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Belly and Conrad Fight on the Beach


Spoilers below.

The beloved beach house has already been bought by a lovely family with three kids and “a poodle mix” and Aunt Julia is hurrying things along, demanding that Jeremiah and Conrad hand over their keys. She is ready to head back to Boston, but her kid Skye tries to make her reconsider. After hanging out with their cousins for a few days, Skye realizes they actually like the beach, the town, and even this side of the family, even though their mother didn’t feel that way. It’s clear that Julia is hurt by memories of Cousins Beach; Skye thinks she’s just selling the house to confirm that she never belonged here. While Julia proceeds home, Skye chooses to stay behind.

A flashback takes us to the infamous “shitmas,” a.k.a. the shitty Christmas that tore Julia and her sister Susannah apart. At the time, Julia shared that she overheard her stepmother asking her dad how long Julia would be around sulking, because she wanted her to leave. Susannah refuses to believe the news and doesn’t empathize with her sister, creating a wedge between them.

 

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With this being their last night at the house, Belly decides to throw a big party to give the place a proper goodbye. It’s an homage to Susannah, who once threw a Gatsby-like rager the first time she went to the house after her dad died. Conrad approves.

Jeremiah, however, is having trouble accepting that this is the end. He tells Belly that this house is his safe place, where he always goes to in his dreams. Belly cheers him up by pushing him into the pool, and they splash around as Taylor Swift’s “Delicate” plays. While lounging on pool floats, they start to hold hands, but Belly is summoned to a supply run with Conrad. Jeremiah joins in. Meanwhile, Taylor FaceTimes with Milo in the kitchen, right in front of Steven, who responds by being super annoying and stealing her phone.

First stop on the supply run: the liquor store. After both Conrad (with his barely passable Guam ID) and Jeremiah fail to secure some alcohol, Belly succeeds by asking the shop cashier, Jumper, for a favor. All she had to do was say their house was for sale and he wheeled out cases of booze to their car. She also gets slushies for herself and Jeremiah but not for Conrad, who appears to be a little jealous. He takes a sip from Belly’s cup in a not flirtatious way. (Also, did you spot that Jenny Han cameo?)

Next stop: buying Party City decor on dad’s emergency Amex. (Oh to be a white boy with a trust fund.) In one aisle, Belly addresses the elephant in the room: She apologizes to Conrad for how she behaved at Susannah’s funeral and not being there for him. Conrad clears the air, explaining that when Belly found him alone with Aubrey, he was actually having a panic attack and Aubrey was the one who found him—but he wishes it was Belly. Jeremiah catches the end of their conversation, suspecting something is going on.

Skye might be getting some action too. They accompany Cam Cameron to his house to get a soundboard and speakers for tonight’s festivities. On their quest, Cam reveals that he and his mother are very close because his father left shortly after his sister died. Their tight bond makes him worried about leaving for college, and it’s why he didn’t apply to that esteemed whaling internship program, even though he really wanted to. With the program’s boat set to dock in town next week, Skye encourages Cam to pursue his dreams. When the group reconvenes at the house, Skye asks Belly and Taylor for advice for their first kiss. Belly, who has kissed every boy in this crew besides Steven, says the kiss with Jeremiah was surprisingly “really, really hot.”

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Finally, it’s time to party. Belly glides in wearing Susannah’s roller skates, looking very on-theme in an adorable ‘70s-inspired look—voluminous hair, pastel eyeshadow, and patterned biker shorts. Unfortunately, she slips in her wheeled footwear and falls into Jeremiah’s arms, and he whispers into her ear, “You don’t need to hurt yourself to get my attention.” (That sound you just heard was me screaming.) Across the room, Steven is still pushing for Conrad and Belly to end up together. His own focus will be on Taylor tonight, as his season 1 girlfriend Shayla will not be showing up. (She’s in Ibiza.) He has no idea Taylor’s boyfriend Milo has just arrived.

Outside, Skye and Cam reflect on their regrets. Cam doesn’t want to regret missing the whaling internship, so he will—thanks to Skye’s support—get on that boat after all. Skye, also feeling bold, kisses Cam.

Steven clears the floor and gets Taylor to join him in a synchronized dance they used to do as kids. By the end of their number, Steven admits he has had feelings for Taylor for a while. “But now you’re my favorite person,” he says, holding her as he waits for her response. Before she can speak, Milo butts in and fights Steven. Their tussle interrupts not just the party, but also Jeremiah and Belly’s near-kiss in the next room. Taylor ends the brawl when she breaks up with Milo in front of everyone.

Some good news: Skye gets a text from their mom saying the beach house buyer has agreed to let the Fishers rent the place for one week every summer. Belly and Jeremiah are glad they’ll be able to return, but Conrad won’t accept that. (He doesn’t want to pay other people to live in his family’s house.)

Jeremiah calls out Conrad for giving up—not just on the house, but also on Belly. He points out how Conrad begged for his blessing to be with her, but when things got tough, Conrad threw the whole relationship away. Belly doesn’t want to be used as a pawn in this argument, so she leaves. Jere used to look up to Conrad, but now he just sees him as a coward.

Conrad finds Belly drunk on the beach and tries to get her inside, but the encounter turns into a tearful, drunken confrontation. If Belly had known that Conrad wanted to be with her so badly—evidenced by his begging Jeremiah to date her—then she would’ve fought harder for their relationship at prom, at Susannah’s funeral, and beyond. But Conrad thought she already knew. (These kids just need to communicate better!) “I thought that we loved each other,” she says. “We did,” he replies. “I guess not enough,” she answers. Cue Taylor Swift’s “Snow on the Beach.”

Steven and Taylor are on slightly better terms as he comforts her post-breakup. She was touched that he could remember her middle name when though Milo couldn’t. (That’s a pretty low bar, but do you!) Finally, she kisses Steven.

By the end of the night, the house is in disarray, people are spray painting on walls, someone breaks a window, and Belly’s wasted. The only thing she can do is go to bed and call her mom sobbing: “Mommy. I need you.” Belly reveals that she’s at the summer house–whoops, she previously told her mom she was at Taylor’s place, but nevermind that. All Belly wants is for Laurel to “just come and fix it.” Who among us hasn’t made such phone calls to our mothers in desperate times?

Headshot of Erica Gonzales

Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now. 



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