‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ Recap: Season 2, Episode 8 “Love Triangle”


We’ve finally reached the end of the second season of The Summer I Turned Pretty, and it’s be a rollercoaster of emotions that has truly split the fandom. Watching Belly pick her way through the minefield she, at least partially, created between the Fisher boys has firmly entrenched people in either Team Jeremiah or Team Conrad, and this finally really locked in those choices. Let’s take a look at why.

Team Jeremiah

Erika Doss/Prime Video

Team Jeremiah got off to a strong start this episode as Belly and Jeremiah seemingly get their act together. However, things quickly cool down as Conrad interrupts and Jeremiah reverts to his default mode: moody and distant. He sends Belly off after Conrad, then when she returns, he refuses to acknowledge her as she tries to reassure him that she did not kiss him just to make Conrad jealous. This makes for an extremely awkward wait for Conrad to return to collect his car. Fortunately, despite his doubts, Jeremiah has Taylor on his side — which Steven is not particularly happy about — and she is Belly’s best friend. Plus, Belly has made up her mind, no matter what happens — even if Conrad is in love with her like Jeremiah says. What she has shared with Jeremiah is real and there is no other shoe that is going to drop. She finally gets this message through his head near the end of the episode when he tries to tell her to go be with Conrad, promising he won’t let last summer happen again, and, as Beyoncé’s “Xo” plays, she cuts him off with a passionate kiss. This is followed by some sweet moments from the couple in the car as Jeremiah drives Belly to volleyball camp and solidifies his good boyfriend status by staying to support her. So in the end, Team Jeremiah has won season 2, tying up the score for the show so far.

Team Staylor

Belly and Jeremiah aren’t the only couple featured working things out in this episode, Steven and Taylor are still figuring out their relationship as well. From the start of the episode it’s obvious how much Steven cares about Taylor as Laurel teases him about letting his girlfriend drive his car. Then he tries to do something sweet by bringing Taylor roses because, as she has said, even bad bitches need roses. Unfortunately, he doesn’t quite get the phrasing right, and the whole idea rather backfires on him. Not only does he make their not-a-date with the volleyball girls uncomfortable, but it also introduces him to Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Milo’s new dis album about Steven. Between that rough start and the ensuing disagreement about Team Jeremiah (Taylor) and Team Conrad (Steven), the duo’s evening does not end the way either expected.

Erika Doss/Prime Video

After Taylor walked out on him at the restaurant and refused to acknowledge his texts the night before, Steven decides to take matters into his own hands the next morning going over to see her before she leaves for volleyball camp. Under the guise of bringing Belly’s bag, just in case she shows, Steven is disappointed that Taylor doesn’t seem like she’s going to acknowledge what happened the night before. When he pushes her, she admits that he sort of embarrassed her in front of her friends, because her relationship with Steven is different than her previous relationships. In the past she has always had the power in relationships because she cared less, but that’s not the case here, and she just doesn’t want to get hurt if things end. Fortunately Steven is on the same page and assures Taylor that, if anything, she’ll be the one breaking his heart, before a sweet kiss and an even cuter agreement that they are 1000% Team Staylor.

From there things go right back to the wonderful relationship we’ve been enjoying all season, with Steven questioning Taylor about what she did to his car — Cheeto dust in the vents and Icee on the steering wheel — and Taylor teasing that she would have gotten it cleaned if some weirdo hadn’t popped up and professed his love for her that morning. Honestly, the pair is one of the most healthy relationships of this season.

Team Conrad

While Teams Jeremiah and Staylor got happy endings this season, Team Conrad did not. Despite Conrad’s positivity in the opening scene as he talks to Steven, his hopes are quickly crushed upon discovering Belly and Jeremiah making out against the front of his car. So it’s not surprising that as Belly chases after him and apologizes for what he just walked into, Conrad puts up all his defenses and becomes the worst version of himself. From questioning Belly if kiss Jeremiah was just a way to get him back to telling her to stop chasing him and go back to Jeremiah because, “he’s the one who wants you, I don’t anymore,” Conrad really puts his worst foot forward. Even his roommate — who is initially excited to see him — notices that things are not normal. So when, after not packing most of his college dorm, Conrad seems to be in a chipper mood upon returning to his car, Belly and Jeremiah are, rightfully, suspicious.

Erika Doss/Prime Video

Conrad really dives into his role as an annoying asshole as the trio makes their way to drop Belly off at home, making his best efforts to drive a wedge between his brother and the girl they both love. From snarky comments meant to prove that he knows Belly best, to snide remarks about Jeremiah’s past “dating life,” Conrad really knows how to play on their last nerves. The final straw, though, is when he asks Belly which of them is the better kisser. The game stops being fun around then, and things turn serious when the trio checks into a motel for the night and Jeremiah forces Conrad to face his feelings for Belly in a real way. This leads to an emotional middle of the night moment where Conrad apologizes to Belly for everything he said the day before and admits that he still wants her, but she doesn’t have to say anything because he already knows where her heart is. This is a true redeeming moment for Team Conrad fans, particularly as he follows it up the next morning by reassuring her that the last thing he wants to do is get in the way of her being happy. Belly can’t even find it in herself to be upset with him at this point, but, even as she reluctantly accepts the infinity necklace back, she finally truly decides to release him and evict him from her heart.

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

The drive from Brown to drop Belly off becomes more than just an uncomfortable ride as torrential rains shut down the freeway forcing the trio to check into a motel for the night. Of course, the motel only has one room available, and said room only has one bed. While Belly gets herself settled for the night, Jeremiah and Conrad take advantage of the time to hash some things out, starting with Jeremiah calling Conrad on his “be a dick so no-one sees how much I’m hurting” technique. The brothers do a good job of keeping their promise of open communication from earlier in the season, and both are clear the air regarding their feelings for Belly. Conrad reluctantly admits that he still loves her, but he knows it’s too late. Jeremiah is less sure about that and insists that Conrad share his feelings, because right now, it doesn’t feel like Belly is done with Conrad. If that’s the case, Jeremiah wants her to be happy. Despite multiple protests, Conrad does eventually agree to talk to Belly, although the outcome, as we know, does not come out in his favor.

Prime Video

Being gentlemen, when they return to the room for the night the boys let Belly have the bed, and while typically she might fight that decision on the basis that being a girl isn’t an excuse, the roach she saw earlier curbs that impulse for Belly. In the morning, Belly is the first one up, but as she gets ready in the bathroom, Jeremiah disappears. She frantically leaves the room to look for him, fearing the worst given what Conrad told her overnight. Luckily he had just gone out for breakfast and the pair seals their relationship when he returns. While Conrad tries to put on a happy face for the couple when they get back to the room, he’s not very successful. Even as he tells them to take his car, he’ll take the bus back to Cousins and trade with Jeremiah later, and confirms that they’ll all get together for the 4th of July his sadness seeps through.

Laurel Embraces Susannah’s Way of Thinking

Prime Video

While throughout the series Laurel has primarily been the strong, logical adult, this episode shows her really embracing the side of herself that is more like Susannah. From telling Steven that it’s too early in the summer to worry about school and screwing around with his friends is exactly what he should be doing, to taking a chance on something that makes her uncomfortable, she really steps out of the box she’s been living in. It’s particularly fun to see her take Cleveland’s suggestion and attend the authors’ meetup. Not only does she meet a fan of her work, but it seems like she also meets a potential friend — anyone who you can order tequila on the rocks with during your first meeting has to be a potential friend, right? However, the most touching moment comes when she is encouraged to read from her memoir It’s Not Summer Without You, and we get to hear about how Susannah dropped everything and came to Laurel’s side to support her through Belly’s birth and to celebrate their special girl.

Belly Faces Her Choices

With everything that has happened this season, Belly has been faced with a lot of hard choices and the finale is no different. However, unlike earlier in the season she’s actually talking to her mother now. So naturally when the boys push her to make a final choice, she calls Laurel to ask her about how to tell when you’re in love. Ultimately Laurel tells Belly that love has different seasons, what you felt in the past may not be what you feel in the future and that’s okay. This isn’t the only advice Belly gets in this episode though. She also gets some advice from Susannah in the final flashback of the series.

This last flashback takes it back to another last: the last time Belly saw Susannah. As Belly lies wide awake in the motel bed she recalls the way no-one told her Susannah was sick again before revealing that she tried to get out of seeing Susannah that last time, because she didn’t want to see Susannah like that. Susannah certainly didn’t look great when Belly entered her room, but she certainly was the same Susannah that Belly knew and loved. From working on letters to all “her kids” before Belly visited, to comforting Belly about her breakup with Conrad, Susannah is exactly who she had always been. Even as Susannah talks about needing Belly to look after Conrad when she’s gone, she’s giving Belly advice and hope that everything will come out right between her and the boys in the end. As Taylor Swift’s “Bigger Than the Whole Sky” plays, Belly and Susannah say their final “I love you”s, and the flashback ends.

Prime Video

While shortly after that last flashback Belly’s hard emotional decisions for season are finally wrapped up, there is one more choice for her to make. While she’d told Jeremiah last episode that she was going to fight for her spot back on the volleyball team, the final minutes of this episode are when she really chooses to devote herself to that choice. Showing up to camp, Belly makes Taylor so proud of her, but also impresses her coach by apologizing profusely but not making excuses. Belly knows that she screwed up and she offers to do whatever it takes to earn her spot back on the team. Fortunately the rest of the team is on her side, so Coach gives her one last chance. This may not be how Belly had pictured her future, earning back a spot she’d already been given and supported by the younger Fisher boy, but this future is still hers.

While season 2 may be over, be sure to keep an eye out for more The Summer I Turned Pretty content and updates on season 3 here on Nerds and Beyond.

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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