Cruel Summer Season 2 Ending Explained

It all comes down to this. Here’s how the truth of Luke’s murder is revealed in the Cruel Summer season 2 finale.

CRUEL SUMMER – “Endgame” – As timelines collide, friendships implode, new evidence emerges and the shocking truth is revealed - in more ways than one. | Sadie Stanley
Photo: Justine Yeung | Freeform

This article contains spoilers for the Cruel Summer season 2 finale.

Cruel Summer season 2 introduced us to all new characters and a captivating new mystery, but the ending will make your jaw drop just like the first season did. As our two timelines collide, we finally discover what happened to Luke.

This next chapter of the series, which takes place in the Y2K era, showcases the rise and fall of Megan (Sadie Stanley), Isabella (Lexi Underwood), and Luke’s (Griffin Gluck) intense friendship/love triangle. Told through three different timelines, twists and turns lurk around every corner for audiences, who are trying to seek answers as to how everything went so wrong for these teens. Here’s what really went down in the Cruel Summer season 2 finale.

What Happened On or Around Jan. 1, 2000?

Picking up from last episode’s big cliffhanger, we see that Luke has paged his brother for help. Brent (Braeden De La Garza) does show up, but then we see him dripping wet, sitting at home where his father (Paul Adelstein) finds him. When Steve questions what happened, his son says that there’s something he needs to tell him. After he is seemingly told what transpired, Steve rushes to the docks, screaming for Luke, but there is obviously no answer.

Ad – content continues below

When the girls get home, Megan tells Isabella that they are untying Luke first thing in the morning, but Isabella thinks they let him off easy despite the fact that she shot him. They do go back the next morning, but he’s already gone and they struggle to figure out how he got out as they search for him in the woods. 

Along with hacking into the 911 call center, Megan reaches out to the hospital, asking if there is anyone there that fits Luke’s description, but there’s no luck. Isabella suggests that she destroy the tape with Luke’s confession on it, knowing it would incriminate them, which Megan agrees with. Before she can leave, the two of them get into everything that’s happened, from Luke making the sex tape to Isabella lying about sleeping with him. To Megan, the trust between them has been broken. Steve spent the whole night at the dock, unable to sleep and Brent asks what they’re going to do now. While Steve might still be trying to figure out how to handle this, he does promise his son one thing: he won’t let anything happen to him. 

Megan ends up asking Steve if he’s heard from Luke and with both of them keeping their own information close to the vest, there’s no real way to get answers for either party. He ends up suggesting that maybe Luke ran away before adding that the sheriff (Sean Blakemore) is investigating. With Luke officially being a missing person, Megan and Isabella know they have to be on the same page and decide to go with the theory that he ran away. The first step is writing a letter. Megan then starts putting up and handing out missing posters, playing the role of a concerned girlfriend to avoid any suspicion. At home, she continues to try messaging Luke, but receives no answer. 

The situation begins to hit her harder, Megan pointing out that Isabella shouldn’t have added the last pill and an argument quickly starts between the best friends about who to blame. This is the moment that their friendship completely falls apart and it’s clear there is no coming back from this.

What Happened On or Around Aug. 2, 2000?

Steve continues to pressure the sheriff to press charges against Megan and Isabella, wanting the whole thing put to rest. By this point, we know that he really just wants his son to be in the clear, even if it means putting two innocent girls behind bars. Brent ends up visiting Megan and we find out that her lawyer quit since they didn’t have the money to continue paying him. Thankfully, with the lack of evidence and both girls blaming each other, the sheriff has no reason to hold either one of them.

While Ned’s footage shows the two of them leaving the cabin on the night of Luke’s murder, they realize that it should also show who actually killed him so Megan hacks their system and finds the video. Steve’s car is seen on the footage after the girls drove away, leading them to go to confront him. Of course, he doesn’t confess anything and tries to put everything back on Isabella. They decide to wait before doing anything with the footage, not wanting to risk the blame. Isabella then uses the opportunity to ask for a do-over but Megan wants no part of it. After that, Brent begins to panic, but Steve tells him to pull it together because he’s not going to let him go to jail. 

Ad – content continues below

While driving, Megan gets pulled over and asked to come to the station to answer some questions. The tape that he plays is the one from the cabin except it shows Megan holding the gun after she took it from Isabella, but the other girl is nowhere to be seen in the video. Luke’s screaming is heard in the background and it’s enough to get her arrested for murder. Considering Isabella checked out of her hotel room, it seems like this was all a set up. 

The news upsets Brent, who immediately tells his father that they have to stop this and that Luke would not have wanted this. Naturally, Steve won’t agree and says this is their ticket out of this, but when he starts to walk away, Brent brings up the night their mother died in a car accident. He questions if mom was drinking and Steve mentions how scandals like drunk driving aren’t good for anyone, so he blamed Luke distracting her. Once again, it all comes down to “protecting” his family.

But Brent goes to visit Megan at the station and explains what really happened after he arrived at the dock. The two brothers argued and while fighting, Luke fell into the water after hitting his head. Brent dived in after him, but it was too late. He wasn’t able to find him and while Megan states that it was an accident, he blames himself. Everything starts to click for her, realizing Steve did whatever he could to frame someone else.

In the other room, the sheriff is listening to the entire exchange as Brent says that he isn’t going to let Megan take the fall for what happened. He is then arrested, apologizing to her one last time. Back at the Chambers’ residence, the police show up to arrest Steve as well for his involvement. We eventually see Megan reading an article on the scandal before receiving news of a job, which is exactly what she needed after her scholarship was taken away. As for Isabella, she makes a new friend on her flight to Ibiza like none of the events from the past year even occurred. But even worse than that, she introduces herself as Lisa. 

Megan goes to the dock to say a final goodbye to Luke, needing closure but as she’s walking away, she notices a camera in the trees. This is where the final twist is revealed: Isabella did find Luke after he fell in the water, but instead of saving his life, she pushes his head under with her boot until he stops breathing. She pushes his body back into the water so he won’t be found.