The mind of Jeremiah Fisher is a lovely place.
Keeping with the theme of trying new things, The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 2 Episode 5 tried something different by putting us in the headspace of Jeremiah instead of Belly.
As the weaker aspect of this love triangle, one of whom we knew the least about, it was genuinely refreshing that we got Jeremiah’s perspective and a chance to lean into the male gaze.
And what we learned was essentially some of what we knew but expanded.
He’s the boy who always looked up to his brother, but now the hero worship of Conrad has dissipated naturally as they’ve grown older.
He’s the boy who fell for Belly at the beginning of last summer and has been struggling with his position as “second best” to Conrad ever since. And he’s only ever felt understood by Susannah and Belly.
We needed an hour like this for Jeremiah, and Gavin Casalegno is doing a fine job of bringing this newfound depth to this character to life.
Jeremiah: My whole life Ii’e looked up to Conrad. He’s always been smarter, faster, just better. Maybe part of me even needed that: someone to look up to. But a lot has happened this year. I don’t feel that way anymore.
Everyone was so wrapped up in the rise and fall of Belly and Conrad that Jeremiah and his justifiably hurt feelings about it were overlooked almost completely.
Jeremiah is a gentle and kind soul, and it’s refreshing to see him in a new light, or better yet, in any light at all apart from his relation to Conrad and even Belly.
The flashbacks were particularly great with this, granting us endearing scenes of a young guy who is forced to grow up faster than he should, tending to his mother during his final year of high school with a broken heart and a brave face.
When you consider the shitty position Jeremiah has been in for the past year, it goes far beyond losing out on the girl he loves to his brother.
He didn’t have many delusions about him and Belly; he even noted that she and Conrad always seemed inevitable.
However, that didn’t mean his feelings for her would just disappear.
But he not only had to face that, the heartbreak, Belly choosing Conrad over him, and so forth — but he’s dealt with the bulk of Susannah’s cancer.
For the kid left in the dark the longest about Susannah‘s cancer, in some misguided attempt to “protect him,” he’s also been the one who predominately deals with it the most.
It’s like she was never here at all. I didn’t think it was possible for things to get worse. I was wrong. This is worse. This is fucked.
Jeremiah is home with his mother full-time, while Conrad has been away at school. And Conrad has gotten to hide away at school in a way and not fully deal with the slow death of his mother.
Meanwhile, Jeremiah is putting in the work, making her shakes, feeding her, tending to and taking care of her, spending all this time with her, and being her person and reliable son.
It’s been interesting how the respective siblings’ roles have come into play so often in this series because Conrad has always held on to the pressure, anxiety, and weight of being the eldest and the responsibilities he feels come with that.
It literally manifests itself with his chronic anxiety.
I’m not going to defend what Conrad just said, okay? That wasn’t right. But I can’t defend this either, mom. Can you?
But then we see Jeremiah filling in the blanks and being the rock that Conrad thought he was or had been struggling to be for so long.
It took this year, particularly for the fog of hero worship Jeremiah has had for his brother his entire life to life and for him to see him as the flawed human that he is, and with that, Jeremiah has exuded maturity and steadiness that he didn’t necessarily appear to have before.
Jeremiah’s conversation with Susannah was very telling, and she even disregarded his feelings about the Belly situation.
Everyone thought he was okay because he’s always expected to be okay, and he puts on the front.
It was both aware and heavy — that conversation. And it made you sympathize with Jeremiah even more.
Susannah: Oh, honey. You still have feelings for her.
Jeremiah: No, mom. I got over that crush a long time ago.
Susannah: You never let anyone see you hurting.
Jeremiah: I’m fine, mom, seriously.
Susannah: Well, sometimes I feel you’re a bit too good at being fine.
Jeremiah: Well, isn’t that what everyone wants me to be?
We got a closer look at how cognizant he is of the expected roles and expectations of him and how he feels about that pressure.
Jeremiah is always reliable, reasonable, and level-headed and never seems entitled to his feelings. And they spent the majority of the hour showcasing that and indirectly contrasting him with Conrad.
But it also makes this love triangle suck. As it stands, all one can think is that Jeremiah deserves better than he has going right now.
It paints the picture that Jeremiah can fill in the cracks and provide the emotional needs and support that Belly can’t always get from Conrad.
Essentially, she treats him like a security or safety blanket as a result. Whether intentional or not, it’s still a shitty thing to do to him and for him.
Even during this installment, they had all of these charged moments, and Belly was even flirting on occasion, testing the waters between them now that they’re mostly back on good footing.
But it shows a total disregard for his feelings. It was as if she worked to get out of him his admission that if he kissed her during an innocent Truth or Dare game, he wouldn’t be able to stop.
It’s as if Belly wanted confirmation that he still had feelings for her, but it felt a bit unfair to Jeremiah.
Belly: Why don’t you want to kiss me?
Jeremiah: Because if I kiss you, I don’t know that I can ever stop.
It makes it harder for him to get over or through his feelings. It puts him in an awkward position if she chooses to do something about them, especially when he and his brother are back on track, and he knows how Conrad feels about Belly and doesn’t discount that he’s some consolation prize.
Jeremiah is rightfully guarding his heart as best as he can and is cautious in navigating things with Belly, and God bless her; she’s not making it easy on him at all.
If we’re led to believe that she and Conrad are inevitable, by now, it just feels unfair to Jeremiah to drag this out or tease anything continually.
Even in their most endearing moments, there’s always the feeling that he’s a pitstop back to Conrad, which sucks. He’s a sweet boy who doesn’t deserve that in the least.
Ironically, in making a stronger case for why Jeremiah could be the right person for Belly, it mostly succeeds in you genuinely wishing and hoping that he gets better than this shitty situation that will only cause him harm.
Ironically, the more compelling love story this season is between Steven and Taylor.
The two characters have improved drastically since The Summer I Turned Pretty Season 1 because they’ve gotten more development and a chance to evolve.
Taylor, in particular, is far from the one-dimensional character she was before and has emerged as an incredibly grounded, wise, thoughtful, and considerate young woman and friend.
She’s been such a breath of fresh air through and through.
It was interesting to hear that she’s also been trying to protect her heart when it comes to Steven.
Was anyone else confused about why she’s so rattled by Steven and how he hurt her?
Their situation during the first season didn’t feel like it warranted this level of hurt and pain between them. But I respect Taylor’s stance on this all the same.
Jere, I don’t want you to hate us. But I think about her all the time. And it hurts, like, my chest physically hurts to not be able to tell her that I’m in love with her.
Their romantic dancing and near kiss at the country club was easily one of the most breathtakingly swoon-worthy moments thus far this season.
The season has been relatively light on the romance and heavy on the angst and grief, so it’s just genuinely great to have this romantic element that doesn’t feel as heavy and convoluted.
The height difference between them made me squeal in delight. I’m a sucker for height differences. And Steven has so much charm and rizz.
Steven is far too underrated as a romantic male option on this series, and I could watch an entire side series of him as a romantic lead. He and Taylor are serving up the good stuff. Milo, who?
After the heartbreaking events of The Summer I Turned Season 2 Episode 4, the house situation didn’t get much better.
Julia keeps coming off as a one-dimensional villain and colossal biotch, and it feels like a severe underusing of Kyra Sedgwick.
She worked in tandem with the boys’ father to clear everything out and put it in storage, which means the Fisher patriarch is as shitty as ever.
Although, it is interesting to hear Jeremiah’s perspective about his father. He extends the man more grace. However, he never felt like his father loved him as much as Conrad, so perhaps he’s less disappointed or disillusioned by his father’s antics because of this.
Conrad can still run hot and be this angry at the man because he’s always been favored, and his father fell from grace.
Conrad is laser-focused on suing their father for trust access, but it doesn’t matter now that Julia is headed to Boston to finalize the house sale.
The underhanded things these adults are doing to these literal children are shocking.
Essentially, we have two adults with complicated relationships, with Susannah running roughshod over the kids who loved her most over something she treasured.
It doesn’t make sense that Susannah never prepared her boys for what would happen after her death. Despite how much we love Susannah, she is in a flawed light this season.
And it’s still puzzling that Laurel is so checked out in all of this. We’re halfway through the season, and she’s severely underused.
Cam Cameron is the very definition of a plot device. He’s sweet but mostly just there.
That said, did anyone else send flirting between Cam and Skye? Are they angling for all these side ships to keep the romance up this season?
They have to show us Shitmas flashbacks or something at some point, right? We need to know something about the sisters and why they’re like this.
What exactly are these teens supposed to do? It’s like they’re gallivanting around Cousins with no money, clothes, or anything and no real plan.
Does Belly even want to go to volleyball? It doesn’t seem like it.
Was Conrad always this angsty and broody? His grief is definitely coming out in an aggressive, angry, brooding way, but it doesn’t feel like we have access to how he’s really feeling, which sucks.
Over to you, The Summer I Turned Pretty Fanatics.
Did you like switching to Jeremiah’s perspective? Are you ‘shipping Steven and Taylor? Sound off below!
All-new episodes of The Summer I Turned Pretty stream Fridays on Prime Video.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on Twitter.