Having loved these books for a decade and having reread them more times than I can count, I will stand by the fact that Conrad Fisher is my ship. He’s not perfect, he’s incredibly flawed, he’s hurtful sometimes, but he’s Conrad. He’s misunderstood and he’s complex, but he’s filled with so much love. Had I not read the books, would there be a chance that just from watching the show that I would be Team Jeremiah? Yes.
But I’ve read the books. I have loved Conrad Fisher for a decade and I don’t think there is anything that could cause me to jump that ship. So though a lot of you may be completely in love with Jeremiah and loved this episode – I am not one of those people. Loved the episode? Yes. Loved Jeremiah? No.
The thing is that Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher are so much the same and so very different.
WILL YOU GO AFTER HIM
Jeremiah Fisher, you coward. You’re making out with your brothers ex on his car and you can’t even go talk to him? Are you out of your mind sending Belly? You know that Conrad loves her!
Jeremiah Fisher has an issue. Besides breaking the bro code, he’s betrayed his brother and we haven’t even gotten to the point where he acts like he’s a martyr, even though he’s not. Though Belly isn’t completely innocent in this whole thing, I am more angry at Jeremiah than anyone.
Because Jeremiah is selfish and he really screwed up by not talking to his brother first.
Don’t get me wrong, Conrad is no hero. He also screws up by not communicating and then being mean as fuck when he’s hurt. He doesn’t want to tell anyone that he’s hurt, ever, but the truth is that his pain is strong.
Both of them are jealous as fuck of each other and they don’t realize it. Instead they shroud themselves in anger and compartmentalization of feelings. Both are a coping mechanism and both are cruel.
When Belly chases Conrad, he’s extra cruel. He tells her that he doesn’t want her, that she should go to Jeremiah, he’s the one that wants her. Now, you can see that he’s hurting and he’s being cruel for the sake of being cruel. It’s partially to protect himself but don’t think that it’s right.
Yet, that’s the thing with Conrad and Belly. They don’t talk. They react.
It’s hard for me to say that, because I am so much Team Conrad (I have been for a decade, since I read the books), but right now, I don’t like any of them. I don’t like Belly and Jeremiah and Conrad, because they are all hurting, manipulating, and causing internal chaos for each other.
Am I sure that it will all work out? Sure. I think that it doesn’t mean that the chaos will ensue and the drama will be overwhelming? Absolutely. There is a connection that family has, even when we don’t want it to be there.
I also think that we can’t forget Belly here. She’s creating her own drama. Now, I would also say that she’s forgiven Jeremiah and Conrad. I am all up in my feelings about how Belly is all over the place and doesn’t really ever seem to see her part in things. She needs to get her shit together too.
When Conrad asks her if she’s getting with Jeremiah to get his attention, I have to admit that I thought the same thing. No offense to Belly. There is a part of me that knows that she didn’t but there is another part of me that wonders when she’ll be able to admit that she isn’t over Conrad.
Yes, he’s hurt her. He has. But does that mean we’re going an eye for an eye here? It’s what it feels like.
All three of them need to grow up and all of they will. We know this. We all know that complexities of first love is one that you may find hard to navigate, but you’ll get there. Because yes – first loves will stick with you, the will partially define you, and at the same time they will propel you.
WELL THAT’S RUDE
Someone remind me that I have to cut Jeremiah and Belly some grace, because I don’t feel like I can. I am cringing, the entire car ride. I am cringing because these two are letting Conrad go off on them and they just take it.
Conrad isn’t good at hiding his feelings and by the way he’s acting – both of them have to see that he’s not okay with them being together. However, they both seem oblivious to it and just think that they should let him have his way.
And here in lies the issue again – at what point do they all start talking instead of being dicks to each other. Will they ever get to that point?
In the car ride, Conrad is the biggest asshole. He’s asking the worst questions and he’s trying to make Belly and Jeremiah feel bad. Jeremiah and Belly act as though they need to take it, which is something that I don’t truly understand. They shouldn’t just take it.
I love Conrad, I do. I just also think that he needs to grow up. He’s not a victim. He’s angry. He’s angry because everything in his life has hurt him, but he’s also never been open to the possibility of joy. It’s as if because something bad once happened and he’s manifesting that everyone is going to leave him.
Because he believes that he’s not worthy.
Now, again, not making excuses for Conrad Fisher. Not even close. What I am saying is that Conrad Fisher needs help working through his issues. But that also being said, I may take shit for this right now, but as much as I am Team Conrad, I don’t think that these two need to be together right now.
Conrad Fisher needs to find his own self worth and that is going to take some time.
SOUR FOR THE WIN
A rain storm leads the Fisher boys and Belly to being trapped in traffic, with nothing moving. Conrad thinks that they should wait out the storm, while Jeremiah thinks that they should try back roads. The two of them look like they are ready to fight, and then they leave it up to Belly to decide.
Belly chooses food and a bathroom. Conrad and Belly head inside the gas station to get food. Each one of them picks out the food that they think that Belly will like and in the car, she chooses the food that Conrad picked, without knowing that Conrad chose it.
But it’s obvious that she didn’t chose Jeremiah’s by the look on his face and the satisfaction on Conrads. The boys inform Belly that the roads are closed down and that there is a hotel down the road they can stay at.
Lets look at all the ways that this won’t go well. Though, before we can even look at that, we’re there and there is only one room.
Conrad is hurt and Jeremiah – for the first time – sees that he’s really fucked up. When Belly heads to the bathroom, he goes to talk to Conrad and tells him that he knows that he’s still in love with Belly. He tells his brother that he needs to tell her, that she deserves the truth.
HOWEVER, if we’re being honest, I don’t believe that is what Jeremiah wanted. I believe that even though he was like if she wants to be with you, I will let her go, he was hoping that he would feel less guilt. Jeremiah is looking for someone or something to tell him that moving in on Belly is okay.
But Jeremiah also sees that giving his brother this chance to tell Belly how he feels is making whatever happens not his fault. However, it’s still partly his fault. It’s all of their faults.
This is why codes are deeply important to follow.
When Jeremiah looks like he’s in physical pain telling Conrad that if Belly wants him, he’ll step aside, I am not buying it. I am buying that he again in his life put something on his brother and that again, Conrad is going to have to make the choice to put himself or his brother first.
ONE ON EACH SIDE
While the Fisher boys may be on speaking terms, Belly is going to be the one to have to make a choice. She knows that both the boys care, but she’s really not the best at reading Conrad.
So when Jeremiah warns her that Conrad and her need to talk and that Conrad is going to reach out – again, will stand by the opinion that Jeremiah is looking out for Jeremiah. He doesn’t want to be the person that makes the choice and he is testing Belly. Jeremiah has told Belly he couldn’t deal with her changing her mind again and Belly wouldn’t be able to deal with loosing him again.
Shall we not forget that he disappeared from her life too? He stopped answering, stopped calling, stopped reaching out to her. Jeremiah is not innocent. We saw the way that he wouldn’t even look at her when she came to visit Susannah.
Some will say that he was hurting, but those are the same people that won’t recognize that Conrad was hurting too. How are we not being fair? Yes, the Fisher boys have to deal with their shit. So does Belly.
When they all lay down to sleep, Conrad on one side of the bed, Jeremiah on the other – I can appreciate the symbolism. I can appreciate that we’re supposed to look at Belly and them and see a choice. I just have to wonder what choice is it? Like no matter who she chooses they all loose.
When they all fall asleep (and by all, I mean Jeremiah), Conrad tells Belly that he still wants her. He still loves her. He doesn’t expect an answer, but he needs to tell her.
The next day, when Belly wakes up and Jeremiah is gone, I think we all assumed he heard. What we see if Belly filled with fear. We see her feeling like she has to make. a decision to be with him based off that fear.
I will never say that Belly doesn’t love Jeremiah, but I will also say that love is – well there are all different types of love. She loves him, but I don’t believe she’s in love with him. I believe she doesn’t want to loose him and in making a decision that is rash, she will loose everything she’s trying to hang onto.
And it makes me furious with Jeremiah that he’s willing to let her do this.
Conrad, on the other hand is no saint. He takes back what he said. He is cruel and not for the sake of being honest, but for the sake of protecting himself and for letting them off the hook.
You can’t be mad at Conrad for it and yet you can be furious at him. You can’t be mad at Jeremiah and yet you can be furious at him. You can’t be mad at Belly and yet you can be furious at her.
The thing is, as they all go their separate ways at the end – Conrad back to Cousins, Belly to camp, and Jeremiah to wherever he’s gonna be – you just know at a certain point it’s all going to boil over when they come back together.
After all, summer has just begun.
- Steven and Taylor – love them together. I love their storyline, but I also wish that their understanding of each other had come sooner. This episode, you can’t help but be wrapped up in the choices Belly, Conrad, and Jeremiah are making that somehow, they didn’t get the attention they deserved. And yes, Steven and Taylor got a lot of attention. I just felt like something was missing.
- Laurel – I loved seeing her start to live her life. I love seeing her do everything that she wants to do and even things that she doesn’t. I think it’s great to see her continue to grow. I love seeing her break out of her shell. Susannah would be proud.
- I love that the show played into the great ship debate by having Steven and Taylor choose different sides. We need to see more of this in the world – shows playing into fandom, but also pathing its own way.
The entire second season of The Summer I Turned Pretty is streaming now on Prime Video.