Warning: This story contains spoilers from the season 2 finale of Cruel Summer.
Freeform’s Cruel Summer used their season 2 finale to introduce a major Easter egg — which connects the story back to season 1.
During the conclusion to the sophomore season, which aired on Monday, July 31, Megan (Sadie Stanley) picks up her keys which are on top of a book titled Out of the Basement: The Kate Wallis Story.
Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt) was originally introduced in season 1 as the show followed her kidnapping — and subsequent rescue. Fellow student Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia) was accused of knowing about Kate’s whereabouts but keeping it a secret. In the final scene of the first season it was revealed that Jeanette was aware that Kate was held captive in their vice principal Martin Harris’ (Blake Lee) basement.
Viewers were in for an even bigger shakeup when Freeform confirmed that Cruel Summer would continue as an anthology series in season 2. The hit series returned with new episodes in June, which focused on a tumultuous friendship between Megan and Isabella (Lexi Underwood). Their love triangle with Luke Chambers (Griffin Gluck) — as well as his eventual death — have been at the center of the mystery.
Before the premiere of season 2, executive producer Michelle Purple teased that the characters were all part of the same universe.
“We took into big consideration [that] people really loved the cast in season 1 and were connected to them,” she told TVLine in June. “We actually opened up a room and discussed, ‘What does it look like to continue both these girls’ stories or one of these girl’s stories?’”
Purple added: “We’re playing in the same world in the sense of it’s just a few years later. So there’s a tie to season 1, but we’re not going to tell you [what it is]! You guys have to find it!”
That same month, Stanley, 21, and Underwood, 19, offered a glimpse at the conversations that took place between them and the season 1 cast.
“It was just incredible being able to have the team from season 1 that definitely understood that formula and that structure of it. Because it is a little bit tricky navigating telling a story while also playing three different versions of your character or having those three different timelines,” Underwood exclusively told Us Weekly. “Being able to have them guide us — it kind of took the pressure off of feeling like we had to do better. Like [we had to] top something or live up to certain standards. When we do interact with [the season 1 cast], they’re all just so incredibly great and they’ve given us so much like support and love.”
Stanley, for her part, praised Aurelia, 20, and Holt, 25, for the advice they gave after starring in Cruel Summer.
“Chiara and Olivia have both been so, so supportive and so lovely and reached out to both of us,” Stanley shared with Us. “I had met Chiara a couple of times [and] she’s lovely. Olivia came to set one day while we were filming in Vancouver and she’s awesome.”