Cruel Summer – Season 2 Episode 1 “Welcome to Chatham” Recap & Review

Welcome to Chatham

July 15, 1999

Megan Landry has to empty her trailer to accommodate an exchange student named Isabella who is here to spend a year of school in Chatham-Kent, deep in the heart of Ontario, Canada. Megan is not happy about the decision and claims that she already has friends of her own in town. She mentions Luke Chambers but her mother tells Megan that she needs to have female friends.

As a Senior year student, Megan tells her mother that she has 412 days left until she leaves for college. That day, Megan tells Luke how much she despises Isabella but he tries to drive her mind away from the exchange program. Luke invites Megan to go on a snorkeling trip with his older brother and their friends, but Megan declines the offer and spends the rest of the day waiting to welcome Isabella with her family.

Everyone at the Landry house welcomes Isabella except Megan. Isabella talks about her past as she’s travelled around the world since she was a child. She gives Megan’s mother, sister and Megan herself gifts for the summer. When Isabella is busy catching up with Megan’s family, Megan goes back to the trailer and snoops through her bag. She finds her passport and a floppy disk titled: Summer of 1998.

Isabella finds Megan in time and stops her from going through her stuff. Megan’s mother forces her to hang out with Isabella. They go on a drive together and start chatting. Megan claims that Isabella would not have an American adventure in Chatham because nothing ever happens there. She claims that everyone in  town knew everything about each other.

Megan takes Isabella to the cafe she works at, where Megan learns that half of her work shifts have been given to another student. Megan tells her boss that she needed the money for her college applications. Outside Isabella asks Megan about college. She tells the exchange student that she wanted to go to the University of Washington because it offered a full-ride scholarship for Computer Science.

Isabella tells Megan that she did not think about college as much and wanted to live in the moment. Megan takes Isabella around town when she tells her about Luke and how he belongs to the richest family in the neighbourhood. She tells Isabella that the Chambers owned pretty-much everything, which is why she wanted to get out and join the big league startups like Apple and Yahoo.

Both Megan and Isabella soon realise that they are the complete polar opposites of each other. At the same time, Luke gets out Sheriff Meyer’s car after their discussion. Megan spots him and reveals the awkwardness between her and Isabella in secret.

Isabella introduces herself to Luke and the two hit it off immediately. Luke invites Isabella to the Bloom, a get-together by the sea, and she agrees to join.

Luke introduces Isabella to his older brother and all of his friends. Isabella is comfortable and starts chatting with everyone in the group immediately. Megan and Isabella go to the lake to witness the bloom. She asks Megan if she had feelings for Luke. Megan claims that he was like a brother to her. Isabella joins the group as they drink from a bottle of alcohol but Megan refuses to partake.

That night, Luke talks to Megan about Isabella getting along with everyone pretty well. Megan is sure she will never be able to befriend Isabella. Isabella tells Megan that she will be trying to pursue Luke and the latter of the two gives her a go-ahead. Megan watches as Luke and Isabella chat and giggles while she stands away.

On their way back home, Megan apologises to Isabella for going through her stuff.

December 15, 1999

Megan is at home, watching TV when Isabella brings her mail from college. Megan is excited when she reads that she has got into the University of Washington with a scholarship for her excellence in academics. Isabella is happy too, and Megan claims that Isabella’s arrival in Chatham is the best thing that happened to her. The two girls decide to get into a lot of trouble that Winter.

Megan is dating Luke and he is excited to find out about her scholarship. Isabella helps Megan get dressed for the garden party that night at Luke’s family home. Megan suggests that they skinny dip into the ocean from a cliff because she has always wanted to do so. Megan takes a video on her camcorder and claims that Isabella is her best friend. The duo strips and jumps off the cliff into the ocean.

Back at the Landry home, Megan’s mother is excited about the news of Megan’s scholarship. She asks Megan to make college about herself and asks her to stop worrying about taking care of the family’s expenses. That night, Megan and Luke are making out in an abandoned cottage when they hear gunshots outside. They go out to inspect, and find a man in the neighbourhood shooting birds in the night.

Luke tells her this is probably because of the confusion around Y2K and the end of the world. Megan makes eye contact with the man but goes back inside. Megan is Luke’s date for the evening party at the Chambers’ house. Luke talks to the guests at the party and tells them that he’s going to go to the University of Branson to pursue a business program.

Luke tells Megan that he did not want to study business but that he does not have the guts to tell him. Megan tells him that she will be by his side no matter what and he ends up saying that he loves her for the first time. Megan states that she loves him too but their moment is interrupted when Megan joins them. Isabella and Megan dance on stage during the party as Luke watches them in awe.

Later, Megan watches as Luke and Isabella chat and giggle again while she stands away. Luke’s father raises a toast to the Chambers family and announces that Luke is going to join their family tradition by getting a Business Degree at Branson.

They play a Christmas family movie which ends up being a video of Luke having sex with a girl that looks like Isabella. Megan is shocked and starts running away. The other teenagers mock Isabella but she and Luke run after Megan to stop her. Megan pushes her off and goes back home.

July 15, 2000

Megan’s appearance has changed and she has piercings and grungy makeup. Upon noticing that the local Sheriff is entering her house for what seems like an interrogation, she jumps out of her window and runs away. Megan is running a code on her computer and is worried about a secret that will come out in the open.

The next morning, Megan has a fight with her sister because of her ‘slutty’ outfit. Megan tells her mother that the town is already talking badly about her and she does not want the same to happen to her sister. She also takes some medication. Megan goes by the docks and looks at a missing person’s poster outside her friend’s shop. Later, Megan is at the pharmacy when she overhears that the fisherman has found a body at the lake.

She drives to an abandoned cottage and starts scrubbing the floors vigorously. Megan then drives to the lake but cannot make it in time before the ambulance arrives. Megan watches as the cops take the body out of the lake and into a body bag.

Luke’s father looks at the body and confirms that it’s his son. Out of nowhere, Isabella comes to the lake and tells Megan that they need to get their stories straight.

The Episode Review

The idea of Cruel Summer Season 1 was to go through the events of the same day over three summers. The setting of this season already pales in comparison to that as the idea of seeing a second storyline based on Winter just does not make sense to the title of this show. I am curious about the mystery around Luke’s death and the different plot points like the shooting at night and the cabin though, so there is that.

I am sure that Isabella is a suspicious character but it looks like Megan is the one who is not satisfied in her own skin. With Isabella trying to pursue Luke, it is possible that Megan interrupts the two and starts dating Luke. If there is one thing that we have learned from Season 1 is to never trust the characters in this series.

We will have to wait and watch if this show has to offer more of the insane amount of plot twists that we were shocked to see in the first season. However, after finishing the first episode of this one, I can say what Mallory said in Season 1 of Cruel Summer – “Guess what we got? The sequel. And as you and I both know, it’s never as good as the original.”

Next Episode

Expect A Full Season Write-Up when the season ends!


  • Episode Rating

Leave a comment