Wren Radic In ‘Surviving Summer,’ Explained: Why Did She Ruin The Comps?

Yet again, a teen drama villainizes the stereotypically feminine, super-competitive player on the team. Of course, there’s always some kind of reasoning behind this extremely uncalled-for behavior. In a better world, Wren Radic would be focusing on herself rather than fighting her insecurities by attacking others. Surviving Summer follows New York teen Summer Torres, who gets shipped off to Straya for six weeks of exile because she’s been thrown out of school and her mother has a really important assignment to complete. In the first season, Summer matures into a young woman who learns how to adjust around other people, help them, and make actual friends. She learns the power of support. But there are some things about Summer that could possibly never change— her recklessness and how bold she is. So, when in season 2, there’s a new player in town who happens to have taken her spot in the group and got everything she ever wanted, it would seem more normal for Summer to be the jealous one. But, of course, the protagonist can’t be the bad guy. Additionally, Summer is different; she’s above it all, and for some reason, she’s the only one who can see Wren’s true colors.

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Wren Radic is the new kid in town, but she’s also a champion that everyone admires. As a young and malleable teenager, it doesn’t come as a surprise that she’s arrogant and needs to get off her high horse. The thing here is that Wren is the way she is because her sister has taken up the responsibility of looking after her and their brother. It seems that Elo is the reason Wren is overcome with this hatred. The pressure has made her forget all of her humanity and channel the worst parts of herself in order to be a winner. It’s unfortunate because it is very clear that Wren is talented enough to do this on her own merit, without pressure or fear. Instead, Elo and Wren take turns making horrible decisions and manipulating people to make sure they continue to be the best.

But with Summer, Wren isn’t really threatened by her skills, which she initially thinks are just average. It’s more her personal life, which she has set up so smoothly that she can’t have it tainted. The life of a champion isn’t just to be good at the sport; it’s also to boast of a lifestyle that everyone must envy. Before Summer’s arrival, Wren had created the perfect space for herself by dating Ari and becoming close friends with all his friends, aka Summer’s besties. Given the situation, when Summer returns, Wren’s position is threatened. She seems to be the only person immune to Summer’s loud personality and charm. It’s fair that she does feel threatened, but instead of talking it out and playing nice, which Summer has learned to do, Wren decides to take matters into her own hands and show Summer who’s boss. At first, Wren knows that Summer’s skills aren’t good enough for her to reach Wren’s standard, but soon, she sees that everyone is shocked by her skills and growth.

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We know now that Wren was always a bully, but Summer doesn’t take any of it lying down. The only problem for Summer is that what Wren uses to manipulate her friends against her are all things that old Summer would have shown signs of. Wren is a grade-A manipulator, and when she feels like her position is shaky and Ari is reminded of how close he was with Summer, she starts her manipulating games. From faking an ankle injury to threatening Summer’s position on the national team because her sister’s the captain and basically making Summer’s life hell, Wren tries everything in her power to make sure Summer feels trampled on. When that doesn’t work, she gets her brother to loosen the fins on Summer’s surfboard, leaving her out of order in the competition where she has to prove her worth in surfing.

Wren thinks she’s just securing her team, but she doesn’t realize Summer is also dependent on this sport and loves it as much as Wren herself. When that doesn’t work, Wren ends up giving Summer the ultimate blow by sabotaging the photoshoot. With no care in the world and not worrying about Bodhi’s sponsorship, Wren ends up trashing his room in the exact manner that Summer had suggested after he was racist towards Bodhi, leaving everyone to believe that even though they asked Summer to stand down, it was her doing. But somehow, Summer overcomes that, too, and even though she feels like she’s lost everything in Shorehaven, she still has some courage left, thanks to the surprising support of her mother. Something Wren doesn’t have.

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Wren goes as far as telling Ari that she’s in love with him on her birthday, so Ari (this gullible boy) feels like he has no choice but to say he loves her too. He definitely regrets it immediately, because later he tells Marlon that he told the wrong person he loved them. But on the other hand, Summer decides she can learn to be happy for Ari as long as he is happy. When Bax tells Summer the truth about the fin, Summer completely goes into her shell and decides there’s no place for her in Shorehaven anymore. With no one believing her, she shows off her loyalty one last time when Poppy makes a grave mistake, and Summer takes the blame for it.

Again, it is Margot who figures out the truth and sends Summer to the nationals to shine. Again, Wren can’t stand the idea of someone else getting all the support and love from the team, even when they’re not even as good as her. Summer finds out that Tuscany, the now-Queensland captain, was bullied by Wren when she started surfing better than her, and that’s why she and Elo, the coach who was being too harsh on the team, were thrown out of the team. Summer tells everyone the truth, and Elo is not the coach anymore because nobody wants a manipulative and tiresome coach. But she holds out a white flag for Wren and asks her to participate with them because Team Victoria needs her to win.

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Ultimately, Wren chooses to be the bad guy and show off her true colors in front of everyone because they already know what she’s like. She tries to threaten Summer in their heat together, pushes her off her board, and takes the wave herself, even though they’re on a team. Still, it is Summer who manages to do an excellent job and bring Team Victoria to spot number 3. In the end, we see the sisters walk away, and they still seem to be under the impression that with manipulation and threat, they can be at the top. Wren ruined the competition out of her jealousy and hatred, even though Summer went out on a limb and tried to make a heart-to-heart connection with her. Ultimately, Wren chose the bad side, and so she does not have a chance to see how wonderful it is to support others and be a team player.


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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