Following episode 2’s cliffhanger-esque ending, we’re just going to jump right into episode 3.
The Beach House Is for Sale
Thankfully, Belly and Jeremiah found Conrad, who is obviously unharmed, and as Jeremiah points out, completely capable of answering his phone. However, he does drop the bomb that Aunt Julia is in the process of selling the Beach House in Cousins. As it turns out, Susannah and her sister Julia each had equal shares of the house and when Susannah died the whole house became Julia’s. Conrad found out a few days ago, leading to him falling off the grid. Jeremiah loses it when he hears, railing at Conrad for not telling him before stomping away. Belly takes it more calmly. She does her best to overcome the obvious discomfort between Conrad and herself, reminding Conrad that Jeremiah only seems to be unmoved by the news about the house because he was more worried that something horrible had happened to Conrad. This hits home for Conrad, who didn’t want to hurt Jeremiah more by letting him see the “For Sale” sign in front of the house as, “seeing that sign was like losing [Susannah] all over again.” Belly reminds him though that he’s not the only one who cares about the house, and just because he’s older doesn’t mean that he can make Jeremiah’s decisions for him
Who’s Aunt Julia?
A new character in the saga, Aunt Julia is a bit of a mystery. Jeremiah confides in Belly that he hasn’t seen his aunt since he was seven or eight-years-old, since she didn’t come out for Susannah’s funeral. However, he figures that perhaps if they talk to her and take his normal approach — the so-called charm offensive — perhaps they might be able to bring her around to the idea of keeping the house. Conrad on the other hand has his doubts. He points out that Julia couldn’t be bothered to come to her own sister’s funeral, but flies out immediately to sell the house.
Despite Conrad’s doubts, Jeremiah persists. So he and Belly make a trip to the local motel where Aunt Julia is staying for a surprise visit. Turns out Conrad was right: it doesn’t go well. Not only does Julia not recognize Jeremiah at first, but she seems unimpressed with the flowers he’s brought and refuses to even consider not selling the house. She declares in a no nonsense tone that while the house may have been a magical place for Susannah, this decision is not a personal one and the open house will be happing the next day. Her daughter (Jeremiah and Conrad’s cousin) Skye is even there to help with everything, popping up to say an uncomfortable hello to the visitors before Julia shuts the door on them.
In opposition to Jeremiah’s more optimistic approach to Aunt Julia’s plans, Conrad went straight for worst case scenario and is planning a way to buy the house back. A plan that, in typical Conrad fashion, he is determined to see through alone. Unfortunately this plan depends on his father signing off on accessing his trust early, a plan Conrad is not looking forward to presenting over the phone given he is still on bad terms with his dad. Belly is on top of it though, talking Jeremiah into joining team Conrad here, even making a deal with Jeremiah to attend the volleyball camp she’s been dreading (it’s hard to look forward to returning to a team you let down because you lost it at a critical moment) if he plays nice with Conrad.
When the time comes for the call, the whole trio gathers around the phone in hopes that things will go their way. They don’t. Mr. Fisher is adamant that the boys cannot “blow their trust on a beach house” and there are no loopholes for them to take advantage of. Turns out he has known about Aunt Julia taking possession of the house since the funeral but never bothered to tell the boys. Emotions are high, and both boys let their feelings be known, lobbing accusations at their dad that he never cared about the house or their mother, so talking to him is pointless before Conrad abruptly hangs up. Their hopes of buying the house officially dead, Jeremiah disappears to process. Conrad soon finds him and takes his chance to apologize for scaring him. He was just afraid that Jeremiah would see him mess it all up. A heartbreakingly sweet moment between the brothers makes it clear that they both fear that everyone is drifting apart, and, as Jeremiah says, the house is all that’s tying them together.
One of the hallmarks of this season so far has been the flashbacks to what occurred during the time since last summer, and no reminiscence of a year of high school would be complete without at least one school dance. Prom is the dance of choice here, and while Belly is excited about the prospect, Conrad is notably less enthused. Now, given that his mom is fighting cancer and he reveals that her current meds seem to have stopped working, it is understandable that Conrad is not fully devoted to going all out for prom. However, when he admits to not having ordered his tux just weeks before the dance, Belly reveals that she was already losing him then.
Things get worse on the day of the dance as Laurel, with direction from Susannah via video call, gathers Belly, Steven, Taylor, and their dates for photos. It’s obvious from the get go that Conrad doesn’t want to be there. He makes no comment on Belly’s stunning purple floral dress, and when Susannah asks for a photo of the girls’ corsages, he reveals that he forgot Belly’s in his dorm. Fortunately for him, Belly takes the disappointment well, cracking a half-hearted joke about him bringing her two next year. Although upon arriving at the dance, it seems that Conrad would rather be anywhere else, so next year isn’t looking promising.
Ultimately, after being pestered by Steven into asking Belly to dance, Conrad asks if they can go somewhere else to talk. Belly questions this, pointing out that after-prom doesn’t start until later, at which point Conrad lets her know that he doesn’t plan on staying — he wants to go back to school that night to study. This is the breaking point for Belly. She asks if she did something wrong while Conrad hurries them outside. Once outside, Conrad apologizes, but Belly doesn’t understand what for. Begging him not to shut her out again, Belly is treated to an emotional Conrad declaring that he just keeps disappointing her and he can’t be anything different before starting to walk away. This seems to truly be the end for the couple as Belly tearfully declares that, “If you can’t say it, I will. We’re over aren’t we?” before returning the infinity necklace to Conrad and, ignoring his pleas not to leave it like this, runs to Steven’s open arms to cry.
Belly and Conrad
With their breakup now clear to the viewer, it’s no surprise that Conrad and Belly’s reunion is uncomfortable at best. However, it’s also clear to viewers that Conrad isn’t as over Belly as she seems to think. While he may snap at her for questioning his decision to abandon school and risk his future as a doctor, Conrad does ultimately apologize. He also follows Belly out to the pool during her late night swim and comments that it seems to be such a place of peace for her that if she was swimming she wouldn’t even notice if the house was on fire.
Despite these moments, Belly is still certain that Conrad wants as little to do with her as possible, and he certainly doesn’t care what she thinks about him anymore. Jeremiah is of a different opinion, pointing out how often she has been the only person that Conrad listens to. Despite this difference, the duo pulls their newly rebuilt friendship even tighter as they both work through the exhaustion of being there for Conrad, even as he pushes them away. Jeremiah ultimately thanks Belly for coming with him even though it can’t have been easy to see Conrad again.
Is Steven an Asshole?
While Belly and the Fisher boys are fighting their own battles in Cousins, Steven is left holding the back bag home. After lying to Laurel about Belly’s whereabouts, Steven takes matters into his own hands calling Taylor to check in on Belly and declaring that he will be following them to Cousins. While Taylor is obviously annoyed by Steven, she quickly makes plans to go with him to Cousins — although she does so under the false impression that they were invited. Given Steven has been less than warm to Taylor thus far, the car trip starts out awkward and only gets worse when Steven asks about Taylor’s boyfriend and tries to make it seem like the kiss he and Taylor shared last summer is a bigger deal than it was.
This backfires on Steven pretty spectacularly, as Taylor doesn’t take the disparaging comments about Milo well and launches a “Steven is an asshole” campaign complete with comments about how he treated Belly at the party, and an overarching assertion that all Ivy League kids are assholes, so it makes sense that he’ll be one. Steven doesn’t immediately react, instead stewing on her words until Taylor makes an apology. She doesn’t think he’s an asshole, he just tends to act like he’s better and smarter than everyone — including her, to which Steven sweetly and swiftly replies that she is one of the smartest people he knows. He’s just so worried about what Belly thinks of him. He does miss Susannah, but he’s also really excited about Princeton. Taylor reassures him that Belly still loves him, and it’s okay for happiness and grief to coexist.
This conversation really turns the mood of the whole trip around. Although as the duo heads into the last leg of their trip, Steven does come clean about their lack of invite. Rather than allow it to put a damper on the newly joyful mood, Taylor simply tells him to keep an eye out for somewhere to stop, because you don’t show up somewhere uninvited empty handed.
While Belly and Conrad’s breakup at prom was awful, it’s nothing compared to the events of Susannah’s funeral. The funeral itself is much as one might expect: people who didn’t really know her crying while a pastor who didn’t really know her reads the eulogy. However, in an emotional and unexpected moment, Conrad heads up to the stage with his guitar to preform his mom’s favorite song, “Last Kiss,” which he does with a shaky, breaking voice. At this point Belly promises herself that she will not leave Conrad alone to face the rest of the funeral. That proves to be harder that it seemed.
During the reception, Belly makes it a point to look for Conrad and when she can’t find him, she takes a moment to take care of Jeremiah, sending him upstairs while she gathers him some food. Ultimately, Steven ends up being the one to take Jeremiah his food as Belly is waylaid by Laurel questioning her decision to wear a dress that is obviously too small. Belly defends her choice by saying it was Susannah’s favorite. She then takes a second plate of food upstairs for Conrad, whom she finds being comforted by an ex-girlfriend. The is the last straw. Belly rushes out of the room, chased by Conrad, leading to an emotional scene in the middle of the reception. With accusations of childishness and claims that he knew it was a bad idea to start something with her, Conrad crushes Belly who physically pushes him away crying that she hates him as she rushes out the door.
The Gang’s All Here
The episode wraps with the band back together, as it were. Steven and Taylor had arrived just as the trio finishes the call with Mr. Fisher to an atmosphere that even a gift of pie couldn’t fix. However, in an effort to bring the mood up, they promise that they will figure the house issue together, and all of them being pains in the asses at the open house the next day is a great place to start. Meanwhile, they enjoy each other’s company with the promise of pizza and one of Susannah’s favorite movies — It Happened One Night.
It isn’t all smooth sailing though. In the midst of the movie, Conrad gets up to answer a phone call that sends him into a panic attack. The final moments of the episode see Conrad struggling to breath on the beach as Steven rushes to check on him.
That cliffhanger has fans anxious for more, and new episodes of The Summer I Turned Pretty drop every Friday on Prime Video. Then make sure to stop back for recaps of every episode here at Nerds and Beyond.