Continuing the emotional roller coaster viewers hopped on in episode 1, The Summer I Turned Pretty season 2 keeps the hit coming through the second episode with emotion filled moments across the board. So take a deep breath and let’s dive on in.
It’s Not Summer Without You
This season is based on the second book in Jenny Han’s trilogy, titled It’s Not Summer Without You, also happens to be the title of Laurel’s memoir about Susannah. Emotions are high after her disagreement with Belly, but despite, or perhaps because of that, Laurel has agreed to participate in an author meet and greet in New York City to promote the book. So, of course the first order of business, after enjoying a breakfast out and intense conversation with Steven, is to find a new outfit. Fortunately, Laurel finds herself being assisted by a saleswoman who knows her books and is happy to help her find the perfect outfit. However, she may be a bit more like Susannah than Laurel’s ready for, as a comment that “sounds like something Beck would say” leaves Laurel tearing up in the dressing room.
Steven’s Not Dumb
With his plans to attend an ivy league school in the fall, it’s obvious that Steven is the booksmart one in the Conklin family. He even brags to his mom that he created an algorithm to help him find and apply for scholarships. So naturally, Laurel asks him to talk to Belly about her falling grades. Unfortunately, as Steven points out, Belly probably doesn’t want to hear from him after their fight at the party last night. However, he agrees to try, making Laurel comment on how grown up he suddenly is.
Steven is also the only one of the family pair to figure out that Belly’s lying when she claims to be at Taylor’s helping her through her breakup. Partially because, to his rather obvious disappointment, when he runs into Taylor at the bookstore it’s pretty clear that she and Milo haven’t actually broken up. (Although, before he sees through her sham, Steven does his best to be a nice guy and express sympathy over the breakup, even though he clearly isn’t at all upset about it.) However, the big clue comes when Belly sends a text that completely contradicts the tale Taylor spun. Fortunately for Belly, Taylor is a really good friend, and she talks Steven down from going after her reminding him that this is Belly’s mess and she needs to be the one to fix it.
Can We Be Friends Again?
With everything that happened at the end of last summer, and whatever went down at Susannah’s funeral, Belly heading out to find Conrad with Jeremiah was bound to be awkward at best. The duo went from being best friends, to a couple (only for a hot second, but still), to not speaking less than a year ago, and while Belly is clearly trying to make amends, Jeremiah isn’t sure he’s there yet. However, after revealing that he doesn’t know what happened to make Conrad and Belly breakup, Jeremiah finds himself faced with a more immediate problem that facing Belly: the Jeep has a flat tire.
Jeremiah does what many of us would do in this situation: he starts to call AAA. He never actually makes the call though, because Belly is sure that they can change the tire themselves. She knows how. Unfortunately, knowing how to do it doesn’t translate into actually helping get a tire changed, and Jeremiah ends up cursing at her. Belly then turns it back on him reminding him that it’s not her fault, but she’s sorry. She’s not just sorry about the tire either. She’s sorry about everything: the funeral, last summer, but Jeremiah calls her out reminding her that they were all messed up at the funeral. It’s last summer that he’s mad about. He only dated other people after summer so that he wouldn’t be the pathetic loser keeping her and Conrad apart. He was still hurt.
Belly the apologizes again proclaiming that she’s not just sorry because she lost Conrad, she’s sorry because she’s missed Jeremiah. Even reminding him that when she was feeling lonely the other night it was him she called, not Conrad. Ultimately Jeremiah accepts her apology as she laments the fact that she was so focused on Conrad as Susannah passed that she forgot about Jeremiah, and she hates herself for it. It’s a tearful reunion that reminds the duo that they need each other. Luckily though, the tears don’t last too long. The tire gets fixed and they get back on the road in time for a pie break at one of their favorite spots, and it seems that the duo is back to being best friends again.
Remembering Better Days
Even as Belly deals with Jeremiah and all the drama there, she is face with another problem: Conrad. In a series of flashbacks scattered throughout the episode Belly reminisces on the spur of the moment trip she and Conrad took to Cousins Beach just before Christmas. Sneaking out of the house after dark, Belly and Conrad run away from reality for a time accompanied by One Direction’s fittingly titled “Steal My Girl.” The duo talk about anything and everything on their drive, from Susannah’s approval of their relationship, to Conrad’s desire to change majors, to his faith that his mom really is getting better.
It turns out, though, that the house in Cousins isn’t quite the same during winter. The only food in the house is hot cocoa, and Conrad’s claim to Eagle scoutdom is in question as he struggles to get a fire going in the fireplace. However, the chance to see snow on the beach makes it all worth it in Belly’s eyes. Besides, this is one of the couple’s few real chances to be alone, and they take full advantage. With Conrad pouring his heart out to Belly promising that he could never be cold-hearted for her as he asks again and again for consent before their kissing in front of the fire turns into more. Belly promises that she wants to be with him, and that for her there’s only Conrad, and there’s only ever been Conrad.
The Search for Conrad
The bulk of this episode is focused on wrapping up the big question from episode 1: Where is Conrad? Obviously Belly sneaks off to join Jeremiah at Brown to look for Conrad there, which turns out to not only be an extremely awkward reunion, but problematic in that neither one actually knows where Conrad’s dorm is. However, Jeremiah has already called everyone he can think of and no one knows anything, so this is his last chance. Fortunately, although Conrad’s roommate seems to be a bit of an oddball who is more concerned with making sure Conrad is back by Thursday to take his bio final so he won’t fail the class than he is about the fact that Conrad is missing, he is able to point them in the right direction. Apparently shortly before Conrad left he argued with someone on the phone, and a friend of his overheard something about visiting a cousin by the beach.
As much as Jeremiah doesn’t want to put himself in the middle of whatever Conrad’s shit is this time, he knows he has to go to Cousins to make sure Conrad is okay. Belly, in her effort to be a good friend, offers to accompany him, and while Jeremiah doesn’t want her to come, making it clear that he really didn’t even need her to come to Brown, he admits that Conrad took their breakup hard and maybe he needs Belly there for whatever this is. Knowing Jeremiah though, Belly is sure that he actually wants her to come, so off they head to Cousins.
Even with Jeremiah and Belly’s friendship on the mend, driving into Cousins isn’t easy for the pair. Belly in particular is hit with flashbacks and isn’t sure she’ll ever really be ready to go back. However, as Olivia Rodrigo’s “Deja Vu” plays through, the duo approaches the house with Conrad’s car in the drive. Jeremiah goes in guns blazing yelling for Conrad and ripping into him off-screen about not picking up his phone. Belly on the other hand slows down as the door opens to more memories and an internal battle where she doesn’t want to see Conrad, but also can’t wait — a battle perfectly backed by “Invisible Strings (Taylor’s Version).” Ultimately though, she follows Jeremiah into the house in time to hear Conrad tell him the house has been put up for sale.
The episode wraps with Conrad noticing Belly and pointedly asking, “Why is she here?”
New episodes of The Summer I Turned Pretty drop every Friday on Prime Video, and make sure to stop back for recaps of every episode here at Nerds and Beyond.