Total Drama Review Week 22: Camp Castaways
By: Justin Cummings
When I first watched this episode I wasn’t a big fan. In context though, I was about eleven, and couldn’t really appreciate any non-elimination episodes. My thoughts on the episode have grown, but I’m still not a huge fan of it. It’s a big change of pace compared to what we usually get out of this show, with the challenge being rather unconventional, if it even exists. This episode does however, succeed at setting up the last string of episodes through the finale, and had it not come right after another strange episode, it might feel more natural.
The basic premise was pretty solid though, with the constant lampooning of Castaway feeling pretty great, and the overall vibe of the episode being that no one could stand each other anymore. This is the dynamic I love seeing, that these aren’t perfect people. They’re all flawed, and none of them really deserve the money, but one of them will get it. In just a couple more episodes, one of these four will win the entire game, and this episode showed just how hard it is to say who earned it. They all have their dark pasts, and they all could easily be eliminated. Even Gwen and Owen, who typically come off as heroes, seem flawed in this episode. It was a nice way to ground everyone, even though the episode itself was a bit gimmicky.
The biggest takeaway of course is Mr. Coconut, who became a recurring character and fan favorite. It was such a stupid idea, but this show ran with it and made it entertaining. Honestly it’s the creation of this gag that really saves this episode for me, along with Owen’s wishes. It’s genuinely sad hearing Owen saying he doesn’t die without ever holding hands, and then it takes a sharp turn into his “Owen gets jiggy fantasies.” The timing on that whole sequence was spot on, and a lot of it has to do with the line reading itself. Every line of jungle Owen dialogue was quotable, and helps make this episode memorable.
All in all I give the episode a 5.6/10, and appreciate what it does for the last three episodes. We still have our final four, and it’s a straight shot to the finish. Who will win? Who will lose? Who will decide if I take a break before next season? Find out all this and more, next week, when I review “Are We There, Yeti?”