The Summer I Turned Pretty (Season 2) Episodes 1, 2 & 3: And we are back to the story of Belly Conklin’s journey of discovering herself; her misadventures; and all about the fiasco of last summer she spent in Cousins Beach, where she fell in love. Jenny Han (author of the novel the series is based on) really knows how to drive a story and make it connect with all the young adults across the world. Back at it again are the series stars Lola Tung, Jackie Chung, Rachel Blanchard, Christopher Briney, Gavin Casalegno, Sean Kaufman, and Alfredo Narciso.
This new season delves further into the story of our protagonist, Belly, as she navigates her relationships both on the romantic and family fronts. Let’s dive right in.
Disclaimer: spoilers ahead. Proceed with discretion.
The Summer I Turned Pretty (Season 2) Episode 1 “Love Lost” Recap:
The very first episode starts with a dreamy scene, where Belly envisions the most amazing summer with her close-knit group of friends and her boyfriend, Conrad, all enjoying their time together at the beautiful Cousins Beach. Actually, she’s just lost in her thoughts while still in school. She’s no longer together with Conrad, and sadly, his mother, Susannah, has passed away.
Belly’s summer takes a turn for the worse when she receives the news that her academic performance is declining and she has also been removed from the volleyball team. With these setbacks, her chances of getting into a good college seem uncertain unless she makes significant improvements. At the same time, Belly’s brother, Steven, is all set to graduate as a valedictorian, and his next stop is Princeton. They gather at his graduation ceremony, where he delivers an inspiring speech about embracing life to the fullest. Following the ceremony, they come together for a delightful meal, joined by their parents, Laurel and John.
It turns out that Laurel has written a book about Susannah, but she is hesitant to promote it due to the lingering grief. Her publishers are urging her to attend a meet-and-greet event with booksellers, but she has declined the opportunity. In the meantime, Belly and Steven excuse themselves from the meal to make arrangements for the upcoming graduation party.
Following the events of the first season, Belly admits to Conrad and Jeremiah that she kissed the other brother. Conrad does not seem too upset; his love for Belly is unwavering no matter what. Belly agrees to break up with Jeremiah. However, Jeremiah does not handle this news as gracefully and expresses that he does not even want to remain friends with Belly. The brothers are going through a challenging time as they cope with their mother’s cancer and the accompanying trial. Given these circumstances, Belly chooses to end her relationship with Conrad.
Conrad surprises Belly with an infinity necklace as a gift, despite the circumstances. When the summer comes to a close, they all head back home. After a few weeks, Conrad calls Belly, and they decide to maintain a friendship. They frequently talk on the phone, but this constant communication starts to interfere with Belly’s schoolwork. They engage in deep conversations, during which Conrad opens up about his father’s infidelity in his past. The couple delves into topics of relationships and love. Belly speculates that her parents’ divorce resulted from a lack of passion between them.
In the present, Belly joins the celebration of Steven’s graduation. Belly’s former friend, Taylor, is present with her new partner, Milo, who performs with his band at the gathering. Taylor urges Belly to let go of her attachment to Conrad. In an attempt to explore new connections, Belly tests her luck with a classmate named Cory, only to find that he does not reciprocate her interest.
After facing rejection, Belly expresses her desire to leave and go home, but she is responsible for driving Steven. Steven is displeased with Belly’s decision to depart early, leading to a heated argument between the siblings. He labels Belly as a ‘buzzkill’ and highlights how she has made things awkward with their friends, Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly brings up the topic of Susannah’s passing, but Steven dismisses her concerns as selfish. Taylor advises Belly to disregard Steven’s words, attributing them to his intoxicated state. However, Steven’s remarks have struck a chord within Belly.
In a moment of frustration, she exclaims how she has ruined everything and no longer wants to dwell in sadness. Driving home alone, she reflects on a past memory of Conrad’s unexpected visit on Halloween. He appeared at her house without prior notice and expressed that Jeremiah had moved on from Belly, but Conrad himself could never let go of her. At that moment, the couple shared a kiss, embracing their feelings for each other. Returning to her home in the present, Belly is welcomed by her mother. Laurel has just been informed about Belly’s declining grades and her loss of the volleyball captaincy. Belly brings up Susannah’s death once more, seeking understanding. However, Laurel firmly expresses that Belly can no longer use that as an excuse and must take responsibility for her own actions.
In response, Belly reminds her mother that it has been a challenging year for her, as she has had to take care of her mother amidst other struggles. Feeling the weight of her words, Belly retreats to her bedroom, where she finds solace in old family photographs. Interestingly, this argument seems to inspire Laurel to reconsider the opportunity to attend the bookseller event. The episode concludes as Belly reaches out to Jeremiah over the phone, seeking answers for his silence and avoidance of her messages. Concerned about Conrad’s whereabouts, Jeremiah inquires if he is with her. Belly then requests to assist Jeremiah in the search for Conrad.
The Summer I Turned Pretty (Season 2) Episode 2 “Love Scene” Recap:
The second episode is just like the first one, with scenes being laced with flashbacks. In the present, Belly and Jeremiah embark on a journey to Cousins Beach in search of Conrad, who has disappeared. Meanwhile, through flashbacks, we witness Conrad and Belly driving to the summer house for a delightful Christmas retreat filled with romance. Belly discreetly leaves her house and is swiftly taken away by Conrad. Their intention is to elope to Cousins Beach during Christmas, eager to witness the summer house adorned in snow. It is evident that they are deeply in love from their enthusiastic anticipation and excitement for this adventurous escapade. As they continue their journey towards the coastal town, they marvel at the enchanting Christmas lights adorning the shop windows.
However, in the present, the situation is different. Belly boards a bus to Conrad’s dormitory. It is summertime, and she feels a sense of detachment from her ex. Upon arriving on campus, she reunites with Jeremiah, who is visibly anxious and distressed about his brother’s sudden vanishing act. Belly and Jeremiah visit his dorm, where they unexpectedly encounter Conrad’s roommate. According to the roommate, Conrad mentioned heading to Cousins Beach. The concern arises as Conrad has been skipping his lectures and risks failing an important exam if he does not return in time. Determined to locate Conrad, Jeremiah and Belly decide to embark on a road trip to the summer house.
Jeremiah expresses his worry that Conrad may have had another falling out with their father, especially considering it has only been a month since their mother’s passing. The weight of grief might still be overwhelming Conrad. In the meantime, Steven and his mother, Laurel, go out for breakfast together to catch up. Laurel is preparing for a meet and greet event for her bookselling business and decides to go shopping in preparation. During their conversation, Steven and Laurel discuss Belly’s academic struggles, and Steven suggests that Laurel should give Belly some space. By chance, Steven runs into Taylor at the bookstore. Although Taylor initially tries to cover for Belly, Steven quickly realizes that something is not right. Taylor’s poor attempt at lying gives it away. Eventually, Taylor confesses that Belly has gone to Cousins Beach in search of Conrad. She implores Steven to stay out of the situation, emphasizing that Belly needs to take responsibility for her own actions.
During the road trip, Jeremiah and Belly find themselves sitting with an uncomfortable silence between them. The tension between them is palpable. Jeremiah adamantly avoids discussing his own grief. At one point, they experience a tyre blowout, leading to an argument on the side of the road. Jeremiah’s anger towards Belly still lingers, fueling the conflict between them. Belly offers an apology for the events that transpired at Susannah’s funeral, although the details of what occurred remain unclear. However, Jeremiah’s anger does not stem from the funeral itself; he is still deeply hurt by what transpired last summer. Belly betrayed Jeremiah by having a romantic involvement with his own brother, forcing Jeremiah to feign normalcy despite the emotional turmoil.
In her defense, Belly asserts that she believed Jeremiah had moved on from their relationship. She expresses remorse for abandoning Jeremiah during his difficult times, and they share a heartfelt hug. Belly acknowledges her neglect of Jeremiah and expresses her desire to make amends. As their journey progresses and they draw nearer to the summer house, the two storylines intertwine. Belly reminisces about the idyllic retreat she once experienced with Conrad. They frolicked on the snowy beach and shared intimate moments by a cozy fireplace.
Returning to the present, Belly and Jeremiah finally reach the summer house. Belly provides narration during this scene, expressing conflicting emotions of both love and hatred towards Conrad. She claims to never want to see him again, yet feels a sense of anticipation and excitement at the prospect of their reunion. These contradictions emphasize the depth of her feelings for Conrad. The episode ends with Jeremiah immediately engaging in an argument with Conrad upon entering the house. As Belly walks into the room, Conrad makes a sudden announcement that the summer house is being put up for sale. Conrad’s gaze fixates on Belly as she enters, completely taken aback by her unexpected presence in the room.
The Summer I Turned Pretty (Season 2) Episode 3 “Love Sick” Recap:
The episode begins with Conrad providing an explanation for the unexpected sale of the summer house. Aunt Julia, Susannah’s half-sister, is the one who has made the decision to sell the property. Legally, she now has ownership of the summer house, and unfortunately, there is little they can do to prevent the sale. Conrad and Jeremiah’s father cannot afford to purchase it, and even if they were to make a counteroffer, they would have to tap into their personal trust funds.
Conrad recently discovered this news and has taken it upon himself to handle the situation. He has been in contact with his father and their financial team, but Belly and Jeremiah offer their assistance as well. The summer house holds great significance as the last remaining connection between them all, and they are determined not to let it go without a fight. The following day, Belly and Jeremiah set off to meet Aunt Julia while Conrad attempts to reach out to his father once again.
Meanwhile, Belly’s mother, Laurel, embarks on her trip to New York, and Steven surprises everyone by deciding to visit Cousins Beach himself. He calls Taylor, who invites him to join her on the trip. It appears that yet another pair of awkward and hormonally charged teenagers are about to embark on another road trip. En route, they engage in a candid conversation about Taylor’s boyfriend, Milo, and Steven’s recent argument with Belly. In this heartfelt discussion, Steven opens up about his conflicting emotions. He is grieving the loss of Susannah but also feels a sense of excitement about his acceptance to Princeton. Taylor does her best to offer comfort and support, sharing her own advice.
Belly and Jeremiah make their way to Aunt Julia’s motel, hoping to convince her to reconsider the sale of the summer house. During their journey, they reflect on Conrad’s behavior and his tendency to have immature outbursts. Belly, drawing from past experiences, understands that Conrad often pushes away those who are closest to him when he needs their support the most. In the flashback scene, we can see Conrad and Belly attending prom together. Throughout the night, Conrad appears visibly sad and distant, preoccupied with his mother’s situation. Recognizing that his behavior is overshadowing Belly’s prom experience, Conrad realizes they should leave. However, this turns into yet another argument, leading to a melodramatic breakup between the two amidst the rain. Belly even returns her infinity necklace to him.
In the present, Belly and Jeremiah have a meeting with Aunt Julia in an attempt to change her mind. Unfortunately, regardless of their pleas, she remains firm in her decision. In fact, she is even planning an open house for potential buyers the following day. Frustration and disagreement arise between Belly and Jeremiah during the conversation with Aunt Julia. Jeremiah brings up the topic of Susannah’s funeral, pointing out Julia’s absence due to being too busy, yet she manages to prioritize this financial matter. Disappointed and bitter, they leave, having failed to make any progress.
On the drive back home, Belly convinces Jeremiah to engage Conrad more actively in the negotiations. They agree to speak with their father together. However, their father refuses to grant access to their trust funds, emphasizing the importance of that money for their future. But then, in an unexpected revelation, their father admits that he has been aware of this deal since the funeral, further fueling Jeremiah’s anger and frustration. He abruptly ends the call, overwhelmed by a sense of hopelessness. The brothers and Belly find themselves heartbroken and disheartened. Ironically, it is precisely at this moment that Steven and Taylor make a surprise entrance. Further flashbacks provide insight into the strained relationship between Belly and Conrad. At Susannah’s funeral, amidst the grief shared by friends and family, Conrad performs a song, and Belly tries her best to support him.
The Summer I Turned Pretty (Season 2) Episode 3 Ending, Explained:
At Susannah’s funeral, a significant incident takes place. Belly discovers Conrad receiving comfort from another girl named Aubrey. This sight angers Belly, prompting her to storm off. Conrad follows her, resulting in a dramatic confrontation in the midst of the funeral. Belly expresses her frustration that Conrad keeps shutting her out, while Conrad reveals that he regrets their relationship ever happening. In a moment of anger, Belly declares her hatred for Conrad and attempts to leave but stumbles and falls. Her mother, clearly embarrassed by the scene, rejects her. Due to this distressing and traumatic experience, Belly understandably harbors reservations and caution around Conrad in the present timeline.
Conrad and Jeremiah have a private conversation following their call with their father, where they kind of reconcile, putting their differences aside. They decide to continue fighting for the summer house, refusing to give up just yet. They even contemplate disruptive actions to sabotage Aunt Julia’s open house event. The episode concludes with the group of teenagers watching a movie together now that everyone is on the same page. However, Conrad receives a text message and abruptly leaves. Later, Conrad experiences a panic attack on the beach, leaving viewers with a cliffhanger which definitely increases the anticipation for the next episode.