Camp Cretaceous Season 3 Review (Spoilers!)
We are spoiled– in the gift-giving way, though this review does contain major spoilers— once again: the third season of Camp Cretaceous has come out! This season feels somewhat different from the others, with a notably darker atmosphere, and it’s gotten a great reception so far. People have died in this show before, and kids have gotten attacked by dinosaurs, but this time it’s quite a bit more brutal and scary.
My personal favorite is still season 2, but I can easily see how this could be a lot of people’s favorite season. Despite whatever complaints I may have, I really enjoyed it overall. The characters are continuing their trend of becoming more likable, and the changes of scenery– an elevator shaft, a lookout point– freshened things up a bit. Whether they were canonically on the island or not, the new dinosaurs were interesting and fun additions. However, that brings me to my main complaint:
The whole thing with E750 kind of made me wish that this wasn’t canon, or in general, that the franchise would have some things in it that didn’t have to fit in with the larger movie canon. I wish there was more room to play around with things like that, and not have them become set in stone as things that actually happened in-universe. I don’t really like the idea of retcons like “oh yeah, and there was a super secret and even scarier hybrid dinosaur all along, and it was like the Indoraptor but it had a cooler gimmick”– at least not in the main canon. I would’ve been happier to see that in a non-canon spinoff. In fact, if this was a non-canon spinoff, it could’ve done more off-the-wall and fun things with even more dinosaurs that weren’t canonically on the island (more new dinosaurs than Ouranosaurus and Monolophosaurus, I mean), and there could’ve been even bigger and wackier hybrids for it to play with in later seasons. If the series had to have this secret super-Indoraptor, then it handled it well enough, with the species having its moment and then being conclusively killed off. I guess it’s in line with the hybrid trend that we’ll be seeing more of in later movies, and it’s not unprecedented for Wu to have made a fucked-up Indoraptor precursor. I just wish that the showrunners and the fans could have fun with spinoffs like these without having to justify how all of this fits in with the movies and the stage show and the website and…
However, one thing that I do like about this being canon is the tie-in with the Fallen Kingdom opening sequence. None of the kids’ involvement was implausible, and the part with the laptop really made this feel more like a part of the movie canon, even if it didn’t end up affecting much in the main story. The ending of this series feels like the writers didn’t know if they would get renewed for a fourth season or not, so they wanted to do something that would plausibly work as an ending while still leaving possibilities open. I don’t think I would be happy with this being the real end, but I guess it works, if it really needs to. (I, for one, will be doing my part to pay for that fourth season by buying as many toys as my grubby little hands can carry.) The main issue I have is that the Mantah Corp plot line hasn’t been resolved yet, and that was the story element that I was most interested in (and a lot of other fans seem to feel the same way). But that could be done by just name-dropping the company in Dominion, which I have a feeling will happen anyway.
Other than that, here’s some of my other observations from throughout the season:
-It’s cool that we’re getting to see attractions from Jurassic World that were previously only seen on the website. (I’m still waiting to see that nightclub!) According to this wiki, the base of the gondola lift was located near the bamboo forest. For those of you dying to see the bamboo forest, sorry, maybe next season. Also, what’s up with Darius knowing about the little area with the dinosaur fact plaques, but not knowing about the gondola lift, something that was mentioned on the website?
-I probably heard the dimorphodon’s screech in Jurassic World and just forgot it, but I think that sound freaked me out more than pretty much any dinosaur’s roar, besides the Indoraptor’s. It was also pretty funny that Yaz and Brooklynn dove off the side of the cliff while the dimorphodon watched, like it was teaching its babies to fly.
-The writers must know at this point that we want to see Ceratosaurus do something cool, and that must’ve been why they did this:
At least she wasn’t just staring at the protagonists this time, right? I would be much less amused at this running joke if it was with a dinosaur I cared a lot about.
-Bumpy is just like one of those big dogs who gets a lot of affection as a puppy, and then grows up thinking she’s puppy size forever, knocking people down because she doesn’t know how big she is.
-How utterly hilarious would it have been if Ben had overcome his germophobia, only for everyone to escape and come home to the mainland during the pandemic? I also noticed that he was the only one who didn’t bring a swimsuit. I bet he didn’t want to swim in water that might contain dino spit.
-Ben is still my favorite character, with Yaz as a close second. This is devastatingly on-brand for me, but I like Ben’s characterization because it reminds me so much of Shinji Ikari– he used to be paranoid and uptight, but now that he’s gotten comfortable with the people around him, he’s a lot more sassy and asserts himself more. I still think he’ll start crying with joy when he gets home and sees all of his cleaning supplies again.
-Shoutout to this show for including a line like this in such a casual way:
I’m going to be genuinely disappointed if Sammy and Yaz don’t end up together by the end. They should’ve kissed after Sammy got the antidote and woke up. I didn’t even like Sammy in the first season, but these two seasons have done a really good job of making me ship it.
-The episode with the monolophosaurs was pretty neat. The idea of dinosaurs taking over a huge penthouse building is pretty funny– would different species live on different floors? Would the raptors and the monolophosaurs hiss at each other as they passed each other on the stairs? With the inclusion of that specific dinosaur, it kind of feels like the creators are pulling a joke on all these fans who really want to see dilophosaurs again. Here, you get half a dilophosaur as a compromise.
-I can relate to Kenji because I, too, begin throwing money when I see dinosaurs.
-I am very much in love with the idea of the visitor’s center being haunted by the ghost of a pissed Muldoon or an even more pissed Ray Arnold. I also loved Yaz’s reference to the original novel, and even though she was wrong about that (at least in her continuity), there actually would be a reason to think the islands were cursed. Novel readers will remember that the Five Deaths got their name because of a legend about a warrior being killed five times there, by a different method on each island. But that’s not as exciting as a theme park death, to be fair.
-Blue would actually have more of a reason to think that the old visitor’s center was haunted, since more of her kind got killed in that building– in fact, in that very atrium– than humans.
-If Blue had done something to help the campers before, like scared off a larger dinosaur for them, I think it would’ve made more sense when they showed more sympathy for her than any other dinosaur. It was true that the raptors only tried to attack them earlier because they trespassed into their home, but that’s also true for every other dinosaur they’ve encountered. Blue is a nice girl and it wouldn’t have been too out of character for her to be helpful, in order to set up that situation.
-The inclusion of the Scorpius Rex is even weirder when you consider how it injured Dr. Wu, shook him up so badly, and nearly killed him… and then he went on to make the Indoraptor, a very similar and equally aggressive animal, a few years later. Plus, I can’t believe that Scorpius was the very first hybrid. You would think that something like the Stegoceratops would be a lot easier and have lower stakes as a first try.
-It’s funny that the herbivores take every opportunity to whack at a gyrosphere whenever they see one. They’re like “Take that! No more staring at me while I eat! No more interrupting my naps!”
-One thing I do like about Scorpius is that it’s really off-putting. Its head and its movements, particularly its jumping, just don’t look quite right. And the way its arms move, and its demented scream… eugh. It really looks like an animal that just should not be able to exist. I liked that concept in the Indoraptor, so I like it even more here.
-I really think the Scorpius had a lot of human DNA in it, especially since we know that the Indominus did too. The upright posture and the somewhat human-like scream, like the bear from Annihilation, were what made me think so. That got me thinking: did Dr. Wu use his own DNA to create these things? He would’ve definitely had a lot of the material on hand, and his genes would contribute a lot of intelligence…
-I’m not thrilled about the asexual reproduction thing (how could the first Scorpius have made a second full-grown one in less than 2 days?) but I’ll forgive it if they show it reproducing by binary fission. I want to see it splitting itself in two and creating its own twin– if they’re doing something ridiculous like that, they can at least give us a cool visual.
-The glowing parasaurolophuses should’ve stayed in the cave where they were safer– unless a Scorpius managed to get in a kayak and row through the caves to find them, which is such a good image that I would accept it if it were true. It’s either that, or the paras discovered that there was a whole world above them by themselves, and they did so at the absolute worst possible time.
-Remember when you were a kid and you read all those dinosaur books about how, when a predator came near a Triceratops herd, the adults would all stand horns-forward in a circle to protect their babies? I love that the ankylosaurs did that. They probably should’ve put their clubs out instead, but I don’t even care because this is so cute.
-You can all probably imagine how I feel about the baby brachiosaur. I wonder if that one was the first baby dino (besides some compies, probably) to be born on the island without human intervention?
-I can’t believe they just did Raptors In the Kitchen 2: No Finesse This Time and Atrium Fight 2: Double Trouble. I was all upset for a minute that they destroyed the original visitor’s center, but then I remembered the existence of Fallen Kingdom.
-Rexy showed up really fast when those helicopters did. She probably considers herself to be the island’s pest control. She worked hard on that nest and she is not about to go back to getting gawked at and fed on a schedule.
-The fact that part of this took place during the opening of Fallen Kingdom makes me want to act like one of those anime fans who suggests those really painstaking watch orders. “Start with one movie, then watch episodes 1-20 of the show, then watch the other movie, then watch episodes 21-28, then watch the second movie again…”
-Absolutely nothing but respect for Brooklyn and how she keeps utterly destroying Dr. Wu within minutes of meeting him:
Not that it matters, though, because from what we saw in Fallen Kingdom, her morality lectures had no effect on him whatsoever.
-Much like the implications of Baby Yoda being taken to Luke Skywalker’s Jedi school, I don’t like the implications of Bumpy being left on Nublar. However, Bumpy being taken in by other ankylosaurs after being raised by humans is the reverse Jungle Book story that I didn’t know I needed. If there’s no fourth full season, can I at least have a 5-minute episode titled Bumpy Is Fine Actually?
As always, I’ll end with the references that I could spot. We really got treated this time, with references to a bunch of different Jurassic media. Here’s Twitter’s favorite:
Whoever keeps putting the Jurassic Park River Adventure references into this must’ve heard my cries of joy, because I was thrown not one bone, but two:
And I don’t think I need to explain the rest:
All in all, though this wasn’t my favorite season and I had a couple of bones to pick (haha get it) I really enjoyed this, and I don’t want it to be the end of the show. What did you think of the new season? Did you catch anything I didn’t? Let me know in the comments!