This article contains spoilers for Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous season 5.
Over the course of five seasons, Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous has brought PG thrills to a PG-13 franchise. In the final season, the six campers who were originally stuck on Isla Nublar during the events of Jurassic World bring their saga (but not their adventures) to a close, and reveal some of what franchise antagonist BioSyn was up to during the years between Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. (The answer, unsurprisingly, is no good.)
After a cliffhanger ending to season four, the twelve episodes that take the series to its finale are packed with betrayals and forgiveness—and an epic dinosaur fight that might rival its big screen counterparts. Read on to see where Darius, Kenji, Brooklynn, Ben, Yaz, and Sammy, along with some familiar faces from earlier in the season, end up when the show’s over.
Kenji’s Betrayal and Mantah Corp Mind-Control
Kenji has always longed for attention and love from his father, so when the two are reunited at the end of season four, it sets up Kenji for divided loyalties. Kenji’s father, Daniel Kon, is the head of Mantah Corp, the company that has loomed large as a villain for the kids through the series. As the season opens, Kon appears genuinely relieved to see Kenji alive and safe. He welcomes the kids to use the island’s resources as their own, and he punishes season four villain Kash for harming dino-scientist Dr. Turner, an ally of the campers. If the kids could just wait a few days, until he finalizes a business deal with BioSyn to keep both the island and Mantah Corp running, he promises to get them home to their families. And he offers Kenji an opportunity to be involved in his life, fulfilling Kenji’s hopes for a real relationship with his father.
But soon Kon’s true colors show. He manipulates Kenji’s willingness to help, constantly dividing him from his friends. He plays the victim, claiming to not understand why the campers don’t trust him. When Kenji tries to show Kon why the dinosaurs need to be protected, for a few beats, it seems like Kon might actually listen. The goodwill convinces Kenji, but not his friends, leading to a showdown: Kon uses Kash and Dr. Turner’s research to perfect dinosaur mind-control, and the campers undermine Kon’s business meeting by short-wiring the mind-control chips. The camp fam’s unwillingness to give Kon a chance drives a wedge between Kenji and his friends.
When Kon imprisons the campers and takes Kenji and his mercenary thugs (including previous season three villain Hawke) to Isla Nublar, Kenji starts to realize that his dad really is into shady things. BioSyn wants to exploit dinosaurs, and Mantah Corp is not just an unwilling pawn, but a perpetrator. Kenji’s last straw is when Kon, despite Kenji’s protestations, captures Bumpy and uses a mind-control chip on the Ankylosaurus. Finally pushed to action, Kenji helps Dr. Turner escape on Isla Nublar, out from under his father’s control, and returns to Mantah Corp island, determined to undo what he’s done wrong.
Meanwhile, the other campers escape their prison and do their best to make sure Kon can never mind control dinosaurs again—while processing their feelings about Kenji’s betrayal. The emotional turmoil feels genuine, and the grief, both for the campers at being betrayed and for Kenji over betraying the people he loves, drives the emotional core of the story to its satisfying conclusion.
As for Kenji’s father, it becomes clear even to Kenji that there’s no way to earn his love. The kids plan an elaborate and risky ruse to make him flee the island (which he believes is about to destroy itself), and though he asks Kenji to come along, when Kenji refuses, Kon leaves and doesn’t look back. But that’s exactly what the kids wanted. Kon believing the secret island has been destroyed is the only way to keep the dinosaurs safe for good.
Sammy and Yaz’s Romance
Before things go completely wrong, Kenji and Brooklynn are slated to have their first real date, an event that Kenji sets up as something practically out of a fairy tale (and for which his dad loans him a suit, only to go behind Kenji’s back and delay Brooklynn). The plan for that date experience shows little details that felt missing from season four: Kenji’s attention to the things Brooklynn likes (knowing that her favorite color is yellow) and understanding what she’d want from a perfect date night.
It also shows the glee that Sammy and Yaz take in setting up something perfect for their friends. The pair offer to help, then giggle over the setting when all the pieces come together. While Yaz started the series as someone who barely spoke to others, who never let anyone close, she progressed to Kenji’s wingman in season four, and shows a true romantic spirit in that moment she never would have uncovered without her camp fam.
So it’s a big pay off when Yaz finally admits she’s been falling for Sammy all along. The series has laid clues from the very beginning of their friendship that these besties could also become romantically involved. For Yaz, who prior to camp only ever crushed on boys, that means figuring herself out—or letting herself be okay with not figuring herself out. Surprisingly, her best relationship advice comes from Ben, whose lack of experience means that his sage wisdom comes only from observing his friends—and genuinely caring about them. And as in the season four responses to Kenji and Brooklyn’s relationship, the glee from all the campers about two of their members pairing off is sheer, uncomplicated joy. (Brooklyn’s “You two are finally official” is just as filled with celebration as Darius’s clueless “I had no idea,” a character-consistent response for both of them.)
In one of the strongest Mantah Corp island episodes, the campers recreate Isla Nublar’s watering hole, where dinosaurs gathered in peace, in order to consolidate and protect the dinosaurs from the expected return of Mr. Kon. The resulting paradise becomes the battle ground for the climactic encounter between the campers and Kon’s cronies. With Kenji’s help, Kon and his thugs captured several dinosaurs from Isla Nublar, implanted mind-control chips, and brought them back to Mantah Corp island. As the kids try to keep the dinos safe, the two Tyrannosaurus rexes, Big Eatie and Little Eatie, decide they’ll stand their ground. In defending their territory, the Mantah Corp dinosaurs also defend the campers—and the campers spend the battle trying to free the Mantah Corp dinosaurs from their mind control chips. The result is full scale battle that includes a Baryonyx, a Kentrosaurus, two T. rexes, a Spinosaurus, the season one Carnotaurus the kids named Toro, several flying reptiles, and more, all frequently changing targets and going from enemy to ally as the battleground shifts.
When Big Eatie is injured at the end of the penultimate episode, and the campers think she’s been killed, it’s heart-wrenching. It drives home the stakes of this series (and a larger message in the franchise): preserving dinosaurs from the human monsters that seek to control them. It also serves to raise the risk for the kids: if Kon is willing to kill a T. rex he’s invested a lot of money in, what’s to stop him from killing them?
But while Big Eatie’s injury looks severe, Kon isn’t willing to lose that investment after all, and by the finale, she’s healed just enough to save the day in one final battle for dominance—and to protect a human she’s come to (sometimes) identify as a friend.
Ben and Bumpy Reunited
While the best reunion of the season has to be between Ben and Bumpy, that human/dino duo who had to part ways when the kids finally made it off Isla Nublar, there are several payoffs from previous season hooks that the season finally brings back into play.
When Mr. Kon decides to capture Bumpy—even after Kenji begged him to just leave the Ankylosaurus alone—it’s a turning point for Kenji. And when Kenji tries to help Ben rescue Bumpy, it’s by telling Ben to use the mind-control device to get Bumpy away from the bad guys. But Ben’s not willing to take away Bumpy’s free will, and while it looks for a few moments like that choice will have traumatic repercussions when one of the thugs turns Bumpy against Ben, it turns into a triumph. When the mind-control chip forces Bumpy to hurt Ben, it goes so deeply against her nature, that she’s able to free herself from the chip’s control. Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous has always treated Bumpy like an intelligent, intuitive character, and this elevates her to an even more heroic status.
Do The Campers Finally Get Home?
Another reunion viewers have been waiting for starts to play out at the end of episode two, when Darius’s brother Brand is reaching out to someone for help rescuing the kids. He knows they’re alive because Darius got a brief call out to him in season four, and though he’s turned to the authorities, no one will help him. His final hope? Roxie and Dave, the counselors who pledged to rescue the kids as they were forced off the island at the end of season one. The three spend several episodes searching for the campers on Isla Nublar, until they connect with Dr. Turner (escaped from Kon’s control).
It’s Turner who gets the rescuers to the kids on Mantah Corp Island—but only after the kids have triumphed on their own. It’s not really a rescue, as the kids have saved themselves, but it is a ride back to the lives they left behind. When they get back to their families, there’s a triumphant greeting at the docks as each camper (except Kenji, whose father has been arrested through Turner’s whistleblowing) is embraced by a parent. Yaz and Sammy’s parents are quick to celebrate that their daughters are dating (a lovely moment of inclusivity and acceptance), and Darius’s mom extends a welcome to Kenji to join their family, where he’ll be valued for who he is.
And that emergency beacon that viewers saw had gotten through in season two? It was received by Mantah Corp, and no one ever came looking for them. That news ties a loose end and further nails the coffin in Kenji’s relationship with his father.
How Does Camp Cretaceous Lead Into Fallen Kingdom?
After their reunions with their families, the campers skip ahead a couple of years, likely right before the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. On a group video chat, viewers see Yaz and Sammy are together at Sammy’s family’s ranch in Texas, where Yaz is looking at colleges. Ben is spending his summer break on the secret island (kept operational by Kenji’s family funds) as Dr. Turner’s assistant (and so he can hang out with Bumpy). Kenji, still living with Darius’s family, and is giving tips to now-YouTube-sensation Darius, whose dino videos have garnered tons of hits. (Never respond to the comments!) And Brooklynn is following a lead; she’s left her own Internet celebrity days behind to work as a journalist (or mystery solver), and she’s investigating Lockwood Manor, not too far from Darius’s house. After the call, Darius, alone in his room, feels the earth shake, and a cup of water vibrates next to him (in a clear nod to the first movie). Out the window, he sees a Brachiosaurus, very likely one was brought to the mainland by the Lockwoods.
While Mantah Corp’s deal with Biosyn doesn’t ever work out, franchise fans know that BioSyn never gives up (and continues their own), with original Jurassic Park villain Lewis Dodgson, who appears in several episodes in this season, rising to CEO by the timeline of Jurassic World: Dominion.
But while Camp Cretaceous fans may enjoy the LEGO sets that feature characters from the show alongside Jurassic World heroes Owen Grady and Claire Dearing, a real cross-over with the characters seems never-to-be. Instead, viewers will just have to imagine how Darius, certainly still involved with dinosaur advocacy, reacts to Claire Dearing’s Dinosaur Protection Group. And the idea of a secret island, where Bumpy can be safe from the eruption of Mt. Sibo, and dinosaurs can still be studied in peace, should continue to spark imaginations from those who love the franchise. There, work can be done with the idea of what should be, not what could, and maybe dinosaurs and humans can find a better way to coexist.