The Inbetweeners series 3 episode 6 review: The Camping Trip

It's time for our lads to pack up their things and take a hike in this, the last of the series of The Inbetweeners. Simon and Neil's future is unclear but can they get together for one final hurrah?

3.6 The Camping Trip

Oh dear, it seems our gang won’t be able to stick together for long. Simon’s parents, with whom he already has a rocky relationship, have broken the news that they’re about up sticks and move from the leisure hive that is suburban London to the climes of Swansea, finally snuffing out the chances of anything happening with his childhood sweetheart, Carli, and ruining what little social life he already has.

The other big shocker for the lads is Neil somehow managing to lose his virginity before everyone else. If that wasn’t enough, then there’s also the possibility of him becoming a dad. So, what is to become of our quartet of losers now they’re being dragged kicking and screaming into the world of adult consequences? There’s only one thing to do and that’s go camping.

Straight from the off, this episode has some of the sharpest writing of the series. The banter between the lads is positively crackling with great lines and razor sharp putdowns. Also, Simon’s futile attempts at making a grand gesture of love to Carli fail in a glorious way. To give details would be to ruin it for you, but the dawn of realisation breaking out on Joe Thomas’ face is undoubtedly one of the best moments of the series’ history!

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The second half changes tempo and really shows the divide between the boys. Jay and Neil both test their friendship with Will and Simon to the very limit as they set up camp in the middle of nowhere. So much so, in fact, you’ll be surprised that they were ever friends in the first place! Again saying too much would ruin it all, so it’s best to keep it as a surprise.

Suffice to say, there’s many highlights in this episode, such as Jay revealing a little bit more insight to his character in a couple of sentences than you may not even notice on first viewing. Throughout The Inbetweeners lifespan, Jay has always been one of the more complex characters in modern sitcoms.

For all of his bluster and boasting, there’s a vulnerable side that we’re privy to once every so often. And even when he’s at his worst in this episode, and believe me it’s bad, it’s hard to actually get angry with him. Except for Simon, that is, who is apoplectic with impotent rage, exploding into a tirade against Jay and Neil, who stand there dimly like an old dog you’re explaining string theory to.

And so, another series draws to a close, although there’s not much of a satisfying ending but plenty of intrigue that may be resolved by the forthcoming film version. There’s not the emotional pay-off that came with the previous series conclusions. A shame, as the ending of series 1 really cemented The Inbetweeners as more than a collection of wanking and your mum gags. It showed it could have emotional depth too.

If there’s one piece of minor criticism that could be fairly levelled at this series of The Inbetweeners, It’s that it’s just as good as the first two series. It’s stuck to the formula that’s made this show a hit from day one and not really pushed it as far as it could go. This episode alone, however, is a fantastic example of how far this show could go when it’s firing on all cylinders.

If this, as has been rumoured, is to be the last series, then it has ended on a high. The conclusion to Will’s doomed puppy love for Charlotte was bittersweet. The introduction of an actual girl character was a great touch and provided some of the best moments of the series ,such as Tara and Simon’s first gruesome snog and Neil and Jay’s “be-ba-beep” mocking of Simon. And poor old Joe Thomas, who had the hardest job of all, being naked, dressing up like the 11th Doctor gone gay and furiously punching himself in the groin at the writers’ behest. All in the name of making us laugh, he is a trooper and you should be grateful for him!

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This series won’t have won over any new fans, but it has provided some of the best episodes of the series history. It remains to be seen whether or not there will be another after the movie adaptation but Iain Kevan-Morris and Damon Beesley can rest assured that, with The Inbetweeners, they’ve created a minor classic.

Read our review of the episode 5, Will Is Home Alone, here.