Warning: The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 spoilers ahead. If you’ve started the second season, you may be wondering why Belly and Conrad broke up in The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 and how their relationship ended so fast after their seemingly perfect ending in Season 1.
The Summer I Turned Pretty is a coming-of-age romantic drama series based on author Jenny Han’s book series of the same name. Han, who also wrote the To All the Boys book series which inspired Netflix’s movies of the same title, is also the creator and an executive producer on The Summer I Turned Pretty series. The Summer I Turned Pretty follows Isabel “Belly” Conklin, the series’ narrator and protagonist, and her love triangle with brothers Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher, the sons of Belly’s mother Laurel Park’s best friend Susannah Fisher.
The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 1 ended with Belly and Conrad getting together after years of on-and-off feelings for each other. However, when The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 started, Belly and Conrad were no more. So why did Belly and Conrad break up in The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 and what happened to them? Read on for what to know about Belly and Conrad’s relationship in The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 and how it’s similar and different to the books.
Why do Belly and Conrad break up in The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2?
Why do Belly and Conrad break up in The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2? In Season 2, Episode 1, “Love Lost,” viewers learn that Belly and Conrad broke up between the events of The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 1 and 2. In a flashback in Season 2, Episode 1, Belly tells Conrad that they should take a break from their relationship so he and his brother, Jeremiah, can focus on their mother Susannah’s cancer battle. (Viewers learn that Susannah died at the start of Season 2.) Conrad agrees, however, his and Belly’s break doesn’t last long as their first phone call post-break turns into a long 2 a.m. conversation while Conrad is at Brown University.
Despite agreeing to stay friends for Jeremiah’s sake, Belly and Conrad spend Christmas break together at the Fishers’ family house in Cousins in another flashback in Season 2, Episode 2, “Love Scene,” where Belly and Conrad have sex together for the first time and Belly loses her virginity.
Belly and Conrad officially break up in a flashback to prom in Season 2, Episode 3, “Love Sick,” in which viewers see Conrad become more distant toward Belly in the lead up to prom as Susannah’s cancer condition worsens. Belly tells Conrad that he can talk to her, but he remains closed off. Their relationship reaches a breaking point at prom when Conrad continues to be distant and tries to leave early. Belly chases him out into the rain as Conrad breaks up with Belly, believing that he only makes her life worse. Just before Conrad drives off, Belly, whose prom dress is soaked by the rain, removes the infinity necklace he gave her in Season 1 and pushes it into his hand before she collapses into her brother Steven’s arms.
The scene is similar to Belly and Conrad’s breakup in the second The Summer I Turned Pretty book, It’s Not Summer Without You. In the book, Belly confronts Conrad at prom for barely dancing with her, making conversation and doing any of the prom activities she’d dreamt about. Belly breaks up with Conrad at prom after realizing that he only attended the dance with her because Susannah wanted him to.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, The Summer I Turned Pretty book author Jenny Han explained why she started Season 2 with three breakups: Conrad and Belly; Steven and Shayla; and Lauren and Cleveland. “None of the three relationships from season 1 have lasted. Season 1 is about the dream and the fantasy of summer love, and then season 2 is learning that nothing lasts forever, not summer romance and sadly not life either,” she said. “It’s a really hard lesson, and it’s where Belly and all of our characters are having to grow up. I really tried to hit to the themes of season 2 in the teaser — if you listen to the lyrics of [Taylor Swift’s ‘August,’ it’s, ‘So much for summer love and saying ‘us’ because you weren’t mine to lose.’ Last summer and last season, it really was a moment in time, and the lesson there is that life is not always going to be that beautiful, but that’s what really makes those sweet moments all the sweeter.”
Han also told Entertainment Weekly about Belly and Conrad’s reconnection during Christmas Break and why she set it to “Invisible String” by Taylor Swift. “The moment is so joyful and almost childlike in the way that they make that run onto the beach. I know that the fans were expecting ‘Snow on the Beach’ for that moment,” she said. “But ‘Invisible String,’ there’s something about that song in that moment. There’s a lightness to it. At the same time, if you really listen to those words, it just fits because we’re going back and forth in the present and the past, and it fits in both timelines. There’s something about the lyrics of, ‘Time, mystical time, cutting me open then healing me fine / Were there clues I didn’t see?’ about looking back on that moment. It’s a really wonderful memory.”
She continued, “But then also when you look back on it, you sort of second guess yourself too, and wonder, ‘What was I missing in that moment too?’ There’s something sad in it as well, because as she’s coming out of it and she’s in the present, she’s feeling very far away from him, and also thinking so much about Susannah and grief as well, because I think that so much of it is that she had that perfect summer, and it did give her those blues and purple pink skies. But then it also gave her incredible sadness and pain as well.”
She also discussed why she included other Taylor Swift songs in The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2. “I always aim to surprise and delight. I don’t think people were expecting ‘August’ to be the teaser song either,” she said. “I think people were hoping for ‘Back to December,’ and then they were surprised by ‘August.’ So I think people will probably be surprised that the song is ‘Invisible String,’ but that’s just how I saw it in the moment.”
Lola Tung, who plays Belly, and Christopher Briney, who plays Conrad, also opened up about Belly and Conrad’s sex scene in The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2, which was a change from the books. “I think that I was really excited and curious to know what would be kept and what would be adapted to the screen directly because there’s obviously always a lot of change with those things,” Briney said. “There are still a lot of moments that are very close to the books… [that] fans will recognize, and I’m excited for that.”
He continued of Belly and Conrad’s sex scene, “Jenny could answer this so much better than I could. Most things she could probably answer better than I could, but it does change things and I think it modernizes it in some ways. I think it addresses a more contemporary audience, if you will.” He added that the moment “heightened the stakes that’s for sure.”
Tung, for her part, explained that Han wrote in Conrad and Belly’s sex scene because she “wanted to see what the story would look like in 2023.” “What came out of it was just this really beautiful scene and a moment where you get to see a really sweet side of their relationship amidst all of the drama, you know?” Tung said. “So yeah, it was really interesting to see that change and to have that moment for the two characters.”
She also told TV Insider that Belly and Conrad’s breakup scene at prom was one of her most nerve-wracking scenes to film. “That was one that I was very nervous for, but also very excited for, because it’s this very iconic moment in the books. And it was a challenge for sure because people were really waiting for it,” she said.
Despite the anxiety surrounding it, however, Tung told TV Insider that filming in the rain was “was really, really fun to do.” She continued, “I mean, sad but fun to do as an actor and really lovely to do it with such a wonderful cast.”
The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 is available to stream on Prime Video. Here’s how to watch it for free.
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