Season 2 of The Summer I Turned Pretty is not really about a lot of things happening but about the exploration of the feelings of the characters. Only a single thing of significance happens during the entire episode, and normally, that would annoy us, but here, we got a proper idea of what the interpersonal equations between the people are like, and that makes this a beautiful episode. Here is a recap of it.
Conrad, Belly, And Jeremiah Spend A Day At The Arcade
It is no secret that we don’t love Conrad, but this boy makes us feel sympathy and annoyance for him in equal measure. Conrad has been having panic attacks for a long time, and he says that they have gotten more frequent since Susannah passed away. Steven is there to take care of Conrad in this instance, but we suspect that he has been dealing with it all by himself this whole time. We suspect that Jeremiah does not know about it, but we can’t be sure if Susannah did or if Conrad kept it hidden from her as well. This would actually explain the distance he kept between himself and other people and why he was unable to open up because he didn’t want to add his troubles to the growing list. Either way, Steven is staunchly Team Conrad for now.
The next day, Julia and her child, Sky, have moved into the house and are preparing for an open house. Sky identifies as non-binary; therefore, we will be using the pronouns “they” and “them.” The hostility between the kids and Julia continues, with Conrad making it clear what he thinks of Julia trying to make the sale. They have a moment of bonding when Julia talks about how Susannah had arranged her room versus how Conrad had done it, but it all ends with Julia making it clear that she won’t go back on her decision to sell the house. She suggests that the kids go out somewhere while she conducts the open house, but that idea is poorly received.
Something else that sparks apprehension is Belly’s reunion with the boys. While Belly steals some cupcakes and has them in bed with Taylor, the latter tells her that being back with the boys might not be in her best interests. Belly may love the house, but it is not hers to protect, and if she tries to do that, that would only mean reigniting the drama of the past summer. That is especially wasteful if you consider that Belly has the stuff to deal with on her own. She has college to worry about, and she has been close to giving up on volleyball for months. Taylor encourages her to give it a shot once again because if she can spend all that energy on someone else’s problems, she can do that for herself as well.
When the AC in the house breaks down, the open house is cancelled, and the kids decide to go to an amusement park. Belly invites Sky to join them, and Julia also tells them to go and have fun with their cousins. This comes as a surprise because one would assume that Julia would not want her child fraternizing with the enemy. Maybe she is actually here without any malice and trying to take care of business. But Conrad doesn’t let go of his passive aggressiveness, and Sky is up to it.
When Conrad takes a dig at Julia selling the house, Sky reminds him of the last time they spent Christmas dinner together, almost a decade ago. Julia and Sky had left on Christmas morning because of a fight she and Susannah had the previous day. Julia wanted to sort out her issues with the family, whereas Susannah wanted to pretend that the issues never existed, to begin with. It had been ten years since then, and the sisters had never resolved their problems. That is probably why Julia did not feel an attachment to the beach house, but she was also not some villain swooping in to take advantage of a bad situation.
Meanwhile, Belly runs into Cam, the guy she had dated in Season 1 but later broke up with because Conrad led her to believe that they could date each other. The group catches up and plays some games like a version of paintball and the rock-climbing thing, rounding it off with Belly and Conrad competing in a game of “shoot your shot.” We suspect that Conrad let Belly win the game, and when it is time to pick a prize for her, Belly remembers an incident from a few years ago. True to the title The Summer I Turned Pretty, Belly had braces, glasses, and slicked-back hair tied in two ponytails in this flashback. She had come to the fair with Conrad, and he was interested in some other girl. He had won a stuffed bear for her at that time, and Belly had said that she would have picked a giraffe instead. She keeps up that spirit all these years later, and when she wins the game against Conrad, she picks a giraffe.
What Happens To The Beach House?
It is somewhat infuriating that Belly continues to take care of Conrad despite their situation. She is clearly not over him at all, and she has no idea what he is thinking about, but she makes sure to keep him occupied so that he doesn’t think about the loss of the house. Meanwhile, constantly losing in arcade games is pushing Belly into a crisis because she is relating it to how she can’t do well in volleyball either. Had it not been for Taylor, there would have been no one to take care of whatever Belly is going through in this situation.
Even Jeremiah is doing what little he can. When Belly has to go on the “Tower of Terror” as a penalty for losing the games, Jeremiah offers to go with her and even holds her hand through it all. We kind of see the difference between the brothers here. Conrad challenges Belly to push herself, but Jeremiah is capable of holding her hand through thick and thin, and that is what he does even now. If Belly is taking care of Conrad, Jeremiah is taking care of Belly. It reminds her of how he had always been there for her, even in those flashback summers when he had been the one to stay back and keep her company when she was sick.
When going back home, Conrad and Steven are in a car, and we want to smack the latter’s head. He is cute and everything, but he should know that just because he finds Conrad cool doesn’t mean that he root for him and Belly. But Conrad is acutely aware of the fact that Belly may have outgrown him after all. At the end of episode 4, season2 of The Summer I Turned Pretty, when the kids reach home, they find that Julia has emptied the house of all its furniture. That was her purpose for sending the kids out to the arcade so that she could do her business in peace. That entire day, Belly had thought that this was their one chance to live like the good old days, but seeing an empty house, she knew that this would only remain a distant dream.
As the audience, we have tried to keep an objective view of Julia and not think of her as the villain, but emptying the house this way was taking it a step too far. She does not even give Conrad and Jeremiah a warning that this is going to happen, which means that she does not care how they feel. To be frank, she is not obligated to think about them, but this still feels like too much. The future episodes will tell us the aftermath of this.