REVIEW: ‘Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous’ Season 3 Tests Its Characters’ Endurance-And Friendship

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Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 3

Season 3 of Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous made its debut on Netflix last week. The series is distributed by Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Television, developed for television by Zack Stenz with Scott Kreamer acting as executive producer/showrunner and produced by Steven Spielberg, Colin Trevorrow, and Frank Marshall. Shortly after the events of the second season, Darius (Paul-Mikél Williams), Kenji (Ryan Potter), Brooklynn (Jenna Ortega), Sammy (Raini Rodriguez), Ben (Sean Giambrone), and Yaz (Kausar Mohammed) struggle to find a way off Isla Nublar. Complicating matters is the emergence of a deadly new dinosaur hybrid and Ben’s reluctance to leave his Ankkylosarus companion Bumbpy behind.

Seasons 1 and 2 focused on the campers bonding through various trials and tribulations, and Season 3 tests those bonds, often by exploring new pairings of characters. The first episode, “View From The Top” pairs overly friendly Sammy and laid-back Kenji together, and they click. On the other hand, Brooklyn-who’s risen to fame via her social media career, and hyper-competent athlete Yaz butt heads. The connection between Sammy and Yaz is also given more depth, as the two couldn’t be more different yet still bond. Yaz is even given the chance to save Sammy’s life in one episode, pushing herself to the limit to do so. These different pairings not only test the bonds the campers have forged, but they also introduce conflict that feels natural and not forced. Not everyone will agree with Darius’s various plans for example, or Kenji will say something that radically shifts their plans.

Perhaps the biggest connection is between Ben and Darius, as Ben is considering staying on the island and Darius still has residual guilt from losing Ben in Season 1. The growth of both characters comes to the forefront in their scenes together, with both Williams and Giambrone delivering supremely emotional performances. The reason for Ben’s desire to stay on Isla Nublar actually stems from the adventures he’s had on the island; I won’t spoil his ultimate fate but I do love the fact that Darius is able to let go of his guilt and find a sense of closure.

The character designs also show how much island life has affected the passengers, and how long they’ve been on the island (roughly six months have passed since the events of the first Jurassic World film). The campers’ clothing is showing wear and tear, and Kenji has even started to grow a beard. In contrast, Bumpy is now a full-grown Ankylosaurus, with her armor plating fully grown and her size having tripled since Season 1. Bumpy remains the series MVP, both in her interactions with the campers (a running bit throughout Episode 2 has Sammy wondering if Bumpy actually likes her or not) and in protecting them from the various other dinosaurs that stalk the island.

It wouldn’t be a Jurassic World story without a horrific genetic mutation and Camp Cretaceous delivers on that front with the Scorpius Rex. Unlike other hybrids such as the Indominous Rex or the Indoraptor, the Scorpius Rex looks like a horrific melding of man and dinosaur. Sharp quills line its body, its head is more round and human-esque than other dinosaurs, and it seems to be possessed of a cold, predatory instinct. Another advantage it has is a form of infrared vision similar to the Predator’s that allows it to track down the campers wherever they are. The presence of the Scorpius Rex adds a level of danger that wasn’t previously present in the first two seasons. Before the campers did run into dinosaurs, but even the carnivorous ones didn’t hunt them down. With every scene featuring the Scorpius Rex, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Ian Malcolm’s words from the first Jurassic Park: “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

The Scorpius Rex isn’t the only threat the campers face. An antagonist from the Jurassic World films returns and his presence spells danger: not just for the campers but for the world. Another Jurassic World mainstay appears in the form of Blue the Raptor, who bonded with Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady. I like that Camp Cretaceous is able to touch upon various events in the Jurassic World films while still standing on its own two legs; both The Bad Batch and The Mandalorian have taken a similar route when it comes to the Star Wars universe.

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 3 ups the stakes for its campers, both in the form of a new genetically enhanced dinosaur and several tests to their bonds of friendship. This continues to be my favorite entry in the Jurassic World franchise, especially with how it weaves in and out of the events of the Jurassic World films. Given where the series leaves off, next season should be another change of pace.

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 3 is available to stream on Netflix.

 

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 3
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 3 ups the stakes for its campers, both in the form of a new genetically enhanced dinosaur and several tests to their bonds of friendship. This continues to be my favorite entry in the Jurassic World franchise, especially with how it weaves in and out of the events of the Jurassic World films. Given where the series leaves off, next season should be another change of pace.