It’s still spring, but Freeform is looking ahead back at a Cruel Summer with Tuesday’s two-hour premiere of the twisty psychological thriller.
The series takes a nostalgic time-hopping approach to its storytelling: Episode 1 is told from Jeanette’s point of view on June 21, 1993 (and ’94 and ’95), while Episode 2 flips to Kate’s POV on June 26 during the same three years. Now that we’ve established the show’s timelines, let’s recap in chronological order:
1993 | Jeanette (Tell Me Your Secrets‘ Chiara Aurelia) is an awkward, braces-sporting teen celebrating her birthday with her best friends Mallory (Supergirl‘s Harley Quinn Smith) and Vince (PEN15‘s Allius Barnes), who buy her a “You Go Girl!” necklace as a last-minute gift. Jeanette’s mom (Grey’s Anatomy‘s Sarah Drew) remarks that it looks cheap — but it proves to be very important. (More on that later.)
Jeanette spots her beautiful, popular schoolmate Kate (Cloak & Dagger‘s Olivia Holt) at a mall kiosk and awkwardly pretends to be shopping at the same stand.