Why did Martin kidnap Kate?

According to Olivia Holt, the actress who portrays Kate in Cruel Summer, Martin never intended to kidnap the teenager, but it was one line that made him snap.

Cruel Summer is an American teen drama television series. The show follows two teenage girls in the 1990s and the consequences a kidnapping has on everyone’s life. The series premiered on 20 April 2021, and was renewed for a second season in June 2021.

In the show’s ninth episode, “A secret of my own”, fans witnessed the backstory of Kate Wallis’ time in Martin Harris’ house. Olivia Holt, who plays Kate Wallis, admitted that Harris did not always intend to kidnap Kate, but all it took for him to snap was one line.

Kate felt attacked at her home, so she looked for comfort and safety somewhere else. Earlier on, it was revealed that Kate, at first, went into Harris’ house willingly. Harris made Kate feel safe and manipulated it all to seem like it was the perfect place to be, a place where he cared for her and protected her from all of her troubles.

The episode was narrated and analysed by Kate’s therapist, Sylvia, who highlighted that Martin was, in fact, grooming Kate. He isolated her and showed her that he was supposedly her safe haven. Martin preyed on Kate to the extent that she defended him, even after he was dead.

Several months had passed and Kate yearned for the outside world, but Martin could not let her go. He feared that he would be arrested, as he lied to the police about her whereabouts. After Kate and Martin had Christmas dinner, Kate brought up the subject of seeing her family, but Martin stated that he would not allow her to leave. In response, Kate stated, “You sound a lot like –”, as Martin cut her off and asked, “What? Your dad?”, to which Kate responded, “No, my kidnapper.”

That was when Martin decided that keeping Kate locked up in his basement would be the best option for him. On 9 June 2021, Holt stated, “There was a fear obviously, of her leaving the house because he did not want anybody to know.” Adding, “I do not think that he ever intentionally planned to lock her in the basement, but he knew what he was doing was wrong.”

Martin Harris was killed in a shootout with the police after Kate’s rescue.