Surviving Summer Season 1 Ending Explained – Do Ari and Summer part ways?


What’s the big drama going into the finale?

It’s all kicking off at the end of Surviving Summer. Marlon refuses to play dirty and Ari comes in first place, leading to a big scuffle between him and Griff, the latter promising to tell the judges everything and get serious consequences for his actions.

Meanwhile, after so much angst and romance, not to mention heartbreak for Ari (like when Bodhi claimed it would be “gross” to date him, which he happened to hear), Summer ended up kissing Ari at the end of episode 9. But right behind her happens to be Margot, who has returned and is intending to take Summer back to the US… but will she leave Australia?

What happens during the girls’ competition?

Episode 10 of Surviving Summer begins with Summer leaving ahead with Margot. Meanwhile, Ari is in trouble for breaking curfew and heading out for the competition behind his parents’ back. Despite him getting through the Finals, Abbie is not happy and demands he head home.

Meanwhile, Luciana tries to talk the judges out of disqualifying Marlon but it’s no good. Poppy shows up to see Griff and has her heart broken when she learns he was playing her the whole time. Not only that, but she’s downhearted about the competition, believing her chances of qualifying are over…but not if Bodhi can finish second.

With a renewed passion and spirit, Bodhi heads out on the waves and manages to take the lead. Only, a knock on the head causes her to spin out, and she soon collapses off her board.

Does Bodhi survive? Who wins the competition?

It’s a desperate situation, and thankfully Summer and Ari are first to the scene, given they both ran away from their parents and head out in the water just earlier in the chapter. Together, they help bring Bodhi into the hospital. She’s okay, thankfully, but it also means the competition has been postponed for the time being

Out in the hallway of the hospital, Poppy and Marlon air out their issues, with the former thanking Marlon for sticking up for her, even if it does mean he got disqualified for his efforts.

Later on in the episode we learn the results for the girls. It’s great news! Poppy wins and Bodhi comes second, given they were able to compete after all.

Do Margot and Summer patch up their differences?

Meanwhile, Summer and Ari try to convince the other’s mother to change their minds. However, it has the adverse effect of Abbie and Margot butting heads about their parenting styles. Of course, this ripples out to the kids, as Ari calls out Summer for messing up all her relationships in the past. Summer bites back however, imploring Ari to tell his mum the truth about his anxiety.

The next day, Margot speaks to Summer, impressed with her surfing skills and commenting as much. After breaking the ice, Margot promises to be around a lot more when they return to the US. Summer though has come a long way and softened from the hostile anger she felt earlier in the season.

Summer tells her mother she doesn’t want to jeopardize her career for her own selfish ambitions.

What does Ari choose to do?

When Margot and Summer head off to the airport, Summer leaves behind a letter taking the blame for everything. This, in turn, allows Ari’s parents to soften up on their son and allow Ari to compete in the final.

This is a big moment for Ari, who’s torn between stopping Summer or competing in the grand final. Just before he heads out on the waves, he takes a step back and turns to his mum, admitting there’s something really wrong with him. He doesn’t outright say it’s his anxiety, but it’s the first step on the road to recovering.

Do Ari and Summer part ways or stay together?

Ari heads into the airport just in time, seeing off Summer before she leaves. He admits that he’s taken the first step, just as she suggested. As they look at one another longingly, the pair kiss. “Don’t miss me too much.” Summer says as she walks away and catches her flight.

How does Surviving Summer Season 1 end?

With Summer gone, having helped Ari take the first step to proper recovery, we cut back to the beach as Ari and his friends prepare to hit the waves. Summer meanwhile, touches down in New York and checks her phone, smiling as a picture of the gang comes through. Ah, summer loving!

The Episode Review

So Surviving Summer concludes this series with a pretty decent conclusion, rounding out all the big plot points and doing so with a satisfying (albeit cliched) chapter. We’ve got the obligatory airport chase, the misunderstandings and the triumph at the end but to be honest it works pretty well, given the target audience this is gunning for.

The surfing action has been a nice change of pace, although the abundance of montages that feature this and general splashing around in water does feel a bit excessive but that’s more a personal grievance than an issue with the show itself.

Sure, the series is a bit simple and many people will see the romance between Summer and Ari coming a mile off. However, it works in the context of this series and there’s some decent character growth for Ari and Summer.

Marlon is perhaps given the short straw here, and although he manages to do the right thing, it would have been good to see him make more of a statement to close this one out.

However, the series has been a decent watch all the same and if you can go into this one expecting a simple, formulaic surfing drama then you’re bound to warm to the characters.


Read More: Surviving Summer Season 1 Review

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2 thoughts on “Surviving Summer Season 1 Ending Explained – Do Ari and Summer part ways?”

  1. Netflix stated themselves that ari and summer are cousins and then they kissed near the end of the series that was a big curveball seeing they are related by blood

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