Cruel Summer – Season 2 Episode 3 “Bloody Knuckles” Recap & Review

Bloody Knuckles

July 18, 1999

Episode 3 of Cruel Summer Season 2 starts with Megan trying to get Isabella to bail out on their friend’s trip. Isabella tells Megan she can handle herself and continues packing for the trip with Luke and the boys. Megan and Isabella join the boys at the forest where the group are camping.

Megan is stuck picking luggage while Isabella and Luke spend romantic time with each other, leaving her feeling like a third wheel. The group is chilling at Luke’s family cabin in the woods when Brent shows up to leave firewood for the group to use.

Brent claims that their father is afraid the group will cross their weird neighbour, Ned, who has a record for using guns. Luke tries to kick Brent out but the latter crashes the party with his girlfriend – Parker.

The boys are using guns for target practice while Luke helps Megan aim. She jokes, saying that she could easily shoot everyone and flee as she has diplomatic immunity given she’s a foreigner. Isabella goes in for a moment and Megan takes the gun from Luke. She shoots the bottles with the right aim in contrast to Isabella. Megan asks if Luke’s dating Isabella but their conversation is cut short.

Inside the cabin, Brent and Megan have a chat and he jokingly offers to get rid of Isabella if Megan wants. The rest of the group gather around a campfire and Isabella offers to play two truths and a lie because she wants to learn some secrets about the group. Isabella and Megan are slowly starting to bond.

The evening passes by at the campfire and the group rushes inside the cabin when it starts raining. Megan and Isabella spend some time in the rain by themselves. The girls bail on the cabin and drive back home in the night as they chat some more in the car.

Once they get back to the house, Megan spots Debbie kissing her father. She runs to Isabella’s van and Isabella follows. Megan tells Isabella how her parents had split years ago because he was a musician who suddenly disappeared after Debbie got pregnant with her sister.

Megan is pissed at her mother but Isabella asks Megan to calm down and communicate her issues with Debbie. Megan finds comfort in Isabella’s advice. Megan asks Isabella about her dad but Isabella claims that he was much older and distant and only gave her money instead of loving her. She tells Megan that she hadn’t seen her parents in five years and tells Megan that she was lucky she could at least talk to Debbie.

December 18, 1999

Megan is shocked to learn that Isabella had told her mother that the person on the sex tape is Megan. Megan accuses Isabella of going back on her word and presumably ruining her future. Isabella argues that she doesn’t want Debbie to think that she’s betraying Megan.

Isabell accuses Megan of being mean and that Megan would never do something so generous for her if the roles were reversed. The girls are by the beach when Megan tells Isabella that she would do the same for her. She finally understands why Isabella did what she did and apologises for misunderstanding her friend.

Sheriff Meyer tries to cheer Luke up after what happened during the party. A while later, a box is left at the Sheriff’s station addressed to Meyer. Luke shows up at the cafe where Megan is working and tells her that he had gotten rid of the sex tape. Meanwhile, Steve brings Brent into the police station to hand over all six of the tapes she recorded.

Steve implies that Sheriff Meyer could brush the things off the rug since he was the only person who had helped fund a lot of things for the police department. He asks Meyer to get rid of the tapes for him and leave Brent out. In the car, Steve chokes Brent for filming so many underage girls and claims that he was very close to letting him pay for his mistake.

Steve tells Luke about Brent’s mistake but claims that Brent would never humiliate the family as he did. Luke tells his father that he wanted Brent to be punished but Steve claims that things like this needed to be handled in private and not in public. Jeff makes a scene at the cafe Megan is working at and tells her that dating Luke was a mistake.

She tries to deny that it was her on the tape but Jeff claims that he was sure it was her. That night, Brent mocks Luke for running to Sheriff Meyer and ratting him out. He lies that Steve did not bat an eyelid about his actions.

Later that night, Megan and Isabella meet Jeff. Megan threatens to expose Jeff’s secret if he said a word about the fact that it was her on the tape and not Isabella.

July 18, 2000

Sheriff Meyer shows up at the Landry house and tells Debbie that the gun from which Luke was shot had Megan, Isabella and Luke’s fingerprints on it. Megan is working on her laptop at the bar when she sees the news reports claiming Luke had narcotics in his system when he was murdered.

A woman at the cafe – Jenna talks to Megan and asks wanted to share her side of the story with the media since she was a reporter herself who was familiar with the case. Megan throws coffee on her meal and leaves the cafe. Meanwhile, Isabella’s family sends in a family lawyer – Rebecca to help sort out the mess that she was in.

Isabella claims that she and Megan both had used the gun during the summer of 1999 for target practice which explains their fingerprints on it. She also adds that she took the fall for Megan and lied that it was her on the sex tape. Rebecca claims that even if it was Megan on the tape, the people in the town would actually blame an outsider instead.

The lawyer claims that the police could also say that both Megan and Isabella killed Luke but Isabella says she hasn’t spoken to Megan in months. Rebecca also asks Isabella to refrain from talking to Megan or her mother. After what happened with Isabella in the past, they could not just use her diplomatic immunity.

Steve shows up at the Landry house and tries to spend some time with Debbie. He tells her how he’s having a tough time after what had happened to Luke and adds that he would not rest until he had found Luke’s killer. He is sure that the girls were not responsible for Luke’s death but he wonders who cleaned the cabin out.

Megan overhears the conversation from upstairs. Isabella meets Debbie and Megan and asks Debbie to get a lawyer for Megan. Megan accuses Isabella of being a pro when it comes to stuff that pertains to crime. The lawyer that Debbie hired for Megan – Tom asks Megan some questions.

Megan tells him that Isabella had more reason to kill Luke because she was a jilted lover and was also the last person to be seen with Luke. Once the lawyer leaves to answer a call, Debbie tells Megan that she borrowed money from Luke to hire him to save Megan. She is pissed at her mother for doing something like this.

Megan claims that she will pay Steve back for the lawyer. Megan, Debbie and Tom get to the courthouse for their primary hearing and Megan spots Isabella there. Sheriff Meyer interrogates Megan and Isabella separately with their respective lawyers. Both lawyers stop their clients from answering personal questions pertaining to their relationship with Luke.

Sheriff Meyer asks Megan about the last time she saw Luke. She claims that they left the Y2K party together, just after midnight after which she dropped him home. Meyer points out that the CCTV footage from Luke’s driveway hass no record of Megan’s car all night.

Tom cuts down the interrogation. Meanwhile, Sheriff Meyer claims that Isabella has lied about not seeing Luke as her bag was found in the cabin with a wad of cash inside.   

The Episode Review

Three episodes in, and Cruel Summer Season 2 pales in comparison to the way the first season of this intriguing mystery played out. With Luke’s murder being out in the open, there is no mystery behind it other than the fact that Isabella or Megan may be behind the murder.

While it is not totally right to compare this show with the previous season, part of the mystery in Cruel Summer 1 was the fact that there was so much left in the dark that made viewers watch the show and find answers to their questions. The show included sensitive issues like grooming and the fact that Kate’s body had not been discovered added to the chaos of her being missing.

Hopefully this mystery unfolds in an intriguing manner in the episodes to come, but so far the series is struggling to pique the interest.

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