Recapping the first season of Netflix’s Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous.
With Camp Cretaceous Season 2 dropping soon, you might need a refresher on the events of Camp Cretaceous’ first season that premiered back in September of 2020. While the first season was mostly self-contained beyond some tie-ins with Jurassic World, it still set up a lot of exciting plot points and potential new places for the franchise to go. This article will hopefully get you ready for the second season.
The series opens with Darius (Voiced by Paul-Mikel Williams), a Dinosaur-obsessed teenager who we are introduced to playing a game based off of elements from The Lost World: Jurassic Park as well as Jurassic Park 3, beating the game and thereby winning a trip to Camp Cretaceous. What’s Camp Cretaceous? Well, it’s the summer camp section of Jurassic World that wasn’t introduced or mentioned until now. As soon as Darius arrives at Camp Cretaceous, he is introduced to the other main characters of the show, Roxie & Dave (Voiced by Jameela Jamil & Glen Powell respectively) who are the camp counselors as well as the other kids invited to Camp Cretaceous.
They are Ben (Voiced by Sean Giambrone), who is the typical hypochondriac nerd type, Yaz (Voiced by Kausar Mohammad), the sporty athletic type, Brooklynn (Voiced by Jenna Ortega), who is a trendy influencer and vlogger, Kenji (Voiced by Ryan Potter), who is the rich son of one of Jurassic World’s main investors, and finally Sammy (Voiced by Raini Rodriguez), whose true purpose is more hidden when the show begins but comes off as the friendly one.
Soon after arrival, however, problems begin to emerge as Darius already feels he doesn’t fit in as tensions with the group quickly begin, along with the very different personalities clashing. This leads to Darius deciding to sneak out before he is caught by Kenji and Brooklynn, who only agree that they won’t sell him out if he takes them with him. Begrudgingly Darius agrees and soon they happen upon a mysterious giant cage near the park; that cage happening to be the same Velociraptor cage from Jurassic World where Owen’s Raptor Squad was kept.
Why Jurassic World thought placing the kids camp near the most dangerous part of the park is beyond me! After Brooklynn drops her phone into the cage, Kenji goes down to retrieve it, only for them to find out it’s the Raptor cage by virtue of the Raptor Squad showing up. To save him, Darius jumps down there, only for them both to be saved by the intervention of the Camp Counselors and other staff. Darius says it was his idea to try to get Brooklynn and Kenji out of trouble; however, Kenji is still given the same punishment as Darius.
This punishment is revealed the next day to be that Kenji and Darius can’t go on the tour of the genetics facility and must instead shovel well…Dinosaur poop. During this, Kenji and Darius begin to bond, leading to Kenji to propose another scheme to Darius, in which they sneak away and go see if they can find something more exciting by sneaking through the tunnels underneath Jurassic World, a reference to the tunnels below Disneyland and Disney World. Darius begrudgingly agrees and this leads them to the Carnotaurus exhibit, where they soon realize they’re accidentally inside the exhibit and not behind the fences leading to them having to escape from the theropod. Again, I must question Jurassic World’s security. They manage to escape and get back in time to avoid further punishment, having strengthened their friendship.
Meanwhile, the rest of the cast gets a tour of the genetics facility where they meet Dr. Henry Wu with B.D. Wong reprising his role from Jurassic World. It’s there an interesting easter egg/hint is dropped of Woolly Mammoth cloning being in progress. Perhaps a hint for Jurassic World: Dominion? While they’re there, Sammy sneaks off the guided tour and is caught by Brooklynn, leading to her having suspicions of what she was up to and Ben bonds with a newly hatched Ankylosaurus nicknamed Bumpy for her asymmetrical horns. That same night, someone sends up a drone to take pictures of Isla Nublar (The island where Jurassic World is located).
The next day, the Camp is given a chance to drive Gyrospheres with herbivorous Dinosaurs, much like what was seen in Jurassic World. However, a storm starts, leading to the counselors having to tell the handlers directly to herd the dinosaurs because of the radios going down from the storm. While the counselors are away, a stampede begins, leading to the kids getting trapped in various precarious situations as a result. The kids manage to solve the problems themselves. Later that night however, Brooklynn finds out from her phone’s video camera, something she never turns off as a result of her vlogging, that Sammy took saliva samples from one of the Dinosaurs. Sammy watches Brooklynn watch the video.
As another day dawns, the camp counselors are called into a spontaneous meeting with Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard’s character from Jurassic World), leaving the kids by themselves. While they’re gone, Brooklynn realizes that her phone is missing and accuses Sammy of stealing it. Before this can be resolved however, the show suddenly swerves into the events of Jurassic World as the Indominus Rex shows up, changing the tone of the show as it kills the staff members trying to warn the kids. This leads into a big escape scene from the Indominus Rex with the kids only barely escaping it. During these events we find out from flashbacks that Darius’ father died of cancer, with their dream of going to Jurassic World being fulfilled by Darius. As they move forward to try to find help, Brooklynn remains suspicious of Sammy.
While the group continues through the jungle to find help, they come across the remnants of the I. rex’s rampage, along with Bumpy being left alone. After insistence from Ben, they agree to take the Dinosaur along with them as they find a van and begin to drive off after hearing the I. rex approaching them and a chase scene ensues. As they drive away from the I. rex, they find a genetics lab and hide in there, where they find a crazed scientist (Voiced by James Arnold Taylor, famous for his role as Obi-Wan in The Clone Wars) who tells them that Dr. Wu made the I. rex.
The scientist tries to escape in the van the kids brought, abandoning the kids in the process, only for the I. rex to stop him and devours him as the kids look on in horror. Darius, thinking quickly, procures them another vehicle and they escape. Meanwhile, the counselors realize what’s happened as they wait for Claire at the Visitor Center and radio the kids to try to find where they are. At the same time, the kids go in their direction they run over a bump causing Brooklynn’s phone to fall from Sammy’s pocket, revealing that she had indeed stolen it. In the surprise of it all, the kids lose control of the vehicle and crash.
After getting out of the vehicle, Sammy reveals that she was a spy sent by a rival genetics company named Mantah Corp to steal information for them to clone their own Dinosaurs after using Sammy’s family farm as leverage. The rest of the kids lose trust in Sammy immediately but as they do so, they see Simon Masrani’s helicopter chasing the Indominus Rex, only to crash into the Pterosaur Aviary, connecting the dots between Camp Cretaceous and Jurassic World. As the Pteranodons are freed, the kids run to the River Adventure attraction to escape. As they float down it, they see genetically modified Parasaurs which can glow in the dark. On the other side of the tunnel, however, is the Jurassic World Lagoon, home of the Mosasaurus. This starts another action scene of the kids having to escape the marine reptile; while everyone makes it out alive, Yaz breaks her ankle and in the confusion the way the camp counselors were tracking them (A datapad) is destroyed, leading the counselors to assume the worst.
As the kids climb out of the lagoon, an evacuation alarm goes off signaling that the final evacuation boat will leave soon. Recognizing that they don’t have much time, the kids use the monorail as their quickest way to get to the docks in time. On the way there, the kids begin to talk, only to be interrupted as the Pteranodons attack the monorail and derail it. With the new direction of the monorail, the kids have to stop it before it hits another crashed monorail and, in the process, Ben is seemingly killed by a fall caused by a Pteranodon. Having no time to mourn him, however, the group has to jump from the monorail but wonder where Bumpy has gone. As the speakers announce that the boats are going to leave in an hour, the group tries to pick up the pace and use the tunnels; however, Yaz’s broken ankle slows them down.
As they make their way through the tunnels, they are confronted by the fact that the gates are locked down, only for the situation to be worsened by the fact that the Carnotaurus from the first half has appeared underground…somehow… The kids manage to defeat the Carnotaurus by using explosive barrels, PS1 video game style, and make it to the surface. Unfortunately, they were too late and are now stranded on Isla Nublar amid the abandoned park… A post-credits scene reveals Bumpy nuzzling the broken form of Ben, only for his fingers to twitch, revealing that he’s alive.
So that was the recap of Camp Cretaceous! We’ll see very soon what gets picked up plot thread wise and what’s left behind. There have already been talks of tie-ins with Jurassic World: Dominion in Season 2 so we’ll see if that pans out.