Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Season 2, Episodes 1-3 of The Summer I Turned Pretty.
The second season of The Summer I Turned Pretty is finally here — and things have changed tremendously. If you recall, the Season 1 finale revealed Susannah's (Rachel Blanchard) cancer has returned. She agreed to a new trial to beat her illness once and for all, ending the first season on a happy note.
With the second season here, fans want to know: Does the treatment work, or does Susannah die? Read on to find out about her fate. Plus, stick around because Distractify spoke exclusively with author/showrunner Jenny Han about the importance of showcasing Susannah's bond with Belly's mother, Laurel (Jackie Chung).
Does Susannah die in 'The Summer I Turned Pretty'?
In the first episode of Season 2, titled "Love Lost," viewers immediately learn about Susannah's tragic fate. After she snaps out of a daydream about the summer, Belly says through internal dialogue, "I wasn't in Cousins. Conrad and I weren't together, and Susannah was dead. Nothing would ever be the same again."
Susannah's absence has a major effect on everyone's lives, including Belly's (Lola Tung) — her grades have dropped, and she's no longer captain of the volleyball team. As for Laurel, she wrote a book about Susannah: It's Not Summer Without You. However, she refuses to promote it because it hurts to talk about her best friend.
Susannah's boys, Conrad (Christopher Briney) and Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno), are obviously struggling as well, but they are now focused on saving the beloved beach house because her half-sister and their aunt, Julia (Kyra Sedgwick), is trying to sell it out from under them.
She makes brief appearances in Season 2, thanks to flashbacks, but not too many since she passes away in the spring following the first season. The treatment worked for a while, and she was getting better. But by Christmas, she took a turn for the worst, and sadly, Susannah lost the battle.
Belly and her family attended Susannah's funeral alongside the Fishers, and let's just say things didn't go too well. At the funeral, Belly promises to stay by her ex-boyfriend Conrad's side for the rest of the day. However, she loses sight of him at the reception; when she finds him, he's curled up with his ex-girlfriend Audrey.
The pair get into a massive fight in front of everyone, and Belly tells Conrad to go to hell and that she hates him. The eldest Fisher boy delivers a low blow, saying that getting involved with her was a huge mistake. Belly says she never wants to see him again and storms off.
Jenny Han said it was "crucial" to show Susannah and Laurel's friendship.
With her best friend dead, Laurel isn't doing too well — she all but ditched her role as a mother, neglecting her kids and not knowing what's going on in their lives. We understand her, however, because Susannah was her best friend, and living without your other half feels like pure torture.
Ahead of the series premiere, Jenny exclusively told Distractify that although it's atypical, it was extremely crucial for her to showcase Susannah and Laurel's lasting bond in the coming-of-age story.
"I think they are so essential to the story because they're the ones who have created this, this world, for these kids and their families," Jenny told us. "And it was really important to me that it not just be them as the moms but that they had their own identities outside of being a mom, and I almost feel for them being in Cousins is where they kind of almost put a pause on being a mom, a wife, both of them are having their own story and doing their own thing."
"And I think that there's something really special about this friendship and about women's friendship in general, that you really can have a friendship that carries over a whole lifetime," she said. "Where romantic partners can come and go, but some of these friendships are more intimate, more foundational, in one's life and one's character than any romantic partner."
New episodes of The Summer I Turned Pretty drop Fridays, only on Prime Video.