanette to the wolves there (I am not addressing Jeanette hearing Kate, as she was not aware of that). 

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3 hours ago, Ambrosefolly said:

Also, if it was planned along, Kate would have asked if Jeanette if she ever broke into the house after Christmas, seeing as Kate banged on the door and identified herself when she heard someone upstairs, even asking if it was someone else other than Martin. I am sure that Mallory and Kate were bad mouthing her, she would have brought up Jeanette's creepy penchant for breaking into Martin's home. Jeanette came across as a plausible liar, but considering Kate is the daughter of Joy Wallis, she might a sense when someone is covering their tracks vs telling the truth, especially if it Jeanette was caught off guard with a new accusation, like she flinched when she brought up her breaking into the house on Christmas Eve. 

I think at the time they were having the conversation, Kate was reeling from figuring out that she had been wrong about who saw her. She had been wrong about being recognized as well. Suddenly, the thing that had been motivating her to keep going was gone. I doubt she could even think about another time when she thought she heard footsteps in the house. 

If we're going to fantasize that Jeanette called a tip in, we can fantasize that next season Kate starts to wonder who that was that she heard upstairs. 

We were never shown if it came out that the reason Kate thought she was seen by Jeanette was because Jeanette was in the house that night and took the music globe. So we never saw Jeanette admitting to her father that yes, I did break in again. But I never saw Kate. 

I don't know.  It was a fun show to watch, but I truly did not ever have any sympathy for Jeanette's character. I kept waiting for something to happen that would make me think I needed to root for her, but nothing ever did. There should have been a better balance there in my opinion.

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1 hour ago, cardigirl said:

I think at the time they were having the conversation, Kate was reeling from figuring out that she had been wrong about who saw her. She had been wrong about being recognized as well. Suddenly, the thing that had been motivating her to keep going was gone. I doubt she could even think about another time when she thought she heard footsteps in the house. 

If we're going to fantasize that Jeanette called a tip in, we can fantasize that next season Kate starts to wonder who that was that she heard upstairs. 

We were never shown if it came out that the reason Kate thought she was seen by Jeanette was because Jeanette was in the house that night and took the music globe. So we never saw Jeanette admitting to her father that yes, I did break in again. But I never saw Kate. 

I don't know.  It was a fun show to watch, but I truly did not ever have any sympathy for Jeanette's character. I kept waiting for something to happen that would make me think I needed to root for her, but nothing ever did. There should have been a better balance there in my opinion.

I liked that Jeanette wasn't likable. Just because a person is innocent of what someone is accusing some of, doesn't mean they are likable or even a good person. I remember that Simpson episode where Bart had witnessed a "crime" between a horrible, privileged asshole and some poor servant, and everyone was happy to roast him. Turned out that the servant was a klutz and the thing the asshole was going to enjoy was getting drunk. Bart confessed and got detention, because even though the defendant was horrible, it was still the right thing to do because the guy was also innocent.

Kate was mulling over for months about Jeanette leaving her at Martin's and during the summer she listen to her therapy sessions to trigger memories. If she heard from Mallory Jeanette's habit of breaking into Martin's home, and considering they were constantly trashing her, Kate should been able to piece together that the times she heard footsteps when it seemed Martin wasn't home, it could have been Jeanette. Even a few weeks after, it didn't seem to accrue to her or Mallory that it could be Jeanette's foot steps she heard, as we saw as she was relaxing with Mallory watching Jeanette's interview. 

Edited by Ambrosefolly
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On 6/17/2021 at 4:27 PM, RachelKM said:

All that said, I do feel there was enough ambiguity in Jeanette that without documented depraved indifference to human life, she would be no worse or better than a troubled girl with some likely diagnosable antisocial behaviors without tripping in to outright villainy. 

Me too. I think that up until the final “twist,” Jeanette could still grow out of her unsavory tendencies or perhaps needed some therapy and more attention and guidance from her parents.  I do think she was ambiguous at that point.

But yeah, there’s no way to walk back that final scene. I don’t think she called in a tip later, and she can be regarded as nothing but a villain like Martin after that. I don’t know what the writers are smokin’ to call her “misguided.”  Misguided was how I regarded her before - I was rooting for you, Jeanette!  I thought you could become a better person!  But not now. Ugh. And I’m really not interested in watching another season of these characters if this is the writers’ idea of misguided.

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