Episode 4 of The Summer I Turned Pretty begins with 4th July celebrations getting underway. Belly is going to be asking Cam to the Ball today, apparently, but there are bigger problems afoot.
With the party due to get underway, and Laurel suspiciously wearing make-up, it turns out their father and his new flame (John and Victoria) are coming… and staying the night too. Unfortunately Jeremiah and Conrad’s dad, Adam, isn’t showing up.
John and Victoria show up and she’s a bit of a knock-out (Jeremiah’s words, not mine!)which makes Laurel feel even more insecure. Susannah does well to quell her doubts.
Instead, Laurel turns her attention to Shayla when she shows up. Steven eventually stops her from asking loads of questions, but she does put her foot in it when she throws shade at the Debutante Ball. Belly obviously overhears and isn’t particularly happy with her mum.
Inside, Belly and Jeremiah watch as Victoria wows everyone with her signature drinks. As they take these margaritas outside, Adam shows up out the blue and causes all sorts of awkwardness.
As everyone clears out the kitchen, Susannah confronts Adam about him showing up. It turns out this was actually all Laurel’s doing, given she messaged him that morning and urged him to show up.
Still, the kids don’t let that deter them, as they head onto the beach (along with Cam) and decide to start playing drinking games (minus Cam, of course!) After some games on the beach, the party shifts across to the shore.
The thing is, Belly can’t stop looking at Conrad… and Cam notices. Belly, in her drunken state, also reveals to Shayla that Steven kissed Taylor. Oof. As a result, everyone leaves and Cam urges his girlfriend to sober up.
It’s clear that Adam is a bit of a pushy dad, especially when he speaks to Conrad and Jeremiah about football. He’s clearly done something more than this though, given everyone – including Susannah – won’t even converse with him.
As we soon find out, Adam actually cheated on Susannah 3 years ago with his secretary… while she was going through chemo. When Laurel finds out, she’s shocked.
Out in the parking lot, Steven races to catch up with Shayla, but when she mentions about the kiss, he’s crushed. Shayla shrugs it off, claiming they’re not exclusive anyway, and she soon leaves.
Steven is not happy and after talking to Jeremiah about this, he encourages Steven to fight for Shayla and tell her exactly how he really feels.
Steven does just that and sits with Shayla outside, admitting that he’s truly sorry and that she makes him feel super nervous.
Meanwhile, Laurel heads out with Cleveland and the two end up having sex in the car. When she sneaks back in the house, Belly is sitting in the kitchen, eating dried cereal. She’s conflicted over how she feels about the boys in her life.
Belly talks specifically about how she doesn’t feel fireworks with Cam. Laurel gives some solid advice about how it just “feels right” when you’re with the right person.
That night, Belly heads down to the dock where Conrad is watching the fireworks. They talk about the Infinity necklace, with Belly admitting she found it in the drawer.
Conrad admits he didn’t give it to her because he was feeling embarrassed and that Belly has “an effect on people.” With Jeremiah watching from afar, Conrad and Belly look like they’re about to kiss… until a jealous Jeremiah sets off a firework. He’s clearly heartbroken as it seems Belly is now fighting off three boys!
The Episode Review
Alas, the plot thickens; it now becomes clear that Belly is fighting off 3 different boys and that looks set to scintillate the final episodes of this season. There’s a lot to like with this one, although at times the drama does feel a bit melodramatic for the sake of stirring things up.
The drunken confession from Belly though is one of those “oof” moments and although the show has done well not to pepper in too many second-hand embarrassment moments, this was definitely one of them. However, Steven appears to have redeemed himself by the end so hopefully that’s a sign of things to come.
The Summer I Tuned Pretty does have a good ebb and flow to it now, with each chapter taking an individual holiday or big event and weaving the character drama around that. Most of this has been pretty well delivered, although one could argue that the drama involving Laurel and Cleveland hasn’t really been fleshed out all that well.
It’s a minor gripe though in what’s otherwise been an enjoyable watch. Quite what will happen next, remains to be seen!