Overview (Spoilers Below)
Just as the campers are about to embark on a hike, an army of squirrels rises up and devours Quartermaster whole — taking the camp as their own and exiling the cast. Max theorizes that they’re probably seeking revenge since Quartermaster killed their king back in season one. After many attempts to rid their camp of the squirrels — such as banging pots and pans, releasing the platypus onto them, and disguising Space Kid as a squirrel to be an inside operative — the campers discover the squirrels’ true revenge: taking away their agency as the main characters.
They watch as the squirrels take on their identities — ranging from every single squirrel camper to a squirrel David. When Neil finds out that the squirrels also stole his personal journal, he decides to use his high-tech robot to go in and kill them. It backfires, and it leaves Neil to join the squirrels.
David finally gives in to Nurf’s plan to go in and beat up the squirrels themselves, and the gang prepares weapons/armor. However, the squirrels form into one, giantly jacked squirrel. Things look grim, but then Quartermaster appears, reborn out of the lake. Heroically, Quartermaster faces off with the squirrels…and loses.
The gang decides to just let the squirrels have the camp and rebuild an exact replica of Camp Campbell themselves — meanwhile, Cameron casually interacts with Squirrel David and the other squirrel campers as if there were no difference.
One thing that season four really seems to be hammering in is the concept of “teamwork.” Watching most of the characters get a spot in the limelight while they all worked together made for an oddly heartwarming plot. For the past few episodes, every other moral has relied heavily on teamwork as the solution to a problem, and it’s starting to become the theme of the season.
However, there’s another reoccurring theme which isn’t as charming: the use of meta.
Camp Camp, we get it. You’re quirky and funny because you look at the camera every five seconds and say, “Hey guys, look! We’re making fun of our own characters! We’re making fun of our tropes! We’re making fun of our own writing!” It’s old. Meta jokes are a lot like ice cream. If you get served nothing but ice cream, you start to get sick of it. You say, “Okay, that was great, but I need actual food now.” In this sense, Camp Camp’s comedy writing has lately felt devoid of any real substance. As far as season four’s jokes have gone, it’s been lots of ice cream headaches. The real revenge the squirrels decided upon was stealing the characters’ identities for the sake of making them “irrelevant”? It really just seemed like they wanted an excuse to make cute animal counterparts of the cast.
If you joke about something enough, it starts to hold some truth — the same goes for these “one-dimensional character” jokes. In an effort to desperately avoid it, they might just be embracing these one-dimensional qualities after all (despite inorganic attempts at making it not so, such as the “New Adventure!” episode.)
Aside from all that nonsense, there were tons of genuinely lovable character moments — Nikki and Max bonding over finding a dead body, Neil’s self-made friend-bot, Nerris’ quips at a few characters, and of course, David’s cheery “Okay everybody! Stay safe: but take no prisoners!” line.
Speaking of David — how was he even remotely okay with replacing the entire camp he grew up with? It seemed a little OOC — but then again, we’re nearing the end of the season and we still have gotten zero Cameron plot, so…maybe Camp Camp has settled on cheap laughs at this point.
Oh, how squirrelly things have gotten.