Cruel Summer Season 2 Episode 5 Recap and Ending, Explained

Image Credit: Ricardo Hubbs/Freeform

In the second season of ‘Cruel Summer,’ Freeform’s anthology thriller series, the narrative is set in the fictional Northwestern coastal town of Chatham, Washington, and split into three timelines: summer 1999, winter 1999, and summer 2000. The plot revolves around Megan Landry (Sadie Stanley), a gifted coder who has never left her hometown, and Isabella LaRue (Lexi Underwood), a worldly girl who comes to live with Megan and her family. Following the death of their mutual friend, Luke Chambers (Griffin Gluck), their lives are turned upside down as they emerge as the prime suspects in the case.

In season 2 episode 5, ‘All I Want for Christmas,’ Isabella’s happy life in Chatham encounters a sudden interruption when someone from her past comes to the town for a surprise visit in summer 1999. In winter 1999, Isabella and Luke begin to wonder why Megan has been spending time with the mysterious former coder from Apple, Ned. In summer 2000, with the revelations about Megan’s pregnancy, the town suddenly starts buzzing. Here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Cruel Summer’ season 2 episode 3. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Cruel Summer Season 2 Episode 5 Recap

The events of the episode take place on July 25, 1999, December 25, 1999 (hence the title), and July 25, 2000. People of Chatham apparently celebrate July 25 as “Christmas in July.” Isabella returns to the Landry household with Megan to discover that someone from her past is waiting for her there. His name is Trevor (Olly Sholotan), the brother of her best friend, Lisa, and from the snippets of their conversation, it becomes quickly clear that they were in a relationship.

On Debbie’s (KaDee Strickland) invite, Trevor agrees to stay for a meal, and the girls subsequently show him around Chatham. Inevitably, they encounter Luke, and Trevor becomes evidently surprised when he learns about Isabella and Luke’s relationship. He takes Isabella aside as he increasingly realizes that she hasn’t told her friends here much about her past. Eventually, he leaves, but not before Isabella kisses him, claiming that she still loves him, and Megan sees them.

On the actual Christmas Day, Megan is not entirely happy with the expensive monitor that Isabella has gotten her as a present. To her, it only underscores the sheer difference between their financial situations, though she still uses it to hack into the school server to change her grade from C+ to A. When Megan leaves with a present in her hand and claiming that she is going out to meet Luke, Isabella decides to follow her. Much to her surprise, Megan visits Ned, gives him the present and goes inside.

In summer 2000, it is revealed that Isabella’s lawyer revealed to the police that Megan was pregnant as a desperate move. With Sheriff Myer (Sean Blakemore) looking into Isabella’s past, she didn’t want him to find something that would put her client in more trouble than she already is. This new information diverts his attention toward Megan, but it also seems to put the final nail in the coffin of their relationship, especially with Debbie asking Isabella to leave.

Cruel Summer Season 2 Episode 5 Ending: What Happened to Lisa?

Lisa used to be Isabella’s best friend at boarding school. Isabella speaks about her in the present tense and regularly writes letters addressed to her. Her lawyer, in summer 2000, mentions her past multiple times, worrying that the local police will find out about it. When Trevor visits in summer 1999, it becomes quite apparent that Isabella has hidden crucial information about her past from her new friends. Trevor becomes genuinely shocked when he learns she still drinks alcohol, mentioning an incident in the past. Isabella quickly interferes and recounts a tale of her public intoxication and subsequent arrest.

In winter 1999, while putting away laundry, Debbie finds Isabella’s letters to Lisa stacked in the former’s drawer. Isabella walks in just then and claims that she hasn’t sent the letters because Lisa is currently traveling by sea. Once she comes on land, Isabella will send all the letters together. This seems believable, but then Debbie asks why Isabella has no letter from Lisa.

Toward the end of the episode, Megan receives an envelope from Trevor. In it, there is a note in which Trevor explains that he has learned about Luke’s drowning. The envelope also had a newspaper clipping inside, which reveals that Lisa drowned, Just as Luke drowned, and Isabella was involved in the former incident.

How Did Isabella and Luke’s Relationship End?

We know that in summer 1999, Isabella and Luke start dating, but by winter 1999, Luke is in a relationship with Megan. This means something happened between Isabella and Luke in the intermediate period, resulting in their breakup. In this episode, we learn what that something is.

After Trevor leaves, Luke and Isabella visit the Chambers cabin and have sex. Luke makes a ‘The Matrix’ reference, describing how important what they have is to him. Later, at the Landry home, Megan admits that she felt a certain amount of envy and also makes a reference to ‘The Matrix.’ This makes Isabella volunteer that she will end her relationship with Luke.

What is going on between Megan and Ned?

We know that the writers of ‘Cruel Summer’ have explored a disturbing relationship between a high school teacher and his student in season 1, but that is likely not the case between Megan and Ned. It’s probably safe to assume that Ned is the person Megan regularly chats with on her computer. He even offers her to teach coding, which Megan likely has accepted, and her visits to the man’s home are for the purpose. The narrative of the first season probably serves as a backdrop for what is implied in season 2.

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