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The Best Episodes of Cruel Summer

Every episode of Cruel Summer ranked from best to worst. Let's dive into the Best Episodes of Cruel Summer!

Taking place over three summers - 1993, 1994, 1995 - in a small Texas town, a beautiful popular teen, Kate, is abducted and, seemingly unrelated, a girl, Jeanette, goes from being a sweet, awkward outlier to the most popular girl in town and, by ’95, the most despised person in America.


Top Episode Highlight

The best episode of "Cruel Summer" is "A Secret of My Own", rated 8.6/10 from 602 user votes. It was directed by Alexis Ostrander and written by Matt Antonelli. "A Secret of My Own" aired on 6/8/2021 and is rated 0.2 point(s) higher than the second highest rated, "Hostile Witness".

  • A Secret of My Own
    8.6/10 602 votes

    #1 - A Secret of My Own

    Season 1 Episode 9 - Aired 2021-06-08

    Kate's closely held secrets and fragmented memories of her time in Martin's captivity are brought to the surface.

    Director: Alexis Ostrander

    Writer: Matt Antonelli

  • Hostile Witness
    8.4/10 715 votes

    #2 - Hostile Witness

    Season 1 Episode 10 - Aired 2021-06-15

    Kate and Jeanette's worlds collide as the court date arrives, finally forcing the two young women to answer the question on everyone's mind, but the answer comes with a price that not everyone can pay.

    Director: Bill Purple

    Writer: Bert V. Royal

  • A Smashing Good Time
    7.8/10 680 votes

    #3 - A Smashing Good Time

    Season 1 Episode 2 - Aired 2021-04-20

    It’s time for the annual Skylin Garden Club Party! Year after year after year, the residents of Skylin struggle with the truth around what happened to Kate, keeping their secrets buried and maintaining appearances.

    Director: Bill Purple

    Writer: Bert V. Royal

  • Endgame
    7.8/10 230 votes

    #4 - Endgame

    Season 2 Episode 10 - Aired 2023-07-31

    As timelines collide, friendships implode, new evidence emerges, and the shocking truth is revealed...in more ways than one.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Happy Birthday, Jeanette Turner
    7.7/10 801 votes

    #5 - Happy Birthday, Jeanette Turner

    Season 1 Episode 1 - Aired 2021-04-20

    Taking place over 3 summers in the 90s when a popular teen goes missing, and a seemingly unrelated girl transforms from a sweet and awkward outlier to the most popular girl in town, eventually becoming the most despised person in America.

    Director: Max Winkler

    Writer: Bert V. Royal

  • Happy Birthday, Kate Wallis
    7.6/10 494 votes

    #6 - Happy Birthday, Kate Wallis

    Season 1 Episode 7 - Aired 2021-05-25

    Kate struggles with a family secret she’s been holding on to. Joy tries to convince Kate to go on “The Marsha Bailey Show.” Mallory has a birthday surprise.

    Director: Alexis Ostrander

    Writer: Savannah Ward

  • An Ocean in Me
    7.5/10 499 votes

    #7 - An Ocean in Me

    Season 1 Episode 6 - Aired 2021-05-18

    A new deposition threatens Jeanette’s case. A discovery causes Cindy’s suspicions about her own daughter to reach new heights as her relationship with Greg becomes further strained.

    Director: Kellie Cyrus

    Writer: Brian Otaño

  • You Don't Hunt, You Don't Eat
    7.4/10 552 votes

    #8 - You Don't Hunt, You Don't Eat

    Season 1 Episode 4 - Aired 2021-05-04

    Kate, reeling from the lawsuit, prepares her defense and finds friendship in an unlikely source. The annual Wallis hunting trip becomes the setting for an important first meeting.

    Director: Laura Nisbet Peters

    Writer: Imogen Binnie

  • Proof
    7.4/10 484 votes

    #9 - Proof

    Season 1 Episode 8 - Aired 2021-06-01

    On the first day of school, everyone learns that the drama of the summer is anything but over and that some people will pay more for the consequences of Jeanette and Kate's deception than others.

    Director: Daniel Willis

    Writer: Addison McQuigg

  • Off with a Bang
    7.3/10 605 votes

    #10 - Off with a Bang

    Season 1 Episode 3 - Aired 2021-04-27

    Victim or villain? Jeanette continues to add fuel to the fire as her reckless behavior causes her friends and family to question her even more.

    Director: Kellie Cyrus

    Writer: Bert V. Royal

  • As the Carny Gods Intended
    7.3/10 513 votes

    #11 - As the Carny Gods Intended

    Season 1 Episode 5 - Aired 2021-05-11

    Jeannette and Kate cross paths at the Skylin High takeover of the County Fair, where one is desperate to prove herself and the other to lose herself.

    Director: Daniel Willis

    Writer: Tia Napolitano

  • The Miseducation of Luke Chambers
    7.3/10 153 votes

    #12 - The Miseducation of Luke Chambers

    Season 2 Episode 9 - Aired 2023-07-24

    Luke examines all his relationships and worries that the pressures of being a “Chambers man” have changed him.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Confess Your Sins
    7.2/10 163 votes

    #13 - Confess Your Sins

    Season 2 Episode 8 - Aired 2023-07-17

    In summer 1999, new friendships are formed and secrets are kept as the crew approaches senior year at the annual school car wash. In winter 1999, Megan and Isabella push for answers. In summer 2000, Debbie wants to protect her daughter.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: Diana Glogau

  • It's the End of the World
    7.1/10 156 votes

    #14 - It's the End of the World

    Season 2 Episode 7 - Aired 2023-07-10

    In winter 1999, tensions are high on Y2K. At the New Year's Eve party, a not-so-secret conversation changes the lives of the trio forever. In summer 2000, suspicion falls on Ned after some new evidence from summer 1999 comes to light.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Welcome to Chatham
    7.0/10 297 votes

    #15 - Welcome to Chatham

    Season 2 Episode 1 - Aired 2023-06-05

    In Summer 1999, small-town computer genius Megan resents the arrival of outgoing and mysterious foreign exchange student Isabella. Little does she know how her life will change by Summer 2000.

    Director: Bill Purple

    Writer: Tia Napolitano, Elle Triedman

  • Ride or Die
    7.0/10 221 votes

    #16 - Ride or Die

    Season 2 Episode 2 - Aired 2023-06-05

    In Summer 1999, Isabella grows closer to Luke while struggling to connect with Megan. In Winter 1999, Isabella searches for justice following the disastrous Christmas party.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: Matt Morgan

  • Springing a Leak
    7.0/10 177 votes

    #17 - Springing a Leak

    Season 2 Episode 4 - Aired 2023-06-19

    In Summer 1999, Megan wants to be adventurous and makes fake IDs for the gang. In Winter 1999, a burst pipe leads the Landrys and Isabella to a messy night at the Chambers house. Isabella wants to help but is met with resistance from Megan.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • All I Want for Christmas
    7.0/10 168 votes

    #18 - All I Want for Christmas

    Season 2 Episode 5 - Aired 2023-06-26

    In Summer 1999, Isabella is rocked by a surprise visit from her past. In Winter 1999, Isabella’s concerns for Megan lead her to some surprising news. In Summer 2000, family loyalties are tested.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Bloody Knuckles
    6.9/10 180 votes

    #19 - Bloody Knuckles

    Season 2 Episode 3 - Aired 2023-06-12

    In Summer 1999, Megan and Isabella bond during an overnight at the Chambers’ cabin. Luke tries to stand up to Brent, but ends up causing more problems for his dad. Suspicions are raised after fingerprints are found on the gun that shot Luke.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • The Plunge
    6.9/10 163 votes

    #20 - The Plunge

    Season 2 Episode 6 - Aired 2023-07-03

    In summer 1999, sparks fly at Luke's birthday party. In winter 1999, relationships are tested as Megan becomes more distant from Luke. In summer 2000, Megan obsesses over an interesting letter she received.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A