Warning: This story contains spoilers from the Cruel Summer season 1 finale.
To be continued. After Cruel Summer became a fan-favorite on Freeform, it got a quick renewal — leaving audiences craving for more.
The series debuted in April 2021 and told a story over three years: 1993, 1994 and 1995. It followed Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt), who was kidnapped and later rescued, and Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia), who was accused of knowing the whereabouts of the missing girl.
The timeline went back and forth exploring both perspectives without revealing the truth until the explosive season 1 finale. The story wrapped up with Kate admitting that she was wrong about Jeanette seeing her in her kidnapper’s home. However, a shocking twist revealed that Jeanette actually heard Kate asking for help when she was held captive in 1994.
Since the show managed to naturally answer many of the questions from season 1, it hasn’t been clear what the plan is for the future. Freeform President Tara Duncan applauded Cruel Summer for being the network’s most-watched series, but even she said she wasn’t sure what the plan was for season 2.
Deadline reported in June 2021 that Duncan wasn’t sure if season 2 would continue with the same story or if there would be “a new story with the same cast or, in anthology form, use the device of two points of view using multiple timelines with a new group.”
Showrunner Tia Napolitano clarified that while the writers haven’t even met to map out their next steps, they did have some aspects in mind already.
“We’re in early days,” Napolitano explained to Entertainment Weekly at the time. “So other than we know we’re going to deliver a super-twisty mystery, we know we’re going to live with some interesting characters and their psychology and talk about some important stuff like we did with grooming in season 1. Other than that, it’s completely open-ended at this point.”
After the finale, Aurelia teased her hopes for the upcoming season.
“There’s so many questions we want answered … I’m super excited to go back. Although this is a mystery and a fiction, there’s an element of it that I think any young teenager can relate to,” Aurelia said in a discussion with Teen Vogue in June 2021. “That’s why there is sympathy for both characters, while at the same time, there isn’t. They’re not a villain or a victim, they’re just human.”
The teen drama, which is executive produced by Jessica Biel, also stars Froy Gutierrez, Harley Quinn Smith, Blake Lee, Allius Barnes, Sarah Drew, Andrea Anders, Nathaniel Ashton and Michael Landes.
Scroll down for all the hints to know so far about season 2 of Cruel Summer: