“An Ocean Inside Me” shows events from (approximately) August 15th, 1993, 1994, and 1995. For the remainder of this recap, we will be getting into heavy spoilers; so only continue reading if you’ve seen episode 1×06 of Cruel Summer.
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.
1993 sets the date for Cindy (Sarah Drew) and Greg’s (Michael Landes) anniversary as we see Jeanette (Chiara Aurelia) and Derek (Barrett Carnahan) setting up a special breakfast for them. The golden trio of Jeanette, Vince (Allius Barnes), and Mallory (Harley Quinn Smith) are doing another list item, except Jeanette has actually already done it by stealing the yearbook from Martin’s (Blake Lee) house. At the mall, Mallory and Jeanette see Martin and Tanya, Tanya heavily flirting with the assistant principal. They end up agreeing on going to dinner together just as Mallory and Jeanette walk out with the stolen clothes. Vince isn’t as successful; the alarm goes off as he’s stealing a CD and Jeanette grabs the item, telling her two friends to run as she takes the blame. It seems she wasn’t the only one that was caught that day as we see Jamie (Froy Gutierrez) also in trouble. She quickly takes Kate’s (Olivia Holt) scrunchie out of her hair so Jamie won’t see it before the two laugh over why they got landed in mall jail. When she introduces herself, Jamie says he remembers her, proving she is slowly making herself known.
Jeanette tries to use the opportunity to bond with Jamie but isn’t able to get very far before Greg is there to pick her up. Jeanette tells her dad that she was just covering for Vince and her father ends up letting her off the hook, both of them agreeing not to tell Cindy. Jeanette airs out her frustrations about Mallory to Vince, but Vince says they shouldn’t talk badly about her so it ends the conversation. Jeanette goes back to Martin’s house and ends up having to hide in the closet when Martin and Tanya get back from their dinner. We see Tanya is the pushy one, being exactly how she described him in the ’94 interview. Tanya tells Martin that she’s scamming her ex for child support money, saying he isn’t actually the father of her daughter. Jeanette accidentally hits the speakers, music blaring through the house. Tanya blames sitting on the remote and Martin runs to grab her a towel for the spilled drink. Tanya finds Jeanette in the closet and the two agree not to say anything about the other before Jeanette runs out of the house.
1994 starts off the anniversary occasion with a much more depressing tone. Cindy and Greg can be heard fighting in another room as Jeanette blames herself. Derek tells her that it’s not her fault, blaming Joy Wallis (Andrea Anders), but Jeanette changes the subject, asking if Derek still has to move into the college dorms today. It’s obvious he feels bad about leaving but says he can’t miss preseason. Cindy answers the door to flowers and automatically assumes they’re from her husband for the special day, but it’s actually from Angela (Brooklyn Sudano) to Greg to thank him for her new home.
Jeanette is still trying to connect with the friends she lost now that Kate is back, but her calls continue to be ignored. Tanya reveals to Renee and Tennille that she did an interview about Martin. Cindy gets another prank call aimed at her daughter and it’s obviously taking a toll on her. She goes a step further by searching Jeanette’s room and just when she thinks there’s nothing there, she finds the key to Martin’s house in Jeanette’s jewelry box, though it was hidden in a different part. This is the push she needs to confront her daughter, though she doesn’t tell her that she found the key. Instead, Cindy asks if Jeanette has ever been inside Martin’s house, begging for the truth and promising her daughter they will face it together. Jeanette of course denies it and says Cindy has to start ignoring the rumors.
Cindy calls Greg home from work, obviously at her breaking point. She shows Greg the key and shares her suspicions but Greg wants to stand by their daughter, insisting Jeanette is telling the truth. Part of Cindy seems to blame herself for Jeanette changing, but Greg ends the conversation, trying to put the situation to rest without a real answer. Cindy then ends up bringing it up to her son, but Derek can’t get himself to discuss it either. Before he leaves the mother and son duo share a cute moment as Cindy tells him to keep following his dreams. We also finally see Vince and Ben (Nathaniel Ashton) again! Vince helps Ben pick out a movie and Ben invites him to come over and watch it with him. It seems like the moment might lead to more but Jeanette ends up walking in before anything else can happen. Ben quickly rushes out and Vince asks her to pretend she didn’t see anything. Jeanette agrees but expresses how happy her friend seems. She offers her support on it without pushing, giving a really sweet moment in the friendship.
Jeanette tells Vince that even Cindy’s starting to believe the rumors, but Vince assures her that she’s always got him no matter what. Renee and Tennille run into Jeanette at the video store and after a rude comment or two, the attention is turned to Tanya’s interview on the TV in the background. Tanya tells a tale about how forceful and aggressive Martin was with her, being labeled an “almost victim.” Jeanette says she’s lying, obviously knowing which encounter the other woman is recalling, but that sets the other two girls off in Tanya’s defense. The heated exchange is hateful before Renee and Tennille exit, Jeanette leaving right after in near tears.
Derek picks his sister up and asks what happened before Jeanette emotionally asks again if her brother really has to leave for college. She finally begins to express how lonely she feels, obviously needing Derek to stay by her side. Later on, Cindy is waiting to talk to Greg again when he gets home. She brings up her old dreams of being a flight attendant, Greg calling her desire unrealistic, but Cindy is quick to respond that her wanting a career isn’t unrealistic. She connects it to him not hearing what she’s saying about their daughter, giving her husband the key, and telling him to go try it. Drew delivers an incredible performance that will break your heart and make you applaud her at the same time as the couple gets into the fight that seems to really destroy them and their family.
Cindy says she is going to go stay with her sister for a little while, adding that it’s not forever and that she’ll come back to talk to Jeanette about everything. It’s obvious the two are in very different places, Cindy saying just as much by pointing out how Greg isn’t ready to face what’s in front of him while expressing how lonely it is without him there with her. We see a flashback of Cindy going to try the key at Martin’s house earlier on, discovering that it unlocks the door before we see Greg trying the same key and realizing the truth.
In ’95, Jeanette is watching an old video of her family and her mother, though she immediately denies missing her mother when Angela comes in. She instead says she’s missing her dad. Jeanette comments how if she stayed a “nerdy little nobody” then none of this would have happened. Angela quickly shuts that down, saying ladies do not make themselves less for others. They’re interrupted by Jeanette’s lawyer at the door, ready to announce another issue. Kate’s lawyers are deposing Tanya who claims to have damning information about Jeanette. Jeanette says that she has worse information than whatever Tanya has on her.
Vince visits Jeanette, showing that even after everything, the two still have each other’s back. Jeanette asks Vince to distract the reporters so she can go handle something, though she doesn’t tell Vince what it is. She ends up going to see Tanya, reminding her about what she heard that night in the closet. Vince and Greg try to distract Jeanette from worrying about Tanya, Greg apologizing for how he’s been treating her lately. Jeanette’s lawyer calls and tells her that Tanya didn’t have anything to say, but adds that if Jeanette is the reason for that, she never wants to know.
After six episodes, we finally see Cindy in ’95! The scene takes place at Angela’s bar which starts out strange but turns into a really nice and empowering moment between two strong females. Cindy asks how Jeanette is, adding that her daughter blames her for the separation and won’t talk to her. Angela says that Jeanette missing her and Cindy leaves it at that, asking if Angela wants to have a drink with her. They discuss how their mothers raised them, Cindy saying how she wanted to break that cycle for her kids, specifically her daughter. Angela praises her for starting a career after raising two kids, which means it’s safe to say Cindy followed her flight attendant dreams. Cindy then returns the sentiment, saying how Angela owns the bar. The elephant in the room does finally get brought up, Angela revealing that Greg told her that Cindy left him, which isn’t exactly what happened according to Cindy.
New episodes of Cruel Summer air Tuesdays at 10 PM EDT/PDT on Freeform and are available the next day on Hulu.