Jeanette didn't actually (really) see Kate in Cruel Summer but she heard Kate's voice and knew she was locked in the basement. However, she decides to leave as she was because she wanted to take Kate's position as the social queen bee.
Through three parallel timeframes, Cruel Summer on Freeform reveals the circumstances leading up to and following the kidnapping of Kate Wallis, a popular girl in the community of Skylin, Texas. Residents of the little town are shocked by this particular case of kidnapping, especially Jeanette Turner, a socially awkward teenager who takes over Kate's life after she disappears and is a key suspect in her kidnapping.
Bert V. Royal ('Easy A') is the creator of the gripping teen thriller, and to keep the audience on their toes he employs storytelling techniques including non-linear narratives and unreliable narrators. It addresses a variety of topics that resonate with youth, including peer pressure, adolescent weaknesses, envy, etc.
After Kate's disappearance, Jeanette claims that she saw Kate at Mr. Harris' house multiple times. On the other hand, it seems that she is making it up sometimes. Well, what's the truth? Did she really see Kate? Well, we've got you covered.
No, Jeanette Did Not Actually (Really) See Kate but She Did Hear Kate’s Voice and Was Aware That She Was Locked in the Basement!
In Cruel Summer Season 1, Kate claimed that Jeanette actually saw her while she was at Martin Harris' house. According to the statement, Jeanette saw the kidnapping victim but did not report it to anyone, putting her classmate at risk. The conclusion demonstrated how much thought Jeanette put into her actions, even though the truth eventually came to light.
Jeanette did not actually (really) see Kate but was aware she was locked in the basement.
Image Source: The Cinemaholic
In reality, it was Mallory Higgins and not Jeanette who unknowingly caught a glimpse of Kate on Christmas Eve at Martin's home. Mallory was the one who noticed a figure through the window, not Jeanette who broke in and heard someone. However, the last sequence in "Hostile Witness" revealed that Jeanette broke into Martin's house at a later period.
This time, Kate was confined to the basement and yelling for help, but Jeanette did nothing. So Jeanette wasn't exactly lying when she kept saying, "I did not see Kate Wallis," since she never really saw Kate; she only heard her.
Why Did Jeanette Leave Kate in the Basement?
Even though the outcome of the legal action and Kate and Jeanette's futures depended on the truth, the latter was still able to twist her claim in order to defend herself. Although Kate may have had her own concerns about her relationship with Martin, Jeanette was aware of the predicament long before Kate was rescued.
Therefore, despite being right in her claim that she had never seen Kate, she nonetheless deserved to be called a villain for her carelessness and deliberate actions in taking Kate's position as the social queen bee.
Jeanette leaves Kate in the basement because she wanted to take her position as social queen bee.
Image Source: Freeform
Kate would have been saved sooner and suspicions of Jeanette's complicity wouldn't have happened if Jeanette had alerted someone about Kate's cries for help. But to Jeanette, that meant giving up her newly gained popularity and Jamie Henson as a boyfriend.
Kate made the decision to continue living her life while Jeanette was restoring her reputation after abandoning the lawsuit. For Cruel Summer season 2, there are a ton more facts to discover given that Kate is still hiding secrets. Kate is unfortunate since Jeanette still has power because she is aware of the teen's romantic involvement with Martin.
Kate has run out of arguments to use against Jeanette until someone tips her off about the event at the basement door. Nevertheless, the truth always comes out in the end, and Jeanette will probably make a mistake when her confidence gets the better of her.
Season 2 of Cruel Summer is now streaming on Freeform.