‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 5 “Love Fool”


Episode 5 of The Summer I Turned Pretty season 2 may have held one big surprise for fans who have yet to read Jenny Han’s book series upon which the show is based as Jeremiah stepped in as the narrator. This is a clear reflection of the changes in perspective featured between chapters of the second book in the series, It’s Not Summer Without You, that this season is based on, and it offers viewers a chance to see what’s going on inside the head of one of our favorite boys. So, let’s jump right into what Jeremiah was up to this episode.

Jeremiah’s Side of the Story

The episode opens as the teens walk the empty beach house as Cage the Elephant’s “Goodbye” plays in the background. We first discover Jeremiah as the narrator when he stumbles across his mom’s now empty room. His emotions are on full display, both through his actions and his thoughts as he claims that, “I didn’t think it was possible for things to get any worse,” but without her things it’s almost like his mom was never there at all. This moment sets the tone for Jeremiah throughout the episode, as emotions run high, and not just when it comes to grief over Susannah or his feelings surrounding Belly. One of the big moments for Jeremiah comes when he admits that with everything that has changed over the last year, he can’t look up to his big brother anymore.

However, as fans expect, many of Jeremiah’s deepest moments fall in line with thoughts of Belly. Jeremiah admits that sometimes he hates how long it took him to notice what was happening between Belly and Conrad, but eventually he saw it and accepted that, for Belly, it would always be Conrad. That doesn’t mean that his plans to keep her at arms length are successful though. As we saw on the Tower of Terror ride in the previous episode, there’s definitely still something there, and as Belly makes it a point to follow him, it becomes harder to ignore, especially during moments like the impromptu sleepover at the club, where Jeremiah tries to dissuade her from coming along. She tells him that it sounds like an adventure, almost directly quoting something his mother once said.

After that, the duo has a beautiful moment alone together complete with shadow puppets, a shared drink with Twizzler straws, and reminiscing about Susannah. Jeremiah even admits that when his mom was at her worst they watched a lot of movies, and every movie night he thought of Belly and wishes she could have been there. Belly responds by telling him he could have called. She would have answered, but Jeremiah claims that it would have just made things harder. Throughout it all though, Jeremiah’s narration makes it clear that he knows Belly still loves Conrad, but sometimes, in moments like this, he can almost let himself believe that she sees him that way too. It’s nearly heartbreaking, particularly when coupled with his later refusal to kiss her as part of their truth or dare game where, when confronted by Belly, he confesses that he can’t kiss her because he’s afraid if he did he doesn’t know if he could stop. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, he discovers that although Belly didn’t attend his graduation (it seems maybe she hadn’t been invited), she still watched the whole thing via video that Laurel took because she still wanted to be there no matter what.

Finally after all this, Jeremiah realizes just how important he actually is to Belly and muses that while, “All my life it’s been Conrad for Belly. Maybe for the rest of the story it could be me.”

Steven Makes a Move…

On a more lighthearted note, this episode is full of great moments from Steven as he continues on his quest to connect with Taylor. From badgering her into accompanying him on his quest to find some makeshift bedding, Steven turns the night into his chance to actually make a move. After being starkly reminded that Taylor has a boyfriend back home, Taylor confuses Steven by nearly complimenting him. However, his real moment comes when the duo visits the ballroom and Taylor makes a comment about how the debutante balls are so outdated. Steven points out that she might actually have liked being a deb, and when she tries to call his bluff, he reminds her that he knows her. Then he sets the scene: dancing with the perfect man, obviously not him, who’s wearing a suit and tie — something they both point out that her current boyfriend would never do — and tells you that you’re beautiful and would like to dance with you. Taylor claims it would be corny, but when Steven snags a suit jacket, puts music on, and asks her to dance, she doesn’t turn him down.

The pair gets off to a rocky start with their dance, but soon falls into a comfortable slow dance to Frank Ocean’s version of “Moon River.” It’s a truly romantic moment that seems to be headed for the kiss Steven seems to have been working towards all season when they’re interrupted by Conrad and Jeremiah. Steven later apologizes to Taylor if the dance was too much, but she promises him that it was okay because, “bad bitches need their roses too.” However, despite this, the duo may find themselves with some awkwardness between them in the next episode after waking up cuddled together following the group’s golf course sleepover.

Golf Course Sleepover

After deciding that there was no possible way they were sleeping in the now empty beach house, the teens realize they need somewhere to sleep. As it’s summer, the hotels are probably all full. Luckily Jeremiah has an idea, that, thanks to Cam Cameron still tagging along, works out pretty well: they’ll stay at the Country Club. Initially the idea is to split up into teams to gather makeshift bedding (Steven and Taylor), find some food (Cam and Skye followed by Conrad), and find somewhere in the building to sleep (Jeremiah soon followed by Belly). Each team eventually succeeds, but not without distractions. Steven and Taylor share their dance, Belly and Jeremiah do shadow puppets, and the final trio gets to hear all the local gossip from Cam, including news that a local kid bought himself a Maserati by petitioning a judge for early access to his trust fund — something Conrad takes note of.

Eventually most of the group converges on the screening room where Jeremiah and Belly propose they sleep. As Steven and Taylor are yet to be found, Jeremiah and Conrad head out looking for them. This gives the brothers a chance to talk, both about the potential of going to a judge to get access to their trusts for the house and about how nice it’s been to be back with everyone, especially now that Belly and Jeremiah are talking again. Unfortunately the duo discovers Steven and Taylor at just the wrong moment and everyone heads to the screening room. Their time there doesn’t last long as Cam gets more and more anxious about the mess they’re making. So they head out onto the golf course.

Out on the course, the boys mess around on a golf cart while Taylor, Belly, and Skye wander along behind. Throughout the evening Belly teases Taylor about a vibe between her and Steven, but Taylor reminds her that she has Milo and Steven really hurt her last year, to which Belly confesses that she thinks she loved Con longer and truer than anyone in her whole life and doesn’t know if she can love like that again, leaving Taylor to suggest that they just leave first love in the past. Besides, there’s something between Belly and Jeremiah to consider, which Belly admits to but says it only works until he decides to remind her of how much she hurt him. The talk then turns to volleyball as Belly questions Taylor’s decision to use some weed she procured from lost and found and the apple bong Skye crafted just before volleyball camp. Of course, Taylor asks if Belly has reached out to Coach yet about attending, and when Belly admits that she hasn’t, Taylor takes her phone and texts Coach for Belly. Unfortunately that doesn’t turn out in Belly’s favor, as she later receives a reply from Coach gently telling her no.

Finally the now vaguely high group decides to try their hand at truth or dare, leading to Steven attempting to eat their bong. The game also leads to Conrad confessing that in 10 years he wants to be right back here, in Cousins celebrating, surfing with Jeremiah, enjoying pomegranate margaritas, and forgetting all the other stuff going on. Plus, they learn that Cam’s biggest regret is not spending more time with his older sister before she died, and he confessed that the pain does lessen with time. It’s still always there, but eventually it becomes more like a scar that flares up from time to time instead of a scab that bleeds at the slightest touch. Eventually they all decide it’s time to sleep, passing out on a series of table clothes laid out on the ground — a sight that surprised Cam’s mom when she discovers them in the morning.

Back in Time

As always, this episode features flashes of the past. However, this time they’re all from Jeremiah’s perspective. The first of the episode’s four flashbacks comes from the previous fall as Conrad makes a visit home. The brothers share an uncomfortable conversation that jerks from taking care of their mom’s insurance needs, to Jeremiah’s time as homecoming king (including a careful mention of his date Blake), until it finally swings around to Belly. Conrad wants to talk about what happened over the summer and make sure they’re all right, especially because he wants Jeremiah’s approval so he can go after Belly. It’s approval that Jeremiah eventually gives — although he clearly hates the idea — after Conrad pours out his heart claiming that he doesn’t want Jeremiah to hate them, but it physically hurts to not be able to tell Belly that he’s in love with her.

The second flashback is from Thanksgiving as Jeremiah is truly faced with Belly and Conrad as a couple for the first time. While he is generally nice about it and tries not to make things uncomfortable, it’s clear that things are weird between the trio. In fact, before the flashback ends, Jeremiah asks Conrad to let him know when Belly will be coming over so he can be somewhere else, claiming it’s better for everyone if he just keeps his distance.

This is in stark contrast to the next flashback, which shows the moment Jeremiah realized that Belly was more to him than just a friend. As it turns out, it’s actually a moment we’ve seen before: Belly’s arrival at Cousins the previous summer. As Niall Horan’s “Heaven” plays, Jeremiah’s world narrows down to Belly, and he realizes that he isn’t the only one who sees her this way, and because of that, he’s going to lose her.

The last flashback of the episode is another event we’ve seen before: Belly’s prom night. However this time we’re getting it via Susannah and Laurel’s video chat as Jeremiah helps take care of his mom. From the moment he walks into the room with Susannah, it’s obvious he’s upset and he makes it clear that he doesn’t understand how Conrad can act like taking Belly to prom is such a chore. If he’d taken her, he would have made it perfect. Of course, Susannah notices that something is wrong, and she ends up apologizing to Jeremiah because she was so excited to see Belly with one of her boys that she missed how much it was hurting the other. With a motherly hug, she makes Jeremiah promise that he won’t let anything — not even Belly — come between him and Conrad. This is just the beginning of his story, so don’t ruin the adventure now.

The Family Drama Continues

After returning from the boardwalk to an empty house, it’s no surprise that Conrad and company were angry. However, the situation definitely brought out the worst in Conrad as he curses and yells at Aunt Julia, even going as far as to make a snide remark about her parent loving Susannah more than her. Jeremiah takes a slightly more level headed approach, even pointing out when Conrad went too far. Granted, Julia doesn’t make the situation any better by rejecting the blame they put on her for not telling them what was happening, and instead turning the situation around on them and pointing out that they’re not the only ones hurting and Susannah could have warned them this was coming. Skye simply refuses to take sides in this particular fight, reminding their mother that both sides were in the wrong somewhere before leaving the house with the rest of the teens.

The next morning, the teens arrive back at the house with a glimmer of hope: Conrad had reached out to the kid who had accessed his trust early and from him had gotten the name of the lawyer he used. So, with an email out to said lawyer, and both Conrad and Jeremiah onboard — no matter what their dad has to say — they’re ready to make Aunt Julia an offer she can’t refuse. Unfortunately, it’s too late. The episode closes with The Kid Laroi’s “I Can’t Go Back To The Way It Was (Intro)” as the backing track to Aunt Julia announcing that the house is sold.

LeeAnn is children's librarian who joined Nerds and Beyond in 2020 as a way to stretch her writing skills and connect with others who have the same pop culture passions as she does. She loves music, reading (obviously), and any TV show that can grab and hold her attention. Currently some of her favorite things to nerd out over include Supernatural, Prodigal Son, Louden Swain and Percy Jackson (books, theater, or upcoming show - lets leave the movies out of it).

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